Oh, man ... talk about comedic potential:
Have you found religion? Or lost it? If so, the Post Comment section wants to hear your story. In a series beginning today, Faith: Lost and Found, we are publishing the tales of readers whose life-experiences have imbued them with a belief in a higher power --or taken that faith away.
Why, sure, and what better outlet to present a fair and balanced perspective on both sides of the religion issue than Canada's answer to The Drudge Report? I suspect this opening salvo should tell us everything we need to know, as author McCloskey leaves no doubt which side of the fence he's on:
The article described how [Northrop] Frye came to grips with the death of his beloved wife of many years. He began by mentioning the fact that, in 1936, before his academic life began, the author was ordained a United Church minister.
Yet he admitted that during his entire life he had never had faith. Even as the author of the monumental The Great Code: the Bible and Literature, Frye hadn't believed in God. It seems that, for most of his life, he was content to consider all matters of faith as academic.
Yet after his wife died, Frye could no longer sustain an academic distance from his own life. Though he had a masterpiece on the Bible to his credit, on the question of God he now felt the need to go deeper. So he put his giant intellectual motor to work.
What he could not accept was that his wife of a lifetime -- what she had meant to him, the essence of her -- could be reduced to simply a collection of cells that had once lived and were now dead. And since this belief was his strongest impulse, it followed that he must believe that she continued to live in some way. And if this latter belief was really stronger than his former academic belief, he reasoned that this was faith, perhaps not in the accepted pure sense of the word, but what he saw as a negative faith--a default faith.
It was an epiphany. If Northrop Frye believed that the concept of negative faith had merit, that was good enough for me.
After a lifetime of guilt for what I had not been able to believe, Frye's revelation was a welcome relief. Negative faith may not be a fulfilling form of faith -- because it means never really knowing the things we long to know, such as the nature of God and the afterlife.
Well, that is a revelation, isn't it? A religious "faith" based on nothing more than the fact that it makes you feel better. How enlightening. How educational. How ... how ... Church of Scientology, or a hundred other spiritual scams.
And as for any potential fair and balanced, well, let's let McCloskey end the suspense right now, shall we?
But I'll take negative faith with an open mind over the fraudulence of an atheist's claim to knowing what can never be known.
Well, how about that? One wonders what's left to say in the rest of this series? On the one hand, we have the uplifting, emotionally satisfying value of "negative faith" based on nothing more than adorably infantile wishful thinking while, in the opposite corner, we have the closed-minded, fraudulent, intellectual dishonesty of atheism -- at least in the opinion of someone who's so mind-numbingly, jaw-droppingly fucking stupid, he doesn't even know what the word "atheism" means.
I can't wait to read the rest of this series. I always enjoy it when other people make me feel really, really smart.
P.S. If you don't understand the term "atheism," well, let me help you out. And if you still don't understand after reading that, please, for the sake of all of us, don't come back here and whine about it. Just accept that you're too dumb and move on. It'll make life easier for us all.