F.R. Duplantier reporting Behind The Headlines

Week of:
December 10, 2000
Random Thoughts on Man and His Maker

F.R. Duplantier

by: F.R. Duplantier

Skeptics dismiss religious faith as a "crutch," but isn't a crutch just what we moral cripples need?

How We Use It
There is a disturbing totalitarian trend to technology, but a liberating trend as well, forever expanding our capacity for self-determination and self-expression, beckoning all men to become philosopher-kings. There are good and evil applications for every substance on earth, natural or manmade; our never-ending obligation is to cultivate the wholesome uses and stifle the wicked ones. Electronic brain implants even now are enabling paralytics to communicate freely with their families and friends and to operate household appliances without assistance. What jubilation one must feel to be suddenly reconnected to the world of words and motion! How grateful for the blessings of technology! Innovations that heighten our humanity are to be celebrated; those that barbarize us are to be deplored. The trick is telling which is which.

Outlook Insight
People, for the most part, are either optimists or pessimists. I'm an optimist myself, though I can't really take any credit for it. I had no choice in the matter; I was born that way. It's in my blood: B-Positive, see? Which are you? An optimist or a pessimist? Do you belong to the culture of life, or the culture of death? Do you see a beautiful, boundless, and bountiful world -- or do you see only ugliness, limits, and deprivation? Be careful what you answer, because what you see is a reflection of your own soul.

Not Cutting the Mustard (Seed)
Didn't Jesus say something rather pithy about the folly of a man gaining the world and losing his soul? What are we to think, then, of religious organizations that seem willing to make a similarly shortsighted bargain? Where is the charity in distributing funds forcefully extracted from the taxpayer? Where is the charity in depriving productive citizens of the resources they might have used to make voluntary contributions of their own? Where is the charity in undermining the incentive for self-improvement of the destitute and debauched? Where is the faith of the determined little do-gooders who dare not rely on true charity to fund their efforts? If they had faith, and their good works were demonstrably good, God and their fellow man would ensure their success.

A Prayer for Unbelievers
Maybe you don't see the signs and portents of the great awakening now underway in America. Maybe you're not one of the ever-growing number of lost sheep returning to the fold. Maybe you don't believe in the power of prayer. If you've lost your faith, or never had it, but would like a convincing demonstration of the power of prayer, then this challenge is for you. Find today's date on the calendar. Flip six months ahead and mark that date. Now, starting today, pray for faith. Pray for faith every day, at least once a day, for six months. Pray sincerely, pray with all your heart, and one day -- on or before the date you've marked -- you'll suddenly notice that all your doubts have vanished. In their place you'll find an abiding faith, and you'll never question again the power of prayer.

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