December 23, 2011
A reader has registered surprise that I am not an atheist. I am surprised that he’s surprised.
Theism, with its vision of an orderly universe and a moral creature created in God’s image, makes sense to scientists far more than the crap peddled by self-promoters such as Dawkins and the recently departed Hitchens.
I realize it’s not considered polite to speak ill of the dead, but Christopher Hitchens did it most of the time, especially in Mother Teresa’s case. He abused priests during debates knowing full well that a man of God will not hit back. He pretended to be a brave iconoclast but was careful never to offend the very rich and powerful—except those out of office, as in the case of Henry Kissinger or the saintly Paul Johnson. In fact he kissed the rich and powerful’s asses, switched sides so he could kiss them better, and took on God thinking he was as easy as the pope to slander and libel. It’s pipsqueaks such as Christopher Hitchens who thought they saw an easy target and attacked. I hope he has learned his lesson, which might make his stay in that subterranean sauna shorter than what he deserves.
Evolutionary theory does not exclude theism. In fact, it supports it. God created us through a process of guided evolution. I like to think God acts like some of the toughest martial artists I’ve fought against. Outside the arena they are as meek and humble as, say, our Lord Jesus—just don’t cross the line too much. God does not have to prove his might. It’s there for all to see and feel.
Most of the great scientists have been very religious. The closer scientists come to splitting the atom, the more they realize God’s existence. Although atheists use the oldest trick in the book in demanding proof of God’s existence, I demand they prove that the Almighty does not exist. It is up to them to prove it, and the reason they make so much needless noise is because they cannot.
Would there be a need for civility, brotherhood, and charity without the spiritual exercises that religions offer us? Yes, some will say, Socrates preached this long before your Christian God, and they would be correct—except that Socrates believed in Zeus and the other gods up on Mount Olympus.
I equate religious zealots with ignorance and superstition, yet the century that just passed—the one that reveled in the idea of God being dead—was the worst as far as death and destruction are concerned. However simplistic and corny it is, the spiritual revival now taking place proves that God and good exist in man’s soul. However the atheists try to paint theism as a travesty, they cannot make it stick because God will not allow man’s spirit to accept it.
“Rational” does not mean “scientific.” Rational means seeing the truth, however nuanced our Lord presents it. The soul is a concept all religions share. As John Locke—a humanist philosopher who believed in tolerance above all—once said about atheists, “The taking away of God, even in thought, dissolves all.”
I am a better person because I am a true believer in God. I believe in him because he makes me feel so good when I do something good. No punk like Dawkins can ever make me feel like less of a believer with his second-rate pseudoscientific self-promotions.
As a child I was told in no uncertain terms about God’s existence and how I’d be punished if I was bad. Yet seven decades later I look back and realize that despite the fact I never believed those old wives’ tales, I now believe in a supreme being more than ever.