Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Back folks. I renew my apology. This has been the busiest time of any year in recent memory. Something had to give—and I’m afraid it was this blog.

I note that Jeff Wismer of Beltway Atheists has posted a number of times. Correct me if I’m wrong, Jeff, but I believe you grew up in a Christian home. Didn’t you tell me that? We had a nice visit here at our ministry center the day we dedicated the Ten Commandments monument.
We have a similar life story, but only in this way: You apparently rejected the faith of your youth, while I rejected the atheism of my youth. I was raised in a dyed-in-the-wool liberal Democrat home. Our religion was a careful blend of liberal / nominal Reformed Judaism, agnosticism and humanism. My upbringing was much closer to where you are now.

My father, whom I love very much and consider my greatest mentor, gave me the best of his advice when he told both my brother and me to “search for truth.” I did and it paid off. I found, “The Way, the Truth and the Life.” (You know Who He is, don’t you?)

Especially in His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus was to me, in the first encounter, the greatest humanist who ever lived. Then, the logical lens through which my father taught me to look at the world demanded I resolve the age-old conflict: How could Jesus be the greatest humanist if he lied about his identity? I either had to take Him at His whole word, or doubt everything. So, I tested it. Putting aside my arrogant, demagogic, self-centered, narcissistic egoism, I asked, “What is it about Jesus that would prove He is not the Son of God?” Hmmm. Only my opinion remained.

The other day I debated Barry Lynn of the so-called Americans United for Separation of Church and State. In the make-up room with us was a woman (I’m embarrassed that I can’t remember her name) of a political organization representing secularists; maybe you know her. She identified herself as an atheist. I asked if atheists ever have doubts about their convictions the way we Christians often do about ours. She confidently asserted she does not. I asked if she could help me to gain such an unwavering confidence. She didn’t answer.

My point is to appeal to your other, non-activist side, Jeff. The best advice I’ve received outside of my dad’s was from Dr. Doug Louie, a Chinese-American psychologist and man of deep Christian faith. In my formative days as a minister, he said, “Rob, you will do well in your ministry if you remember it is never what people say or do that matters, but only why they say or do it.” Those words have really served me well over the years.

Jeff, you might take a little quiet time, in the privacy of your own soul, to ask why it is you say and do the things you do. That exercise has paid out richly for me.

I truly enjoyed our short conversation at our ministry center. You’re welcome back any time. I’d love to continue the exchange. You may be surprised just how similar we really are. I admire your activism. I can’t wait until it is in the service of your Creator!


Jeff Wismer said...

I think we are similar...and I think we share a equal desire and passion for what we do, in fact as you know I once shared your passion in Religion...the difference is you chose to remain blind, as where I decided to open my eyes to world around me.

Jeff Wismer said...

The bottom line is Schenck...people like you easily take on the power that your position gives you, and you take that in stride with your passions and desires to serve your god, and I totally understand that mental state of irrationality. Once you take on that power, you believe strongly in what you're doing, much like the president and his irrational behavior demonstrates, and thus you use that power. But what you can't understand b/c you're blind to it, is that with great POWER, comes even greater Responsibility...and ACCOUNTABILITY. You can't talk on behalf of a supernatural being which is unquestionably given ultimate authority by the people who believe in it, and you don't want to be held accountable for it, b/c it's from your belief. Based on your History, and your Present you continue to act Irresponsibily and dodge accountability whenever you are confronted with it.

Since I don't think anyone else reads this blog except a few of your fanatical groupies, I think I can confortably say that I'm the ONLY one holding your accountable for your actions, and you're deeply concerned and bothered by it, b/c you're not used to that sort of thing, or you dodge accountability by threatening others with lawyers and petitions. That's doesn't sound very "manly" to me...but then again, you don't believe in naturalism/humanity like I you, your god was half supernatural being, and therego the paradox and inherent unhealthy nature of your whole ideological dogmatic religion.