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Aug 28 16

Dead Loss

by dcarr

What does one do when you make a wager and lose everything? A number of years ago, I purchased ATA stock. ATA flew club members on vacation trips all over the world. It offered direct flights from Indianapolis and provided tremendous value for those who used its service and owned its stock. But something went wrong, the company over-extended, and finally went bankrupt. Those shareholders who held on to the end received nothing for their stock purchase. As an investor, you move on.
But what of investments in relationships? Suppose you invest five years, ten years, 25 years, of your life in a significant other. Then one day, they are gone. Bad enough if they die in a plane crash or fall to disease, but perhaps worse if they just announce they’ve found someone “nicer, and better looking.”
If taken by death or disease, you at least embrace the memories, and savor the good times. Yet, that doesn’t seem possible if in the end they reject you, tell you that you are like a pair favorite sneakers that no longer fit when the person returns home from camp. Rejection.
What does one do in the face of a dead loss, not of money, but of self-respect, self-worth, personhood?
If you are a person of faith, you say there is a greater plan, Jeremiah 29:13 says: “I have a plan for you, not to harm you, but to prosper you, to give you hope and a future.” Yet, such words easily ring hollow.
Perhaps you embrace the opportunity presented. Maybe they are right. Maybe you’re not all you should be. Take on a new hobby, a new focus, reassess and improve who you are.
Our world provides an abundance of circumstances where the mundane becomes the beautiful, no better example exists than the caterpillar who becomes a butterfly. Even if Nietzsche ended up in an asylum, many times that which does not destroy you does make you stronger.
Defy the dead loss; instead, fly. Soar above and beyond. Take the defeat. Own it; crush it; eat it for breakfast, defecate it out and start anew. Fly.

Copyright 2016—David J. Carr

Aug 7 16

Golf and Gold

by dcarr

Gold gets more attention than golf, but they share an important characteristic. You see gold offers the ultimate safe haven of value. The value of gold has not changed since the Roman Empire. Today you can buy the same amount of bread for the same amount of gold as you could in 30 A.D. You put your money in gold so that you neither lose nor gain. This makes it a terrible investment if you want to get rich, but a wonderful investment if you want to avoid being poor.

Just so, golf. However, instead of being a store of value, golf offers a storing of time.

Some say golf constitutes a terrible waste of time. Those same people might say purchasing gold constitutes a waste of resources. In truth, it depends.

Based on my own golfing experiences, some terrible, angry people play golf. In doing so, I am convinced they’ve found an outlet for their violence and hatred. Instead of committing some vile act against family, friends, or complete strangers, they play golf. In such circumstances, golf saves lives. It may be the greatest game ever invented for that reason. All of us should glory in the nature of golf.

On the other hand, if golf prevents you from feeding the poor, nurturing your children, or earning a living, it wastes your precious time on earth. It constitutes a curse on humanity.

So you see that golf, like gold, may prove either help or hindrance, depending on the alternative uses of your time. It holds the time in a neutral space, like gold.

Recently, I read where a young woman was abducted off a bike. Searchers discovered her lifeless body three days later. They arrested the villain responsible within 24 hours, based on excellent police work and a trail of evidence which included an arrest and conviction for attempting to kidnap a young woman twenty years ago. The barn on his farm had a secret room suggesting other victims suffered a similar fate.

I fervently wish the gentleman had played golf, loved it, and spent all his free time trying to improve his game.

Copyright 2016–David J. Carr

Mar 24 14

Living Inside the Paradox of Reality

by dcarr

“The most inexplicable aspect of existence is its very explicability.”–Albert Einstein

“The kingdom of God will not come by your careful observation, nor will people say it is here or it is there. The kingdom of God is within you.” –Jesus (Luke 17: 20-21)

“What am I harmed by being a Christian? At worst, I will have lived a good life, at best, I will be in Heaven for Eternity. It seems a prudent bet.” Paraphrasing of Blaise Pascal’s Wager

Universal Design? A Master Craftsman in the sky who knew us before we were born, and created all the incredible complexity we see and can’t see. He/She designed all the complexity of the cosmos, and the astonishing puzzles of beyond microscopically small quantum space. Even more absurd, the notion that the Craftsman lives outside time, and can see all events, past, present, and future, for whom no cause and effect exists. We can no more understand our Creator than a power lawn mower can understand us.

