Nov 17, 2010
Nov 4, 2010
Oct 11, 2010
The danger of distance hit home to me more these past couple weeks in three different, totally unrelated forms.
I read a detailed account of the life of a Norwegian veal calf named Tussi. The author followed him from his birth in a barn to when he was grazing in pastures, and then just under six months after his birth was loaded onto a truck and driven three hours to a slaughterhouse. There he was led through a narrow hall to where a bullet was shot into his skull, he was hung upside down, throat slit, drained for blood, and then cut into steak.
I'd like to believe that there are few Norwegians who would have had the heart to send Ali out along his journey to nowhere if they knew him personally. If it were they who had to make the final decision. If it were up to them whether he were given the opportunity to continue his education, work, and have a life of stability in Norway where he had learned the language and had friends that had become like family to him; or whether he be left with the alternatives of returning to nothing in Afghanistan or being shuffled from one European country to another without any rights or protection.
"It suddenly occured to me how dangerous distance is, and how easy it is to distance oneself when the victims have a foreign religion or rhetoric. The labelling of Gaza's population as religious fanatics and terrorists made it so that people in the west didn't identify with them and their suffering. The terror label had created a distance between them and us. For ever day that the war continued, more children had their lives ruined. Either they lost their lives, arms and legs, or they lost their parents. They were all psychologically injured of the chaos they lived in. Every day with war did irreversible damage to everyone in Gaza. As children were killed and maimed, American and European politicians discussed details in the wording of a resolution. I felt nauseous."
Just this morning I read about New York gubernatorial hopeful Carl P. Paladino's comments about how children should not be "brainwashed" into thinking homosexuality was acceptable. "That's not how God created us," he said. And then he added, "I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don’t want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option — it isn’t.”
The other side could claim that religious groups are engaging in brainwashing themselves. But really, who needs to be brainwashed? People can decide for themselves and pass judgment once they've personally bridged the distance. And perhaps it says something that those haven't had that distance between themselves and gays are the ones that generally seem to exhibit the most compassion and understanding. In the Mormon community, Carol Lynn Pearson comes to mind. Is there anyone who gets it better?
A friend of mine sent me a message this past week in which he wrote:
"I was raised in a very conservative, Republican, Mormon household with all of the subtle (and not so subtle) prejudiced attitudes against women, poor people, races and cultures different from our own, and, yes, against homosexuals. After all, "they" are not like "us," and, further, "they" are choosing to be different from "us." So, growing up, and even on my mission in the late Eighties, my view were very much what Boyd K. has expressed over the years.
As I have pursued my working career, I have formed too many friendships with gay and lesbian men and women. You know, so long as I was separate from "them," I did not have to take anything new in. Needless to say, over many years, and many conversations, and pondering, my programming has been updated."
I thought that his sentence, "so long as I was separate from "them," I did not have to take anything new in" hit the nail on the head. And it was very timely as the subject of distance had been on my mind lately.
On a relevant note, Marlin Jensen caused some waves of his own over his Prop 8 apology at a Church meeting in California. The way I see it, Packer and Jensen adhere to the same doctrine. Neither of them see a place for homosexuals in the Church who are not celibate. But Jensen's approach somehow seemed so much more palatable in this Salt Lake Tribune article where it was reported:
Jensen was the visiting general authority and offered to meet with members on the issue. About 90 people attended the meeting by invitation, and 13 shared their stories of pain as gays or family members, Pearson reported on her website. After one particularly harrowing account, many in the room, including Jensen, began to cry.The speaker said he felt the church owed him an apology.
Jensen arose and said through his tears, according to Pearson, he had heard very clearly the pain that had been expressed and that “to the full extent of my capacity I say that I am sorry.”
Marriage as only between a man and a woman was a “bedrock of our doctrine and would not change,” Jensen told the group that day, nor would the policy requiring gays to remain celibate.
“However, I want you to know that as a result of being with you this morning, my aversion to homophobia has grown,” Jensen said. “I know that many very good people have been deeply hurt.”
Jensen’s heartfelt empathy was such a healing balm that day, said Andy Sorenson, bishop of the Moraga Ward, home to about half the participants. There was widespread sobbing.
