Is it not better to remain in suspense than to entangle yourself in the many errors that the human fancy has produced? Is it not better to suspend your convictions than to get mixed up in these seditious and quarrelsome divisions?
Sometimes the facts of the crime are so distracting - there's been some tragic murder or horrific incident, and people aren't required to think as carefully and thoughtfully, and directly, about this legacy of racial inequality and structural poverty. And what it's contributing to these wrongful convictions.
Here is the point about myself and my co-thinkers. Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not hold our convictions dogmatically. We believe with certainty that an ethical life can be lived without religion. And we know for a fact that the corollary holds true - that religion has caused innumerate people not just to conduct themselves no better than others, but to award themselves permission to behave in ways that would make a brothel-keeper or an ethnic cleanser raise an eyebrow.
Artists are people who are subject to irrational convictions of the sacred. Baudelaire said that an artist is a child who has acquired adult capacities and discipline. Art education should help build those capacities and that discipline without messing over the child.
We are all just here for a time-whether in this building or even on this earth. But the values we hold dear will live on long after we have left this stage. Our responsibility, while we are here, is to breathe life into them; to imbue them with the strength of our convictions and the weight of our efforts.