Oh God

Thu, Mar 14, 2002 11:53AM -0600

In the twentieth century..., the great civilizer on earth seems to have been doubt. Doubt, the constantly debated and flexible inner condition of theological uncertainty, the wish to believe in balance with rueful or nervous or grieving skepticism, seems to have held people in thrall to ethical behavior, while the true believers, of whatever stamp, religious or religious-statist, have done the murder ing. The impulse to excommunicate, to satanize, to eradicate, to ethnically cleanse, is a religious impulse. In the practice and politics of religion, God has always been a license to kill. But to hold in abeyance and irresolution any firm convictions of God, or of an afterlife with Him, warrants walking in His spirit, somehow.
-- from "The City of God" by E.L. Doctorow

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