Our Faith

Our faiths are each our own
no matter what we call ourselves–

Catholic or Baptist or Mormon
Muslim or Buddhist or Jew
Hindu or Atheist or Pagan
Taoist or Agnostic or Jain.

Though we share values with millions,
the kernels of our faith,
the beliefs, the impulses,
the imperatives, the morals,
the experiences that compel us
to be who we are,
to act as we act,
these are ours alone,
unique to each of us
just as our DNA.

If our faith is merely bargain,
exchanging virtue for reward
in this life or the next,
then our faith is cheap.
We gain nothing.

If our faith is bound
by finite symbols
which alone must be obeyed,
then our faith is simple.
It’s time for us to grow.

If our faith calls us
to punish anyone
for merely questioning,
then our faith is craven.
We must embrace uncertainty.

If our faith won’t tolerate
differing notions
that do not voice
Literal Agreement
then our faith is weak.
We must find strength.

If our faith calls us
to look on anyone else
as Other,
or Different
or Unworthy,
then our faith is blind.
We must learn to see.

If our faith does not
call us to love all
unconditionally,
then our faith is barren.
We will each die alone.

If our faith calls us
to kill a single person,
for any reason whatsoever,
then our faith is Evil.
We must renounce it
or be damned.

A Good Faith teaches us how to live together,
not why to kill one another.

A Loving Faith shows us to value all people,
not to ignore some.

A Sensitive Faith compels us to embrace differences,
not reject them.

A Strong Faith is not troubled by doubt,
but instead welcomes it.

A Courageous Faith asks questions with joy
instead of asserting certainty.

A Growing Faith listens to new ideas;
it never hides from them.

A Substantial Faith is its own reward,
not a conduit to some other desire.

When this is truly Our Faith,
We will have Heaven on Earth.