Responding to Nelson Hart's article ("You may call me a 'None,'" Aug. 5), Kent Fry wrote ("Doubt not antithetical to faith," Aug. 8): "It would be helpful if the religiously affiliated could express in our worship congregations that doubt is not antithetical to faith." I agree. Doubt means being aware of the “facts” that religion asserts, but being uncertain about the authenticity of those facts. Honestly, if we are humble enough, we must all agree with the Bible that “God” is beyond human understanding. So our certainty about “God” is misplaced.
As a newcomer in Holland, I was invited to attend church services by well-meaning friends. I had the impression that church leaders knew with certainty who God was and what he wanted from us. In fact, sometimes it seemed that the ministers were talking about me when they, with great certainty, proclaimed that all nonbelievers would be sent to hell. I am now grateful that some congregations have moved beyond warnings about hell to finding ways to live peacefully together with mutual respect and appreciation.
Kent also mentioned that "none of us can avoid being affiliated." I agree, but being religiously-unaffiliated doesn't mean that we avoid any affiliation or that we live in a self-imposed "solitary confinement." Being unaffiliated means we do not devote our commitment or loyalty to one single "club." We embrace wisdom from many sources.
Once a wise sage warned his followers not to trust anything written or told, even when the advice came from him because people are corruptible and will exaggerate the truth to gain personal notoriety/fame. Rather, he said that we should always put that "wisdom" into practice and when it benefits the whole community without harming or discriminating anyone, then it is worthy of being embraced.
H. Bin Lim