12.03.2007

The Search For Truth

I just read a cool little article in Wired about "The Golden Compass." I wasn't aware until recently that there are conservative religious groups who are boycotting this film because of its anti-theistic story line. The article suggested that director Chris Weitz had broadened the meaning of the film to include any dogmatic authority, religious or otherwise. Philip Pullman, author of "His Dark Materials" which is the literary basis for "The Golden Compass" is reputed to concur with Weitz that book is ultimately about dogmatic authority more than specific religious entities.

The upshot in my mind is that boycotting a film like this does nothing more than prove that Christians are afraid of challenge. We (I say we to try to bring a little bit of unity to Christendom in this discussion despite my supposition that I have very little in common with the average American boycotter) give credence to the idea that what we believe in is a poorly constructed house of cards that will be downed by the slightest breeze of question.

In reality, at least as I see it, the God I believe in has no desire to create a dogmatic authority on earth by which to control its inhabitants. Rather He seeks relationship with each of us which, like any relationship, will have ups and downs and doubts and joys, etc.

If the foundation for my relationship with God was as fragile as "atheists" say it is and freaked out Christians apparently think it is, then I'd better be picketing every piece of art, rhetoric or legislation that challenges it in any way.

If the foundation for my relationship with God is truth then what can possibly shake it? Are questions about the nature of gravity going to make it hurt any less when I fall? Does an in-depth look into our physical world threaten to unravel its very existence? Of course not. The rub is that we can empirically measure physical properties of the natural world whereas in the spiritual we're left to rely almost exclusively on faith. Does this make the spiritual any less real, any less true? Is the nature of faith so subjective that we each create a truth of our own to govern our lives and potential afterlives?

If it is, then what's all the fuss about?

So bring on the questions. Bring on the winds of scrutiny and doubt. If I'm deluded, I want to know. How else than by a constant search for truth will any of us ever come into even a glimpse of what it may be?

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