My friend messaged me again tonight. My friend, it seemed, was concerned with all of my various posts from National Catholic Register, Catholic News Agency, etc. on social media. At the end of our conversation last night, I said, “Well, I use to post political comments and memes all the time, and many of my friendships deteriorated, so instead of making posts about Bernie and Donald, I thought why not Pope Francis?”
Friend: At the end of the day, Pope Francis is just another dude, that has no business trying to tell people what to do. The way I look at it is that you can be pro-life etc. and be a good person without religion. Religion only exists because we are scared of the unknown. I get that….but it’s not for me.
PA: I’ve studied it a lot these last couple of years. I certainly think Christianity is true; however, it’s not fundamentally true, or, at least, to say, how naysayers attempt to frame it. One of the things I learned majoring in history is studying how people during a certain period wrote and thought. So when the authors wrote Genesis, Exodus thru the Gospels, they didn’t write their accounts down how we write down historical accounts. A lot of the writings are simply to serve symbolically, typological, parabolical and not to be taken literally while other authors and events are to be taken as such.
I certainly do not believe in God because I’m afraid of what will happen to me when I die. In fact, I don’t know one person who actually thinks in that particular way. It’s rather simple; I believe in God because I believe he’s God.
Friend: I know you’re a smart guy, I respect your opinion since I know what you say you’ve researched. So politics made you cynical, well that’s what religion did it to me. I honestly find it disgusting…. every bit of it…. oh and silly…lol Also, saying that is is meant to be interpreted symbolically is just a way of keeping it alive in today’s world.
PA: Well, I think you can understand this then when I got really involved in politics. Some of my friends and I really grew apart. I sat and thought about it for a long time. Now there’s no argument that Politics is entirely a human construction, so I felt it silly to lose friends over. Ultimately my morals were tied to my religion, and if I chose to live by the compassion and mercy of my faith, then maybe, a few friendships would survive.
Of course, I do know that religion has created cynics, and I do know some people grow apart because of religion, but this is from misplaced righteousness. I think folks miss some parts of Christianity, even though I believe that God has decreed how to be moral, I believe he teaches us to forgive still and love those who do not follow those morals. If those who find both God and Christians silly, still need food, clean water, and shelter, we must give them food and shelter. If they need an education, we must look for ways to educate them, etc. When I say symbolically, I’m not saying I don’t believe that Christ performed miracles, I certainly do. What I am saying is when the Bronze Age writer who wrote Genesis is describing the origins of God and the world, he did so in a way that only his mind could understand. Historical documents are written the same way.
You believe humanity can have morals without God; I believe that God gave morality to man. Overall, our beliefs are aligned for our concern for humanity’s happiness. To you, faith may be superstitious madness, but madness which comes from God is so much more beautiful than any wisdom of human origins. Of course, that doesn’t come from the Bible; it comes from Plato—the founder of reason.
At this point, my friend for some reason changed the subject. It’s strange, I feel that as my faith and certainty grows. The world appears to be fighting and clawing to turn me away from my convictions.