Faith is Not Enough
[December 19, 2002]
By John Bragg
this Sunday assured us that Senator Lott could not be a racist, as he is a
man of deep faith and has had many prayer breakfasts with Senator Santorum.
Again and again, we are told that someone who is deeply religious cannot
be a bad person, and that a bad person must not be deeply religious.
People of faith are
not always bad people. Faith played a major role in ending slavery, as a
quick chorus of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” reveals. Many Christians of
faith concealed Jews from the Holocaust. Many people of great faith do
wonderful things for other people.
However, being a
person of faith does not mean that you will be a good human being. Osama
Bin Laden, Torquemada and David Koresh were certainly men of deep and
sincere faith. Many Japanese before Hiroshima had deep faith in the
divinity of their Emperor. The Heaven’s Gate cultists had so much faith
that they committed mass suicide. There are a lot of former Catholic
priests who had faith that God would forgive them their trespasses into
the pants of young boys. The EgyptAir 990 pilot said “I put my faith in
the hands of God,” right before he flew the plane into the ocean, killing
everyone aboard. Trent Lott’s own Southern Baptist Convention was founded
with a deep faith that God was a firm supporter of slavery. The medieval
Crusaders were certainly men of deep faith. Their faith was deeper even
than the ankle-deep soup of Jewish, Muslim and Crusader blood and gore
which they created and waded through while taking Jerusalem and
slaughtering everyone in the city. The Frenchmen who massacred over ten
thousand Protestants on St. Bartholomew’s Day had plenty of faith that
they were doing God’s work. The Patriarch Abraham had so much faith that
he was about to slit his own son’s throat before the voice he was hearing
told him not to. The pagan Carthaginians had faith too, that the babies
they tossed into the sacrificial inferno would please their god Baal. The
Aztecs had faith that the thousands of victims which they sacrificed to
the sun god would give him strength to save the universe from destruction.
record indicates someone who possesses deep faith is not necessarily going
to go clean the sores of lepers, and might in fact decide that that God
wants him to kill infidels. Faith is no more an indicator of good
character than good grooming is, or silver hair, or well-shined shoes, or
brown eyes, or physical fitness.
It is reason that
makes men civilized. Perhaps it is time to admit as much.
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