Pluralism, the non religious and intolerance (Linkspam of the week)

I’d like to highlight a few URLs that I’ve come across this week that I’d like to frame in a single post.

My twitter subscription to Three Faiths Forum gave a neat link to an article by a C. Steadman about the case for the non-religious to be involved in interfaith work. We’ve posted before about this and I find this article a very eloquent justification, as well a neat assertion of the case that there is no incompatibility by having a commitment to the social justice component of interfaith work and having no religious affiliation.

Thinking about the ‘other side’, there is a fascinating interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson (who I have come to know from his cameo on the Big Bang Theory [that’s a tv show not a cosmological hypothesis]) who states how much of his agenda in science communication is not interested very much in the issue of religion, however, one of his most viewed videos on youtube concerns a discussion with R. Dawkins where he makes the very interesting point that it is because of Dawkins’ eloquence of writing and putting forward his case that makes him prima facie antagonised by those of faith, in essence the notion of the ‘Angry atheist’ (in Steadman’s terms) is constructed by this kind of preconception or unwillingness to deal with the arguments in hand with (inter alia) the likes of Dawkins but more the conclusions made. For anyone who found this blog post for searching terms such as “Neil deGrasse Tyson” and “religion”, I apologise for adding to this reputation that Tyson does not want to have (in my defence, he’s blamed by Sheldon Cooper for the reclassification of Pluto – how’s that for changing a reputation).

Perhaps to put the importance of tolerance in context, this week a video came out of a grassroots protest led by the an organisation within the umbrella of US tea party movement where a ‘protest’ against speakers in a Muslim fundrasing event was obscured by the thinly veiled xenophobia of the protest’s participants. Such is the consequence of a lack of engagement or dialogue.


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