Sometimes I think I'm not a very good atheist, and then something will happen that solidifies the ground under my feet. (A spiritual person would probably describe that as having their faith shaken.)
The other morning I was lying abed, clinging to the warmth of the blankets while trolling through commercial free movie channels. I found the movie Resurrection, starring Ellen Burstyn and Sam Shepard. It was released in 1980, when I was but a blushing 24 years old.
Ellen Burstyn played a faith healer, the real deal, with no particular spiritual affiliation. In fact, her boyfriend, played by Sam Shepard, demanded that she claim Christ as the source of her healing powers and she refused. Conflict.
It's actually a very bad movie, shot in a movie-of-the-week style, with a saccharine script, and overly sentimental - puppies, and kids with cancer on their last trip to Disneyland, that kind of thing.
But at the time I LOVED this movie and the only explanation at which I could arrive is that, at that time, I really wanted to believe. Sometimes I still do, but I can find no sustainable evidence to believe in the supernatural.
Now I'm bordering on NOT wanting to believe because supernatural interference in the physical world would create untenable chaos. If the laws of physics were bent based on prayer or other worldly intervention what would be the motive to love, to work, to cherish, to care? If we could not predict outcomes based on our behaviors and the behavior of the physical world we would become paralyzed.
It happened with Bush and Cheney: creating, living in, and imposing an alternate reality that had little to do with truth. Look how that paralyzed the world, and the damage that has done. We're just a few days away from a chance to live in truth. Why would I pray for anything else?
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Mark 9:24 KJV