FROM MY NOVEMBER 2012 JOURNAL:
“I have felt very strange about my Christian religion.
“I am beginning to understand that all the faithful person can do when in doubt is go through the motions of what the religion is dictating. My faith in Jesus is a matter of insistent habit – not designed to temper itself or to grapple with something outside of itself. It feels perfectly designed to keep me on topic. And it is weird, growing more unwieldy – as if it won’t stay in place – the more I try to summon it.
“My faith feels like a habit. An insistence upon itself. But I must sort this out.
“The grayish, vague impulse which draws me to Jesus, is somehow not enough and something is giving way – a demand for a better, sharper reason somehow. I’m feeling sides must be chosen. Decisions must be made. I must consider faith – because these doubts keep creeping in about the Taleban shooting of Malala. Obviously all faiths cannot be good. The Taleban are Muslim, and that faith is so very wrong if it leads to this. Right?
“Faith. What is this thing?
“Maybe the Islamic extremists are common for a reason?
“They have no real evidence for Allah just as I have no real evidence for God.
So…the faith they have – is it no different from that faith which I am employing now? Doubling down on faith just as doubts rise up? Isn’t that what they do? Isn’t that what I am doing?
“If it is different, how is it different?
My faith does help me stop doubts. But if doubt is what the Muslim must employ to escape extremism and fundamentalism – then doubt cannot be my enemy. How is my faith valid but his is not?
“If I need the Muslim to apply doubt in order to save children like Malala – then doubt cannot be evil.
“Doubt cannot then be bad. Faith is bad.”