Infants into Angels

TIMG_20141002_115338142 (1)he role of religion in the modern world is anything but futile. Try telling someone who gave up liquor for the ministry that their conversion was useless. Or a mother who just lost her newborn baby that it is now a dead pile of bones that she will never see again. Religion may be corruptible and even dehumanizing at times, but it will always be a force that moves people to have experiences unrivaled by anything else in the world. At its best, it has the capacity to transform murderers into prophets, slave owners into abolitionists, cynics into poets, and infants into angels.

“Mini Chautauqua in Rochester”

A conference like the “Mini-Chautauqua in Rochester” is so dynamic because it combines the knowledge of the natural sciences with the wisdom traditions of Eastern and Western religion. This rare blend of head and heart not only enabled participants to better understand the threat of climate change, it also helped them conceive of ways to respond to this challenge with love, compassion and resilience. As Rabbi Debbie Till shared in her reflection on the Talmud, “it is not our job to complete the task but neither are we free to desist from it.”
All of the distinguished speakers expressed the same moral imperative. We need to cure our addiction to consumerism, speciesism, and ecological warfare; and we need to cultivate a profound humility before whatever we call the divine. For in the end, what we are trying to sustain is ourselves. George PayneIMG_20151027_140641651