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Religion’s real task

(Regarding Eben Harrell’s column, “Religion continues to best humanism,” The Aspen Times, March 2.)

When Harrell attacks religion as our “worst sin,” I think he is really attacking the legalistic behaviors and power structures that have come to be associated with religion in the popular mind. I do not think he is referring to the possibility of genuine religious experience, which is part of being human.

Such an experience always entails breaking through the crust of the various identities we have created for ourselves, even our religious ones. It means being knocked off the high horse of our dogmatic assertions and relinquishing any delusions we might entertain about our own moral superiority.



If religion were more concentrated on its real task of helping us connect with one another, instead of building even bigger walls to separate and divide us, I don’t think Harrell would have much of a case against it.

Joel Brence




Aspen