When I listen to Martin Luther King, Jr. speak, I can believe in God. There may be other times I have, but I can’t remember them specifically. In discussions about belief or not, I’ve heard people say that their personal stories have been determinant. A lot of them include hitting some emotional or spiritual bottom, and hearing a message from God, then being reborn in some state that exemplifies grace, along with which comes both a knowledge of, and a belief in, God; sort of a personal relationship.
I don’t know this place; this state. Throughout the many dark nights of soul I’ve experienced, I never found that comfort or profound communication they describe. And yet I like to say prayers. The time spent in gratitude for my life, or mindful intentionality about my place and behavior in the universe can be nourishing, and requires no belief. It’s more an acknowledgement that it feels good to be part of something larger, to be connected, even if it’s just to all the best thought-energy sailing around in my local branch of the universe. You know; a hippie version of spirituality. What I mean to say is: Whether or not I believe in God isn’t a problem for me.
Last week I watched God on my teevee. Well, okay; it was part of a PBS series called God in America, which said America is the most religious nation on earth. Yeah; I blinked, too. I’d think if such a huge majority of us believe in God, and call ourselves religious, we’d be a hell of a lot kinder to one another, and hold better values. I guess it doesn’t work that way. . . . Read the rest of this entry →