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One of my most favorite authors, Wendell Berry, writes in Standing By Words:

“To think better, to think like the best humans, we are probably going to have to learn again to judge a person’s intelligence, not by the ability to recite facts, but by the good order or harmoniousness of his or her surroundings. We must suspect that any statistical justification of ugliness and violence is a revelation of stupidity.”

The problem with much of religion is that it relishes and thrives on justification for ugliness and violence. It often accomplishes this by setting us against ourselves in an eternal conflict… conflict with our flesh and desires as well as with others who aren’t the same or don’t agree.

It takes courage to walk away from all forms of what we know to be stupid and into a life that is more harmonious.