There is an old saying that those who hate sin over much come to hate their own humanity as well. The same warning applies to religion. We all have a duty to debunk superstition and challenge harmful religious beliefs and practices, but we should also remember that rationality is the flower of our humanity not the root.

Our emotional and intuitive roots pulse with life, and can only be expressed in an art some of us call “religion.” As myths remind us, the belief that we can untether the fire of reason from our animal bodies and live in its pure light is as sure path to madness as is the pitiful attempt to deny the truths that reason illumines.

For some of us, religion is the Ariadne’s thread we weave between our highest reason and our deepest animal passions. For some of us, religion is listening to the hymn of the cosmos and making our lives a reverent dance in response. For some of us, religion is the art of making our lives a gift to the world.

It is our duty to challenge religious superstition, but to say we should never be irrational is to say we should not have been born mammals.