Reality and Faith

PlanetThingieby Deana Chadwell7/9/15
The Navy has a useful slogan, “Never assume a God-damned thing.” It’s hard to imagine how efficiently things would run if we all followed that motto, how little confusion would beset us, yet we habitually take off half-cocked on assumptions we barely examine. What if the world were really a much different thing? What if what we think we see here is really that pair of silhouetted faces and not a vase at all? That isn’t just a question for 10-year-olds to play with. Trust me for a few minutes here —

First we must examine how it is that we learn things. Go back in your memory to some of the first knowledge you acquired. How did you know that the furry critter ripping the upholstery off the couch was a cat? How did you learn that 7 came right after 6, or that B always followed A? Did you run an experiment? Did you ask the cat what she was? No. Your mother told you – right? And what did you do? You believed her. You had faith in the veracity of the information she provided.

You see, a human brain assimilates information in 3 ways:

Empiricism – we run experiments, we observe, we rerun the experiments, we observe some more – science claims empiricism as its modus operandi.

Rationalism – we add 2 and 2 together; we use logic to combine several pieces of information in order to arrive at a new conclusion – philosophers and mathematicians are experts at this.

Faith – someone tells us something is true and we believe it. We’re all good at that.

But, faith has been taking a beating for the last 150 years, as if nothing we truly know about our universe could possibly be handed down to us from the past, as if we can only gain knowledge from science and science is never wrong, as if faith were some exercise of wild imagination, and not the simple, solid, reliable method of learning that it is. If every single thing we know must first be scientifically proven or sanctioned by the philosophy department of an Ivy League school then we’ll be mentally paralyzed. In fact that paralysis has already come to pass.[pullquote]If every single thing we know must first be scientifically proven or sanctioned by the philosophy department of an Ivy League school then we’ll be mentally paralyzed. [/pullquote]

I have long ago chosen to believe, and admit I believe. I can’t believe everything, of course, and sometimes I fail to recognize fabrications, so, I, too, look for evidence, look for rational arguments, but I start with the acknowledgement that my senses can’t cover it all, that my brain can’t, on its own, reach the power beyond the stars.

Our five senses, the basis for empirical thinking, are extremely limited. All around, and in us, events occur which we can neither see, feel, hear, smell, nor taste.  I can’t on my own watch the astounding little machines that chug away in my cells. I can’t smell much of anything compared to what my dachshund can smell. Only part of the color spectrum is visible, and a very limited range of sound registers in my brain, which also fails to acknowledge that we are hurling through space, spinning round and round at alarming speed.

How then are we to be the arbiters of what is and is not possible? How is it then that we demand “proof” of the supernatural? How is it that we can even know what is supernatural? What can men in lab coats prove that will explain the “ghost in the machine?”

Science is finally outpacing Darwin’s brief, though destructive, spasm of assumptions. We can now “see” that our cells are not just blobs of protoplasm, but complex, orderly, highly active, miniature cities. They are made up carefully sequenced, precisely folded proteins, each with its own designated function – not the random mush of molecules Darwin imagined. We can witness the breathtaking design of a hummingbird tongue, or a butterfly’s metamorphosis – and we still can’t figure out how that works, but it certainly couldn’t have come about accidently.

Quantum physics is now questioning the very solidity of existence, so perhaps our assumption that matter is impermeable, that we can’t walk through walls, is just another conclusion we’ve jumped to.

I have chosen to believe because to do so leaves me more open to possibilities. To believe is to no longer be limited by our inadequate senses. But then, you might ask, what do you use as nonsense filters? Surely there’s some standard you use to determine reality, to discern between what is and what is merely imagined…

Yes, thank God, there is. At some point in time we all come up against a Bible, an audacious book, which claims to be the very words of God, the Creator of the Universe, the Setter of All Standards. And when it presents itself to us, we must choose whether or not to believe what it says, just as we have always chosen whether or not to believe what is presented to us.

