Re: Does religion play a role in your life?
Michael York, OBE is an English actor. An early career with the National Youth Theater, Oxford University Dramatic Society, and University College Players led him to the National Theater in London. After acclaimed roles in Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet (1968), Cabaret (1972) and Jesus of Nazareth (1977), he is more recently known among mainstream audiences for his role as Basil Exposition in the Austin Powers series of comedy films. Classically trained, Michael York wrote a handbook "A Shakespearean Actor Prepares."
Question: Does religion play a role in your life?
Michael York: I'm a religious person but I don't have-- subscribe to any one religion. I'm still a seeker. I mean I'm always astonished that people have these firm faiths that they have. And I think either they are very lucky or they are misguided, that they've dug their heals in so firmly. But obviously it gives structure and value to their lives and that's very important. It's when you start warring about it you know, my god rather than your god, that you get into trouble. It reminds me of that play, I think it's a short play, where there is a student of comparative religion. He says, "You know, the trouble is," he said, "I believe all of them."
But I hope there's going to be-- you know, we live, we've gone through this terrible time of people warring over religion. And we went through it in the evolution of our own society in the 16th and 17th centuries you know, with appalling violence and loss of life and a real black spot on our culture. Hopefully we've got over that and we are more tolerant. Although I doubt it. There's something in the human thing where you know, because it is such a mystery, religion, you're not going to find out whether you're right until you die and pass into that next evolution. So it's very maddening. But I believe strongly when I see, again, the great artists, the works of art that have been created under a religious impulse. The great music, ecclesiastical music, you know, the great requiems and whatever that have you know, come from this impulse and of course the great you know, works of art, the paintings and whatever, the books of ours. Then you start to believe that you know, that there is this creative force that is bringing out these positive values in mankind.
York quotes a play. "You know the trouble is, I believe all of them."
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Civil discourse has fallen to an all time low.
The question that the American populace needs to ask itself now is: how do we fix it?
Discursive fundamentals need to be taught to preserve free expression
In their findings the authors state:
upholding First Amendment ideals.
Talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner
- Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
- Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
- Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
- Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial
- Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
- Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
- Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising,
It's interesting to note the authors found that:
"Tribe membership shows strong reliability in predicting views across different political topics."
Here are some statistics on differing viewpoints according to political party:
- 51% of staunch liberals say it's "morally acceptable" to punch Nazis.
- 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
- 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
- 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
- 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
Here are some guidelines for civic discourse that might come in handy:
- Practice inclusion and listen to who you're speaking to.
Civic discourse in the divisive age
dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants,
the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and
putting our democracy in peril.
Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from
immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security,
become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate.
The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from
re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to
building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us."
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