“He said that we have to do better going forward as a Christian people in expressing Christ’s love and fostering our common bonds together,” Sorenson said Monday. “It was one of the most powerful spiritual experiences of my life."
Maybe he is starting to recognize the danger of distance.
Sep 28, 2010
Pure Mormonism, by Alan Rock Waterman (pictured right) has become one of my favourite blogs. Here is a brief description in his own words:
"I've had a lifelong interest in what the early Latter-day Saints understood to be the "pure theology" of The Restoration, unfiltered by many of the common assumptions prevalent among a majority of modern Mormons today. In Joseph Smith's time, a teaching was accepted as valid only if obtained through divine revelation from God. Today, much of what passes for doctrine among my fellow Saints appears to contain "the philosophies of men mingled with scripture." I've been further intrigued by warnings of the falling away of the latter-day saints in our day as foretold in the Book of Mormon, and this blog was created as a forum for discussing some of the possible signs of that prophesied derailment."
"Rather than simply emulating Christ and allowing His light to shine within them, some in the church seem to define “living the gospel” as a desperate race to obey all the rules of the institutional Church. This counterfeit gospel keeps the membership focused on their shortcomings; constantly worried about what they should or should not be doing, they're motivated by the fear that what they're doing is never enough, rather than allowing themselves to simply be who they really are: Sons and Daughters of the Light."
Aug 17, 2010
Aug 11, 2010
"I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."
"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."
"If your theology doesn't match up with your reality, there's nothing wrong
with your reality."
Jun 24, 2010
A Franciscan blessing
“May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers,
half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.
May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.
May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really CAN make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.
Perhaps this is the greatest of all blessings?
Jun 11, 2010
"At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they
will be like the angels in heaven."
I've learned so much in recent months about family and what it means to me. I want to be with my family forever, but my family extends beyond the traditional Mormon definition.
May 2, 2010
An Open Discussion With FD and Hassan: Islam, Christianity, War in Afghanistan, Ethnic Discrimination, The Role Of God And Religion In Our Lives
"Is this what my life is for? To be wasted in a world of war?"
- I'm still technically Mormon, but am more universalist at heart and personally believe that the spiritual and temporal welfare of individuals is more important than what religion is "true" or "correct." Religion is no longer "one-size-fits-all" in my world view.
- Hassan is a non-practicing/non-believing Shia Muslim who had to flee wartorn Afghanistan because of his ethnicity and dissenting political and religious views. As a Hazara and Shia Muslim, he was both a religious and ethnic minority in Afghanistan. His application for political asylum is currently being processed, so he still has to live daily with a cloud of uncertainty hanging over his head. The current political situation is bad for refugees, particularly from Afghanistan, and the majority are having their asylum applications rejected.
- I'm currently reading the Qu'ran (among other things) and Hassan is reading the Bible and selections of the Book of Mormon in Persian.
- We share a very similar world view, and despite our non-literalist approach and problems with religion, we have a similar view on its valuable role in the lives of the human population.
- We both believe that a secular state is necessary in order to protect religious freedom and civil rights.
- We question the appropriateness of any religion to discriminate within its faith based on factors such as race or gender.
- Who is God and what is our destiny?
- Is God "nice" and "just?"
- If he planned everything for human beings from the beginning, why does he treat people differently?
"I am looking for some answer that makes sense to believe in a
religion. I was born in Afghanistan into a Shia Muslim family, though
I never wanted this. I have been abused and insulted because of my race,
nationality and mostly religion. If I had been born in another place,
for sure I could have a different life and different destiny. I feel like a
victim of religion, and my belief has always created problems for me. I want a
religion to ease my life and help me with the best way of life based on peace
and freedom, but now I am mostly afraid of religion. If I practice my previous
religion, I have to endure abasement and insult my whole life, if I change
my belief, I will be killed, and if I don’t believe any religion still I will be
killed. These are all because of being born in Afghanistan, and according to
Islam, it is my destiny. God has planned it for me from the beginning
of my life. I don’t know, how do you believe, FD, MG, MH and other
Apr 30, 2010
On Easter Sunday I went to Lutheran mass with my husband (who is still officially Lutheran, though never attended church regularly) and my Afghan refugee brother Hassan. I certainly haven't been looking to "jump ship" membership-wise, but as I've found it increasingly difficult to go to the LDS Church regularly, I decided why not check out something different.
