Yes, I Believe!

Oh yes, my brothers and sisters, I believe these things. Truly and without guile I bear witness, I testify, I can give you a hearty “Amen!”  I want to be the purple stripe. “Don’t tell me then ‘be like the rest.’” 

From Reasonable Doubts, here is a sermon by Jeremy Beahan, Adjunct Instructor of Aesthetics, Philosophy and World Religions at Kendall College of Art & Design, delivered at All Souls Unitarian Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

I hope that when all is said and done, humanities [sic] chapter in life’s story will be a bright one. But even if it is not, I still stand in admiration of those who did not accept easy answers or bow to received wisdom, people who pursued truth for its own sake, who did good not out of any expectation of divine reward or fear of punishment but because they love life and wish to see it thrive. I think that is what humanism is really about. It’s finding the courage to stand apart and say “don’t tell me to be like the rest” I choose to live by reason instead of faith. I choose to serve all sentient life and not just the elect. I choose to press on instead of waiting for a miracle and because I believe that is how I make my life, and the universe of which I am a part, significant.

Read the entire sermon here.

Image originated from here and according to the site, is a “Three layered [blood] vessel wall demonstrating defined intimal (dark purple stripe, left), medial (light purple, center), and adventitial (dark purple, right) layers.” 
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12 thoughts on “Yes, I Believe!

  1. Wow, that is SO well-stated! I want to live in that world, but it’s hard to find people who practice that. When I find those that do, they are just golden! I really enjoy the Reasonable Doubts podcast, too. Highly recomended.

  2. I, and I think many Christians, would agree with virtually every word of that quote (except swap the words faith and reason) — doing good also because they love all life, daring to stand apart, serving the non-elect, valuing and even dying for others, working tirelessly in street missions, AIDS clinics, Africa, etc. It seems to be chaffing against narrow-minded stereotypes versions, which of course many Christian are not — the media just virtually never reports it.

    • Hey Barry! I was thinking the other day about those very things. I don’t know if you read the whole sermon or not, but it seems to me there is nothing in there (or little, anyway) that a religious person should object to even as it’s written! It doesn’t seem to be chaffing at all to me. It seems like a nice manifesto for those who live by reason rather than by faith. I see it as a beautiful statement. It is true for many however (and I have the emails to highlight this) that many people are more concerned with doctrine, with belief in the supernatural, with doctrinal purity and orthodoxy than they are with love. People are more concerned with what I believe or no longer believe than they are about anything else. There’s just something wrong with that, especially when it comes to the supposition of eternal torment based on thought crimes; what one believes rather than the way one lives.

      • There are the non-spiritual that live by reason alone and then the super-spiritual that live by faith alone. I am neither non-spiritual nor super-spiritual. I live by reason using the ability of decision that God has given me and by faith when my reasoning is failing me.

  3. Thanks Jo, good to hear from you. Glad you see it that way too. (Btw, no time to read the sermon, I shouldn’t have even diverted to FB in the first place — but I gotta take a break some time! heh heh) And I certainly agree there are ‘Christians’ who are completely as you describe, which very much sickens me also. Anyway, great to be in touch, have a good one!

  4. PS, this doesn’t matter really, esp since you don’t see it as negative, but I meant ‘chafing’, ie friction, not ‘chaffing’ as in joking. 🙂

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