www.whyville.net Mar 16, 2008 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Why I Believe

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Author's Note: This is an article expressing my beliefs. While I cannot satisfy everyone's opinion, I hope to be general and as open as possible. Please do not take anything I have to say in an offensive manner, I am merely sharing what I believe to be true. If you cannot handle another religiously oriented article, please do not bother. I am writing especially to the atheistic point of view, so for all you Christians, unless we can agree on a common goal, I do not want criticism if it is not directly related to the topic at hand.

I chose to write this article because on Saturday night, I stumbled upon a few words that hit me hard. They are as follows: "God says so." When not found in the original context, these words might not mean anything to you. They may just sound like a typical religious person's answer to a stunning question, an ignorant dodge if you will. In this particular context, they were referring to a particular crowd. While I could choose not to fall into this crowd, I cannot help but express my opinion of why these words can't fit together, in my mind.

As I mentioned, the phrase we're dealing with was found in a particular context, and that just happened to be someone's description of the Whyville BBS. They were bothered by the idea that the 'typical Christians' of Whyville did not have much to say for themselves, but selected their opinions and thoughts based on what their religion told them. What the Bible tells them. What God tells them. If you're looking at this from a distance, I think it makes sense. It is a trend I can't ignore, how could I describe it . . . evangelicals and evangelical-wannabe's taking over our BBS? I suppose you could say that. The crowd of religious folk who resort to their religion to defend themselves? You could get away with that too, you can call them whatever you want and you won't be far off. Or will you?

In my opinion, these may be accurate descriptions on the surface, but down deep, they couldn't be further from the truth. While I can only write from my point of view, I can still hope that those who have chosen to believe feel the same way. The truth is, if at least only for me, we are not "evangelical wannabe's," we do not "resort to our religion to defend ourselves," and we could not be described in any ridiculous manner chosen. This is what I believe. It is not what I have chosen to believe. It is not what I think I believe. It is what I believe.

This may seem like a strange concept to you, after all, doesn't everyone choose their religion? Well yes, that is true. But do beliefs come with religion? No. If I believe something to be true, I know it is true. Otherwise I wouldn't really believe it. You can pay lip service to whatever religion you want, and you still won't really be a true follower, you have to believe in it. So why then, would I choose to follow a religion if I did not choose to believe it? Well, like I said, I did not choose to believe it. I KNEW it was true. I didn't choose to think it was true, I did not choose to follow it because someone told me to. I knew it was true, I believed it was true. True beliefs come from within, what you just cannot deny to be true. A scientific explanation would be useless.

So what happens when we rearrange the words a bit, say our beliefs in God? If we believe God is real, we know God is real. If we know God is real, we know his teachings are real. Correct? If we believe in a religion that is based on God, then we believe that religion is true. So if our religion teaches what God teaches, then we are really following God's teachings aren't we? And if we know God is real, then we know his teachings are true. Couldn't be more obvious, huh? So answer me this: if WE know God's teachings are true, then are we really believing them because "God says so," or because WE say so?

I hope this makes sense, if it doesn't, you can say I failed. All I can do is hope, but if you take away one thing from me today, take away this simple message: if we believe in God, it isn't God saying so, it is us saying so. Please be respectful to our beliefs, what we know to be true. The BBS may seem like it is full of ignorant people who use religion as an excuse sometimes. I cannot speak for everyone, but please just remember for future reference, what we believe is what we know.



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