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Marsheila (Marcy) Rockwell

Good stuff, as always, but a slight bone to pick...

"[T]he ultimate irony of faith is that it necessarily admits doubt. It is the belief in things not seen. It is beyond our capacity as human beings to know with certainty what God has planned for us or what He asks of us, and those of us who believe must trust that His wisdom is greater than our own." -- Barack Obama

I don't know a person of faith who would disagree with this. There can be no faith without doubt. If you don't have doubt, then it's not faith, it's knowledge, and those are two entirely different animals.

Hebrew 11:1 says "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." It's believing that God is AT your side (not necessarily ON your side), regardless of seeming evidence to the contrary.

I don't disagree that there are many fundamentalists who conflate faith with knowledge (and AT with ON), but that's THEIR mistake, not that of the teachings they profess to follow, or of people of faith as a whole.

"The point is, one can be religious without being conservative..."

Yes, and one can be religious and conservative without being a fundamentalist. Conservatism does not equal fundamentalism.

"...and conservative people of faith don't speak for all believers."

Nor do fundamentalists speak for all conservative people of faith. Their voices are often just the loudest, because people who still admit to doubt (i.e., people of FAITH) tend to speak softly so they can hear answers to questions people who are certain no longer think they need to ask.

Jeff Mariotte

Thanks for the clarification, Marcy. I don't think I (or anybody else) was saying the "God is on my side" concept came from the teachings of any religion--at least, I didn't take it that way--but from what I believe to be the misguided belief of some of the faithful. Also, I don't think it's remotely unique to Christianity, but a belief held by some fundamentalists of every religion.

I much prefer the "at my side" version.

And I agree with the president's words, even though I'm not a person of faith. If there were no doubt, then faith wouldn't be tested, and it would therefore be pretty meaningless.

Marsheila (Marcy) Rockwell

"I much prefer the "at my side" version."

Me, too.

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