Reason for Hope


    A reader writes:

    Your reader writes:

    "A strong, guiding faith - rather than a blind, unquestioning one - is something I appreciate and even envy, and for those of you who can reconcile reason with religion, I say more power to you."

    This does not strike me as a person who could really be considered an atheist. Real atheists lack the humility to understand what they don't understand (see Sam Harris). So he/she appears more agnostic, perhaps. Clearly there is a spark of curiosity there, if not longing for something more sublime.

    And that leads to the real and most important point, especially for those who think all religious souls are mindless followers: faith is not faith unless doubt exists. Light does not exist without the dark, positive without negative, yes without no. They are in relation to one another, necessary for each other. Fundamentalist certainty is something, but it isn't faith. And so doubt is essential to the true religious journey. And a journey it is. Doubt demands more information, more study, more reflection, more humility. 

    This dovetails nicely, I think, with your position on conservatism. And it may also explain the apparent synergy between both that makes conservatism as was formerly practiced, mostly in the GOP, so attractive to people of faith. The religious right hasn't so much hijacked the GOP as much as the religious right has been hijacked by the religious rightists. And I think this is coming to an end very soon. Most Catholics, for example, found allies with the evangelicals over abortion. And also over the disintegration of the family and ongoing coarsening of our culture. But most now are finding that the differences in how one influences policy versus controlling policy is driving them apart. Even more hopefully, I see evidence that it is also subdividing the evangelicals as well as they begin to find their own faith damaged by the corrupting influences of the political process. I see reason for hope. 

    Me too. I was on the Michael Medved show yesterday and all the callers seemed to agree with me.