Last Sunday was stake conference and since I wasn't about to go all the way to Oslo for church even at the height of my TBM days, I told my husband I was going to go to the Lutheran service just for the heck of it. He said he wanted to come with me, so we went. The church was packed (a rarity) because it was baby christening Sunday. At first I was disappointed because I just wanted to be there for a regular service. So we sat there and enjoyed the music and screaming babies, and then a man that neither of us knew got up and held a sermon that totally took our breath away.
He told a story about a friend of his, a doctor in a nearby city who was on his way to a Christmas party one evening last December and suddenly noticed a young man on the street who looked quite distressed. He felt that he should stop and ask him what the matter was, and so he did. The young man replied that he had missed the last bus to the refugee centre where he lived (which is quite a way outside of the city and certainly not within walking distance, especially not in the middle of winter). When he mentioned the word "refugee," my husband and I looked at each other, surprised, since the matter of refugees is extremely central in our lives at this time. And then he mentioned that the man said he was a refugee from Afghanistan, which really took our breath away. (The Afghans are the ones we've gotten really close to and they have such a special place in our hearts. I started to think of Hassan, imagining if it were him sitting out in the cold somewhere with no place to go, and suddenly I couldn't stop my eyes from overflowing with tears.) The doctor decided that Christmas parties will come and go each year, but this was an opportunity for service that he couldn't let go. So he drove the young man home and was invited in for tea. It was the first time he had entered a refugee centre (very few Norwegians ever do) and it was an eye-opener for him. The young Afghan man introduced him to some of his other Afghan friends and they struck up a close friendship, which led to the devlopment of a Norwegian-Afghan support network. In the process, he and some of his friends converted to Christianity and are active in the Norwegian church community in a nearby city.
The man closed his sermon with an inspiring talk about our attitudes towards refugees in Norway. (At worst, some are downright hostile, but most probably view them as a big burden to society that they wish would simply go away.) So he asked the congregation: should we lament about this "burden" of refugees, or should we thank God that they survived the dangerous journey to this country and view them as an asset? He finished with a prayer, specifically mentioning the refugees of our town. My husband and I we were both sort of floored, as this is not a topic one expects to hear at church -- and of all the Sundays that it should be mentioned, when we were actually there to hear it... my husband even felt moved enough to go up and take the sacrament at the end of the meeting, which I had never seen before.
It's funny to think that we should decide to go to Lutheran mass on exactly that day, but I'm sure glad we did. I got in contact via e-mail with the man who spoke and told him how he probably had no idea of the the unlikely impact he would make that day with his sermon. He was appreciative for the feedback and as he thought more and more about it, felt compelled to contact me again about working together in an interfaith/cultural network of people in the area who want to work towards building a better relationship with the refugee community in our town. And who is more prepared to do that than us?
A few years ago, I would have felt it was such a waste of time to get involved in a "wrong" church when I had the "true" one. Now that truth is in the backseat and the welfare of souls (not just in a spiritual sense, but especially in a temporal, humanitarian sense) is in the driver's seat, I'm just thankful for the opportunity to help and for the tools that seem to be finding their way to me, from the unlikeliest of places.
Apr 4, 2010
"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn."
-Romans 12: 15
Mar 24, 2010
We had some great discussions here over the course of the year. Some of the highlights included:
- My thoughts about what I think I'd be if I weren't a Mormon.
- The mysteries that people have experienced surrounding death and the afterlife.
- My exploration of humanism and whether or not it's compatible with Mormonism.
- An unexpected "visit" from my grandmother.
- Contemplating what we'd all do if polygamy came back.
- A very lively discussion about what Joseph Smith would think about the current LDS Church, which drew some interesting comments from people across the entire belief spectrum of Mormonism.
- How Hitler's life can perhaps tell us a bit about the nature of God.
- The dilemma of truth exclusivity claims.
