I’ve always been a subscriber to the idea that a person’s perception is their reality… no matter how screwed up that reality appears to the rest of us. I believe our life experiences, or lack thereof, helps to shape our overall opinions and sociopolitical views.
I once worked with a lady that was very religious and called herself a Christian. Who am I to argue if someone is a Christian or not? But I have to wonder how someone can claim to be a Christian when they don’t even have a reasonable grasp or understanding of the religion they profess to be a part? Sure, faith requires belief without proof… but even so, isn’t part of faith the seeking of truth? I asked this lady if she believed in the literal word of the Bible or if she thought of the parables as teachable stories that conveyed a universal morality?
She looked at me with a blank expression on her face. I could tell she didn’t understand the question so I broke it down Barney style for her. She answered that she believed in the literal word… the Bible states that God had created the Earth and all its creatures in 6 days and on the seventh, He rested. Ok… I couldn’t help myself… I had to ask… ‘If you believe in the literal reading of the Bible, and if God is all powerful, why couldn’t He create everything instantly and why did he need a day to rest?’ The silence was deafening. I’m not against religion. I think all faiths have something to offer their faithful. It’s just that unquestionable blind faith, while admirable, is irrational.
Over the course of time I worked with this lady, I gleaned snippets of information about her life, her ‘backstory’. She would talk about the troubled life she had growing up, some drug use in her early adulthood, and ongoing family issues. Upon learning this, it seemed to make more sense why she had become so religious. Maybe she was trying to make amends for her past? Perhaps religion was her coping mechanism instead of alcohol or drug use?