Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thinking of St. Thomas

Yesterday the Church remembered St. Thomas the Apostle.  He is best known as Doubting Thomas, because when the other disciples told him they have seen Jesus after the cross, he did not believe them.  He wanted to see it for himself.  Don't we all?

Here is one monk's thought:
Thomas, rather than the scapegoat, is for me the hero among the disciples. For me, Thomas will always stand for the person who gets the news second-hand, the person who wasn’t there when the miracle took place….Which is why I find Thomas such a powerful witness. Thomas dares to express for me, perhaps for many of us, the meandering doubts that can wander through our minds, about whether it really happened.
-Br. David Vryhof
Society of Saint John the Evangelist
You can read his whole sermon here.

Thinking about doubt and faith, here is an excellent piece...

A Christian on Hitchens' Atheism and Lowe's Muslim Problem

An excerpt:
David Caton owes me one. I interviewed the head of the Florida Family Association last week during his bigoted but successful crusade to get companies like Lowe's to pull ads from All-American Muslim, the Learning Channel reality show about a community of Muslim Americans. Before Caton hung up on me -- he gets angry when you question his complaint that the show presents Muslims in too positive a light and not as crazed radicals plotting to impose Islamic shari'a law from Maine to Monterey -- I corrected his pronunciation of imam, a Muslim cleric, from Eye-mam to the proper Ee-mawm. Later that day, I heard him say it properly on CNN.

But that's all he got right. I concern myself with Caton -- who also likes to hire small planes to haul banners over Orlando warning people that homosexuals visit Disney World -- only for two reasons. One is that a major corporation like Lowe's actually caved to the Evangelical's ugly Islamophobia. The other is that he got his 15 minutes of fame at about the same time that Christopher Hitchens died, on Dec. 15. Hitchens was best known as one of the "angry atheists" for his 2007 best seller God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, and narrow-minded fundamentalists like Caton made his work a lot easier. So of course did extremist Muslims, as well as extremist Roman Catholics, Jews, Hindus and all the fanatics who ruin religion the way drunks ruin driving. Which is why Hitchens' attacks on faith, while brilliantly written, could also feel gratuitous.
Read the whole article from!
With all due respect to the memory of Christopher Hitchens, making the here and now better would be difficult without religion. But it's also hard enough without the un-Christian antics of people like David Caton. As Christmas ought to remind us.

And always remember, the opposite of faith is not doubt but fear.

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