The Soil of Faith
Whenever I suggest to people that by attending church every Sunday they are actually supporting terrorism I certainly get some strange looks. But hear me out.
There are several definitions of the word faith but for the purposes of this post I’m focusing on the religious type. Oxford defines it as: strong belief in God or doctrines of a religion based on spiritual apprehension (understanding) rather than proof.
Before we go any further I know that believers out there will say, “Wait Ares! We do have proof.” I know where you’re going with this. Maybe you will refer to Hebrews 11:1 and says that faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Being brought up Mormon I always learned that if adherence to a belief created positive outcomes then that is proof of its validity. That was before I learned about the principle of parsimony, critical thinking, the scientific method, and causation vs. correlation.
All this stated I can say that most believers with whom I have spoken of all religious beliefs are usually willing to say that faith is a belief in things which cannot be empirically or definitively proved. In fact, most will say that is the whole point – that God never intended for us to have a sure knowledge at the start. The choice to follow him has to be based on belief in things which cannot be seen or proved. I often hear reference to Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith.” In other words, faith is a requisite for grace.
I heard a Christian radio host say, “Faith is your spiritual arm reaching out to receive grace.” She then went on to explain the definition of some word in the Bible from its Greek origin and said it means that receiving grace has to be active and faith is that action. Yet again, an analogy is used to explain something without really explaining anything at all. Yes, I get it. Faith is the arm of my spirit grasping for grace but what do I actually in reality, in the real, world need to do? I digress…sorry.
What does this have to do with terrorism?
Well, nothing specifically I guess but think of faith as soil. When you support your religion and attend your services you are in essence cultivating and working the soil of faith. In other words you are supporting the notion that it is acceptable and even virtuous to believe in things which cannot be seen or proved. You think this is great because you want to be left free to grow your own type of belief. You look at your beliefs in the garden and call them flowers. When you look around you see other beliefs and call them weeds. But the people who planted them see yours as weeds and theirs as flowers. The belabored point is, all these beliefs grow from the soil of faith – the belief in things which cannot be seen or proved.
If you support faith anywhere you support it everywhere. By exercising a belief in things which cannot be seen or proved you support the basis or tend the soil for all such beliefs. That includes ones that are peaceful and ones that lead to radical actions.
So I say…the best way to fight terrorism anywhere is to stop supporting faith everywhere. If you want to do something about it at home…stop going to church.
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