To which respectable thinkers from Bertrand Russell to Gillette Penn to modern philosopher Erik Wielenberg cry “poppycock!” or “wishful thinking” or “children’s fables.” Bertrand Russell was once asked what he would say to God, if, after his death, he came before Him. Russell unblinkingly responded: “Why did you go to such lengths to hide your existence?” War, death, famine, abuse, torture, cruelty, sorrow, suicide, incurable childhood illness–nice work, God? Dan Barker, author of Godless, one of the current U.S. leaders of the atheist movement, and uniquely positioned as a former minister, plainly holds great bitterness at being misled into originally believing a God existed, and that Jesus was a real historical person.

Can we blame them? As one wag commented: “If God did not exist, we would have to event Him.” Did we? The idea of a personal God who knows each of us, loves each of us, wants a relationship with each of us 6 billion people on the planet, and all the other people on all the other planets on all the other millions of galaxies seems a bit much to handle. Does the word “absurd” seem like too much of a stretch?

And yet.

Let’s allow the scales to fall from our eyes and declare God dead. Nothing exists but the beauty of scientific empirical fact. Science tells us the Universe began about 15.3 billion years ago, e.g. a “beginning” occurred. Of course, science as recently as the 1950’s said that no beginning ever began, the Universe just “was.” That fact remain scientific “gospel” until the discovery of irrefutable scientific evidence of a “Big Bang” was picked up in the 1960’s by scientific equipment. Science and scientific “fact” evolve.

Science today, even our beloved atheist Stephen Hawking, fails to explain how very large objects appear to operate under a different set of physical rules than very small objects. Try as they might, no “Grand Unification Theory” explains this paradox.

Likewise, while Darwinism correctly remains scientific fact, and predicts the evolution of species, thus rendering the Old Testament of the Bible metaphorical at best, it fails to explain how inanimate matter becomes animate matter. How charged amino acids become some type of self-contained animate life. And once “evolved” in that fashion, why do the lower forms of life remain un-evolved right beside the evolved life? If we came from one cell organisms, why are there still one cell organisms?

Why does science accept as fact the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, that according to quantum mechanics, one out of a billion times you should be able to walk through a solid wall? It also remains a fact that matter can exist and not exist at the same time, and this is now being harnessed to create a new generation of supercomputers, using this quantum pulse of existence/non-existence.

Could it be that we remain at the beginning of knowledge? Perhaps scientific fact will lead us back to a Creator/God truly beyond imagining. Does this require more wild imagination than that needed to believe in 14 dimensions to reality, instead of the mere three dimensions plus time, that we humans perceive. Current scientific theory says there are 14 dimensions. How about the current conclusion that more than one universe exists? Indeed, it is argued that the paradox of the poisoning of Schrader’s Cat proves that the aforementioned quantum pulse reflects matter coming from and going to another universe, one of many multi-verses.

Regrettably, my intelligence leaves me unauthorized by the educational institutions to be paid to ponder such notions on a full time basis. We all will continue to let the really smart people be paid to think such big thoughts. But I’m not sure I feel any more comfortable believing in the scientific thought set forth above, and as to which I am admonished to “believe.” Am I any less compelled to shout: “poppycock,” “wishful thinking,” “children’s fables”?

So where do we find ourselves? Living a paradox. Neither path feels comfortable, nor complete, nor utterly satiating.

