How does Faith Impact your Life?

I have the sense that many of the ‘regular’ contributors to this blog might answer, not at all. Yet, we might be an odd group here in the Land of the Free.  Just the other day my wife and I were in a breakfast diner and diagonally to my seat were two people, bibles in hand. The woman was taking notes as the two of them apparently discussed sections of the Bible. This in northwest Ohio. No doubt, this scene is more common the further one travels southward. I would expect a scene like this to be quite rare in Europe.

As you know, ‘religion’ and I have been at odds for quite a few years; I’m up to my gills on religion, having saved myself from drowning in it on many occasions. As a result, I find it quite odd that a whole swath of my fellow citizens actually bathe daily in religious waters. What is their motivation? What do they gain from the experience? What am I missing?

The more poignant question is this: do these people who regularly read the Bible and follow biblical teachings know that the book is mostly myth? Further, do they understand that it was written specifically for the tribe of the Israelites for their time, their place, their culture and their situation?

Probably not. Why? Because no one told them that. It was fed to them like formula to an infant. Don’t think, just believe.

As I have often said, it would be perfectly fine for this group of people to have such faith, such belief if they did not impact the greater society. They might be regarded as the Amish- its fine for them, but not for me.

Rather, these tens of millions of bible-believers think that it is appropriate for the nation’s culture, laws and practices to be influenced by their beliefs. Influences may be too weak: they want Christian beliefs to be entwined in to American constitutional law. Ironically, some of these same Christians are screaming about Sharia Law- that this set of Islamic laws ought not become the law of this land. Sadly, they cannot even see their own reflection in all of that.

To the point of this post: Faith, ie religious faith, impacts my life most often negatively. Rather, I have faith in the people I choose to call friends and family. I need not bounce anything off of a Satellite in the Sky in order to enjoy them and have that relationship enrich my life so that I become able to call myself a fully-functioning adult male.

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17 thoughts on “How does Faith Impact your Life?

  1. Religious faith has an impact on my life because we deal constantly with the effects of the actions of the different interpretations and the motivations of people whose religious based concept of faith compels them to act upon. It is how they are manipulated and thus, forming socially motivated sets and sub sets, they participate in violence, trying to impose their particular intolerance on each other. I live in a world where we all are affected by other peoples definitions of what Faith is.
    I define faith by an entirely different system of logic. I don’t claim to be a particularly “deep” dude or to really have a philosophy. I am very militantly atheist, but then my atheism is defined by kind of illogical definition of LUCK! I have always been Mr. Lucky, but chance has very little to do with what I define as LUCK! Life is like canoeing on a rough river. Something I really love. Sometimes the canoe whips out no matter what you think you see, but usually, with skill and desire, you can see your goal. Perhaps my saving grace is never wanting too much, because I have always been able to get what I really wanted by really wanting it enough to make it real.
    I believe we all can make a difference, albeit a small difference, but no good action is ever unrewarded. The key word here is ACTION. You make your own luck, we all can be Mr. Lucky, but it is based on the strength of your desire and how it you define it.
    Does that answer your question? I’d could go on, but that’s Microdot in a nutshell.

    1. Yes, and thank you. I rarely cite luck as player in the game of Life, but maybe I ought to ponder whether some of the occurrences in my life were plainly luck. Hmm. Need time to process this…’

  2. Bottom line: Luck could not exist with out your desire and action. You can’t win it if you ain’t in it. You are nothing if you can’t dream.

  3. How true, MD, i.e. “you make your own luck…” I have said the same words
    many times. But, I don’t know what kind of luck I have had, lol. Certainly,
    it hasn’t made me a millionaire!

    Do you think that its a gene thing? Or that our families went through the
    Great Depression and passed that experience on to us? Or is it thinking outside the box?

  4. If you defined luck as winning the lottery, then I would be rather unlucky. I was a homeless street kid in inner city Detroit for a while. I spent some time in jail. I have been been beyond the lower limits of poverty. But all of these experiences seem to have given me the power to believe and dream. I wanted to go to college, I did. I wanted to be a musician, I did that. I am. I met a beautiful woman who I knew from the moment I first laid eyes on her that our destinies were inter twined. Of course after 35 years, she would never admit that! I knew and believed that I would move to France. Thinking out side the box, yes! That’s a big part of it. But t the risk of sounding a little crazy, for me , it is more than faith. Luck is being able to connect with a part of yourself that is a part of everything else. Perhaps some western christian mystics could relate to this, but I think the concept is the antithesis of tribal desert christianity. It is an alien concept for a religious ideology that is based on control and a monotheistic evolutionary hive mentality. For me. Islamic, Jewish and Christian tribal evolution are way outside of what I feel. They are all part of the same thread…
    I have been way outside of that box since I was 12 years old. I know there is an inner path, but it has nothing to do with your western concept of god. We all have had brief glimpses of it. The greatest physicists and theorists of our times knew this. Einstein and Tesla fought over the details and the proofs, but in the end, even Einstein admitted that Tesla had seen the more perfect version of reality. But, I know we are only standing on the edge of the rim of that reality. Just close your eyes and jump….

