Thursday, November 6, 2008

Voodoo Religion IV

I was having a hallway conversation with some physics colleagues of mine. We were kicking around the merits of some highly debated data results just presented to us. I made the statement that scientific results should not be approached like a religion (I believe they are true or I have faith they are correct) nor should they be open for democratic debate (how many people believe these results are correct?). This statement led one of my colleagues to paraphrase the opinions of Bob Park (see Voodoo Religion I for details -- see how this series all ties together?). Park's viewpoint is that religion and faith are mere superstition, the desperate clingings of the misguided, the uneducated, the weak-minded. The laws of nature categorically rule out supernatural "interference" at every point of space and time in the entire history of the universe. There is simply no possible role or place for a god or gods. My colleague then went beyond Park's opinions and made a statement that amounted to saying that religion is a fraud. My problem is, that at that moment, I was totally unequipped to say anything. I felt as if two big goons (hey, Moose, Rocko) were holding me down. Looking back in hindsight, I still do not know what I could have said to express my point of view, to defend my beliefs. Did my lack of ability to stand up and do something at that moment expose me as an immature Christian or show some chink in my armor? Should I have stood up to these disparaging remarks on my faith and my God (or somehow engaged them in conversation)? With the movies and books and other munitions coming at me, shouldn't I be able to listen to other points of view and always have clear, consistent, and coherent answers -- at least for myself? This whole four-part diatribe has been meant, in part, to get some of my self-anger and self-disgust off of my chest, to give it to God, and to seek some answers. I feel like I should be able to defend my Lord (to myself and others) and all I can do, at times, is stand there, helpless and meek. I don't have all the answers that I want or need. I often feel castrated and defenseless. What does it mean when I start to see the points of view of the other side? What does this say about me? What does this say about my faith, my salvation, and my true relationship with God? What is the answer, what can I do?

Epilogue: The only approach that makes sense to me is to practice patience and perseverance. Seek wisdom and truth, wherever they lie. Ask questions and pray for the answers to be revealed in God's perfect timing. A true heart and soul will ultimately find its way. (Fin)