The Book is a challenge – it presents all sorts of disturbing stories, disturbing because the characters do such outlandish and disquieting things, and because such shocking things are done to them. What’s with poor Jonah being swallowed by a whale? Or Lot’s daughters seducing their father? Or Jesus of Nazareth, a generally harmless man, being crucified? Some of the events seem pretty extreme – the plagues in Egypt, the walls of Jericho, the slaughter of the priests of Baal.

It also presents us with astonishingly un-scientific occurrences – a talking, burning bush, a sea that opens to let people pass, a rock that spouts water on command, a man who rises from a horrid death.

It introduces us to astounding beings of light – angels, who are terrifying in their size and brilliance, to demons (angels gone awry) who seem to have a whole hideous hierarchy of their own. The Book weaves through thousands of years of history, sometimes lining up with what mere mortals think they know about the past, and sometimes not. Though, more and more, science is finding itself in line with these ancient scriptures, those same writings still bring us face-to-face with talking donkeys and stars we can’t account for.

So why believe it? Because it nails human nature. Because it explains far more than it confuses. Because we all crave purpose, appear to be designed to need a reason for our existence, and this Book answers that eternal question, most importantly, it does so in concrete terms, not in vague New Age fluff.

I don’t believe the Bible in the sense of some mystical, touch-it-and-I’ll-be-holy way. I don’t believe it in a completely literal sense either; some phrases are clearly figurative. Jesus is not literally a lamb, but He is the embodiment of the Jewish sacrificial lambs who were, in their own time, symbols of the Messiah and the crucifixion to come. But I do believe that if we treat the Book as the miracle it is, as more real than what our feeble senses appear to be telling us, as filled with more reliable information than our pop culture and questionable college degrees provide us, we can become wise.

We modern, 21st century humans think we have it figured out. We think we know that the climate is warming; we think we know that God is not real; we think we know far more than all our ancestors combined. We assume, since Codex Darwinius is the doctrine du jour, that we have now arrived as superior beings who no longer need morality or justice or truth. It never occurs to us that we might have that upside down. We have arrived at arrogance, that’s all, we have evolved a system of suppositions and un-provable hypotheses based on what we assume is knowledge – but notice how often what we thought we knew has been turned inside out.

We need all three methods of knowing to become even slightly informed, to have even a glimmer of what is going on here. We can’t afford to cut out one of them, and especially not faith, for there is reality.

Deana Chadwell blogs at
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Deana Chadwell

About Deana Chadwell

I have spent my life teaching young people how to read and write and appreciate the wonder of words. I have worked with high school students and currently teach writing at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. I have spent more than forty years studying the Bible, theology, and apologetics and that finds its way into my writing whether I'm blogging about my experiences or my opinions. I have two and a half moldering novels, stacks of essays, hundreds of poems, some which have won state and national prizes. All that writing -- and more keeps popping up -- needs a home with a big plate glass window; it needs air; it needs a conversation. I am also an artist who works with cloth, yarn, beads, gourds, polymer clay, paint, and photography. And I make soap.
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22 Responses to Reality and Faith

  1. Tom Riehl Tom Riehl says:

    You’re a good teacher, Deana. The new idea and formulation I’ve gleaned from this excellent post is that the logical opposite of faith is arrogance. The A word has been exploding in my mind frequently of late. Being a big believer in the beauty and precision English gives us, I appreciate your writing. Don’t stop!

  2. Anniel says:

    Deanna, the older I get the more I appreciate the clarity, vision and wisdom of those who love God, and as you and Tom say, arrogance is the opposite of faith. Climbing down off their high horse seems to be much too strenuous for those who think they know-it-all.

    • Tom Riehl Tom Riehl says:

      And, let’s not forget the perennial standby: Hubris, and all that that entails…

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Climbing down off their high horse seems to be much too strenuous for those who think they know-it-all.

      Having ridden a horse or two, that’s a fair statement.