Consider this further absurdity. In the great Roman Empire, two thousand years ago, trouble-makers got crucified, and that took care of that. Spartacus, the leader of the great slave revolt, was crucified, as were his followers. (It took a lot of effort to defeat Spartacus. At one point, the Roman general was so angry at the repeated defeats at the hands of the Spartacus-led slaves, he pulled out every 10th soldier and had them executed. Our word “decimated” arises from that ancient incident. But I digress.) No great religion, or any religion, arose from brave Spartacus and his crucifixion. Of course, he did rate one fantastic MGM color movie. However, I know of a humble carpenter, in a miserable backwater of the Roman Empire, crucified about 30 A.D. who not only got more than one movie made about him, but inspired an entire religion that today boasts (and this is the only boast permitted by said religion) followers of God and Jesus of over one billion people all over the world. Science, logic, and reason tell us something special, even more special than Spartacus, happened.

Jesus’ pure teaching of love (“love those who hate you; pray for those who persecute you” Matthew 5:44) of thought (“be shrewd as a snake; innocent as a dove” Matthew 10:16-20), of fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22) continue to confound cynics and inspire extraordinary acts of betterment. (Time to let go of the Crusades, atheists, you only get to throw that at the Christians for 800 or so years; the statute of limitations has run.)

Offered for your consideration: we live inside the greatest paradox ever known. Accept apparently mad, fantastical, scientific theories, that end only in death, or take a chance on a humble carpenter, be his hands and feet in this three dimensional existence, deliver as much love as you can give to a fallen, awful world, and see if you find his Kingdom inside of you.

Game for a wager?

Copyright 2014–David J. Carr

Feb 3 14

Las Vegas Lights

by dcarr

Recently, business travel landed me in Las Vegas, Sin City. I found myself driving from the airport late at night, right down the Strip. What a beautiful, overwhelming spectacle of people and colored lights! With the windows up, it felt like being at the bottom of a beautiful coral sea.

My rental car radio came pre-tuned to a Christian radio station. Though I am a Christian, I never listen to Christian radio, because it felt odd, and I didn’t think the music could compare to regular rock or Sinatra Sirius Satellite Radio. Too tired to change the station, I let it play.

As I continued my long, slow drive down the strip, almost on sensory overload from the lights and people, a strange feeling came over me. The Christian radio music started to feel like oxygen inside my car, as I motored along at the bottom of this strange ocean. Even more, the colors started to seem more ephemeral, almost translucent, as the radio message became more real. These pleasure seekers became more and more trivial in my mind, the dazzling billboards, just pretty pictures, and the music, not the sights, more powerful.

The “reality” of the Strip became transient, frail, comical; the simple music and testament on the radio becoming more and more real, and important, and nourishing as I drove on through the throng. It occurred to me that all I saw, all the devotion to mildly entertaining diversions mattered very little. Instead, the message on the radio sustained and informed all I saw around me. I heard the testimony of a Jew who found Christ; I heard the powerful sounds of “My God is an Awesome God”; I turned it up even louder.

Then I saw, just a block or so off the strip, a church, of all things. Yes, an outpost planted right in the heart of this headquarters for all things non-Christian. I knew already that Terry Fator, a devout Christian, succeeded in selling out the Mirage with his show, right on this very strip. I knew that Donnie and Marie, devoted Christian Mormons, also presented a successful show on the Strip. I later found out that somebody posted a billboard on the northern entrance to Las Vegas that read: “Lust is the path Death.” James 1:10.

All of it helped me realize that perception can create a new reality. Not only is all that glitters gold not gold, but that dark and light may not be what they seem. The words of the apostle Paul seemed to fit so well:
“But you brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.” (1Thessolinians 5:4-6) As I drove in that car in the dark of night, I was bathed in the light, but not the neon light of the Strip, but the Light to which I belonged.

Copyright 2014 David J. Carr

Jan 13 14

Meritocracy v. Privilege-ocracy

by dcarr
The government big enough to give you everything you want...

