Friday, January 27, 2012

Daniel Radcliffe Started It


I never cease to be amazed at the remarks people make about their expectations of religion. I wasn't reading a theology tome, just a throwaway insert that came with the Sunday paper. In adding to tidbits about the "stars", two new recipes for pasta and an interview with the chief character of a minor network sitcom, there was a longer profile about Daniel Radcliffe.

Of course, we all know him from Harry Potter. Many of us have been interested as he moved to the stage in an effort to be perceived as more than a boy wizard with a scarred forehead.

In my paper, he sounded fairly level-headed about what his future might be. It was his remarks on religion that set me to thinking once again about the bad press religion gets in our world.

Child of a Protestant father and a Jewish mother, he was raised in a household "with no faith", as he put it. Radcliffe said, "I have a problem with religion or that it says, 'We have all the answers'... Religion leaves no room for human complexity."

Since he can't defend himself, my challenging Radcliffe is one-sided. However, I do think his view is what many others perceive is the function of religion. And so they dismiss it.

Religion does not have all the answers, but it certainly has the questions! True religion challenges us to the core of our being, asking us to look not for easy outs or pat responses, but rather to take hold of those issues that matter most to us and to ask: what lies behind this question?

I have no real gripe with Daniel Radcliffe. He is young, talented, extremely rich and doesn't yet know where life is taking him. I am willing to wait 40 years to see the interview he might give then, if the same questions are posed.

Maybe all I am trying to say is that God is neither an answer man nor a Santa with a bag of goodies to distribute. If more people would seriously ask who is God, we might not be so willing to equate our churches with places where doubters are not welcome.

Meanwhile, we each need to ask ourselves: what do I expect of religion?

This blog posting appears on the web site of Marble Collegiate Church, where Sr. Carol Perry has been the Resident Bible Scholar for more than three decades.

No comments: