Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Reformation Project

This is pretty cool. Matthew Vines, whom you may remember from his video last year which explained exactly why the Bible does not denounce homosexuality as we know it today, is launching a new project.

I love Matthew Vines. He's my kind of religionist. He spent two years researching homosexuality and the Bible before making last year's video. His religion means a great deal to him, but he's not willing to just accept what others tell him about it. He finds out for himself and then draws his own conclusions. He constructs arguments based on historical facts combined with his interpretations of Christian practice and sacred texts.

Judaism has been an important part of my life, which is why I won't abandon it just because I stopped believing in God. There is still a lot about religion that can be useful if religion is taken the right way: as a collection of philosophical ideas and practices written down in different ways through the centuries. That can work for those who believe in God and those who don't.

I hope that some of my students grow up to confront religion the way Matthew Vines is doing. That's what religion is there for. If we don't interact with it--if we let religion trap us in the time the holy books were written--then it becomes a prison that limits thought and action and keeps us from the world. But if we use it to inspire us, to instruct us, and to struggle against, it can bring out the best in us.

I wish you luck, Matthew Vines. Keep up the good work.

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