Back in July, when we ran a cover story about the tumultuous relationship between some local Catholics and their bishop, Robert Morlino, I wrote in this column that delving into religion was dangerous work. When what you're writing about affects some people in the most profound way, you're bound to provoke indignation.
I was right. We heard from plenty of people, some who appreciated the story and some who didn't. The dissatisfied, among other things, pointed out the right of the church to espouse its own doctrine and to require adherence from its followers. Besides, what business did we have injecting our attitudes into someone else's worldview? And I'd say they had a point, up to a point.
It is rather arrogant to critique someone else's beliefs and to imply criticism of the tenets of another's religion. But that said, we all interact in a larger context, that of society, and we have a right to examine what may be influencing fellow members of that society as it may have an effect on the community. It may affect for whom people vote. It could be a factor in what legislation is introduced.
So eventually it does matter to us all what Catholics do, or what the members of any other religion do, for that matter. So this week we wade into the religious swamp once again. This time we're visiting the Presbyterians. In "Loved by His God," Maggie Ginsberg-Schutz gives us the story of Scott Anderson, a gay man who wants to serve his God and his church, and the questioning that has engendered within his chosen religion. And it helps us to understand the change that is roiling all of our institutions, including our churches.
It's important for us to be aware.