Thursday, December 22, 2016

It’s time we think of politics more like religion




Supporters cheer as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign rally in Sarasota, Fla., on Nov. 7, 2016.   Photo courtesy of Reuters/Carlo Allegri 
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-FARNSLEY-OPED, originally published on Dec. 7, 2016.
Supporters cheer as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign rally in Sarasota, Fla., on Nov. 7, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Carlo Allegri *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-FARNSLEY-OPED, originally published on Dec. 7, 2016.

(RNS) Students in my college classes start out thinking religious identity and behavior are primarily about ideas. When I ask them about differences between Catholics and Methodists, they respond with differences in beliefs: the pope, contraception and transubstantiation.
These theological differences are real, of course, but I learned long ago that ideas do not create religious identity: They follow from it. My students imagine we pick from a large menu of ideological options and then make decisions about which membership best fits our own ideas.
It does not take long to convince them this “decision” model is badly incomplete. We never start from a neutral position. Our thinking is shaped by where we are born, who raised us and the tribes we call our own.

Read more at http://religionnews.com/2016/12/07/its-time-we-think-of-politics-more-like-religion/

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