On the blog Why Evolution is True, we find this entry that seems to have nothing whatsoever to do with evolution, biology, or even science at all. Instead, it is all about hypocrisy in religion:
Imagine being forced to go to work every day and, as part of the job, profess something that you absolutely don’t believe. More than that: at least once a week you have to publicly profess it, and also counsel other people on the explicit premise that you share the beliefs you reject. In other words, you’re forced to live a lie.
No one is forced to do anything like that. The issue is that you have a job that makes you money and enables you to influence others. That sounds like a strong motivation to keep doing it, but there are alternatives.
Why do these preachers stay in the faith and on the job? Three reasons, mostly. One is financial: what else could they do with their training if they left the ministry? Often they have neither equity (living in church-owned houses) nor pensions.
What about simply switching to become ministers of Unitarian Universalist churches or hold some other position in the Unitarian Universalist Association? You do not have to believe in the Bible as the Word of God to be a UU!
You can also profess liberal Christianity in the UUA and not be hypocritical:
Another, and perhaps more important, reason is that an admission of unbelief would shock and disappoint their friends and family. This is a very powerful motive, for facing the truth would rip asunder your network of social and family support.
Where is the unconditional love that Christians are supposed to have for people? And wouldn’t being open and honest about unbelief be just as likely to cause others to defect as well?
Finally, many of these preachers like their work, especially the part of the job that involves helping troubled people……..There’s absolutely no doubt that faith, and religious institutions, have provided important help for those in need or in trouble. Some religions do this more than others.
There is no reason why they cannot do work like counseling or doing charity work, even if they are atheists.
But isn’t it a shame that there aren’t secular communities where those with altruistic instincts can “minister” without hypocrisy or fear?
That last remark irritates me. The UUA may not be “secular”, but it provides exactly the sort of framework needed by those former Christian ministers. And then there are these many groups:
Nice going, Jerry Coyne. Your obsession with bashing religion only made yourself look ignorant! And that would not be the only time you did that!
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