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Faith, not 'sense'

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~

The following is my most recent contribution to the letters-to-the-editor page of a local weekly newspaper. I offer it here for a chuckle, and an illustration of how an anti-religious message can get printed if one uses a bit of restraint and humor.

Faith, not ‘sense’

To the Editor:

I am responding to Bryan Benner’s letter which was printed on these pages last week.

start making senseImage by the|G|™ via Flickr
His closing sentence caught my eye and just demanded a response. He wrote, “Lastly if anyone has any sense, he or she should seek Christ, as that is the only safety.”

I would like to think that Mr. Benner wasn’t really calling us non-believers “senseless,” he merely chose the wrong word. Perhaps he meant to write “faith” instead of “sense,” because, after all, religion is all about having faith, not about making sense.

According to my favorite online dictionary, “faith,” in a religious context, means: “firm belief in something for which there is no proof.”

Thus, faith means believing in something without compelling evidence, even if it makes no sense. One needs faith to believe Jesus was born of a virgin, because virgin births don’t make sense. One needs faith to believe Jesus rose from the dead because that just doesn’t happen; truly dead people stay dead. Even most theologians would agree that claims like these must be made articles of faith because they contradict our understanding, and all our experience, of how the world actually works. Would you need faith to believe Jesus’ dad was Joseph? Or that, after being crucified, Jesus simply died?

Maybe it’s just my lack of imagination, but I can’t believe in things which make no sense to me. I freely admit to lacking religious faith, but if this means I also don’t have “any sense,” as Mr. Benner implies, then I guess that’s just one more thing that makes no sense to me.