      Many of the prominent people who critique religion or faith are not as smart, fair, or nuanced as I am. 😀 Seriously though, people such as Richard Dawkins and that type are typically shadow-boxing with straw-men of their own making. They really don’t have a clue about what people really believe and practice, and don’t want to. The point is always: I’m superior. You’re inferior. Don’t confuse me with the facts.

      Good god, was Blaise Pascal, Isaac Newton, Michelangelo, or Galileo Galilee inferior because they believed in God? Being a skeptic is one thing. I mean, when it comes down to it, who really knows? But what we see typically today is not skepticism but a brand of ideological fascism. The Master Race (or Progressive Race, if you prefer) must always be shown to be smarter, more compassionate, cooler, etc. They know it because they’ve said so. It’s self defined. If you are religious you are tainted and inferior.

      Obviously the bigger discussion would include the obvious fact that many are ideologically and emotionally committed to naturalism. If science hasn’t measured it, it can’t be true. And — and I say this in all humility — this is the worst kind of brain rot. I have seen people reduced to gibbering secularists by that thought process. And the official position of such people is more and more to deny their own minds.

      Is religion all bullshit like the smart people say? Is it just a con? Well, true enough, there are cons in any walk of life. And we can’t know for sure if the miracles were miracles and all the stories in the bible are true. But, good god, let’s get some perspective here and bust a few myths: Science is no holy grail of truth. I mean, geezuz, look at the stupendous length and breadth of the global warming fraud, not to mention how beholden science has become to Darwinism…like a, well, like a religion.

      And if superstition and believing stuff that can’t be shown to be true is the measure of nincompoops, then what shall we say about the ludicrous dogma of the multiverse which posits that there are 10500 universes — universes we can never see, by the way, and can never measure? If believing in one Creator is ludicrous, what is this rubbish of the multiverse to be called?

      • Timothy Lane says:

        The reason the Left considers it essential to consider themselves both ethically and intellectually superior to everyone else is to justify their “right” to run everyone else’s lives.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Yes, I think politically a sense of better-than-thou is useful. Those who wish to rule find it convenient to think of themselves as a higher and better class of people.

          But there’s also the metaphysical aspect. If all you are is “just a speck,” as Bill Nye bizarrely boasts (perhaps belying how he really thinks about himself), then what else is there but to be a bigger speck?

          The opposite to that — an idea fundamentally bizarre in its own right, and incomprehensible to naturalists — is the declaration “…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…”

          Whether it’s St. Francis washing the lepers or some other such act of love and devotion, this is a truly incomprehensible thing to naturalists/materialists/atheists/Leftists. In the materialist view, there is nothing more to life than to build one’s reputation, one’s ego, one’s bank account, one’s “Likes” on Facebook, or whatever.

          We’re all only human, so none of us are going to be able to slough off concerns about what others think about us, how much we own, etc. But there is a humanizing effect to any doctrine whereby its adherents are not called to be super-human. Both Islam and Leftism suffer from a supremacist dogma through and through.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            I believe it was Marvin Olasky who pointed out that “compassion” referred (at least originally) to suffering with someone — in other words, the sort of personal service you’re talking about. Of course, for those who worship power, personal service is of no use — the idea is to talk about being “my brother’s keeper” while ordering someone else to do the work. Then, too, when you’re too busy caring about The People to care about people, personal service like that isn’t something you’ll care to do.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I was thinking just last night . . . how much I don’t like thinking anymore.

              Once in a while you’ll get a flash. And it occurs to you the way people will use other people without a care for that person’s well-being. Think of the way Democrats use blacks, for example.

              Such is the nature of the world. I’m very very tempted to just chuck it all and resign from the world (not that I’m not already pretty much a hermit). A lot of famous people have provided some good quotes through the centuries. But seeing the way people act, the words of Shakespeare seem to be the most relevant and timeless regarding human beings:

              All the world’s a stage,
              And all the men and women merely players;

              Fakes. Frauds. Drama queens. Scoundrels. Posers. Druggies. Ideologues. Basket cases. It’s such a mixed bag. Where is the common denominator, especially in today’s culture? Where is the tie that binds? You can go nuts trying to nail down people into predictable rules or tendencies. No wonder some people prefer measuring the electron or something like that. People are a cacophonous, irrational bunch, prone to violence, sometimes noble, but nearly always a problem waiting to be solved.

