Saturday, July 25, 2009


A couple of years ago, I wrote about some of my religious background and current struggles:

Recently, I found an article here that caught my interest because it reminded me of my own religious views at the moment. I think it's valuable for any person to read that has struggled with doubting faith at some point.

Below is an excerpt that I found interesting:

I took a class called “The Problem of Religious Diversity” that quickly had me believing that just about any belief system could be true and that no one could prove anything. It never occurred to me until then that people who believed something other than Christianity had the same reason for believing their faith as I did for believing mine.
I don't think these things were that hard for me to realize, but I do think they're much of the reasoning I have for looking at things the way that I do, in general. (Even when I've been my most religious, I've never felt that people who believed another religion were necessarily wrong.)

[H]onestly, I didn’t know anything anymore and nothing was real.
This- this is how I've felt. It's not that I disbelieve, or staunchly believe. I just don't know, and it's a strange feeling when I have always believed so strongly.

God won’t fit inside our heads, and if He does, we’re missing something. And I knew all I’d been waiting for was to know that to admit doubt was not to lose faith.
And this- well, I found it to be a profound expression of things that I believe. I don't have to have God all figured out, and I'm really not sure that it's possible anyway. I firmly believe that doubt is a part of any real faith. Thomas is the noted example, but there is, and should be, some Thomas inside of us.

Some people want to find 'proof' of God. There is a 'museum' dedicated to creationism. There are so many people who tell me they believe in God because it's written in the Bible.

Who says the Bible is any more truthful than any other book, and particularly any other Holy book the world over? Who is to say that the Bible is more reliable? The Bible is merely a book, and a book of words that have been translated throughout languages and cultures and thousands of years. There are many different translations of the Bible that say different things or at the least have different connotations. Who is to say that one single Bible, one single denomination, one single faith is correct?

The thing is, you can't prove the existence of God, and I think that's the whole point. If you could prove God, believing wouldn't be a choice. If God was like, say, gravity- that everyone can experience for themselves and feel for sure- it would take no leap of faith to believe. But instead, we have free will, and the only evidence we have is an old book and some feelings. You can't quantify the evidence, or know 100% for sure, and therefore it takes some effort and some hope to really, truly believe.

It is my belief that if you don't have some reasonable doubt once in awhile, you're only going through the motions and doing what someone told you to do. This may be a very, very occasional doubt for you- but I think if you don't challenge what you believe, you're not being honest with yourself. And you're not allowing yourself to change your faith, which means you can't be growing in it.

Then again... while I'm not afraid to doubt, doubt of the magnitude I have felt for awhile now is extremely uncomfortable. It feels awkward and foreign, even now to some extent. More and more lately, I have found myself fighting against the religious conventions some people believe so strongly but with which I disagree. It frustrates me incredibly that so many people are so vehemently close-minded, and I think this frustration has only served to drive me further from the church. I don't want to be a part of anything like that.

Since graduating this year, I've joined the droves of Americans that are searching for a job to no avail. In the past week, just as I began to consider accepting a situation I really didn't want for many reasons, I received a call about an interview for a much preferable position. Both interviews for this job could not have been scheduled more perfectly around my time-consuming summer work. Things are looking incredibly positive at this point that I will have a job next week.

I have been praying more lately than I had anytime in the past few years, both for myself and friends. It could well be a coincidence, of course, but things are really seeming to turn around. Whatever the reason, I am thankful and hopeful it will continue. Despite my doubt, I can't shake all of my faith. I'm still struggling with indecision, almost two years after writing my initial entries here, but I'm doing okay. If nothing else, I'm more accustomed to this new position in the middle of the religious spectrum.

At Mass, I wrote in my journal, “God, see that I’m trying.”

I could not echo his sentiment more.

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