A woman who has no faith in God writes in the New York Times about God and marriage.
I don’t have time today to engage in a careful reading and reaction, but I was struck by the way the writer struggled when her husband abandoned his Deism.
Christians and religious zealots might say that deep down I was searching for a sense of peace that only the Lord can provide. Maybe, but I doubt it. I know myself enough to know that I can’t fuse my intellectual knowledge with a blind faith in a supreme deity. It just won’t ever happen.
But I did realize I liked the comfort of other people believing, especially my other half. It made me feel safe. Not believing in something, or not being steadfast in what you’re told to believe, can be frightening. It makes those pesky existential questions in life more difficult to answer, particularly when you wake up at 4 a.m., short of breath from contemplating the finality of death.
Fred’s faith was my safety net, just in case this whole God thing really was the way. With him, there was always the chance that when I got to the bouncer at Heaven’s door and my name wasn’t on the list, I could say, “Hey! I know someone inside.”
I’m struck by how the “cosmic fire insurance” view of faith can be held so firmly by those inside and outside the church. Many in the pews on Sunday would argue the best reason to be in church is to get exactly the kind of ticket to heaven’s gate that she makes a bit of a nervous joke about.
By the end of the article, her doubts are settled down by the realization that she and her husband have a common bond in their disbelief.
It sounds like she would not be much up for talking to a pastor, but I do find myself wondering how I would respond to her thoughts and questions if she came to my church one day with her son, as the article ponders at one point, looking to give him some grounding in spirituality and religion.