Religious pluralism says that all paths to truth are valid — your truth is fine for you, and my truth works well for me. This is the prevalent philosophy of American society today and decades of Southern Baptist sermons can’t turn back the clock. In the United States and much of the western world, we are no longer becoming pluralistic. The reality is that we now live in a pluralistic society, an “all-beliefs-are-valid” interfaithism.
This is how I can talk about prayer with my Buddhist friend, she interprets that with her thought processes about chanting, and she nods along to what I’m saying. We are obviously talking about two totally different things, but in our culture it’s no longer appropriate to acknowledge the differences, only the similarities.
For those of you who watched the series finale of LOST, you know what I mean. For six years LOST has been one of my favorite shows. So much of the writing in LOST appeals to my faith-nature, so I warily and curiously approached the final season wondering how it would end up.
The LOST finale made a vivid point (via the religious symbols in the church) that all religions — even those that oppose each other in theology — lead to one place, that place being a happy afterlife where what matters most is our relationships with each other, regardless of which higher power we worship or belief we hold.
And while I could easily refute the logical errors in this (two mutually exclusive ideas cannot both be correct, for example), I don’t think it would make much difference. Why? Because I think we’re about to move to the next step.
So what comes after pluralism?
(to be continued)