Monday, May 18, 2009
Obama: "Doubt Causes Faith!"
Obama spoke at the Notre Dame commencement yesterday, and despite predictions from some "pro-lifers," was not struck by lightning. By most accounts he gave an excellent speech. I'll leave the abortion topic for others to deconstruct, but I want to touch on another topic he covered.
"In this world of competing claims about what is right and what is true, have confidence in the values with which you’ve been raised and educated. Be unafraid to speak your mind when those values are at stake. Hold firm to your faith and allow it to guide you on your journey. Stand as a lighthouse.
But remember too that the ultimate irony of faith is that it necessarily admits doubt. It is the belief in things not seen. It is beyond our capacity as human beings to know with certainty what God has planned for us or what He asks of us, and those of us who believe must trust that His wisdom is greater than our own.
This doubt should not push us away from our faith. But it should humble us. It should temper our passions, and cause us to be wary of self-righteousness. It should compel us to remain open, and curious, and eager to continue the moral and spiritual debate that began for so many of you within the walls of Notre Dame. And within our vast democracy, this doubt should remind us to persuade through reason, through an appeal whenever we can to universal rather than parochial principles, and most of all through an abiding example of good works, charity, kindness, and service that moves hearts and minds."
ARRRRRGHHHHH! This is so frustrating. Here is one of the most intelligent people on earth, in front of a crowd of future leaders, taking a few minutes to encourage belief in things that can't be observed or proven! Is this responsible behavior?
Does this work in any realm other than religion. If I'm lucky enough to one day give a commencement address, is it acceptable for me to spend time talking about holding true to belief in resquartervantites? After all, there is no proof for the existence of resquartervantites, you can't see them, they don't actually communicate with you, but if you just close your eyes, click your heels three times, and believe hard enough they can help you to do all kinds of good things. Forget acceptable, would it even be responsible?
Come on Mr. President, doubt shouldn't push us away from faith?! People doubt because there is no evidence supporting claims of faith. I certainly hope you don't use this kind of logic in making foreign policy decisions.
"I kind of doubt that the Iranians have done away with that nuclear weapons program. But you know what, doubt really shouldn't interfere with my faith that they have. No further action required."
I hope he doesn't actually believe this hoooey, and it's all just a show for the believer electorate. While I'm not normally comforted by politicians lying, that scenario just seems more palatable than the idea that the leader of the most powerful country on earth believes in an imaginary sky friend.