Monday, April 17, 2006


Some thoughts on belief and faith, part 2

I listened to NPR All Things Considered Commentator, Laurel Snyder, talking about her Jewish and Christian family. She comes from an interfaith marriage, and through a deal struck when her parents married, was raised Jewish. Her marriage is also interfaith. Her comments concerned the blending of the two traditions, and specifically the Passover Seder and Easter.

She said, “I feel upset by interfaith seders, by the attempted blending of faiths; maybe because I am the product of such blending.” And “If I don’t believe something, I might just end up a watered down version of nothing.” Finally, she says “When you blend mysteries of two faiths, what’s left of either?”

So what is left when you blend the traditions of two faiths? Is it true that if you don’t believe something, you might just end up a watered down version of nothing?

I don’t know about traditions. I think that trying to maintain the immediacy and efficacy of a tradition means that you don’t fool with it. However, adding traditions, such as a Christian Passover Seder, yes, I think that is cool.

I do know this - not believing in “something” is not the same as believing in nothing. Faith does not really need an object – a god, or even a pantheon of gods. What WE need is belief that life matters. We all find that where we can.

I’m not completely sure that faith requires even so much as belief that OUR life matters.


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