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tongueOkay, my bad. Yech, I hate that stupid term, but it does seem all the rage, even for people like me who need to stick to 60’s jargon.

But I did error, and probably waste your time yesterday. I made a fatal mistake in understanding the human animal. And so I’m going to correct that today. Read on if you can spare the time.

Yesterday I made some comments about atheists, at least some atheists. I accused them of being  childish and snotty to be frank. I was not wrong, but that is beside the point. I was at a site called Proud Atheists. You can go and visit if you wish, but I’d not recommend it.

As I said yesterday, I found the topic posted by “Mark” interesting, and I responded in a serious manner. When I returned, I found that most, (not all of course), but most responses were silly, smirking and much like what you would expect from young boys in the garage smoking a stolen cigarette while using “dirty” words with all the appropriate snickers and guffaws.

I wrote what I wrote yesterday, and and returned to PA and left a comment inviting Mark to come read and leave a comment. He chose not to. Which is fine, but as I again looked over the latest postings and comments, I realized that there not just more of the same. Bashing and making sport of Christianity as if believers were just brainwashed and brain dead pimples on the butt of planet earth.

I sighed softly, wondering why there were no “adult” comments, when it dawned on me. I had merely slipped up on a juvenile site of the genus “atheisticus immaturitis.” Yes, atheists, just like their counterparts in the world of religion, start out as babies, and go through stages of maturity, or don’t as they are motivated to learn and grow.

It has been my fervent belief that any faith worth believing in can withstand rigorous and penetrating evaluation. I am aware that some faith investigators do come away having shed their faith, but I think this is the exception rather than rule. Every bit of study, and exploration serves to broader my faith, and I don’t think I’m exceptional in that sense.

It may, of course, cause me to rethink some things, and readjust what exactly I do believe and how I practice it. That should be obvious and not frightening. It is called maturing in faith. As Paul said, “when I became of age, I put aside childish things.” Every book I read, whatever it’s position or conclusion, helps me vision God and Christ in a new and hopefully better way. I discard images that no long seem supportable, I embrace, I hope a more loving and meaningful conceptions over time.

All I know is that my faith grows. It is alive. It is not set in stone as some of my fundamentalist brothers and sisters seem to think it should be, and apparently needs to be if worthwhile to them.

I have discovered that atheism, like probably any philosophic construct must do the same. It starts in infancy with simply beliefs and grows insofar as the holder wishes or needs to pursue the subject. It constantly evaluates and questions itself as it should. In the end, it emerges as a adult fully formed philosophy.

I have met many atheists of this type, and I find them delightful, informed, deeply thinking individuals. They have strong arguments to put forth, and they are important ones, one’s we need to listen to and respond to. We need not necessarily respond to them, since few confirmed non-believers have a need to be hounded by proselytizing zealots. But thinking of what they have to say is important to our own faith-based maturity.

If we are too afraid of this, then we are really saying we fear that our faith is not up to the test. For me, quite frankly, no faith no “up to it” is not worth having. I seek truth, not comfort, though comfort can come from truth.

Today, by that serendipity that I so love, I ran across another blog and pursued that one. It led to another. I have looked at both a bit more carefully and offer them to you for your enlightenment.

One is called, “Evaluating Christianity,” and the other is called, Evangelical Realism.

We are all too aware that there are elements on both sides who would deny the other the right to speak. The rest of us in the middle, the rational on both sides, are responsible for finding the means to dialog. Division is rampant in this country due in large part to radical elements. It’s time we do our part to bridge the gap.

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