Jennifer Fulwiler: Open-Minded about Religion

Jennifer Fulwiler asks whether it is possible or not to raise one kids to be open-minded about religion. For some parents, open-minded means never committing to anything specific. Jennifer challenges that:

If being in a state of open-mindedness means that you’re asking questions, seeking knowledge, and attempting to evaluate data without bias, it seems that that should be a transitory state: At some point, you either find answers, or determine that the answers are not findable. In either case you now have a defined belief system, even if it’s agnosticism. At this point, while you may be open to hearing new perspectives, you are no longer “open-minded” in the sense of not having any opinions about matters of spirituality — you’ve found your belief system.

The tipping point, the commitment point. That’s what truth does to us. If we ever want to grow, we can’t just hover from one religious symbol or prayer or meditation to the next, it will never penetrate us enough. We have to commit after a certain time, after measuring it, and ourselves.

That is the problem I have with many spiritual seekers, who are more like wanderers. They completely lack any depth in anything specific. Instead it is just hazy feelings that don’t mean anything at all, except for them to pat themselves on the back and feel good and tolerant and open minded.

Don’t get me wrong, there are, I bet, several sincere spiritual seekers out there, I haven’t met any. But I am glad that they reverence truth enough to not just blindly follow. My challenge to you, again, agnostics, is to have the courage to commit to something, and let it penetrate your heart enough that you can have real convictions.

Jennifer Fulwiler: Open-Minded about Religion


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