Statement of faith
June 5, 2013 § 10 Comments
I seldom write about issues of faith, or talk about my faith in public, not because I’m ashamed of it, but because, frankly, it’s none of your business. In fact, as I look back over the posts on this blog, I’ve only ever discussed it once, here.
So I’m not sure why I’m writing about it again, except that I felt the need to do so. I’m feeling a little pissed off about the intolerance and dogmatism I see all over the place, so I thought I’d chip in my five cents’ worth
And so, fully aware that I’m about to draw the ire of fellow Christians, atheists and assorted other people, and possibly even lose some friends, herewith my statement of faith. (Note to my evangelical friends: I’m not interested in discussing it. You may think of me as a heretic new age lost cause if you’d like to do so.)
First, I believe there’s a God, a divine source, a something out there. I don’t know what it is, I can’t prove it, and I don’t see why I should have to. It’s a matter of faith, not science, and since you can’t prove God doesn’t exist, we’re kinda even. And even though I see too much design in the universe to believe it happened by random accident, I’m also a firm supporter of evolution, not creationism. Evolution makes sense, and there’s enough evidence to support it. My view is this: God made it; I don’t really care how s/he did it.
Point 1 probably got rid of the atheists, so let’s proceed. I don’t know that Christianity is the one true faith, if there is such a thing. It happens to be the one I find myself in thanks to my upbringing, and I am grateful for that. (Had I been born in rural India, I might have been a devout Hindu.)
I’m also a Christian because it makes the least sense to me. If I’m going to believe in a god who could create the vastness and the intricate detail of the universe we live in, s/he’d better be completely incomprehensible to my tiny mind. Christianity makes no sense at all, and that works for me.
I will not be a part of faith-fuelled intolerance. I cannot bear the homophobia, racism and sexism that are so often perpetuated under the auspices of religion. Nothing makes me happier, for example, than the recent vote by the Church of Scotland to allow gay men and women to be ministers. Please, can we have more of that kind of thinking? And please don’t expect me to join in with your outrage against homosexuality in particular – we heterosexuals have a lot to learn about love from homosexual people. And love is what it’s all about – even the Beatles knew that.
Please don’t deign to tell me who/what God is – I think we all experience him/her uniquely. Even within one religion there are multiple interpretations and perspectives on scriptures and theology – and at the end of the day, again, it’s all a matter of faith. You do not know, absolutely, that you are right. And nor do I.
I will never Bible-bash you, and I’d thank you not to do the same to me. Likewise, if you are agnostic or atheist, I respect your right to be either or both of those things. Live long and prosper, just please be polite.
Finally, I will judge your faith – or lack thereof – by the kind of person you are. Are you kind? Are you gentle? Do you treat others with respect? Are you tolerant of others’ viewpoints? Do you help people who need help, even if it’s just a tiny gesture? Or are you so wrapped up in your need to tell people that your religious viewpoint is right and theirs is wrong, that you can’t see the person beyond the potential proselyte?
Because at the end of the day, in my view, that’s what counts – people and the way we treat them. If you are using your faith to treat other people badly, then I’m afraid you’re doing your version of God a great disservice.
So there you have it. I confess I wrote this in anger – not at anyone specific; it’s just the culmination of things I’ve seen here and there, and I felt I needed to get it off my chest.
Join me now, as we sing Kumbaya.