We all have to remember that each of us have the right to argue our religious convictions passionately. We have the right to try and persuade others that our points of view are valid and deserve space in public debate.
But all of us must remember that self righteousness and pomposity can undercut the message, no matter how valid. Especially when it drifts into incivility and disrespect.
Perhaps, this is something of what Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts had in mind when he wrote recently:
"Who can be surprised if the sheer absurdity, fundamentalist cruelty and ungodly hypocrisy that have characterized so much "religion" in the last 30 years have driven people away? If all I knew of God was what I had seen in the headlines, I would not be eager to make his acquaintance. I am thankful I know more."
"Including that God and religion are not synonymous. God is, for the faithful at least, the sovereign creator of all creation. Religion is what men and women put in place, ostensibly to worship and serve him. Too often, though, religion worships and serves that which has nothing to do with him, worships money and serves politics, worships charisma and serves ego, worships intolerance and serves self."
It's something all of us who describe ourselves as people of faith should remember...