Frye Lake, Shoshone National Forest, Wyoming

Frye Lake, Shoshone National Forest, Wyoming


Monday, February 24, 2014


Religion loses relevance as secular society evolves - so why waste time and creative energy criticizing it?  I live in Florida, in a peaceful neighborhood of Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Christians and atheists.  Although within the "bible belt", we are a blend of harmonious, tolerant neighbors.  None of us feel marginalized, angry, militant, or the need to defend our faith/nonfaith.  Krishnamurti said, "The constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear."  I submit that the constant asssertion of nonbelief is also an indication of fear. 

As a Marine and atheist for 24 years, I personally benefited from the empathy and compassion I received from chaplains.  The anxiety of wounded troops was also significantly alleviated by the calming, comforting presence of clergy. 

As a hospice patient/family counselor (LCSW) for 13 years, I worked with clergy who validated and supported the faith and beliefs of dying patients.  This was of immense comfort to patients, and respectful of their diverse values and cultures.  Indeed, clergy support was an essential aspect of pain management.  We hospice staff (along the entire belief continuum) respected and supported the religious beliefs of dying patients and their families. 
In my 73 years, I've watched church attendance dwindle, and churches, mosques and temples sold.  I'm not smug, nor do I gloat about this.  It simply means that people are discovering their own truths, and losing faith in their old mythologies.  I'm a fascinated observer of the process.
Will Walsh    © 2014

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