Letter to the Editor: Religion promotes accountability

First of all, I would like to thank you, Mr. Walsh, for your honesty. I think most of us come to a point in our lives where a dogma we’ve held is challenged and we are forced to choose the path we will follow at this fork in the road. And stepping away from what we’ve known can be daunting even if we don’t “feel it” anymore.

Here are my thoughts upon reading your opinions:

Have you ever thought that dismissing the existence of God and “handl[ing] this on our own” is precisely the easiest route we can take? I have had my fair number of struggles with faith but the one consideration that I am reminded of when I want to embark on my own is, “Am I accountable to someone other than my own wants, desires and feelings?” The answer is absolutely. I am accountable to lots of things in life and I believe I am accountable to a personable, omniscient being.

I find it interesting that subsequent to making the statement that “people are not entitled to making their own facts” you follow with three strong statements that I assume you believe to be true.

I’m pretty sure that you were not around when the earth was born (unless you count the atomic particles that eventually became you) nor have you ever seen a dinosaur.

The point is, neither has anyone else on this planet. You cannot discount what you cannot see, like a six-day creation. You have to use that brilliant, intellectual mind of yours to look at the world around you. Whatever conclusion you come to, you keep weighing your experiences around that belief system and seeing where things fall.

I have spent many years in science and many years in church. At times, both make me cringe at their obstinacy regarding a few strongly held ideas for which I don’t see evidence. But ultimately I love both.

Speak to both the person I am and what I believe about the world, not because I have ignored “the facts” and certainly not because I have failed to investigate or been in a state of indecision. I am still looking into things … but right now, this is where I stand.

I am a believer that Jesus Christ is the God-man who came to make a way for us so we don’t have to be “lost” (in our own dark nights or those of the world) and doing this on our own. I still have a mind, a personality and hobbies. I’m still me. But I have an anchor and hope and a promise that what I see is not all there is to life.

Now, will that hope ever come to fruition? Well, I can’t tell the future but based on what I currently know, I believe it will. If it does not, I do not believe I have lost anything.

Indeed, my life has been nothing but interesting since I signed on to follow Christ. That is the decision I have made. You have made your own.

While you may see a monotheistic belief as a “stranglehold,” I’m here to tell you that you seem to have shifted your focus away from what makes you uncomfortable.

You point at the others, the “religious” people, but you ignore the possibility that God might exist.

And what if He does? You can have your own way and He will certainly let you. The abyss is when you stop using your brain and cling to statements that make you feel good. I agree with you that the thought of being composed of atoms from different stars is quite “poetic” and gives me warm-fuzzies, but how is that any different than what you are accusing the religious of depending upon?

Shea Poynter

Second-year medical graduate student