              It seems a universe away this thing we call “common sense.” Of course, especially in terms of the kind of compassion that Olasky has written about, it’s not compassionate to give the alcoholic money for another drink, the bum a free bed without anything in return, or the criminal a pass without restitution or rehabilitation. We used to know that. Charity had the same vibe as medicine: “First do no harm.” It was understood how fragile human beings are, easily corrupted by “free stuff.”

              I’m tired stating the obvious. You here all know it. But the goofballs stumping for “social justice” only ever care that they be *scene* to be compassionate, and/or that they have narcissistic feelings of being among the great and the compassionate. And no one cares, no one counts the tragedies being assisted daily by this “compassion.”

              Christians used to understand this, and perhaps were the only ones who did outside of those trying to run a successful business. (Business generally has no time for nonsense. Either you work or you don’t. Either you’re productive or you’re not. Either you do what you say you’re doing to do or you don’t. There is a clarifying air to business. Not always. There are plenty of scoundrels as well.)

              I could write almost daily of the things I see just happening in my own neighborhood. We had an incident just yesterday with a crack whore here at the office. It culminated with a couple undercover police officers staking out some nearby apartments.

              Later that day a couple in their twenties screeched to the side of a busy road. The man (I use that term loosely) got out of the car, arms waving in the air like a baboon, and said, “I’m done. Go away” and starts walking away from the car. The woman (I also use that term loosely) goes whimpering after him. This was repeated several times, with both couples getting in the car, moving a few yards, and then the guy getting out again with the woman giving chase. At one point they walked their argument straight into the busy road and I wondered if I was going to witness an accident.

              This went on and on, screaming and balling (the woman, resembling the sobs of a child) at the top of their lungs in an otherwise fairly quiet and decent neighborhood.

              I mention this because such things are becoming commonplace now. I never used to see stuff like this before. You can feel the fabric of society unraveling. We will be handing this nation to a group of self-absorbed dullards. No good can come from that. Much like the English Monarchy, we need to skip at least a generation or two.

              Faith may be a good upholding pillar of personal autonomy, rationality, and coherence, for reality is not particularly popular these days.

  3. David says:

    It is very curious how modern science attempts to define faith. Its very structure precludes this topic from candid empirical discussion. However, straining at a gnat, they pontificate on the number of angels on the head of a pin.

    For those of the irreligious persuasion – if they deign to ask of me, “what is faith, really”? My immediate answer to them is, have you inquired of God what that word means?

    If they are unlearned, they spout something they’ve heard on TV. If they are learned, they quote the dictionary… I have yet to hear any of them quote Hebrews 11:1.

    I’m just saying.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Deane, I’ve been thinking about what you wrote. It goes without saying that the universe — existence itself (which is in no way bound by space and time) — is a pretty big thing to try to figure out. Speaking not as a skeptic but as hopefully a neutral and objective party, everyone needs to hitch their wagon to something. One could do worse than hitching it to Christianity. Many have.

    At least you’re not confused about it. I read this article this morning at American Thinker and about fell off my Pop Tart. I’m not sure why AT published this article (diversity?). But I wonder if they don’t do so sometimes in order to feed the rhetorical piranha in the comments section who are often much sharper than the authors. This article was like throwing chum in the water, and one of the sharper fellows over there, feralcat, was not short of clarity regarding Islam. It’s worth reading his reply in full:

    True Muslims are Muslims that are the most like the mass murdering, mass torturing, mass raping (including raping 6 year old girls), mass enslaving sub-animal Mohammad, all Muslim’s “Perfect Man”. It is not at all complicated and has been thus for around 1,400 years.

    “Perhaps Muhammad’s message really was a message of hate, violence, and despotism like American conservatives say.”