David J. Carr
January 2, 2014

Meritocracy v. Privilege-ocracy

Modern American democracy rests on the premise of merit. We tolerate a society of rich and poor because we believe, or wish to believe, that each deserves their lot–more or less. Eliminate this premise and chaos ensues, with everyone taking or stealing from whomever possesses something one wants or needs. Anarchy, revolution, disaster.
Does the premise remain valid? The rich understandably want their offspring to be successful. We may assume they normally provide better food, shelter, nurturing, and education than the poor provide to their young. Why not? What better use of money exists?
Yet the rich provide even more. They provide their superior DNA. Even though studies show that regression to the mean occurs, this only means that two very smart parents will produce a less smart, but still smart, offspring. Likewise, two stupid parents will produce a marginally smarter, but still stupid, offspring. Compounding the phenomenon, studies show people generally marry individuals with comparable intelligence. Thus, many of the factors of human nature promote stratification by “class” status. What aspect of this reflects merit?
Now comes the tipping point. In the U.S., society places enormous emphasis on our key national examinations, the PSAT, SAT, and ACT. A consensus exists that these tests can’t be “gamed” and that the scores reflect merit, intelligence, worthiness. Consequently, college admissions, scholarships, and even “spousal” eligibility, rest on these magic numbers. As someone who scored in the 99th percentile on both the math and verbal portions of the SAT, and received the coveted National Merit Finalist designation, I can personally attest to the magic of these numbers. Good thing, that as a 16 year old, I possessed no idea what scholarships and dreams hung within my reach upon successful completion of the exam, or I doubt I could have held the pencil in my hand. Of course I took it in the days before prep courses and study guides, which constitute an apparent sub-industry of education.
Enter the aforementioned rich. Yes, they send their little darlings to the expensive prep classes, and buy the pricey study guides. Even more, they hire private tutors and force the poor dears to take practice exam after practice exam. Forget the better food, better shelter, better opportunities, better enrichments, and better DNA; this means war, a war to control the best of the spoils of the next generation for their children.
Now comes the piece de resistance. In Long Island, New York, the last bastion of integrity suffered a sad but expected assault. A group of wealthy parents were caught sending in SAT savants to sit in for their children and take the test for them. Why leave anything to chance when so much rides on the outcome? Supposedly, said parents were criminally prosecuted; we may assume they received a wrist slap at most. We must ask how often this happens and goes undetected. We now see meritocracy potentially unraveling at its core.
How to save meritocracy? How do we prevent the revolution? For the sake of society as we know it, we must save rich parents from themselves. These tests, if they continue to be used at all, must be diminished in importance, and made absolutely impervious to cheating and other forms of gaming not available to the poor. Cheating must result in prison time for the wrongdoers and zero scores for the children. Failure to do so will lead to nothing less than the death of meritocracy and open the gates to revolution by those unfairly shut out.

Copyright 2014–David J. Carr

Aug 11 13

The Next Time

by dcarr

The Next Time

Sadly, in the wake of the terrible Sandy Hook killings of innocent children, gun control advocates continue to storm the country in favor of changes in the law which will prevent nothing. I understand their rage; I understand and sympathize with their sorrow. I just wish they offered better solutions, and real villains to attack…like Rolling Stone magazine.

Yes, I said Rolling Stone magazine. Why? The editorial staff of this once cool publication decided to be “edgy” and “controversial” (translate: “desperate to sell magazines at all costs”), by putting one of the Boston Marathon bombers on its cover, a photo that made him look rock-star cool.

I am refusing to publish the bomber’s name, not because I can’t spell it, but because I refuse to feed any ghoulish desire for publicity which he might harbor. This puts me way ahead of RS, which felt no compunction or moral obligation to avoid rewarding a murderer of children by providing rock-star quality publicity.
How sick and sad that those who own and control RS see no danger in feeding the ego of not just the bomber, but all those sad and warped wannabes twitching out there in the dark. “Guns Don’t Kill People; People Kill People” warns the NRA—trite; a cliché; but holding more than a mote of truth.