The lowest point of the year was probably when I discovered the LDS Church hunting preserves, which sent me a little over the edge. I did some more research into the matter and did a report on it for Mormon Matters, which from what I gather, seems to be the most detailed and up-to-date information about the current situation of these hunting preserves run by the Church.
The matter of the hunting preserves propelled me into a very cynical period and so I decided to pull a Martin Luther of sorts and nail my own "95 theses" on the door of the Church, so to speak. The result was a long blog post in which I outlined about 7 main criticisms, but managed to say plenty nice about the Church as well. :) I decided that I should take a sabbatical from blogging, which was short-lived, but was a turning point in the direction that I wanted to take The Faithful Dissident. From there, I decided to just write when I really felt inspired to do so, and to focus on using the blog as a forum for some of the many great Mormon bloggers out there.
In other news, The Faithful Dissident was nominated for "Best Solo Blog" in the Niblet Awards and got second place. This was a pleasant surprise to me and I thank all those who voted for me!
I know that many of my readers are on a similar journey to mine, and so some of you are probably wondering about where I am at this point in my religious journey. I guess the easiest way to sum it up is that I'm not really anywhere. Not that there was ever much going on in my small branch to begin with, but going to church at all remains a real battle for the most part. I've found that if I force myself to go when I don't really feel like it, it only makes it harder to go back the next time. But on the other hand, sometimes I really want to go to sacrament and so I go. Sometimes I feel spiritually-charged, but other times it really sucks, to be brutally honest.
If you were to ask me what I believe, the only honest way for me to answer that question is to say that I have no idea. I wouldn't say that I don't believe any aspect of Mormonism anymore, because my idea of God is still very Mormon and it's my religious culture and heritage. As well, it's the basis of reference when I'm exploring other faiths because it's still "mine." But my religious convictions are on a leave of absence and I don't know if or when they're coming back.
This past year, I've had the privilege of meeting and talking to some interesting people, but there are two very special individuals who have made a huge impact in my life and have become very relevant in my personal spiritual journey.
The first person is mormongandhi, whose blog I featured here a few months ago. It's not every day that I meet gay feminist non-violent vegetarian Mormon bloggers in Norway, so it's hard to believe that it's mere coincidence that mormongandhi and The Faithful Dissident should meet. I'm so happy to have met him and to have gotten a glimpse of his world, his views, ideas, and faith. It's rare that I've clicked so well with someone instantly, but if there's any truth to the doctrine of pre-existence, I'd like to think that mormongandhi and I planned to cross paths long before we found each other in the Bloggernaccle. I've learned a lot from him about the peace movement, which has inspired and motivated me to care more about these issues and examine them from a new angle. (You rock, mormongandhi! :)
On my first day of visiting the centre, I met several wonderful people who overwhelmed me with their warmth and friendliness. But one of these people really stood out and made a big impression on me and my husband. I will call him Hassan: a young Hazara man from Afghanistan (if you've read or seen The Kite Runner, you will perhaps remember the Hazara servant boy also named Hassan, pictured left).
Hassan is an incredibly bright, intelligent, well-read and informed young man who has seen and experienced more in his 24 years than most of us ever will in an entire lifetime. On top of speaking excellent English, he seems to have natural leadership skills and I know that many of the other refugees look up to him and respect him. He's also been a big help to me in my job, stepping in as a contact person and translator when needed.
You all know how much I like to discuss social and political issues, so it's been interesting to hear about Hassan's life in Afghanistan and how it has impacted his views on things like feminist issues, social equality, civil rights, secular government, and religion. I know he's really appreciated getting to know me and my husband, and the appreciation is completely mutual.Since I started working with these refugees, I've been happier and feel like my life has more of a purpose. In the past, I've often felt frustrated by my desire to do more to help people in need without knowing what I could really do from my cushy, first-world Norwegian existence. With this experience, I feel like I can be proactive -- which is very important to me.
Although I'm just as frustrated with religion as I ever was and most of my issues remain unresolved, I find myself fretting about it a lot less. I can just relax and put religion on the shelf while I serve others and, assuming he exists, serve God through serving his children. And in the process, I've acquired a new family of sorts. Hassan and I are both far away from our families (in my case, the circumstances are much more favourable, of course), and so I think that we both feel like we've found a surrogate family in each other. He's my brother and I'm his sister.
