“Among the believers” by Tayari Jones and “Salvation” by Langston Huges are unique works among all I read before. This point is based on outstanding message they bring to wide circle of readers. In few words, it can be expressed in next way – understanding of religion is the product of person’s experience during certain life period.
Let’s remind in brief the plots of these two articles. “Among the believers” introduces us curious child who felt herself like a fish out of water in deep religious community. Natural doubts about the truth of Biblical canons made this girl feel herselfstrange among others till she found her ownunoque sense of Glory. In its turn, “Salvation” present us a young boy, who once was brought to church “to come to Jesus” with other young sinners. Under the pressure of congregation this boy was forced to lie that he let the Jesus to come in. Suffering from the lie, his faith is dead untilhe’ll really see and feel the Jesus. It would seem that these two articles are personal stories that have nothing common with the lives of other people. However, this idea is much doubtful. The point is every one of us had some kind of similar experience in childhood or later years. You just need to refresh the memory and compare all the facts. Being under the great influence of readings, I’ve tried to remind experiences that determinedmy attitude to religion today. At first it was difficult to find out the breaking point. However, with the time I reminded the circumstances that impacted my today’s views on religion and spirituality. You see, I was born in usual family that hardly can be called much religious. We’ve rarely visited church and regular prays were out of our family traditions list. In fact, our family was the display of modern approach to biblical canons, featured with tolerance to faith, but no passion to it. In other words, religion was some kind of inherent value that wasn’t disputed and glorified at the same time. From the first years of my lifer I perceived faith in God as something mandatory, that really exists, but do not influence my life at all. This was my view on Bible and faith in general till 8. By reaching mentioned age, I found myself rather curious person. My curiosity was mostly manifested in deep thirst to knowledge. Thereby, I read a lot of books and most of them were of popular-science genre. From a lot of scientific readings, one clear rule became fundamental to me – facts require undoubtful evidences. I do not claim to be a great thinker or scientist. All I want to say that my vision of the world around me is determined by typical way of skeptical thinking.
Approximately, at the age of 11 I’ve asked my father: “Hey, Dad. What is God?”. His answer was unclear: “You see, it is what people all around the Earth believe in and neither I nor you are nothing different to them”. Today, I understand that in this way my father wanted escape from uncomfortable conversation to him, but at that time I found his answer as indirect recognition of God existence’s lack evidences. Probably, from that time my too skeptical views on religion took their roots. From year to year my skepticism was becoming stronger only. The apogee was reached when I became closely acquainted with Darwin’s theory of evolution, approximately at the age of 14. Its strong evidences looked much more convincing than doubtful theory of Earth and humans’ creation by God. From that time my views on religion could much be defined as atheistic. However, this period was not so long as it lasted only for about 1 year. As I understand it today, the crucial experience about my meaning of spirituality took place during one of numerous conversation with my best friend Tom. One day, we began some kind of conversation about God and religion in general. Tom was very much like me with the way of thinking and shared values, thus I assumed that it will be easy to convince my friend in validity of my opinions. As I remember, I’ve said something like that: “Tom, no one of religious canons has equally strong evidences as Darwin’s theory has. Consequently, we have no reasonable ground to be the admirers of faith in God”. Tom’s answer was not one I expected to hear: “Why do you restrict religion with the creation of humans’ only? For example, have you ever heart something about miracles? The facts of their existence raises no doubts, but they cannot be explained from rational point of view. In this regard, no one can deny existence of something that goes beyond the human mind and consciousness. You just have to accept this fact. … In addition, if you seek so much for evidences of God existence, why don’t look proves to refute it”. This phrase was crucial to me, and beginning from that time I’m agnostic. My point is all our views to spirituality are just assumptions. People have no reasons to claim for existence or nonexistence of God, as we simply know nothing about it.
Jones, T. (2005).“Among the believers”.Web 26. Nov. 2011. http://www.tayarijones.com/archives/411
Huges, L. (u.d.). “Salvation”. Web 26 Nov. 2011. http://www.courses.vcu.edu/ENG200-dwc/hughes.htm