Even if you magically banned all assault weapons tomorrow—other weapons, or objects capable of being turned into weapons, remain readily available. Sad but true.

Shame on Rolling Stone for now having blood on their collective hands the next time, and there will be a next time, one of these unspeakable tragedies occurs. More than any gun maker, gun seller, or gun, glamorizing these sick monsters constitutes serving as an accomplice after the fact, and more, clears a psychological path for horrors to come.

I understand that Rolling Stone possesses important First Amendment rights; I fail to understand its utter abdication of social responsibility or conscience. Not only will I never again purchase a Rolling Stone magazine, I am exercising my First Amendment rights to call out Rolling Stone, its owners, editors, and subscribers for the cowardly, cringing enablers they are.

The next time, don’t focus on whatever convenient weapon facilitated the tragedy, focus on those who fawn over pure evil for profit. Focus on those who helped create the next dark day with their craven, venal, high capacity publicity machines of death, as to which they felt no compunction in pulling the trigger. Focus on those who scorned the idea that their words and pictures of today would almost surely result in future deaths…and just didn’t care.

Copyright 2013–All Rights Reserved

Mar 28 13

Bully Government

by dcarr

Theodore Roosevelt called being President “the bully pulpit.” He meant “bully” in the sense of “splendid” or “wonderful” as he often referred to a happy event with a joyous cry of “bully!”Now we see a President who intends on using the bully pulpit for actual bullying.
President Obama and his Democratic allies view the sequester with disdain and fear. Cutting government spending or the size of government, in any fashion, stands anathema to their nature. Plainly, they view the current size of government to be of the absolute minimum size to keep intact western civilization as we know it. One penny less; let alone one program less, and we careen into the abyss. (One wonders if the emperor may have no clothes on this point, but I digress.) Perhaps they see it correctly. One problem. The government fails to collect enough revenue to pay for said perfect government, and not by a small measure. $4 trillion in spending; $3 trillion in revenues—roughly speaking. The wealthy? They just absorbed a significant tax increase in January of this year, but not nearly enough to close the spending gap. In fact, if you completely confiscated the wealth of the top 1% of U.S. citizens that would only cover the deficit for one year. What would you do in the next year?

Enter spending cuts, or the sequester, which went into effect in March. Approximately $80 billon in annual across the board spending cuts. Not nearly enough to close the gap, but a start. It constitutes a baby step down the path of responsible government before the bond market gags on U.S. treasuries and the whole sucker goes down, to paraphrase the often mocked, but often right, George W. Bush.

But wait, did someone just kick that baby-stepping sequester into the gutter?
Repeated reports indicate the Executive Branch intends to make the cuts hurt. What does this mean? Popular programs cut first, not last. Vital functions, not duplicative ones, whacked. Employee furloughs instead of slight pay cuts for federal employee who faired very well during the Great Recession, seeing no layoffs or pay cuts while the private sector suffered through both over the last five years.

How dare the people, through their legislative branch, tell government to cut back and live within its means? (Even though this constitutes an explicit function of the Congress, as set forth in the Constitution.) Make no mistake, the Executive Branch possesses the means, and apparently, the will, to make it hurt. I just personally witnessed apparent cut-backs in TSA staffing at the airport, resulting in unusually long lines. One hears reports of Head Start programs cut back, illegal immigrants released from detention, and certainly a parade of horribles to follow.

Moreover, it may work.

Recently, our local school superintendent requested a referendum to raise school funding. It failed to pass. He vowed to make it hurt. He did. He cut the German program altogether. He cut back music programs. Rather than finding ways to do more with less, and minimizing pain to the citizenry, he maximized pain.

A second referendum came forth, and this time, passed.
You see, apparently the day has passed where the people tell government, local or federal, how much they want to spend, or how big they want government to be. Instead, now government tells us how big they intend to be, and they will be that big. We either pay for it, or suffer. We get to choose our punishment: exploding deficits or retaliatory service cut backs, but we suffer nonetheless, for daring to tell government to live within its/our means.

