Sunday, January 25, 2015

Blind Faith

I'm tired of the phrase "blind faith." Lots of non-religious people use it to offend those who are religious, and it's used so frequently, that even religious people now speak of faith as though there are two forms: just the regular old "faith" and "blind faith." I've heard many Latter-day Saints who are quick to explain that they have more than just "blind faith"—that they are not following the prophets and apostles blindly and that they are thoughtful in who and what they follow. They are immediately defensive in the way they talk about faith. I think that should stop. For a few reasons:

1) Assuming that there is such a thing as "blind faith" and then distancing yourself from that kind of faith perpetuates the idea that whenever we speak of faith, we have to determine who is smart and faithful and who is ignorant and faithful. It perpetuates the idea that there are people of faith in God who are not as smart, not as thoughtful, and are therefore lesser people. The idea is that "we follow God and His prophets because we have thought about it, and we are smart, but they are simple and ignorant, and that kind of faith is bad or worthy of attack.

2) How is the faith of a person who is not smart ever worthy of attack? Some people are smart, and some people are not. Some people can explain why they have faith in God, and some people can't. Big deal. Who cares?

3) When you get right down to it, faith is trust. Let's pull out the dictionary . . . Merriam-Webster.com says it's "strong belief or trust in someone." Wikipedia says it's "confidence or trust in a being, object, living organism, deity, view, or in the doctrines or teachings of a religion." We have all—every one of us—put our trust in something in this world. I have put my trust in surveyors and travelers and have faith that there are lands across the sea, even though I've never been to them. I also have faith that my dentist knows what he's doing when he fixes my teeth. I have faith that the leaders of my country are generally trying to do what's best. And yet. I don't feel the need to constantly explain myself to others about such things. I don't have to say, "Oh, I have faith in democracy. But it's not a blind faith. I think democracies are good because of x, y, and z." I also don't expect everyone else to explain their faiths to me, nor do I think that if they can't, they must be dumb.

Let's stop using the term "blind faith," okay? It's derogatory and belittling. If someone says they are a person of faith, let them have it. Assume that they have that faith for good reason.


Thing I'm thankful for: April L.

1 Comments:

Blogger cardlady said...

Good blog. I agree. Dad thinks you are right. Liberals say that alot.

4:32 PM  

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