Now Politics: the Political Opinions of Thomas Sarebbononnato

A Friend of the People Opposing Elites; Social and Political Commentary of Thomas Sarebbononnato; Publishing and Contributing Editor, Jay V. Ruvolo [Copyright (c) Jay Ruvolo 2018]

Archive for June 10th, 2019

FAITH, BELIEF AND THE LIMITS OF KNOWING [a short story ]

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June 2011

I have faith in God, one man says; I have faith in the non-existence of God, another man might say but does not. There are devout monotheists; there are devout atheists. Both are persons of faith. A picture falling off the wall signals an impending doom, someone’s downfall, the demise of something, I’ve been told. The superstitions of my youth I no longer believe, but then, neither can I disprove them.

To believe in the veracity or the falsity of this falling picture as a harbinger of doom, or of any superstition, shoes on tables, hats on beds, rocking rocking chairs with no one in them, all of these are based on faith–one degree or another is not essential. Any belief in them is a matter of faith. It’s interesting, though, how anyone of a particular faith can have so little respect or reverence for the faith of another when that faith is other than the one the former holds to be true.

How God-like we become in our faith for God, in God; we do trust more than God, though. We trust our faith, although we carry a marked infidelity to that particular religion that holds our imagination. You do need imagination for faith, firstly, and to maintain it imagination must be engaged. I suggest you read Sir Thomas Brown’s Relgio Medici, that is, if you are disposed to reading 17th treatises on religious toleration, particularly in my opinion because he makes more sense and says more intelligently what everyone needs to understand, particularly several Pakistani Muslim children I had observed several years ago in my neighborhood, who had to have been taught by their parents to have no respect for western Christians, I say, as I said then, because in my observations out my window in the apartment building complex I live in, I saw these teenage girls openly taunt and mock, even verbally harass a lone American girl for how she was dressed in the summer heat here in New York, at least on two occasions.

I did on another occasion have to step outside my building to stop a group of four Pakistani teenage boys from harassing a young teenage American couple who were kissing in public on the bench in the courtyard below my window; and yes I went out with a bat in hand and told them that this isn’t fuckin’ Pakistan. I also took couple of pictures with my cell phone, saying, as they left, that their parents wouldn’t like it if they got a visit from Homeland Security. And you do have to understand that if they feel they can do and say the things they were saying, they either arrived last week or their parents are engaging anti-Western diatribes at home, or their father is an fuckiung Islamist asshole. And do not imagine that this is paranoia, you fucking boob.

And I do find this disgusting, but find equally disgusting the attitude or belief from some idiot Americans that this can only be the provenance of White Americans, and that this kind bigotry and religionism and conservatism does not exist among the immigrant classes. And children do follow the example of their parents with impunity, and this horridly narrow minded orthodoxy is an example of intolerance, yes, Muslim intolerance, that cannot be accepted here from anyone–no hypocrisy in that.

I would have asked them if that’s what their parents teach them to do, if they hadn’t taken off seeing me with a bat telling them that this is not fucking Pakistan. And yes, I would have hit one of them if I had gotten shit from all of them or if they decided to be stupid and raise anything against me. I would have also asked why they left Pakistan if they did not want to live in a pluralistic diverse society. And I did tell a Muslim woman a long time ago in her middle eastern restaurant that she was not here to colonize when she got all Puritan Uptight on me and a girlfriend I was kissing at the table for her birthday. Yes, You are not here to colonize, was what I said.

But if they did have hegemony, they would force conversions on western Christians and Jews? I would like to be able to ask, but too many Americans who think they are smarter and more sensitive than I am would flip their lid. And I do ask them this, though, recent arrivals, to their plain-to-see horror and fear.

I do have to take a breath.

We are fickle in our faith. The lack of proof may have something to do with this. How can something we believe without proof maintain itself indefinitely? It can’t, can it?; or can it? What would one have to have in order to hold fast to one’s faith indefinitely? A man or a woman need faith to survive a relationship, no? Trust of the kind necessary in love is in itself what the best kind of faith is. Without faith, which is what feeds the kind of trust we talk about when we say relationships need trust–what is there without faith. The more we learn, the more we understand what we do not know. The more we know we do not know only necessitates degrees of faith to continue living normally.

Faith breeds trust. Trust breeds respect; mistrust is disrespect. With trust we see again the person we love; we see the love once more, gaining a view of not only who we love, but why we love. With trust born of faith we continue to engage life even though we do not know the future and cannot know the future. However, faith without reason is not even faith. A parrot parroting what has been spoken to him is not an act of faith, belief or reason.

It’s faith that Daniel walks into the Lion’s Den with. It’s faith that Job holds onto through his trials and tribulations. I don’t know if it is faith with which the Hebrews enter the partition in the Red Sea–the parting of the waters is proof. No one needed faith. Faith is necessary for belief when reason should raise doubt, at least doubt and not anxiety. But faith, once more, must not be allowed to displace reason.

Faith leads to a kind of knowledge; the knowledge that proof leads a person to is not a rational knowledge. The inferences of faith are rooted in the evidence of things not seen, if I can paraphrase Paul. Again, we are not talking about rational proof. Yet, we must acknowledge that the atheist disbelieves in God on faith as well. He does not have proof of the non-existence of God. His so-called rational proofs for God’s non-existence are rooted in faith-based reason.  There are always leaps in any atheistic logic when it comes to God. Aristotle’s prime mover does not have to be God or a god or gods. Any argument against infinite regression does not have to equal a creator. Yet, neither can the atheist reductio ad absurdumhimself to an uncreated universe.

Faith is complete trust; faith is necessary to perpetuate belief in facts. Facts do need belief; all beliefs need faith. But in response to the Muslim children mntioned above who felt, who believed they could act with impunity and collectively openly taunt and mock and insult young women for how they were dressed is indicative of what a society ruled by Sharia Law would be like–I have no illusions that it would stop with childish insults, not when those childish insults could not have come from their supposedly innocent minds. Sharia Law has no place in America, anymore than does Nazism, fascism or Jim Crow. Sharia Law is not for America, nor is for Americans, any American who wants to live in an open, tolerant, free and democratic society–and yes, I do know that the Germans voted for the Nazis, which is what anyone choosing Sharia Law would be like. Muslims are welcome, but their Sharia Law in place of or next to the Constitution of the United States is an enemy impulse, and if the President were serious about his oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, he would address how Muslims could live in peace in this society, which would be to address how Sharia Law cannot persist when it denies free and unimpeded access to the Laws of the land and rights guaranteed by the Constitution and/or Federal and State laws.

Misogyny is not a religious freedom protected by the First Amendment.

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Written by jvr

June 10, 2019 at 11:14 am

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