Faith can be defined by religion, but does it have to be?
Religion defines itself on doctrine, behavior, ritual, text, the Transcendent, etc. Although the religious can have faith in these religious 'convictions", faith does not have to be defined in such a way.
Everyone has faith of some kind.
The scientist has faith in the ability of reason to come to understand the physical universe. And the psychologist has faith that there is something universal about "the human".
Although faith has been defined by some as evidenced in one's life, is this necessarily so? It is only if one is presupposing that faith is in some kind of belief system.
Faith can be in life itself.
Humans create, understand and "make meaning" out of their existence, this is part of being human. The attempt to create, understand and "make meaning" out of life, is faith in "life itself".
Life in America is a "promise" of opportunity because humans are equal under law. The "ideal" of our society is tolerance. Without tolerance, life is narrowed, defined, and valued only for coforming to certain values defined by certain groups. This is why human expression is protected under law in our Bill of Rights.
Americans do not believe in "the Divine Right of Kings", because we believe that government is to protect our freedom, not provide "our definitions". The first stage of a rising dictator is limitation upon the press and providing "proper definitions" of press coverage about public interests and concern. The press in our country holds government accountable to the people, as it is to report to the people what their Representatives are thinking and legislating. America's business is the "people's business".
We are a people defined by no one tradition, as we are a "melting pot" and this was the Founder's intent in the "Establishment Clause". We are not free from religion, but free of religion.
Americans are a "free people", as we value the individual's pursuit of life and liberty.
Faith in our country's values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, is enough faith for me.
Summer Inductive Bible Study
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