Turns out, faith isn’t the answer

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to an editorial made by Fr. Jon Schnobrich in your March 21 edition, entitled ÒFaith is the answer,Ó which was itself a response to an earlier editorial by a student struggling with issues of faith.

I havenÕt personally read the studentÕs original column, so IÕm not privy to the details of her predicament, but this should prove largely irrelevant here as I will not be addressing the content of the original letter, only the content of SchnobrichÕs response.

In response to the FatherÕs response I must say: faith really is not the answer Ð thatÕs ridiculous.

LetÕs take a relatively innocuous belief once held in Catholicism to illustrate the shortcomings of faith and leave the whole child molestation, gay-hating, condoms-are-worse-than-AIDS, sexual repressive nasty bits aside for today.

Every school child knows that the sun is the center of the solar system, and that the Earth and all the other planets revolve around it, making an orbit every year and so on in what is called the Ôheliocentric modelÕ of the solar system.

The old model detailing how the solar system was once thought to be arranged is the Ôgeocentric modelÕ, so called because it Ñ intuitively, but wrongly so Ñ placed the Earth at the center of the solar system.

This to ancient astronomers appeared perfectly reasonable given their limited data and technology, relative to modern day.

The geocentric model was taken as fact for centuries until a little-known astronomer named Copernicus came by in the 1500Õs and presented the more accurate heliocentric model which explained some orbital aberrations astronomers were seeing with their new-fangled Òtelescopes,Ó and was quickly adopted over a couple of centuries or so, despite heavy opposition by the Church, and is now regarded as general knowledge.

Do you know when the Catholic Church officially accepted the heliocentric model as true? 1992. No, IÕm not kidding. It was 1992.

While giving Galileo Galilei a pardon 350 years after his death, the Church was finally forced to admit that the heliocentric model was valid. Better late than never I suppose. Except not.

It is this strong denial of proved fact that is essential to the faith of which Fr. Schnobrich speaks. To have faith, or to have belief in a ÒFaith,Ó such as Catholicism, is by definition to believe something without evidence. And to believe without evidence is in essence to just make a conjecture.

The vast majority of what religion claims has either absolutely no evidentiary support or is fundamentally untestable.

In fact if there were strong evidence for the claims of religion, such as the existence of a God or gods, then that would be part of science, not religion.

ThatÕs how science works Ð it takes the best evidence produced from experiment and constructs theories to best explain the phenomena tested.

When the claims being made by a religion contradict all known fundamental principles of how the universe works, one must ask how these claims are being derived.

Are these people somehow more privy to the underpinnings of the universe than all the vetted, experiment-based evidence to the contrary; or are they fundamentally just making conjecture? I would have to say the latter.

And just as the former Pope may make the conjecture that his omnipotent-deity-buddy-who-talks-to-him-personally-concerning-the-moral-direction-of-all-mankind would like that he step down from his infallible position, I too make the conjecture that the new infallible Pope will contradict the old infallible Pope and in at least some small way and thus bring that whole Òpapal infallibilityÓ thing into question…

And also heÕs really a white unicorn named Zappy who farts out ham sandwiches to homeless people. See how conjecture doesnÕt make something true?

And if you can see that, then the reason why faith is not the answer to anything but ignorance should also be clear.

If not, may the PopeÕs omnipotent deity buddy help you.




Rev. Anthony Yasi

Universal Life Church