Giving Up Religion for Lent

What are you giving up for Lent this year? Chocolate? Swearing? Eating veal? How about your religion? The folks at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, CA are suggesting you do just that. They’re hosting a two-day conference called “Belief Beyond Religion: Giving Up Religion for Lent” which hopes to “bring together people from across faith boundaries and encourage dialogue, particularly among the three primary world beliefs of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.”

Resist the urge to take their message too literally. Rev. Abel Lopez, senior associate clergy at All Saints, clarifies:

“What we mean by the conference title is giving up bad religion, and that means religion that’s complicit with violence, that throughout centuries has been used to promote war, like an empire religion. We’re trying to be critical of ourselves and responsibility. We want to show what good religion looks like … With this event, we want to find healthy, forgiving, life-affirming ways of being a religious person in the 21st century. What we’re suggesting is to give up bad religion.”

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