X marks the spot

I take issue with Jay Michaelson's premise, well expressed though it is:

Fundamentally, religion works by saying that “if X, then things are okay."

Jay's a spiritualist, so wherever he drills in the rock of religion he finds spirituality. The gut shall rule forever and ever. But plenty of religious people actually believe X. They think X is the real thing. It's called eschatology.

You can psychologize their claims all you want, but there are people out there who believe what they say they do. It would be great if Locke's claim were in accord with the facts on the ground, and we could stick our heads in the sand until the nutsos go away. But - whoever the nutsos are - some of their claims are to be debated on face value. Gay marriage is great. The world was not created in six days. Our Israel policy is not determined by Revelations. And so on.

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