If You Don’t Believe in God

I am Catholic. There are some who would argue with me because there are a lot of things about me that are very unCatholic. Well, they wouldn’t argue with me, they would argue at me as this is not a debate I would entertain. You don’t get to tell me what I am and what I am not. Folks are entitled to their opinion. To that I will simply say: 1) I am Catholic & 2) I am not perfect.

I have amazing relationships with folks all over the “what is the space made of” spectrum. The diversity of belief is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. It tells me that my faith is not programmed. It shows that the human brain is what I thought it was – special and unique. It shows that humans, at least as far as I can tell, are led by something more than biological programming.

This diversity also lends itself to interesting conversation concerning inclusivity, tolerance, connection, and the general Venn diagram of how non overlapping beliefs have overlapping consequences and are held by folks who require some kind of lap. (Yeah, I’m not even sure what I just did right there, but we are going with it.)

I had one such conversation today. We were discussing the idea held by some that love is nothing more than a biological reaction to hormonal stimulation. This coincided with a atheistic belief system.

I don’t believe that’s true. At least, I don’t believe the whole truth. I proposed a different idea.

I started with a fundamental belief that I have shared before – all emotions are rooted in and can be traced back to either love or fear. Additionally, I believe biology is real. I also believe that biology, while broad stroke standards exist, functions in the minutiae (which matters greatly) differently for each of us.

I also believe that there is an extraordinary characteristic to being human that is different from all other biology. I believe it cannot be tested explained, quantified, denied, or proved. I believe that is the soul. I believe that is God.

This conversation has been in my head the rest of this afternoon. There is a reconciliation that I have in my head that I am usually comfortable with. Occasionally however, I have to revisit. Conversations like these often require the reconsideration.

I believe in the God of the Bible. I believe in Jesus. I believe in the Red Letters.

I do not feel any kind of way with others who do not believe those things. I do not believe it is my job to convert them. I do not believe those things are required to be a good person. Moreover, I know that believing those things do not make you a good person. Assholes are assholes regardless of their relationship to theology or biology.

I realize there are red letter believers that disagree with me on this point. That I am soft or uncommitted. That I am turning a blind eye to the salvation of souls. That I am okay with damning people to hell because an earthly checklist has not been followed. To them I say they should reconsider how comfortable they feel holding that kind of opinion so far outside of their paygrade. I’m not privy to the Trinitarian annual board meetings. I don’t pretend to begin to know how all that works. All I do know for certain is Jesus always loved and he was never afraid (no, I don’t think fear was the motivator in the garden of Gethsemane) and he let God’s business be God’s business. Oh, and he loved his momma and daddy. So I do those things and leave the rest up to who’s really in charge.

I realize there are those who find faith and belief in God to be a ready characteristic for ridicule, condescension, and judgement. To them I say welcome to the world of the asshole proselytizer that you claim to hate. The message is different. The behavior is exactly the same. And trust me, it sounds the same and is just as effective when you do it.

I am still noodling an slip of an idea that I have that suggests that hypersensitivity and shallow judgement are directly proportional to manufactured diversity, but I don’t have it all flushed out yet. What I am pretty confident in is that if we continue to scream diversity and conversation while beating alternative thoughts until lips are swollen shut, we lose connection.

The truth is, was a time in my life I wouldn’t have had that conversation or written this post due to fear of offending. This is not the only topic that sparks that type of reaction and most people I know have those things they are not comfortable talking about for that very reason. Consider the wealth of ideas and progress we have effectively burned down because our pearl clutch barometer is set to “everydamnthing.”

So this is me opening up a discussion about religion, ideology, belief structure. I used to talk politics all the time. Maybe sex will be next.


Picture from http://davidshrigley.com