Sunday, September 5, 2010

the importance of being earnest...

Perhaps in some kind of rebellion against my Midwestern small town upbringing I was long attracted to extremes.  In college and in my brief "career" in politics, I was just to the right of Jerry Falwell.  By graduate school, I considered myself a "liberation theologian.' (Who I was going to liberate is any-one's guess.)  I have since dived into many traditions full on.
   Readers of this blog know that I have long settled into a love of the moderate. My favorite political book is Eliot Richardson's "Reflections of a Radical Moderate." And in religion, though my position is considered heretical by my conservative Christian friends, it is considered quite conservative by some of my fellow Unitarians.
   Far from regretting my more "earnest" days, I feel I learned much about the spirit of the religious impulse and am grateful for it...
   As usual James Freeman Clarke speaks my mind better than I do.  This his "Message of Faith, Hope and Love" for Sept. the 5th.

"PEOPLE who are in earnest are apt to be a little one-sided, narrow, and fanatical. But the Lord uses such agents to move the world. Do not oppose them, but endeavor to moderate them, and, like Paul, to show, if you can, a more excellent way."


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