Originally about religion and perhaps a little politics, this blog has become more about politics and maybe a little religion. A lapsed Catholic, the author was born and raised into the conservative Republican tradition, weaned on William F. Buckley and National Review and an early listener of Rush Limbaugh. Which meant that, when it was time to give religion another shot, conservative neo-Evangelical Protestantism was the most ideologically comfortable fit.
Unfortunately, taking the Gospels to heart made it very difficult to place market principles above those of Jesus and learning to adopt a more forgiving altitude resulted in a more open mind and a willingness to entertain different religious and political opinions. Amazingly, the author found himself no longer identifying as a conservative or even (what many define) as a Christian. The author is passionate about interfaith dialogue, particularly between Christians and Muslims, as well as fostering respect and mutual appreciation between atheists and theists. Hailing from the politically dominant position of American Christianity means that the author will, more often than not, side with the underdog, even (or especially) if it upsets the status quo. There are no sacred cows deserving of the status.
Today this blog tries to walk the middle path, between Conservative and Liberal, between Christian and everything else (although an outright rejection of Christian Fundamentalism and the current Tea Party ideology has likely tilted it more to the Left). The author’s main goal with this blog is to point out where the so-called fundamentals - our cherished bed rock principles and beliefs (our sacred cows)- are not necessarily as solid and as permanent (or as sacred) as many believe. A slavish devotion to these fundamentals, whether they are religious, spiritual, historical or scientific, usually does more harm than good.
Understanding all this, the author realizes that he cannot write his opinions in stone any more than anyone else should, and a sampling of writings over the past 4 years will reveal an evolution away from modernistic and traditional thinking. To help him avoid adopting his own imperfect ideas and opinions as just another (flawed) orthodoxy, the author invites others to engage in (hopefully) spirited, intelligent and respectful debate on just about any topics. Hence the name of this blog, “Sharp Iron”, which is an allusion to Proverbs 27:17:
“As iron sharpens iron, so one sharpens another.”