Why do you emphasise that clergy have special responsibility ?
"Devout people are trained to rely on their priest / minister.
They are seen to be in a special relationship with the Divine.
They are thought to be experts
in what they teach.
Any teacher of anything has an obligation to teach what is correct
& to be informed properly on the subject matter,
including facts that might cause thought & re-assessment."
“Where it is a duty to worship the sun,
it is pretty sure to be a crime
to examine the laws of heat.”
— John Morley 1838-1923,
“The personages of the Christian
heaven & their conversations
are no more a matter of fact
than the personages
of the Greek Olympus
- Matthew Arnold 1822 - 1888
in preface to "God and Bible" 1875
"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas
as in escaping from old ones."
- J M Keynes
Giordano Bruno ( 1546 - 1600 )
Burned at the stake by the church :
"The foolish renounce this world and pursue an imaginary world to come."
Michel de Montaigne (1533 - 1592):
"How many things that were
articles of faith yesterday
are fables today."
"You are an intelligent human being.
Your life is valuable for its own sake.
You are not second-class in the universe, deriving meaning and purpose from some other mind.
You are not inherently evil
- you are inherently human,
possessing the positive rational potential to help make this a world of morality, peace and joy.
[ Dan Barker,
Former minister - now with
Freedom From Religion Foundation
in "Losing Faith in Faith" ]