Friday, September 12, 2008

A Candidate's Faith

Betsy Newmark talks about how the media has been dissecting Sarah Palin's faith, but has been ignoring for all intents and purposes Barack Obama, Joe Biden and even John McCain's faith.
I realize that the Pentecostal church's practices seem odd to those of other faiths, but as a nonpracticing Jew, I've long felt that all religions seem odd to outsiders. If you start dissecting what people believe and trying to apply logic to a religion's tenets, you'll sooner or later encounter some belief that defies logic. That is why it is called faith.
Of course faith is illogical and inherent defiant of the conditions around us.

What is interesting to me is how people use their faith to work their way through those crises of faith. Sarah Palin has a son with Down's Syndrome. Surely one would question why a God would bestow upon an otherwise model family a child with such needs. Sarah Palin and Bristol Palin and the rest of the Palin clan surely had a crisis of faith relating to a teenage pregnancy.

John McCain must surely have questioned whether a benevolen god would allow him to be tortured as he was. Joe Biden may have questioned the benevolence of his faith when his first wife was killed.

I don't mean to compare the difficulties of these families, each can only be adjudged for their difficulty based upon the individual circumstances.

But they all point to one common notion. One of the inherently illogical factors of faith is that we cling to the notion of a kind Creator, even after suffering such tragedies or travails in our life. The various inconsistencies of religious rituals are not what makes something a faith, but it is the illogical maintenance of that faith in the face of clear tragedy.

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