Q & A – more questions than answersApril 12, 2013
Last weeks Q & A was on the theme of “faith & love”. For regular watchers of the show it promised an interesting diversion from the weekly banter and one-up-manship of politicians taking swings at each other on national television. But sadly while the theme and the 5 panelists (Buddhist nun, Catholic Archbishop, Muslim Imam, Secular Jew, Atheist Comedian) promised much, it did little to raise the tone of the debate.
Of the 60 minute show, probably 55 minutes were spent circling around three issues: homosexuality, paedophilia & terrorism. While these are clearly the hot button issues when the topic of religion is raised in the public square, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad. In our increasingly cosmopolitan society is religion going to remain forever pigeon-holed as cause of discrimination, perversion & war? Of course something must be done to reform religious traditions, but if all we do is talk about the problems within them how will religious traditions ever come to enact their core purpose – reforming and transforming ourselves and our world?
Our society faces some huge challenges: economic collapse, climate change & extreme poverty being just a few. The root causes of these issues are things which religious traditions were once-upon-a-time tasked with addressing: selfishness, greed, lack of empathy, etc. While the world’s faith traditions are ancient storehouses for tools needed when addressing the worlds issues, few people are looking into the vaults of the great faith traditions in search of an answer. As long as the conversation remains fixated on the insane practices of those on the fringes of religious traditions (just as we saw on QandA), fewer and fewer people will look to religion as a legitimate source of inspiration. If this is where we remain stuck, we will lose so much of humanities great wisdom. While faith traditions certainly must shed some baggage of their own making, they posses so many assets of humanity that our world can’t afford to lose. But how do we untangle what to keep and what is just baggage? How do we live such ancient wisdom in a modern way? How can we change the conversation about religion? And how do we bring both secular and religious communities along on this journey together?
After last week’s show I’m left with more Q’s than A’s. Changing the conversation about religion takes more than a one hour TV show.
About Freeman TrebilcockFreeman Trebilcock is the CEO of InterAction (www.InterAction.org.au), Australia's leading organisation for culturally and religiously diverse young people. In this role Freeman has gained extensive experience facilitating small groups to develop a deeper understanding of themselves and their world. Freeman feels that his calling is to enact social change through helping others bring about their own personal transformation. With this in mind, Freeman co-founded Loving Kindness Peaceful Youth (www.LKPY.org), an international peace organisation which attempts to foster inner revolution & disarmament. View all posts by Freeman Trebilcock → This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← The census and religion it comes but once a year… →
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