I recently listened to a podcast in which the guest claimed not to believe in anything. She’s never been religious, nor been to church services. It was her polite way of telling the diverse listening audience that she’s an atheist.
Everybody believes in something
I want to take to task her belief that she doesn’t believe. First point: earlier in the podcast episode, she explained that she enjoyed reading the works of a particular Buddhist nun. Okay, if you are drawn to the Buddhist philosophy, you believe in simple living. You believe in accepting suffering with dignity. You believe in not causing other living beings harm.
All of this points to love. I’ll expand on that in a moment.
Second point: she is a mother of three children. After they had all been in school for a few years, she removed them from that environment because she did not like that they were essentially attending day-prison (my paraphrase, not her words). Why not? Because she loved them.
If nothing else, the woman believes in love.
In the first epistle of John in the New Testament, he wrote, “God is love, and all who live in love, live in God.”
God is love. Therefore, to believe in love is to believe in God.
On my right hand, I have Christians crying, “Heresy! Heresy! You can’t know God without Jesus!”
On my left, I have a bunch of atheists shaking their fists at me and screaming out their disagreement. Now, maybe some of those atheists are truly void of love in their hearts. But most are not. Most are loving human beings whose ideas of God have been twisted by religion to the extent that they can’t logically and/or ethically accept those ideas.
Honestly, people who adhere to Buddhism are often more loving in their daily walks than many Christians I have ever known (and I have known many). Take, for example, the self-proclaimed atheist mother of three who actively fights against female genital mutilation. For every supposed non-believer who is active in the fight for liberty and justice for all, there are probably fifty Christians who never do one thing to fight injustice in the world.
Who is more loving?
“God is love, and all who live in love, live in God.”
Nobody believes in nothing, and more people believe in God than want to admit it. And that – amidst all the suffering happening all around (and inside) us – should bring us hope. It brings me hope, anyway.