I was raised Roman Catholic. My mother was from a religiously strict Irish Catholic upbringing and believed most of the literal interpretations of the Bible. Offenses and even atrocities committed by Christianity were ignored in my family. Any questions about religion that included the words “how do we know” are answered with the  “Faith” answer. It was intellectually easy to dismiss such questions with the “Faith” response.

In High School Physics my teacher taught that Physics was “an explanation of how everything behaves”. This was the exact opposite of what I was taught in church and in Sunday School. How was I to be intellectually honest if I simply used the “F” word as an answer to anything. That’s where the two worlds of my youth collided. You have to have faith versus an explanation of how everything behaves. In that moment the word “Faith” as an answer vanished from my vocabulary. I realized that Faith is a deflection of the most fundamental questions in life. It is a cop-out, a way of giving up and not feeling guilty about it. It is a way of telling me not to think and learn. And when you give up the desire to think and learn you are easily controlled. This is a classic technique in cults used to convert followers. With faith you can be told and convinced of anything. At that point you are helpless. There are many ironies throughout religion but none more controlling or dangerous than the “have faith” argument. The irony is: If we are made as thinking beings by a supposed perfect being then we should never ignore such a gift in favor of the ignorance required by organized religion.

What luck for rulers that men do not think.

– Adolph Hitler

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