Mudcat Café message #2279350 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #109167   Message #2279350
Posted By: Joe Offer
04-Mar-08 - 12:51 PM
Thread Name: BS: I'd like to believe that there is a God
Subject: RE: BS: I'd like to believe that there is a God
I hate these religion threads. I tell people I'm a believer because that is what I am; but I've found that when most people hear I'm a believer, they then pigeonhole me into whatever their understanding of belief is - in many cases, that seems to mean they think that I'm some sort of rigid automaton, marching to the drum of some demagogue. I can't even clap my hands to a rhythm somebody else sets, so I certainly can't march to anybody else's beat. I feel far more comfortable in a nebula, not tied to some rigid system of doctrine. I like to ponder things and see truth and beauty wherever it exists, and I'm not so sure I believe in Absolute Truth.

Or maybe I do, but my Absolute Truth can't be confined to words. The closest thing to absolute truth I know is the towering Ponderosa Pine on the edge of our ridge. It frames and enhances our sunsets, and it's the edge of our world - beyond that pine is the Coast Range, well over fifty miles away. I can ponder that pine forever, I think. There are other things of a more religious nature that I ponder, but those are things I can't share in this environment.

I can sing gospel and some other religious songs in any setting, because those songs are not sacred to me. For some reason, I can't sing that ones that are sacred to me unless the environment is right, and that doesn't happen very often in a folk music setting. I don't want anybody to feel that I'm imposing something on them (we did suspend the rules and had a wonderful hymn sing from the Quaker hymnal at Camp Harmony, though).

That being said, there have been some very good things said in this thread, from believers and nonbelievers alike. I especially appreciated what Arkie had to say.

For me, faith is a means of exploration, not a code of answers. Many people don't have that understanding of faith, but that's what it is for me - more questions than answers, more pondering than pontificating. That, and Ponderosa Pines (and an excuse for alliteration...)

-Joe Offer-