Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Whose reality?

This started out as a comment on someone else's blog, but then I realized it ought to be a short post on my own blog:  

I often hear people trash both theism in general, and Quaker non-theism in particular, as something that just cannot possibly be true at all, if it cannot be true for the speaker or if the speaker cannot understand it.  Yet, as a broader society, and as a Religious Society, we don't have that standard for, say, Christianity.  (If someone can't understand Christianity, or if it's not true for them, society locates the problem with them, not with Christianity.)  Why can't non-theist Quakerism (or Pagan Quakerism) be true and valid for someone else even if I just cannot grasp it?

Perhaps I have more humility here because I'm already used to that experience with other things that plain don't make sense to me, but obviously have great meaning, and work in real-life practice, for other people.  And therefore I accept them, even if I don't understand them, or agree with them, or even if I think they're kind of (or way) out in left field. 

This is part of the reality of life for folks who are minorities. 

Whereas, the belief, the fundamental assertion that if I can't believe it, or if it doesn't make sense to me, then it's just plain not true in an essential, basic sense, often comes from a position of some kind of dominance, privilege, or power-over that needs to be protected.  It's part of the experience of being a member of dominant culture.