Government by the people, of the people, for the people stands morphed into government for the government, as dictated by the government, to the potential detriment of the people, if the people dare to question government’s size, direction, or motives. One can still say we get the government we deserve, and this is what we voted for, albeit 51% to 49%. However, this feels like being bullied…and not bully at all.

Apr 15 12

Your Worst Ten Minutes

by dcarr
      I recently sat transfixed in front of my computer watching the YouTube video of the judge who had been secretly taped by his teenaged daughter in anticipation of a spanking for violating family rules.  The assault with the belt was replete with extremely offensive language, made all the more repugnant by the passive assistance of the girl’s mother.  However humiliating the episode, the girl, apparently 16 or 17 years old, suffered no real physical harm to the belting on her backside.   She is seen on the video calmly getting up after  the assault and turning off the hidden video recorder.
     The video, once posted, went viral, and the storm ensued.  The judge suffered immediate removal from the bench, with investigation pending.  All the worse, this particular judge presided over family law disputes, including divorce and custody issues.  He and his wife separated;  the relationship with his daughter must likewise be deeply estranged for her to launch her post.
     My first reaction, as that of most viewers judging from the blog posts, constituted equal parts revulsion and outrage.  What a monster!  The overt sadism of the conduct suggested someone on a very dark power trip.  He must be prosecuted, I thought.  He must be permanently removed from the bench and bar, I concluded.  He must be isolated on an  island colony for human monsters, I silently opined.
     Then a second wave of thoughts struck me, almost completely at odds with the first set:  what if this constituted the momentary raving of a good man overcome by maddening frustration with the challenges of teenage parenting or of life in general?  What if, in the words of the immortal sage, Meatloaf, he stood momentarily “corroded and defeated by anger, envy, and hate.”
     What if I just saw the 10 worst minutes of behavior in his entire life?  What if my 10 worst minutes as a parent, or as a human being, got videotaped and posted on the Internet?  How much better would  I fare?  What would our 10 worst minutes look like for any of us?
     Take no less than Jesus Christ.  He saw buying and selling of goods in the synagogue.  He went postal, according to the Good Book.  He ranted; He shouted; He knocked over furniture; He busted stuff.  If that got videotaped and posted, what would people think of Him, if that presented all they had by which to judge Him?
     So back off from Christ.  How about me?  I have completely lost my temper at my children, my wife, my secretary (merciful God, never striking any of them in the manner shown in the video).  Yet, how would my red-faced shouts look in full color with one million hits and counting?
All this thinking resulting in some resolutions.
     I am done reaching conclusions based on YouTube clips, no matter how visually compelling.  We must remember that context matters, and often much more exists to the story than meets the eye.  I will not judge, lest I be judged.
     I will try and conduct myself so that any random 10 minutes will look good on YouTube.  No easy feat.  Think about it.
     I will do all I can to remind others that YouTube maybe watching at any time for their 10 worst minutes as a human being.  Proceed accordingly, with caution, and perhaps, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Jan 8 12

On Time

by dcarr

I received an epiphany recently in the form of an apparently ordinary birthday present. The present? A friend of mine sent me the following: two Super Bowl t-shirts; a Super Bowl golf shirt; and, a Super Bowl cardigan sweater–all from Super Bowl XLI. Super Bowl XLI just happens to be the Super Bowl between my beloved Indianapolis Colts and beloved Chicago Bears; the Super Bowl, the only Super Bowl I ever attended. I went with my two sons on a memorable whirlwind adventure.

