My Moby Dick reading and class continues for another month, so today I’ll share one of my favorite quotes from the book so far. Are you tired of people who get all up in your face with their religion or non-religion? I know I am. Melville isn’t a fan of it either:
Now, as I before hinted, I have no objection to any person’s religion, be it what may, so long as that person does not kill or insult any other person, because that person doesn’t believe it also. But when a man’s religion becomes really frantic; when it is a positive torment to him; and, in fine, makes this earth of ours an uncomfortable inn to lodge in; then I think it high time to take that individual aside and argue the point with him.
That summarizes well my attitude toward religion. Melville was hounded by the fundamentalist Christians of his day, the Presbyterians. Which cracks me up because I grew up Presbyterian and I can’t think of a more mild-mannered bunch when it comes to their religion. Back then, not so much. They thought he was a blasphemer and more or less ruined his career.
Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?