Recent comments by presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann have stirred up the discussion about gay marriage once again. While speaking to a group of high school…
Do you ever feel tense when talking about religion? Do you feel like there are some things about religion that you have not come to understand? Do you have questions about faith that you are afraid to ask in a formal setting? Have you ever expressed your beliefs with someone only to find yourself in a heated debate about religion and faith issues?
Well, there probably is no simple answer to why so much religious tension exists; could it be, however, that the starting point to deconstructing the complicated tension surrounding religion lies in an examination of our very own commitment to religion? In other words, why do you believe what you believe? Have you ever taken the time to ask yourself this question? If you are anything like me, my guess is that you have spent more time examining, generalizing, and possibly dismissing the beliefs of others and less time examining the validity of your own beliefs. And yet, if we did take just a little time to ask ourselves why we believe what believe we might be surprised to discover that our commitment to our beliefs is more a product of upbringing and social/cultural influences(or pressure) and less a product of whether something is inherently true or untrue. To say it plainly, we believe what we are told to believe or at least for a time we do. This simple statement likely defines the genesis of all of our beliefs which gives all people, regardless of their particular belief system, something in common.
It is uncommon however to find people who, despite massive religious and social pressure, take the time to question the validity of their beliefs. It is even more rare to find people who engage in serious conversation about faith and questions while remaining civil to oppositional views. Thankfully, there is an emerging group of people from all sorts of religious and cultural backgrounds who are doing just that. There is a very promising new documentary film project that’s just getting off the ground, which highlights these people while telling the story of how faith and questions are leading them into civil discussion. This film is called Anything Less Would Be Uncivilized and it is directed by myself, Timothy Kennedy, and Alex Bowens. Watch this preview:
We have a Kickstarter campaign going in order to raise funding to do post production, marketing, etc. As of this writing we have received 7%(about $2,500) of the $35,000 needed to make this film a reality.
If you have longed for a place to ask questions about faith and religion and you desire to see religious intolerance, bigotry, and hostility transformed into civility please become a backer—for $25 you’ll get a digital download of the film when it’s completed or for $50 you’ll get a copy of it on DVD. At the very least, become a fan of the film on Facebook, twitter, and tell others about it(who might then become backers). You can also visit www.creativeinvironment.com for more details.
The achievement of civility could go a long way toward calming some of the religious tension in our world and the stories in this film could help to facilitate this change. We hope you will join those who have already pledged to support this project!
The all-or-nothing Kickstarter fundraising campaign ends Sunday, March 18. Become a backer!