As a foreiger in Norway myself -- but one who feels pretty well-integrated into Norwegian society -- I think that my perspective is valuable to both sides. I have a decent idea of the challenges and obstacles that immigrants face (I'm learning more about it every day), and yet I understand the Norwegian perspective as well. I still don't know exactly what I can do or how I can do it, but if we can even just help to bridge the gap between people and motivate them to actually care about the plight of these refugees enough to generate a political force for good -- one person at a time -- maybe we can make a difference. I told Hassan about The Starfish Story, which has inspired me in my animal welfare activities, but my hope is that we can do more for people in his situation. We have a dream for peace. A dream that the Norwegian government will see fit to give Hassan the opportunity to fulfill his endless potential as a human being and to use his unique experience and perspective to effect positive change in this world.
A young Somalian refugee in the English class that I teach has lent me a book in English about the Quran, which I'm now reading. Some of the parallels to Mormonism are fascinating and I'm grateful to get a more nuanced view of Islam from these people, as opposed to what we see in the news on a daily basis.
So, I want to send out a big thanks to all of my readers who have been following me throughout this journey the past couple of years and I hope that I'll be able to continue sharing my insights with you into my third year as The Faithful Dissident. I have no idea where I'll be religiously and spriritually a year from now, and I know this may sound arrogant to some of you, but I'm not really concerned about it for a couple of reasons:
1.) "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the
service of your God."
2.) "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service
of others."-Mahatma Gandhi
Feb 26, 2010
In a recent Mormon Stories podcast with a woman named Jacque, she talked about Mormonism being her "spiritual language," just like English is her spoken language. As someone who has learned four different languages, this was an analogy that I could really relate to. I've learned through my studies that languages are different. Although one is not really superior to the others, some languages have their strengths. French can be beautiful and poetic, German is very literal and ordered. There are things I can say and express in Norwegian that I simply can't in English. And vice versa. We are missing certain words and expressions in English that are incredibly useful in Norwegian, which I use on a daily basis, that cannot be translated literally into English in a way that will make sense. And vice versa. Isn't religion the same way? We are getting certain things in Mormonism that we simply can't get in other religions. And vice versa. It doesn't make any one religion superior to another, but we cannot practice them all -- just like we can't learn every language. We need to find the one that works for us, use it, but realize that it can be helpful to learn additional "languages" because we may be missing out on certain elements.
Feb 19, 2010
Even within the Judeo-Christian scriptures, questions arise for a Mormon. As a friend of mine recently said:
"On the one hand, we declare that the President of the Church is the prophet for the whole world. On the other hand, all of our ancient scriptures have examples of prophets, and prophetesses, who are not necessarily the "line of authority" church leaders."
Gandhi was a Hindu. He wasn't a Christian and he wasn't a Mormon. And yet what he preached seems to have more similarities to what Christ himself preached than most of the modern-day "Christians" that I know in terms of creating peace of earth and turning the other cheek. Gandhi was not a man of lip service. He was, of course, a man -- a fallible man -- just like all those in the Mormon faith that we consider to be prophets, but don't always want to believe really were fallible. But I do wonder why we consider some to be "prophets" and guys like Gandhi to be merely "good men."
There were several times throughout the movie when a passage in Matthew kept coming to mind:
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly
they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather
grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth
good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot
bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the
fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
(Matt. 7: 15-20)
I couldn't help but contrast Gandhi's words with, for instance, Brigham Young's fiery rhetoric -- the kind of stuff that preceded Mountain Meadows, for instance. And I'm not trying to diss Brigham here. I realize that he did great and important things in his lifetime and that we must allow for mistakes. The same can be said of Gandhi, no doubt, who certainly made mistakes.
But who's the prophet? "By their fruits ye shall know them...."
How does one examine the "fruits" of people like Gandhi, or Martin Luther King, or Mother Teresa, or any of the other peacemakers that have risen throughout time and inspired the world to do better and given their lives to their noble cause, and conclude that they "just didn't have" what Brigham had or what Thomas S. Monson has? Why is studying Mormon prophets over and over again, year after year, so important that the others will never even make it into the lesson manuals?