So far so good, but very ordinary, right? Oh no. Far from it. What made the gift special? The price tags. Both of them. You see the items still had their original “Super Bowl” price tags and their discount price tags found on the items at the discount house four years later. Original price tags? Respectively: two t-shirts–$20.00 a piece; golf shirt–$75.00; cardigan–$85.00. Discount price tags? Two t-shirts–75 cents a piece; golf shirt–$2.75; cardigan–$4.50. It may have helped that the items were on sale in Boston–hardly a Colt or Bear hotspot. Of course, they came free to me.

What made it all the more delightful? I still remembered the mad scramble at the Super Bowl itself to snap up these items at their original prices. But now? Relegated to the discount aisle. Time value of money? Maybe. But maybe something else.

I wanted some Super Bowl items at the game, and had to settle for a Super Bowl wind shirt (not my first choice-all they had), at top dollar. You see, I wanted it on my terms and my time.
Now I discover that I receive, free, even better items than I ever could have hoped to receive. Not on my time, but based on some other clock. Maybe a better clock, with a better sense of timing. Trust me, I will treasure these items more than that stupid wind shirt.

So you the see the epiphany. Don’t expect it on your time. But, sometimes, you get it based on some other time. A perfect time? A time we see not? A plan we see not? 2007–expensive. 2011–free. Hmm.

“Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” (Mark 13:33 NIVUK)

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11, 15 NIVUK)

Nov 21 11

Faith and the Super Bowl

by dcarr

Having just moderated a debate between an atheist, a rabbi, and a Methodist minister over the proposition: “You don’t need God to be good.” (You don’t.), I am still compelled to consider the question of faith. I took license to not only moderate the debate, but to serve as the Devil’s Advocate (“Why be good at all?”).

None of the speakers took the bait. But that leads to the question of faith. The best question of the night went to the atheist: “Since you can’t prove the non-existence of God, aren’t you still acting on faith?” Skilled debater that he was, the atheist filled the air with some clap-trap, but the question resonated.

Later in the debate, the atheist allowed that he might be wrong on his position, and upon meeting God, he would ask Him why all the bad events were permitted, and then the atheist might consider forgiving God. Hmmm. Does that suggest who the atheist’s God really is?

As the Devil’s Advocate, I might suggest that my “client” would readily approve of such a position. So it seems faith can’t be avoided. You either have faith in God, or you have faith in “no God” which may be a whole lot more convenient, but not more intellectually compelling. Stephen King, the horror writer, once had one of his protagonists, in the novel “IT”, utter this phrase: “Given all the wonders in this world, it takes a whole lot more effort to not believe God, than to believe in God.”

True? I lean toward both Pascal’s Wager, and the beliefs of Christian Mysterians, and now I also line up with Stephen King. In the sweet by, and by, we will know. “Now we see but through a glass dimly, now we know in part, then we shall know in full, just as we are fully known.” I Corinthians 13:12

Perhaps it all stands more perverse than that. Consider the words of Father Zossima in Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov:

Never be frightened at your own faint-heartedness in attaining love. Don’t be too frightened even at your evil actions. I’m sorry I can say nothing more consoling to you, for love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams.

Love in dreams is greedy for immediate action, rapidly performed and in sight of all. Men will even give their lives, if only the ordeal doesn’t last too long. But it’s soon over, with all looking on and applauding as though on a stage.

But active love is labor and fortitude and for some people, too, perhaps a complete science. But I predict just when you see with horror, that in spite of all your efforts, you are getting further from your goal instead of nearer to it–at that very moment–I predict that you will reach it and behold clearly the miraculous power of the Lord who has been all the time loving you and mysteriously guiding you.

Which brings me to the Super Bowl. My sons and I attended the 2007 Super Bowl won by the Indianapolis Colts. What enthusiasm! What excitement! Yet I found myself pierced by the religious protestors. Truly, what was I worshipping? “Where your treasure is, thereto is your heart.” (Luke 12:34) Glad the Colts won, but I’ll never worship at that alter again. How trivial and contrived!

Too much real work to be done before I rest.  In that conclusion, I have faith.

 

Copyright 2011–All rights reserved–David J. Carr