    And perhaps water is really wet “like American conservatives say”. It wasn’t just a case of that sub-animal having a message of “hate, violence, and despotism” and even worse, it is a matter of historical record that he did those things himself and every chance he got. Gee wiz, maybe Hitler was really a bad man? But then maybe not? You think? Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot too. I guess we really don’t have enough clues.

    “We have not received any great revelation from God about what Islam should really be, and we have not sat down with Muhammad to get clarification on what he really meant.”

    Has it ever occurred to you that God gave humans, even “dumb” animals, eyes and ears and a brain for a reason? It would seem not.

    God save the people of Texas District 7 if they elect you as their representative. Hopefully they won’t be that deaf, dumb and blind.

    ” It should be enough for us to know who our friends are and let them sort out any ideological contradictions on their own without making enemies of them by trying to sort out such contradictions for them.”

    Making enemies of Muslims? This has got to be a put on. Were you born yesterday and upside down with an accompanying loud crash?

    He [that would be Muhammad, the founder of Islam and all Muslim’s “Perfect Man”] declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion [that would be Islam, not “Islamism”, nor “Radical Islam”, nor ‘Islamists” nor “Islamofascism”, nor “Hijacked Islam”, but ISLAM!, ISLAM!!, ISLAM!!!], against all the rest of mankind [especially women, including little girls. The precept of the koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mohammad is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Muslim creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force. (John Quincy Adams)

    Today they bake, tomorrow they brew
Then all humanity in shariah and death they plan to stew
For still too few fully understand the devious game
And fewer still will say it aloud, that simply Islam is the evil’s name!

    Who the hell really wrote this obscene mendacious anti-humanity creepy article, Obama himself or the head propagandist of ISIS?

    As Nancy Sinatra sung in Boots:

    Now what’s right is right, but you ain’t been right yet.

    “Now, Brad,” you’re no doubt thinking. “How in the world can you tie together Islam, commentor piranha, and Nancy Sinatra?”

    Okay, I admit. I might not be able to pull this off. All I can see are the long black boots. And hair. All that hair.

    But the point being…the point being…[hold on a minute] . . . the point being [I’m sure if I triangulate with Bing Crosby it will all work out] . . . the point being…

    The point being that you’re a believer. And there are those who are not. I watched a documentary on The Amazing Randi last night on Netflix. I was just browsing, looking for something to watch. And it’s nice that Randi helped to debunk Uri Geller and a fake faith healer or two. But it’s a bizarre “faith” that “science and reason” has been made into by many. There’s a self-evident hollowness to it. It’s a gigantic chorus of whistling past the graveyard as these “skeptic” types try to make science hold far more ideological and metaphysical weight than it can bear. But they have assured themselves that it can because they’ve debunked a fraud here and there. See?

    Nature abhors a vacuum. And there’s probably a pretty good reason for that. Reality presents us with the need to believe in something, to define ourselves by something. And you’ve chosen the best on the menu. I don’t necessarily believe it all myself. But the alternatives are either evil (Islam), goofy (new-age spirituality), completely faddish and narcissistic (Leftism, The Church of Global Warming, or “Social Justice,”) or bizarre (Hinduism).

    I’m done here. Take it, Bing.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      The author the article uses a lot of words to say very little. Interestingly, he appears to siding with the Shia as opposed to the Sunni Muslims. From what he wrote, it would appear his sympathy for the Shia may be because the author is a Mormon.

      I am not as anti-Muslim as some, but do understand the importance of keeping the number of Muslims in America to a minimum. It is simply a fact that once their numbers become too large, huge problems begin to arise regarding assimilation. Singapore’s population must consist of about 15-18% Muslims. They do have their own court for certain laws, but in fact, the national government keeps tight control and does not allow religious problems to arise. Therefore, Muslims are pretty much subject to the same law as everyone else in Singapore. Particularly laws which do not deal with religion.