Feb 1, 2010
"Set in Harlem in 1987, it is the story of Claireece Precious Jones, a sixteen-year-old African-American girl born into a life no one would want. She's pregnant for the second time by her absent father; at home, she must wait hand and foot on her mother, a poisonously angry woman who abuses her emotionally and physically. School is a place of chaos, and Precious has reached the ninth grade with good marks and an awful secret: she can neither read nor write. Precious may sometimes be down, but she is never out. Beneath her impassive expression is a watchful, curious young woman with an inchoate but unshakeable sense that other possibilities exist for her. Threatened with expulsion, Precious is
offered the chance to transfer to an alternative school, Each One/Teach One. Precious doesnt know the meaning of alternative, but her instincts tell her this is the chance she has been waiting for. In the literacy workshop taught by the patient yet firm Ms. Rain, Precious begins a journey that will lead her from darkness, pain and powerlessness to light, love and self-determination."
This movie is certainly not a "feel-good" movie. "Viewer discretion" is certainly advised. It's raw. It's brutal. It's depressing, really. But I'm glad I saw it because it stirred something within me and I hope that it would do the same for anyone else who sees it. The young actress who plays Precious was born to play this role, in my opinion. Movies these days are full of pointless profanity and violence, but occasionally one comes along that actually gives meaning to it all. And since most of us aren't going to move to Harlem and live this young girl's life, seeing a film like this is probably as close as any of us are going to get to understanding what it must be like to be born into and live under such circumstances. And once you're aware of it, you want to do something about it.
The day after seeing the movie, I went with my friend to a Community of Christ meeting (formerly known as the RLDS church). The meeting was simple and I enjoyed it. Since there were only 5 or 6 of us and we were in a private home, there was no organ or hymn singing, but they played some spiritually uplifting music on CD. One of the songs they chose was by one of my favourite groups, Secret Garden, the Norwegian-Irish duo who composed the original version of "You Raise Me Up" (the song made famous by Josh Groban). The song they chose to play is called "Sometimes A Prayer Will Do" and the vocalist is the same African American gospel artist who sang in the original version of "You Raise Me Up." My friend and I both reflected upon the movie of the previous night as we heard the song and I think we both felt pretty moved.
The movie's tagline is:
"Life is hard. Life is short. Life is painful. Life is
rich. Life is precious."
Indeed. But sadly, I think that many get stuck in the "painful" parts, never to attain the "rich," and are robbed of the "precious."
So I've been thinking about the huge gap between my life and that of a person like Precious. How do we bridge that gap? How do we truly "bear one another's burdens?" I can sit and cry about her circumstances, and my heart can be filled with all the compassion in the world. But how does that help her?
I'd like to believe that "sometimes a prayer will do," but sometimes it just seems so horribly inadequate.
Jan 28, 2010
Jan 21, 2010
Jan 13, 2010
"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about. They were under the heel of the French, you know Napoleon the third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said 'We will serve you if you will get us free from the prince.' True story. And so the devil said, 'Ok it’s a deal.' And they kicked the French out. The Haitians revolted and got something themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after another."
Makes one wonder what he would have to say if an earthquake were to strike Virginia tomorrow, where I understand he is based.
But instead of dwelling on Pat Robertson's B.S, or how badly God wanted Sarah Palin's to be VP, I have been left to ask myself what reason there is to believe in anything but a Deist God. When one sees apparently God-forsaken peoples and countries, believing that God intervenes to help us find our keys, help us have a good day at work, or even save our lives, suddenly doesn't feel so comforting -- or at the very least, certainly not without a whole lot of guilt.
How I would trade up divine intervention to find my lost keys if it meant that someone in Haiti could have been spared from having their head smashed in by a crumbling wall, or being left with severed legs to die on the street.
I have to ask myself what's worse: the fact that God doesn't intervene or that he does? Because if he does, I think he's playing favourites.
Atheism must get a lot of new members on days like today.
Jan 7, 2010
Do you believe that Mohammed and the Koran were inspired by God? Why or why not?