Maybe I should explain what I don’t believe in.
I don’t believe that religion of any kind holds all the answers, neither on an individual or worldwide basis. But I don’t believe that just because something is a “religion” somehow automatically disqualifies it from being something good.
I don’t believe that living one’s life according to an ancient text, as if it was the basis for all truth, is logical. To me the Bible is the Word of God, but it’s not an exhaustive font.
I don’t believe that atheism or agnosticism have no value. On the contrary, I know the world will be a lot better if we listen more than we speak, if we use a little more logic than blind zeal, and if we apply more critical analysis than credulity. I don’t think we can put faith, hope, and trust on the side (how can we have faith in one another if we do?), but neither do I believe that such or any other real virtues are the exclusive property of religion.
I don’t think that the Judeo-Christian model of religion is superior, though I am a Jew. I don’t think that it is somehow more valuable, more “right” than Islam or Buddhism. But I also know there is a significant difference between the Catholic nun who spends her days bringing medicine and food to people in slums regardless if they ever convert and the Jehovah’s Witness who spreads false doctrine while judging all who do not accept his pamphlets as worthy of death in an imminent Armageddon.
I don’t believe religion is supposed to give you all the answers.
I don’t believe religion makes you better than a person who chooses not to be religious.
I also don’t believe that having faith that a mountain will move and waiting for God to move it is what Jesus had in mind when he said “faith can move mountains.” If you don’t get up and attempt to move the mountain itself, then you don’t really have the faith that God will help you move it.
And lastly I don’t believe in “believing” in God. Having a “mental concept” that God exists and fighting any doubt from coming in to challenge my ability to hold on to this conviction of the mind is a waste of precious time, mine and God’s.
If I really believe there is a God, and I mean in a real way that makes that “belief” really mean something, I shouldn’t have to preach it or advertise it or print it up on a flashy website or well-illustrated book. Real things don’t need such trappings.
My “belief” will be visible in how I don’t judge others. It will show in how I spend my time to be part of the solution, not one who complains there is a problem.
It will be apparent in how I am more interested in you and what you cherish and in supporting you when you are down and need my help than converting you to my way of thinking. It will shine through in how I leave my precious beliefs and what I feel comfortable behind to fight outside my comfort zone for something that is right and important for you because you are more friend or neighbor.
And my belief in God should never make you feel like I think you have to change whatever you are or whatever you believe in order to be happy. It should build you up in whatever you believe (or choose not to believe in).
And lastly, it doesn’t have to be based in things that have “proof.” I can’t always prove that I have love in my heart, but I can show it. Some will likely judge my convictions as blind credulity, and that is their right, but they should never be able to say I leave them without proof by my actions, by what I do.
God is not what we believe in or don’t believe in. It’s less important to argue about such things if we can’t keep from hating one another or killing one another or seeing ourselves as “us” and building up walls to separate us from “them.” If we don’t get along with what and who we can see, it’s a little illogical to argue and debate about something or someone we can’t.
I can say that I believe this and that all day long, debate it with you until I am breathless even. But it really define me. What I am and what I do with my life defines me, not the creed I chisel into some lifeless stone.