      Frankly, I would rather live in a moderate Muslim country such as Malaysia or Indonesia than a radically Leftist country such as was found in the old East Block. I visited both fairly often. The U.A.E. is not bad except it is very hot.

      Of course, if you are a Westerner living in any of the Muslim countries I mentioned, you are probably doing fairly well economically.

      Theoretically, a Muslim is supposed to read the Koran only in the original Arabic. So for those non-Arabic peoples I would guess , there is something lost in translation. I also believe that most Muslims simply follow the rituals required of them without going much deeper. We should not forget that praying five times a day is pretty time consuming.

      That being said, there is no doubt that the Koran holds many direct commands to fight the infidel and never give up.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        The author the article uses a lot of words to say very little.

        Yes yes yes yes. To sort of paraphrase Sally Field at the Oscars, “He gets me…he really really gets me.”

        You run into a lot of that lately. Goodness gracious, I read part of Angelo Codevilla’s review of Henry Kissinger’s latest book. Codevilla pretty much outs “saying a lot and very little” as a necessary technique of the “new world order” crowd, which Kissinger is a central part of. It’s a long long review, and I couldn’t stay with it. But the first 10 paragraphs or so are worth a read. And, surprise surprise, one of my least favorite “conservatives,” Conrad “Lord Blow Hard” Black, disagrees with Mr. Codevilla’s assessment.

        In my assessment, Mr. Kung, and from what I’ve read by those in the field, the only thing that keeps any place “moderately Muslim” is, first off, if the Muslims are in a decided minority and, two, if you do as Singapore government apparently does tightly control the minority.

        Such control is not possible in the West which labeled Islam as a “religion of peace” and won’t even acknowledge the Jihad branch of the religion. And with Europe, in particular, taking specific pains to import Muslims to both prop up the welfare state (that’s not working out as they thought) and dilute the native populations (this plan is working very well), they are hardly in a position to assert “tight control.” In many places, it’s a crime even to criticize Islam.

        What the writing of this article is confused about is what a lot of Westerners are confused about. Imagine going to Nazi Germany in 1935. You could sit down and share a glass of beer with a Nazi Party member and probably have a swell time. I’m sure he’d be a charming fellow. Only a very small percentage were SS or psychopaths.

        But they belonged to a rotten party. You’ll no doubt find, as this author did, many “moderate” Muslims who will shake your hand and smile. But they belong to a rotten ideology and, when push comes to shove, they will not side with the West. And as Mark Steyn quips, the only thing that makes them “moderate” is that they can’t be bothered to strap on a bomb vest.

        I supposed many members of the Nazi Party only followed the rituals required of them without going any deeper. There are a million ways to gloss over the very evil and violent nature of Islam. That some Muslims don’t take their religion seriously is a very good thing, for to do as Mohammed did is to be a very evil person indeed. To do as Christ did, on the other hand, is the opposite.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        There are parts of the Koran which command unrelenting jihad against the Infidel, and others which counsel peace. Skeptics of Islam say the violent, hateful parts are later and replace the nicer parts. In any case, the key for any Muslim is whether they accept the peaceful interpretation or the jihadist one. An awful lot of them do the latter. And the more Muslims there are in a community, the more jihadists you will have.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          And let’s not forget that the very founder of the religion was not Mr. Rogers. The character and nature of Islam flows out of this homicidal lunatic.

    • Brad — it is a mystery to me, this business of human free will. I wasn’t born a believer, yet I made the choice, make the choice daily, to be one. Why? Don’t know. I suspect we are each one unit of volition, each unique, each an “experiment” of sorts (God in His omniscience is, of course, not surprised by anything.) I doubt that there is causal factor involved, at least at the beginning before experience provides evidence, but we are so used to thinking in terms of he-was-dropped-on-his-head or the-devil-made-me-do-it that wrapping our brains around that is difficult. I’ll have to check out the AT article — sounds hideous.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I wasn’t born a believer

        Deane, I would have figured you a bible-thumper from the get-go. Maybe there’s hope for all of us.

