Faith gives a person a certain power and confidence, a comfortable and secure belonging to a group that one trusts, and the fellowship that arises from that association. Inside the hyper-energized white evangelical Christian nationalist society in America today, they believe that “the world is basically divided between those who worship the one true God,” and everybody else. Unbalanced, extreme interpretations of all world religions claim this same mandate. How can that be? Who is right? Who is wrong? What is the truth?
But if faith is like a sword, the sharper edge of that sword can drive a person down a narrow path that does not respect other points of view, imbued with a severe purpose that is stubbornly unshakable. In many contexts, this kind of determination can manifest as a good quality that will deliver successful, sometimes incredible results.
But in some cases, blind faith can drive people to seriously harm non-believers outside their circle, and also members inside their circle for purposes of accountability and enforcement.
The disastrous irony of blind faith is that it motivates people to do harmful things that, in their heads, they believe are good, right, just, noble and necessary to serve the principles of their faith. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence. When perception is your reality, it doesn’t seem to matter as much what you believe in, but more so, how hard you believe it. What can you say to a person like this to convince them otherwise? Heads are chopped off, in the name of faith; horrific endless wars are waged that kill thousands, in the name of faith.
I ask you, is there a more powerful and sharper double-edged sword in our world than blind faith to one religion?
Israel and Palestine: The Complete History by Ian Carroll
The Immoral Majority: Why Evangelicals Chose Political Power over Christian Values by Ben Howe
The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer