Between different communities

I don’t see the benefit of interfaith whatsits. I don’t see why it’s Obama’s job to encourage them.

Since his inauguration, President Obama has emphasized interfaith cooperation and community service – “interfaith service” for short – as an important way to build understanding between different communities and contribute to the common good.

But if you don’t sort people into “different communities” in the first place, then you don’t need to build understanding between different communities, because people won’t be constantly seeing everyone as part of a different community. If you don’t keep insisting on this community-sorting project, you won’t entrench people in their communities and make them all prickly and defensive about their everlasting precious communities. That is, of course, especially true if the “communities” in question are religious, because when they’re religious, people love to get all prickly and defensive and self-righteous if people from other “communities” breathe too heavily on those communities. There’s no offense like religious offense.

Interfaith service involves people from different religious and non-religious backgrounds tackling community challenges together – for example, Protestants, Catholics, Muslims and Jews building a Habitat for Humanity house together across religious lines.

Yes but why? Why not just have some people build a Habitat for Humanity house together? Why not just not ask them what “community” they belong to? Why not just not treat them as representatives of a religion?

The press release doesn’t say.

This stuff is really annoying. It presents itself as all progressive and warm and reach-outy, but it’s all about penning people into identity-community boxes instead of just treating them as people and letting it go at that.

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