    1. Thanks, Microdot for your further explanation of how luck played in your life. Our definitions of luck are different but I get it. A person makes his own luck or his own positive energy, ie. synergy in order to move forward in certain situations.

      Re the tribal religions, what is there to discuss there?? Pathetic stuff yet, as UptheFlag notes re the license plate, that tribal religion is infused in the very marrow of their existence.

      Ugh.

      1. I am reading the Tom Wolfe novel, A Man In Full…there is a character in it who pretty much embodies what I have tried to express as luck. He is obsessed with the Roman Stoic philosopher, Epitectus. One of the lessons he learns and puts into action in his own life is based on the phrase uttered by the philosopher when Domitian, the Roman Emperor after Nero ordered all the philosophers of Rome to be exiled or shave off their beards or be beheaded, a beard.. was the outward symbol of a philosopher…Epitectus refused and said, “Behead me, if it is better for you that way. When did I tell you that I was immortal?” He was exiled and then allowed back into Rome. Sometimes you just have to take a stand, realize that you are unique no matter what others tell you. If you are willing to act, then you can affect others. If you remain passive, it is as if you never were. Are you a rabbit, or the fox?

  5. Some trivia this morning…..

    As I was walking in to the restaurant where we hold our monthly county
    Democratic Party meeting, I noticed a front license plate type message
    (here in MS we only have rear tags) which says “I believe in the Risen
    Savior”.

    Therein, M_R, lies the problem, many believe the mythical faith!

    Another piece of trivia is a quote from Ken Burns: “The arrogance of
    the present is to forget the intelligence of the past.”

    Soon across the country the food aid stimulus will end. In MS this will
    mean 664,000 will have a reduction in food assistance benefits. The cut
    will give a MS family of 3 $29 less a month for food, that translates into
    $1.40 per family member, per meal. What was it that Marie Antoinette
    said about the poor in France at the outbreak of the French Revolution?

  6. But, UTF, as a historian, you should know that Marie Antoinette never uttered the utterly insensitive phrase “Let them eat cake” or brioche what ever they tried to attribute to her. The phase was uttered by a French Queen, Marie Therese, who was the wife of Louis XIV, 100 years earlier! Marie Therese said “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” But, heck, this is what Fox News does best…transplant and rewrite history, but in 1792 Paris it was a urban legend that caught fire in the in the passion of a popular uprising and became the popular history that we all think we know.
    I’d say the real problem in America no is to keep the onus of responsibility on the TeaBrain Congress members who voted to do this (the cuts in food assistance) because as soon as the outrage starts to manifest itself, you know these guys will try to find a way to blame it on the Democrats…

    1. “Teabrained Congress” is a perfect monkier; tea-stained brain works well too. Yet, this problem boils down to whether The People are paying attention and/or actually get it.

      Perhaps the citizens of this nation ought to repeat the fire in the passion of a popular uprising of the Parisians in 1792 and throw the bums out!

      Nah, we’re much too spongeon and way-too susceptible to propaganda.

  7. Faith it seems to me is a rationalization for phenomena science has been unable to explain yet. Yes the earth is round, it does rotate around the sun, and nobody really knows what happens when you die. It’s the last one science has not been able to answer which keeps the faithful in business.

    P.S. I read an old comment by you on my blog and it brought me back here. Glad to see you’re still blogging and fighting the good fight.

    1. Reza Aslan,,,,Zealot! The author addresses these issues in his book. This was the book that triggered the epically embarrassing recent interview on FOX…Aslan is a Muslim Religious Historian and writer.

    2. Yes. Yes.

      Boston GLobe interview:

      IDEAS: What’s the thumbnail you want people to know about Jesus the man?

      ASLAN: My hope is this image of a celestial detached spirit with no interest in the world that has arisen about Jesus over the last 2,000 years will be seen as incomplete. We will instead look at Jesus in the world as a deeply political revolutionary figure, radically so, who took on the powers of his time and lost.

  8. But, is there any extant writing personally from Jesus? What we have are
    more “myths” written about him years later, the gospels and Paul.
    Mohammad left the Koran; Zoraster and Hammurabi left their tenets and
    codes; the Greeks and the Romans had written religion. But, Jesus left nothing,a poor illiterate peasant….

    1. Yes, a poor, itinerant peasant. The Greek evangelists did the writing 40-100 years after his death. They based their writing on some earlier materials along with oral tradition. Naturally, they added their own theology along with dialogue to replicate the writings of the Greek masters. As a result, 70-80% is fill.

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