Sally Quinn marks 5 years of doing her On Faith discussions for the Washington Post. She says after all of this religion coverage that she is no longer an atheist. She doesn’t have a personal relationship with God, though, and she believes that all religions are equally valid. Still, her reflections contain some good stories:
An atheist father was trying to explain to his son that there was no such thing as God. “But dad,” asked the boy, “how do you know?”
“You’ll just have to take it on faith,” said the father.
That says it all.
We are all taking our beliefs or lack of beliefs on faith. . . .
My friend, Welton Gaddy, a Southern Baptist minister, told me about a friend who informed him that she had absolutely no interest in religion. “Well,” he asked her, “are you interested in national politics or foreign policy?”
“ What about abortion, gay marriage, immigration and the environment?” he asked.
Of course she was.
“Well, then,” he replied, “you’re interested in religion.”
Gaddy might well have added the financial bailout, poverty, disease, movies, music, holidays, separation of church and state, parenting, sexual abuse, animal rights, sports, books, the internet, the military, women’s rights, racism, violence, crime, marriage, families, science, medicine and on and on. Everyone is interested in religion. They just don’t know it. . . .
We are all searching for the transcendent, for a sense of the divine. Even those who claim no faith, no belief, cannot ignore the three questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What then must I do?
Life is hard. No matter whether you are religious or not, you will have periods of extreme doubt which will make you ask, “What is the point?” Nobody gets a pass.
Viktor Frankl, in his famous book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” written after the Holocaust, asks the question and answers it for himself. I think I know what gives my life meaning, what the sense of the divine is for me, what I find transcendent. I have found this out by studying religion. That doesn’t mean I have any answers. It only means I believe I know why I am here.