Father George Rutler, the pastor of the St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Manhattan has dedicated 50 years to Catholicism and was first an Episcopal and later a Catholic priest, he has been an active force for Catholicism throughout his lifetime.
He is not one of those who advocates shying away from telling others about your faith. At the same time, he is a realist. He certainly doesn’t advocate trying to cow others into adopting their faith. As the saying goes, “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”
So exactly how do you go about educating others on religion? Well, in case you are not up to date on social media, you must know that educating others about your religion does not mean simply telling them, “I am right and you are wrong” is the ideal approach.
We live in a modern, multicultural world. And when it comes to religion, keep in mind that over 27 percent of people consider themselves spiritual but not religious. So the first and most important thing to consider when we are talking about educating religions is what is your objective? Is your objective merely to inform? Then you have a much better chance at catching people’s attention. If, on the other hand, your objective is to save people from going to hell and getting them, by conversion, to be admitted to heaven, well good luck with that.
First of all, nearly 21 percent of the population are not affiliated in any way with religion, and that is probably actually vastly understating the results, which considering the number of people who actually go to any church or read any type of scripture, the amount is probably closer to 40 percent.
The point is that most people want a religion that is very inclusive of all people including gays, straights, and those who tend to believe in a God that is less familiar to people than the Christian faith.
Can anyone reasonably expect that rational people will believe such fundamental hogwash as the earth is only 10,000 years old, or that as taught in the Old Testament that God actually smoted nearly 20 million people? Does one seriously believe that praying to God for the outcome of a football game or to win the lottery makes any sense?
Instead, No realist in religion will deny the tremendous effects that all religious leaders have had on believers of faith. Millions around the world study, practice, and apply the many teachings of religion. Believers of God understand that prayer and faith is something to be taken seriously and not just a hobby to take lightly.
Father George Rutler and dozens more recognize that if religion is so good (and generally it is) then there’s no reason to demand obedience to the religion itself. Be like the positive God in the Bible who taught that God is so pure that he is unaware of any iniquity. That’s a God who is inclusive and people can get behind.