AFFIRMING THE MESSAGE, NOT THE BOOK

Welcome to Roger’s Take on Religion: An Inclusive Perspective

“Heritage Issues,” those issues that seek a return to less inclusive times, are big with state legislators these days. Consider the Tennessee Senate’s designation of the Bible as the “State Book.”

Growing up in Wake County, NC, I didn’t meet any non-Protestants until I was in high school. Religion-wise, it was a Protestant society and designation of the Bible as “The Book” would have been redundant. Those days are long gone, however, and no amount of legislation can bring them back. Ours is a society built on including rather than excluding religious differences.

Here’s My Take: Rather than lifting up the Bible as a sacred book, it would be more appropriate to highlight some of its teachings. We could begin by requiring all Tennessee legislators to read the Bible.

Here they would discover how God will judge us by how we treat the poor. This might lead to a reversal of the decision by the Tennessee legislators not to expand healthcare coverage for the state’s poorest residents. It’s the message, not the book, that needs to be affirmed.

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