Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why is faith good?

Spousie & I watched the movie "Religulous" this past weekend. It was great. I had to pause it at one point I was laughing so hard; then I had to rewind it to catch what I had missed. It's filmed documentary style, portraying comedian/talk-show host/social & political commentator/author Bill Maher. He was exploring religious extremism.

He said some really good things. I had to watch parts of it again to get them verbatim.

The following struck me really profoundly:

"But why is faith good? Why is believing in something without evidence good?" -Bill Maher, in Religulous

As a Mormon, this question would never have crossed my mind. And I never would have had an answer either. Which means it's a really good question. It challenges your assumptions about life. Why is faith good? It seems like such a widely held belief that it is just assumed that faith is good.

This causes me to think and begin to question, what other things or thoughts are so common that we don't question them? For example, I think of Caroline Myss asking "Why is sacrifice good?" in her CD "Your Power to Create". That was very eye opening for me. I'll have to comment on that in another post.

But, faith, why is it good? I don't think there is a real reason except for generational and historical experience saying that it is so. I think there is a difference between (a) having faith (usually implying faith in God) and (b) trusting in yourself. The first, faith in God or a god is trusting something external to yourself, whether it's the Holy Spirit, revelation, or the people/pastors/religious leaders of your church. Trusting in yourself is very different. As a Mormon, I didn't trust myself. And I was taught not to trust myself. I was taught to trust my priesthood leaders. (oh the signs of a cult!)

And I'm sure you've heard that lovely catchy cliche, "It's better to have blind faith that to be blind." I heard it on my mission. Nowadays I would challenge anyone who said that-because youu're still blind after all!

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