Andrew Sullivan loves him some Jesus.
What I meant by the lack of choice [in belief] is that there have been moments in my life when I have indeed sensed the loss of faith or its slackening or, at one moment, its inversion. But even in its inversion - fifteen interminable minutes when I didn't wonder if God existed, but if God really was evil - the despair was lifted by a force greater than my own.
What has kept me believing is not, as I have experienced it, a conscious act of will. It is more an acceptance of God's grace. My experience of Jesus will not let go of me, however much I would like to let go of it. This element of faith - its involuntary pull as well as its voluntary push - is how I have found it.
One can only describe here and say: this is what human life is like.
I mean no more than that, but the internal wrestling never ends. The search for truth must always be first; and religion is nothing if it is not true. Which is why doubt can never be a danger. Banishing doubt is the danger.
Sullivan believes that belief is not a choice because he chooses to believe that God is giving him belief. Sigh. No wonder he's been so wrong about so much.
But thanks to Sully I saw this by Kathryn Jean Lopez:
After a morning of “Obama!” chants, I would have loved to hear some of the crowd — or the president-to-be — join Warren in praying the Lord’s Prayer.
The crowd got into the Rev. Joseph Lowery’s much more entertaining (and controversial) closing prayer, which invited affirmation rather than supplication from those gathered. That prayer went down easier than Warren’s. But we’re not always that into Him when we’re thinking about us.
In a town of doers, it’s easy to forget Him, especially when your daily schedule is all about you — your campaign, your vote, your speech, your award.
But we need to be. Washington ought to take to heart not only the unintentional act of humility we witnessed surrounding the oath of office during the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States, but some of the parting words of the 43rd.
During his final press conference, President George W. Bush, reflecting on his time in office said: “The phrase ‘burdens of the office’ is overstated.”
“Oh, the burdens,” he mocked. “Why did the financial collapse have to happen on my watch?” He dismissed the “Why me?” question. Bush dismissed that question as “self pity.” “It’s just — it’s pathetic, isn’t it?”
Such a manly statement of responsibility and gratitude — and if you heard the whole thing, you know that he knew it was a great privilege to serve — should be an admonishment and a warning to a city of people who stand proud, but should also be willing to drop to their knees asking for forgiveness and, always, humility.
Yes, it is patheic. She believes what she wants to believe, just like Sullivan. The only difference is Sullivan is a bit smarter than Lopez. But then, aren't we all.
Well, maybe not. Peggy Noonan:
And there's a broad feeling one detects, a kind of psychic sense, some sort of knowledge in the collective unconscious, that we lived through magic times the past half-century, and now the nonmagic time has begun, and it won't be over next summer. That's not the way it will work. It will last a while.
There's a sense among many, certainly here in New York, that we somehow had it too good too long, a feeling part Puritan, part mystic and obscurely guilty, that some bill is coming due.
It's just something in the ether, not Bush's policies and Bush's Fed and Bush's party. Who could have known?