religious oppression …. more thoughts

There were a few points of note in this piece that I wanted to expound on a bit.

Kristof mentions that "religious leaders sanctified existing social structures, instead of pushing for justice." I think this is a key point. While there is no love lost between me and religion (esp. the institutional kind), I'm not so oppositional and naive as to think that true and widespread secularism will bring justice to the oppressed. In many (if not most) cases, religious oppression has merely acquiesced to existing oppression in the larger society.

In addition, it has often been factions of the same oppressive religions who have been able to bring about radical change both within the religion and in the broader society. Sadly, it often takes a very long time and after much pain has been inflicted in order for that change to come about. A timely news story that demonstrates can be found here.

Religious leaders and institutions have the opportunity to follow the wisdom and leadership of The Elders, and I hope they do. But as long as people within the institutions continue to brush oppression aside as "a difference in theology", I don't have much hope for significant and quick change.

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