I am Not Resigned

rosesI just found out that a dear friend lost her Mother yesterday. This poem came to my mind and I wanted to share it. Interestingly (given that the last two posts were about doubt) I found this poem by reading Martin Gardner, the famous skeptic for Scientific American. Skeptic, though he was, he made a choice to believe in God. This poem became the basis for explaining his theistic worldview to others: He was not resigned.

Dirge without Music

by Edna St. Vincet Millay
I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, — but the best is lost.

The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

Well, I tried…

My shoulder became so painful yesterday I couldn’t even do my job. Very scary. I’m going to see a surgeon now. But  I think my BCC experiment is on hold, unfortunately. I need to concentrate on using my arm as little as possible for now, which means I have to cut out blogging again. *Sigh*

BCC Watch: Why do Mormons that Lose Their Faith Become Atheists?

I read an interesting article at BCC today by Brad Masters. He gives his views (within the context of a Sunday School New Testament style lesson) as to why Mormons that lose their faith also seem to lose their faith in Jesus Christ.

A few thoughts. First, I suspect he’s right that Mormons tend to lose their faith in Jesus Christ when they lose their faith in Mormonism, but do we actually have any statistics to back this assumption up? Continue reading

BCC Watch: Hope, Atonement, and Islam

My goal to read BCC for a month continues. Here are three posts I liked.

SteveP writes a good post on not losing one’s faith because you don’t like some aspect of the Church.

Blair Hodges writes about the various ways Christians over the centuries have understood the atonement. I enjoyed his point that the atonement was about healing relationships (specifically with God, but also with others).

I also enjoyed this post by Michael Austin about Islam as a religion of peace.

On that last one, I wrote a Facebook post a while back on the same subject. My view is a bit different. I think this is not a religious problem, per se, so much as a political problem. Religions that control states are dangerous, but they aren’t the same as religions that don’t. “Islam” is a term we use for both types as if they aren’t really very different things.

My BCC Thoughts: On Faith and Choice

There is an interesting post at BCC today called “On Faith and Choice.” The thing I find most interesting about it is that I feel like I wrote it in another life or something. It just sounds too much like me.

Though the post doesn’t really make any specific point (the author notes this), let me see if I can make a related point.

I do believe that faith and choice are universal. We all do both — and we all do both in large measures, though not necessarily in the same way or even in the same amounts over the same things.

I seem to be a very natural skeptic. I joke that even legitimate prescription drugs won’t work on me because of the nocebo effect. Luckily I am not a cynic, however (though after this post you’ll wonder if that’s true or not!)

Not all of us have the same capacity for spirituality nor the same capacity for belief in a spiritual world. Sam (the posts author) points to the very same D&C passage I use to talk about this. We don’t come to earth with the same spiritual strengths and gifts.

We do, however, all have a capacity to improve our spirituality — that is to say, we are all spiritual to some degree. Continue reading