        • Nah — I was raised in a country-club mainstream denomination that was more interested in ice-cream socials than in Bible study. We were told that God was only a God of love and there was no hell — why exactly Christ had to go to the cross was always puzzling to me. I was married and had two children before I began to realize that there were more important issues than potluck dinners in the church basement.

          I just read the AT article on Muslims. Good grief. The author is running on a weird assumption that all religions are of God. He is also of the odd persuasion that one Muslim who drinks beer somehow cleanses the horror that is Islam. Does he know no history? Yikes.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            He is also of the odd persuasion that one Muslim who drinks beer somehow cleanses the horror that is Islam

            I suspect the fact that this particular Muslim drinks beer is one of the reasons the author is attracted to him.

            This Muslim is a symbol of all those nice Muslims out there who don’t know or follow the Koran. They are just like everybody else.The author obviously finds some comfort in the Muslim’s waywardness, although the author is true his beliefs and doesn’t drink alcoholic beverages.

            I find it interesting that the author didn’t pick up the underlying ardor beneath the beer swilling. Didn’t he note the simmering resentment against Sunnis? If given half a chance would the beer guzzling Shia take his revenge on those Sunnis who persecute his brothers?

            No other country I have visited spreads the religion of “diversity” like America. But in the end diversity is not real. What these type of people come back to is “everyone is the same the world over.” I have heard such nonsense too many times to count. Most Americans may think that way,even those who have been overseas, but everyone is definitely not the same. There are major differences in religion, culture, custom and thought.

            The “diversity” crowd don’t want diversity or even know what it is. What they want is a little variety in appearance, but actual uniformity in thought and action.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Faith isn’t a bad thing. Even though I’m not a Christian, proper, it wouldn’t occur to me to try to seal this site off from it as some do. Look at NRO. They have one token Christian and then that’s about it. Other sites are even weaker. Here it’s a strength.

              And it’s the kind of Christianity (or religion, in general) that isn’t creepy or Scientologist-like. And that is what I find Islam to be through and through.

              Deana and Glenn, among others, are shining examples of what a good influence is all about. But always lurking in, through, and behind Islam is that creepy Scientologist effect whereby you cannot trust a word they are saying. Being a part of Islam is a license to lie and manipulate you. It’s a kind of belief that is radicalizing and blinding, not enlightening and infusing with a loving humility.

              How is one a Muslim and present a happy face knowing that your founder was a murdering pedophile psychopath? How do you put on a happy face when murder and conquest isn’t a perversion of your religion (as it is in Christianity) but one of the central points?

              This dichotomy can’t help but create dysfunction, cognitive dissonance, and a creepy dishonesty.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I began to realize that there were more important issues than potluck dinners in the church basement.

            LOL. But I’m laughing with you, not at you. My introduction to any kind of meaningful religion was via a couple Catholics friends (one is a bona fide genius). They got me interesting in reading various authors…and much of my reading went on from there. Note I say *reading*. Not liturgy or devotion, proper. I’m not making a case for or against church attendance and all that. I’m just stating where I’ve been.

            Other than the evidence of the world, I’ve not seen all that much evidence of a personal creator. A lot of anecdotal evidence goes the other way. It seems to be an impersonal mess that you just have to wade through somehow and hope the man behind the curtain knows what he’s doing.

            He is also of the odd persuasion that one Muslim who drinks beer somehow cleanses the horror that is Islam.

            Yep. You got the essence of it. A pretty facile attempt to whitewash Islam.

            • This is true, Brad. The trouble with Christianity is that anyone can “join;” anyone can pretend to be a follower of Christ. What makes it even more difficult is that all of us at one time or another are bad representatives because we are what we initially admitted we were — sinners who fall short of the glory of God. We aren’t always good examples.

              I’m not personally much interested in liturgy and ritual. I’m interested in knowing and understanding what the Bible says; Church history and tradition are just that — history. The Bible is history, but it is also current, and even future. Though I’d hate to sound too Scientology-y. 🙂

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