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Re: Uncertainty and religion
Posted By: Melanie, on host
Date: Monday, September 24, 2001, at 13:18:09
In Reply To: Re: Uncertainty and religion posted by Brunnen-G on Sunday, September 23, 2001, at 20:36:58:

> > > There's another phenomenon that is interesting and encouraging to see. Prayer is politically correct again. Nobody's crying separation of church and state (which I believe in to the point of freedom OF religion, but not freedom FROM religion) to stop God from appearing anywhere in the public eye. Newspaper headlines are talking about a "nation in prayer." President Bush and other members of the government have been advocating prayer. Shortly after the attacks, the government *conducted* times of prayer for those in the nation that wished to participate and use the time to give thoughts and wishes and supplications to God to remember those that passed away and to support their families and friends.
> >
> > It is encouraging to me that in this time of great need, we are not denying the One who can meet them by clinging to the belief that by recognizing God as a nation, we are somehow infringing on one's personal freedom to choose whether to worship God or not and how.
> This is a reaction that has interested me over the past week. People's beliefs seem to polarise after a huge tragedy like this, and with all the upcoming uncertainty. The "letters to the editor" pages have been full of two types of letter: those who are turning more strongly to religion as a result of the attacks, and those who are turning *away* from it because they feel that the recent events prove either that there is no God, or if there is he doesn't care what happens to us. (Note: I'm NOT asking for a huge debate about why this is right or wrong. I'm just commenting that these are the two reactions I've seen among the general public.)
> I don't suppose anybody who already *had* strongly held views would have changed them because of this. However, I think a lot of the fence-sitters have stepped off to one side or the other.
> Question: What effect did current events have on your religious beliefs? If you had a strongly held viewpoint already, what effect did that viewpoint have on your reaction?

I have looked elsewhere for hope since this incident occured. I have a decidedly odd religion, which I won't go into but which contains a lot of different religious beliefs plus my own ideas, but I have been recently looking to it for comfort. When it first happened I did not so much. I hoped that the people who died or are dying did not suffer too much, although I know some did and some still are, but a deity did not come into it. Yet once the idea of war came up I became afraid. A lot of people were circulating a rumor about WW3 and the possibility of the end of the world. A few people dying does not bother me, but the annihalation of the entire world of people, and with nuclear weapons possibly of everything on the planet, horrified me. So I prayed. I prayed that no matter what happened that the earth wouldn't be destroyed and life would go on, and I prayed that people would not kill themselves and possibly everything out of hatred of one event. I, myself, almost never feel the need for a deity or for hope, and often come close to athiesm. This event did not change my viewpoint on religion, I still believe pretty much the same as I did before, but it made me feel insecure in a way nothing else has ever been able to.