Kerry: Prime-Time Atheists

https://www.kerrydougherty.com/allposts/2019/10/16/prime-time-atheists

Ms. Dougherty is such a very good writer, I’m almost reluctant to say that I picked her piece to share only because it is a useful hook that gives me an excuse to answer a question no one has ever asked me: What do you think God is?

I have certainly stated that I believe in God many times. Having done so, it is striking to me that no one has ever asked what, exactly, I mean by saying it. I’d like to ‘splain.

God, it seems to me, is a feature of the natural world. God may be the natural world itself, for all I know, but when I use the word I have something specific in mind that is not so all encompassing (although, again, it might be).

Rather, the natural world has a certain quality or attribute for which God is the unique name. You can experience this particular quality or attribute directly in a number of ways. Perhaps the most accessible is one that the Bible mentions many, many times: walking.

That is, when you go for a walk at leisure on a fine day, you may have the sense, if you are paying attention, that you are immersed in a world that is something more than it seems. I think the Bible uses the phrase “walks with God” so often for the very reason that it is a clue to the nature of God, or of God’s physical reality.

I don’t know if God is person-like, having limbs and a heart and mind, but I can appreciate the metaphor. It seems apt.

I think, too, that science will eventually prove the existence of God by at last isolating those natural phenomena which underlie all of mankind’s many descriptions of God. We see outlines of this already emerging when scientists of different kinds suggest that reality itself appears to have the attribute of intelligence.

But as you can see, I am incompetent to give you my own description. I can only talk around the thing.

The one key that I can share, or so it seems to me, is that belief in God has nothing to do with faith. It is not a matter of believing something you cannot prove. It is, rather, a matter of experience, something you can prove to yourself as simply as going for a walk.

Or, if you are like my brother, by going fishing.

15 thoughts on “Kerry: Prime-Time Atheists

  1. While Ms Doughtery is at her condescending best in this article, casting scorn and personal attacks on non-believers (1st Amendment be damned, Kerry?), your use of her piece to ask your question is valid, IMHO.

    I (believe it or not) found agreement with what you said about what G-d is. Most importantly, you asked ‘what” vice “who”. I don’t think anyone is truly qualified to answer the question. It comes down to belief, not faith, as you said.

    Your comment about science eventually proving the existence of G-d is agreeable to me and, probably quite accurate. I have seen numerous pieces in various publications where the majority of scientists were and are, believers. Usually Christian, but not all. The scientists may be trying to prove some sort of earthly truth, but they will, IMO, prove that G-d IS.

    G-d’s answer to Moses about what name should Moses use when the Israelites ask him, “I AM” pretty much puts it out there for those who have read and believe the ideals of the OT.

    For those who do not believe, I disagree with Ms Doughtery. You are entitled to feel that way. It is enshrined in the 1A of our Constitution. People who are not “of faith” are just as entitled to share their message with others as Christians and others who spread their faith through words and actions. I will never demean anyone for the choice they make. Like my dearly departed (Jewish) grandmother told me when we were preparing for the birth of our first child, “Teach your children to believe in something.” We taught our children that a belief in a higher power is fine. If they had chosen not to, that was their choice also. We would not love them any less. How they choose to exercise that belief is also their own choice. Organized religion be damned. Or not.

    Your closing paragraphs are spot on. However, in my case it is a round of golf. But, to each his own.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “What do you think God is?” Whatever an individual determines it to be.

    Kerry at her most shrill and condescending is always worthy of a read and a quick fish-wrap.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kerry’s column is dripping with the kind of condescension and contempt that is usually reserved for child abusers. She must have had a bad hangover to pen such vitriol.

    There is no doubt that the most persecuted in our country are atheists and agnostics. Just count the number of admitted non-believers in political office and the picture is pretty clear.

    If there is or is not a God is often not even the debate. You are either a believer or an infidel. And that applies to all faiths and sects. Which is rather interesting considering one could probably count thousands of religions and their various sects. So who is right?

    Unfortunately that question was often answered in suffering.

    All that being said, at the very core there is no doubt we have a universal power that is greater than us. Whether we will ever see it, touch it or understand it is debatable.

