The State of the Union

today’s NY times column by Nicholas Kristof , my favorite columnist, cites the recent Gallup findings that 46 percent of Americans describe themselves as “born-again” or “evangelical” Christians. moreover, almost twice as many Americans believe in creationism than in evolution (48 to 28 percent) despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary.

i guess what worries me is not “the way you find God”. after all, anything that creates in people the desire to love, to give, to live in truth has got to have something going for it. but i worry that the increasing nature of these beliefs (the overwhelming majority of new conversions, especially in developing countries, is, surprise surprise, evangelical–increased by 36 times in Africa in the last century) is a reaction to the constantly changing war, controversies, and global information of today. at some level, it seems, it’s just easier to recede into a static belief system.

i respect Kristof greatly, who ends his column by saying “both sides need to reach out, [and] drop the contempt”, but i worry. the process for me to move out of my belief “shell” for the first time nearly destroyed my faith in God, and i don’t wish that on anyone.

UPDATE: an interesting quote found in this movie file: “the idea that we are in control of our lives is just an illusion created by the left hemisphere of the brain”. hmm . . .