I don’t normally blog on religion, but there has been an jump in foolish writing coming from the wacky end of the religious spectrum. On the top of the list are folks like Vox Day and Geisler and Turek (I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST). For some Christians, faith isn’t enough, apparently—they want logic and science to be on their side. Apologists perform some crazy cognitive acrobatics to try to prove that their beliefs have some objective reality. (Huge hat tip to Deacon Duncan over at Evangelical Realism.)
Apologists like to think that they are persecuted for their pursuit of “truth”. For example, to Apologists, there is a vast anti-Christian conspiracy. Whether it’s the crazy atheists keeping all that good Creationist learnin’ out of the public schools, or the New Atheists’ attempt to TAKE OVER TEH WORLD!!11!!, conspiracies are a major part of apologist thinking. As a non-Christian and a true minority, I can tell you that to the rest of us this seems truly bizarre. Every president of my country, the vast majority of Congressmen and women, and most of the residents of the United States are Christians of one sort or another. It hardly seems likely that there is or even could be a conspiracy to oppress them in some way. The U.S. is remarkable in its ability to tolerate every kind of religious wacko, mainstream or not. There has never been a nation more friendly to the religious freedoms of individuals. I’ll tell you what—next time a teacher says in class, “all of the Jewish students may now follow me in the Shema. Anyone who is ‘other’ may sit in a moment of silence. If you are a follower of Jesus the false messiah, I pity you,”—next time that happens to someone you know, I’d like to hear about it. Next time a teacher tells your kid, “Well, Saturday is the Sabbath, not Sunday. I’m sorry, but you fail this quiz,”—next time that happens let me know. I’d especially like to know about the next time someone spray paints Jewish stars all over your church and says, “Nero was right—to the cross with all of you.”
So Apologists come from a strange place, a different America where Christians are a “persecuted majority”.
But what of their beliefs? Frankly, I couldn’t care. My general attitude toward religion is typically American—go believe in what you want, just don’t bother me about it, and I’ll leave you alone too.
That’s not enough for the Apologists. They want me to believe so badly that knocking on my door to save me isn’t enough—they want to prove to me that they are right.
This is impossible. I’ve read the Bible. I’ve read about that God. Where the hell is he? If he is so omnipresent, why hasn’t he given you a hand in your attempt to prove His existence? In fact, God behaves exactly how one would behave if they wanted you to think they weren’t real—he never shows up, never leaves proof, never acts in the real world in any way that would be different if He didn’t exist. In other words, whether or not God exists does not affect our perceptions and manipulations of reality. This makes him no different from any other deity.
Still, if believing in Him gives you comfort, fellowship, moral guidance, then good for you. But don’t try to prove to me your beliefs are any more correct than anyone else’s.
Folks who try to foist unproven and unprovable beliefs on others are bullies. They ultimately try to change the way we all do things—such as trying to displace science in favor of Creationism. What is it about this corner of Christianity?
My interpretation is that they simply don’t have enough faith. True faith requires a suspension of disbelief, a willingness to believe in that which is not apparently there. For some, this is an essential part of religion itself, a measure of devotion. For some, it is seen as a gift given by God. For the Apologists, it is an impediment. They really, really wish that reality gave proof to their beliefs.
Look, you either believe in your religion, or you don’t, but let’s not pretend that science and logic is on your side. It isn’t.
Have a little faith.