I’m beginning to think Julian set a cunning trap with his Heathen’s Progress series. He started with everybody gets it wrong, it’s more complicated than that. He went on to let’s offer a minimal version of religion and see if all those non-literal (sophisticated, “it’s more complicated than that”) believers will sign up to it. He pointed out that he had the most to lose if they wouldn’t, because he’s been saying that new atheists get it all wrong by ignoring the non-literal sophisticated “it’s more complicated” segment of believers.
If it really is the case that lots of mainstream religious leaders and believers can happily sign up to this, then religion really is the much more benign, unsuperstitious thing that liberals and agnostics have said it is all along. If not, then I hope these voices will concede that theirs is a vision for how religion should be, not as it is, and join in the criticisms of the religions that actually surround us today. [Read more…]