The following is in response to this lovely account:
(I have reposted it here as per my rule of “write a novel as a comment; then you should probably republish it yourself also!”)
I love this story, sir. Your writing is very clear and beautiful.
By way of full disclosure, I should admit to you that I am an atheist–but… I am not “that” kind of atheist. In fact, one of my best friends has charitably described me as a “full Gospel atheist.” (as has Dear Mrs. Emeron–who most definitely is a woman of deep and abiding faith) He further, and perhaps with even more Christian Charity, draws the distinction between an atheist and an anti-theist. Even further, he insists that most atheists, so-called, are firmly of this second category–in this, he may be correct, I am not sure, for I am hardly a man of the world. Even more further, furtherer… he insists that this anti-theism is a religion in and of itself; in this I believe he is dead on.
Whether or not there is a God would not change the clear fact that we are “wired,” so to speak, for faith. (there is ever-growing scientific evidence for that) And it is my contention, and has been my observation, that when that “hole,” for want of a better term, in our hearts, or minds, if you will, is not filled with that for which it is designed to be filled, all manner of insanity will often ensue. People in such a condition end up believing in all sorts of nonsense–not the least of which is responsible for much human suffering–such as in the former eastern block, to give a ready example.
I therefore often caution people like me–as well as cautioning myself–to take great care regarding any unprovable worldly beliefs into which they may unwittingly fall. Belief is meant for God, not economic or political theories or unrepeatable scientific events.
Therefore, I am happy to pray with and for my Christian friends. I am happy–very thankful–if and when they pray for me. Saying grace at each and every meal helps me to see my fortune for what it is. And of course, He and His Son figure greatly in my published work for any number of reasons, not the least of which is that… well… how can 4000 years of liturgical tradition not colour, in fact completely fill in, all aspects in the whole of our culture–if not all of creation.
I was once a man of deeply held faith. I miss it. And truth be told, I dearly hope I am wrong and my Christian friends are right. I mean this with complete sincerity, and with all the humility I can muster, which I hope I have here conveyed.
Your writing, and your faith, are quite beautiful. Please do keep it up; and, if you have time, please do keep in touch.
No doubt, none of the following are related articles:
- How can Atheists be ethical? (angelamaldita.wordpress.com)
- Atheist Discrimination (angelamaldita.wordpress.com)
- God Delusion is anti theist (religionron.wordpress.com)
- Atheists too !! lol (islamsetyoufree.wordpress.com)
- Atheists, No Christian Soup Kitchen For You (drudge.com)
- Even in Satire, Joshua DuBois Misses the Point (patheos.com)
- Dawkins admits he doesn’t know something (religionron.wordpress.com)
- Becoming an Atheist (arabatheist88.wordpress.com)
- This is How the Upstate Atheists Bounced Back After Being Banned from Volunteering at a Christian Soup Kitchen (patheos.com)
- Measuring and defining atheism. Yes or No. (atheistblobfish.wordpress.com)