Wondering if whether there really is a god | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Wondering if whether there really is a god

Kathryn Reed, managing editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune

There are many things I do not understand. And although I doubt I will ever understand all of them, I still struggle to.

I believe the root of dissension in the world is tied to religion. But what I don’t understand is why. Recently I have been trying to figure out if God failed us, or if we failed him.

In my line of work I deal with facts, tangible knowledge. To me God is not tangible. There is the Bible, Koran, Book of Mormon and other religious writings — but all were written by man.

I am not an atheist. If I had to label myself, I would say I am agnostic.

I believe in evolution. There is provable, viable science to back up this theory. Creationism is too much of a fairy tale for me to buy in to.

I was raised Presbyterian, even baptized as an infant. I went to Sunday school. I go to church when mom asks me to. She is the head deacon of her church; dad a Stephen minister.

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It is irrelevant what my views on organized religion are or whether I believe in any god because most of the world believes in a higher being. It is because of this that I want to have a better understanding of what people are thinking and why.

In speaking with people who are believers and in reading articles I am at a loss as to why we keep having wars.

“It is clear to us that he is not following the teaching of his own church or the teachings of churches that believe in a ‘just war’ theory,” Methodist Bishop Melvin G. Talbert told Newsweek about George W. Bush, who is also a Methodist. “He is following a clear ideology that is not a part of any particular church that I know of.”

Many would say oil is the driving force behind our nation’s desire to oust Saddam Hussein, not religion, not weapons of mass destruction, not the persecution of his countrymen.

Still, the unrest in the Middle East is all about religion. It is about Arabs and Jews. It is about people being displaced so the Jews could have a country to call their own.

It goes much farther back than World War II. The dissension began with Cain and Abel, Abraham, Luther — even Jesus.

What I don’t understand is this: if the basis of most religions is something good and positive, then why all the hatred? Why is one deity more right than another or more evil than another? Why is there so little tolerance of views outside of one’s own religion?

I remember reciting the Lord’s Prayer every night as a child. Not bad words to live by.

I remember growing up with the phrase, “Do unto others as you would have done to you.” More good advice.

If there is a god looking down on us, what must he be thinking? Have we made a mockery of all that he intended for us? Did he supply us with the knowledge to create weapons of mass destruction, but not the common sense to leave well enough alone? Or did he provide us with the choice to build them and we chose wrong?

All I really know is that I look around for reasons to why the world is in this state of deadly chaos and I cannot come up with an answer that makes sense.

I will keep trying to find the answer on my own, to make this a better world in my own way. Clearly if there is a god, he is either choosing to remain silent and is doing nothing or maybe we cannot hear him through the din of heavy artillery.

Kathryn Reed is managing editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune. She may be reached at kreed@tahoedailytribune.com or (530) 541-3880, ext. 251.