When I was a child, we sang a hymn with the lines, “Give me that old-time religion; it’s good enough for me.” I believe the song has helped to perpetuate the myth of the goodness of American Christianity in the days and years past.
Many of us, as white Anglo-Saxon Protestant males, put down everybody else — women, Catholics, Black people, immigrants, Indigenous people and everybody else who was not like us. We were also very destructive of our environment without being aware of it.
Good religion, in the future, will believe in the goodness of all people as created children of God. This will come when all domination systems fall and we see everyone as our sister and brother.
The prophet Isaiah speaks of such a time when the “wolf will lie down with the lamb.” Then will come to pass the end of the harmful legacies of “old-time religion." And we will have compassion and care for all the hurting people of our world, just as Jesus did for the marginalized, poor and hurting of his day.
Good religion will also look after our wonderful home — that it may be a fit dwelling place for us and untold, unborn billions.
I believe that God is always inviting us into a much better future —for us and for our world — than we can imagine now.
A. Richard Weaver, M.D.