“There is a rumor going around that I have found God. I think this is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.”
—Sir Terry Pratchett, author and freethinker, The Daily Mail (U.K.), June 21, 2008
“If [God] is infinitely good, what reason should we have to fear him? If he is infinitely wise, why should we have doubts concerning our future? If he knows all, why warn him of our needs and fatigue him with our prayers? If he is everywhere, why erect temples to him? If he is just, why fear that he will punish the creatures that he has filled with weaknesses? If grace does everything for them, what reason would he have for recompensing them? If he is all-powerful, how offend him, how resist him? If he is reasonable, how can he be angry at the blind, to whom he has given the liberty of being unreasonable? If he is immovable, by what right do we pretend to make him change his decrees? If he is inconceivable, why occupy ourselves with him? IF HE HAS SPOKEN, WHY IS THE UNIVERSE NOT CONVINCED?”
– Percy Bysshe Shelley, poet, in his essay “The Necessity of Atheism” (1811).
“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”
A few days ago I received a rather desperate message claiming my posts were contaminating Facebook and the Internet. Given their perspective, perhaps they were right. I am not able to determine what is right for them, as I am unable to fully declare what is right and truth for me.
There is an assumption made that appears to be consistent across the spectrum of thought we have been exposed to on many social media sites. That is, since I don’t believe as many others do I must not be a Christian and I certainly do not believe in God. The thinking that fosters this kind of attitude is sadly out of tune with, not only who I am, but also what I am thinking these days.
I make no apologies for what I write as contained within them are the basic questions I am struggling with about my life-long faith. Please note that fb poses a question to all of us each time we open our fb page and that is, “What’s on your mind?” I have taken that question seriously and often post what really is on my mind. These days, my faith is on my mind. I make no apologies for what I write even though to some what I write is troubling. If you are one of those who are worried about my soul I take that concern very seriously. I do not ridicule or ignore it as I take it as a genuine concern for my spiritual welfare and me as person. Your prayers on my behalf are welcome. Yet, I cannot ignore the questions that I ask of God and the questions that propel me to look in many directions for truth.
It is interesting to me that, because of what I think and believe, that I am drummed out of existence as if I were some kind of threat to someone’s very soul. Perhaps I do represent an alternative to the usual approach to faith, I can’t answer for you what might be your best approach, but dismissing me, as so many have done, will not change the facts and faith at stake for me.
I do appreciate your concern for me, I really do, and I hope to sustain family and friend relationships for many years to come. If being true to myself and my questions poses serious difficulties for you and you find yourself unable to tolerate what I write, then I would move on. My hope is that by clarifying my position that you would stop and consider what it means for you and me by choosing to abandon this relationship. After all, friendships are neither mandatory nor obligatory. If one chooses to sever a relationship I would hope it would be in the best interest of all, including this one. Thanks for taking the time to read and consider my point of view.
“I am now convinced that children should not be subjected to the frightfulness of the Christian religion […]. If the concept of a father who plots to have his own son put to death is presented to children as beautiful and as worthy of society’s admiration, what types of human behavior can be presented to them as reprehensible?”
– Ruth Hurmence Green, writer and freethinker in “The Born Again Skeptic’s Guide to the Bible” (1979)