Vail Daily letter: What do you really believe?
In his commentary “Our turn to be extreme,” once again Richard Carnes has not been able to resist the temptation to poke a stick into the ribs of any person who believes in God. Of course, his reference to an imaginary God applied to Allah in this case, but, for those of us familiar with Mr. Carnes’ atheistic world view, it is reasonable to assume the reference can be applied to Jahweh and the triune God of the Bible, too.
The title indicates his commentary relates to how America should react to the fanaticism of the Muslim terrorists in the Middle East and, right up until his conclusion, Mr. Carnes stays on point. And I agree with his recommendation. But then he has to insert this little dig at the end which served to introduce the subject of theology, my hobby. He doesn’t go on to explain how God, imaginary or not, is relevant to the subject he is discussing, but that doesn’t seem to be the reason he made the comment. Regardless, I naturally took umbrage and was prompted to respond to his aside.
So, Mr. Carnes wants to talk theology, let’s talk theology. In my research for writing my series, “The Cabana Chronicles, Conversations About God,” I address why people believe what they believe. What motivates people to commit terrorism? Where does the hate come from? That’s the real issue here.
From his innuendo, Mr. Carnes would have you believe that theistic religions create the division among people. Actually, statistically, the majority of war casualties have been people who were killed or injured in wars initiated by atheists like Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler. Facts aside, theistic religion has always been the secular historian’s whipping boy to assign blame; and this opinion, of course, is one of the atheist’s most traditional attacks against theistic religions. Naturally, this also begs the question, are these people who cause mayhem just claiming to be Muslims, Christians or Jews as they wage war against mankind or are they merely using religion to lend some credibility to their own selfish ambitions? I’ll bet most people familiar with the fact that all three theisms share the same moral code based on the Ten Commandments can answer that question. Does “thou shalt not murder” ring a bell? It’s all a question of true belief vs. the pretense of belief.
My point is that I would like Mr. Carnes to do more than just take shots at theisms to promote his agenda of unbelief. I would like to see him shelve the gibe approach and ratchet up the content of his commentaries a notch for those of us who are stimulated by a discussion of theology and philosophy. I am particularly interested in knowing what the man really believes, and how he contrasts his beliefs with those of a Muslim, Jew or Christian. I would think that a guy like Carnes, who seems to thrive on controversy, would rise to the bait. That’s my wish.