    Because the universe is measured in billions of years in time and light years in distances whereas we are measured in a few decades and at best a few billion miles of travel, we don’t have a tall enough platform to see all of nature. We can only measure and speculate.

    Unfortunately it is people like Kerry who want to start the debate at “there is a God” rather than “is there a God”. And probably worse is “there is a God, and here is how you have to believe it”.

    At least the founders knew enough to allow room in the Constitution for any faith, or none. Still, there are politically powerful sects that would deny that.

    I am reminded of an old witticism that some hardliners might consider:

    “It is said that France is a country of a thousand sauces and one religion: Catholic

    America is a country of a thousand religions and one sauce: Ketchup.”

    Let’s add to the sauces and keep the diverse faiths. It has done well for us so far.

    IMHO

    Liked by 3 people

  4. God is what you make her. It’s just that most people are too lazy and so they use whatever someone else has made.

    Two tabs of LSD and an IBM 360 JCL User’s Guide brought me to define my maker. I would describe her here in this forum, but doing so at a party back in 1970 caused the death of two persons by spontaneous anal aneurysms.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. As for Kerry, Billy Joel described her best…

    “Come out Virginia, don’t let ’em wait
    You Catholic girls start much too late
    Aw but sooner or later it comes down to faith
    Oh I might as well be the one

    Well, they showed you a statue, told you to pray
    They built you a temple and locked you away
    Aw, but they never told you the price that you pay
    For things that you might have done
    Only the good die young
    That’s what I said
    Only the good die young
    Only the good die young”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ms. Dougherty makes a trenchant point: That militant anti-christianity finds a natural outlet in a DNC/CNN venue that it would not have elsewhere.

    This, I would have imagined, is a point that thinking people would find troubling, inasmuch as religious persecution is a generally-accepted Bad Thing.

    Based on the criticism Ms. Dougherty comes in for here, apparently it isn’t (a Bad Thing): If you are pro-Christian, it is now “condescending” to observe that anti-Christian viewpoints are getting airtime in major media.

    It would be smarter to wonder why and whether it is desirable for anti-Christian voices to get any airtime at all.

    Like

    1. You are making my point, if nothing else.

      Be a Christian or be gone.

      You are making up words, BTW.

      Being pro-Christian is not being condescending, Dougherty is.

      Besides, since the GOP is already loading the digital world with campaign lies and tricks, I would not be surprised if the ad was placed by Republicans. It is 5 years old after all.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. RE: “Being pro-Christian is not being condescending, Dougherty is.”

      How so? What words does she use that reveal condescention?

      Like

    3. “It would be smarter to wonder why and whether it is desirable for anti-Christian voices to get any airtime at all.”

      Uh? Never mind. The statement alone says it all. Poor little rich white girl.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. It appears that both you and Ms Dougherty have an issue with folks you disagree with exercising their 1A rights. Mr. Reagan Jr. has appeared on talk shows in the past to discuss his views. In this instance the group was willing to PAY to exercise their 1A rights. That ABC denied them previously was their choice. But it still goes against the principles of the First Amendment. – IMHO

      Like

  7. I should just let you read her piece again.

    But this might help.

    “ Yep, it’s the smug son of the late President Ronald Reagan, right smack in the middle of CNN’s Democratic debate, sneering at people of faith and fundraising for The Freedom From Religion Foundation, an organization of “proud” atheists and agnostics.”

    I saw the ad, and was shocked as to how straight forward the appeal was. Smug, sneering? only In Dougherty land. However, putting the word proud in quotes is nothing if not pure condescension.

    A question arises. What on earth is anyone afraid of with regards to this ad that it couldn’t be aired for years or that Dougherty would attack the messenger so virulently. All Reagan asked for was a donation to his foundation.

    Are some Christians afraid to hear another interpretation of deity, or lack of one. Is their faith that fragile?

    And your question about whether anti-Christians should get any air time at all. What are you afraid of?

    Hansen lamented that conservatives are not given a voice sometimes on liberal campuses.

    OK then, how is your charge any different?

    Liked by 2 people

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