Moral living doesn’t require God’s input

Zech Wheeler, Campus Editor

I think most people view life without God as something bleak.

I can’t verify this notion, or at least I’m not willing to put forth the effort at this time to find out.

I’m going to assume that most people who invest themselves in a faith feel like they would be lost without it.

Recently, I informed a co-worker of mine that I was getting married. My co-worker (a woman named Carleen) told me that she was very excited for me and my fiancé.

Whenever I told her it was a secular wedding, her demeanor instantly changed. It was as though she couldn’t be happy for me.

“Any relationship that’s going to last has to have God in it,” she told me.

Does it?

Does it really matter if I’m Christian or not? Does the love that my spouse and I share mean nothing if we don’t harbor faith in another being?

 It’s my belief that a relationship is a mutual agreement between individuals. It’s as simple as that, and more complex than I could adequately articulate on this page.

Whether or not a relationship works depends on each partner.

Marriage to me represents many things: establishing yourself as a responsible adult, committing yourself to someone who is going to befriend you and love you, someone that is going to look out for you and have you, in turn, look out for them.

I get upset when people emphasize the importance of the nuclear family. I wasn’t raised in a standard environment. My parents divorced. I came out of a tumultuous childhood and found myself in the care of my grandparents. I owe everything to them.

But why would they be fit to raise a child? They’re old, right? They don’t fit the standard. The elderly aren’t fit to raise a child.

They’ll teach him the old ways. His views might be different. He won’t see the world the same way.

That’s true. Call me old-fashioned. They taught me to love. They taught me to forgive. My grandmother taught me how to forgive myself. That’s probably the most important thing I’ve ever learned. My grandfather taught me perseverance. My grandmother taught me patience.

They tried to instill the love of God in me. For a time I believed in God.

Then I learned. I started to ask questions. I found doubt, and doubt was humble. Humility was something I had learned from my grandparents. It all started to make sense: nothing I had been taught about God made sense.

I still learned morality. I still learned about how to prioritize things in my life. I learned how important family truly was. I saw the world in a different way.

My only real hope was that I wasn’t alone in my doubt.

I’m not. I have encountered the most beautiful people, all of them drawing from different walks of life, each with new ideas.

My friends were stardust. We all realized this and it brought us closer together. We were the broken remnants of things, the fractured hopes of a generation that had given up some time ago.

We were hopeless. Or so it would seem.

Things seem hopeless when you don’t appear to have direction. I think that’s the mentality behind it. People need to give themselves an excuse to keep going.

I think it makes sense because we desperately seek to preserve ourselves. If we have a reason to preserve the soul, then we become completely secure in our way of thinking.

To jeopardize that is to jeopardize the soul; people will defend their faith as though their life depended on it, because in their mind it does.

That’s another reason the traditional idea of family is so ingrained in the same ideas. It’s all about preserving ourselves.

If a couple doesn’t do that, they don’t fit into the status quo.

They won’t help the species survive. Part of the object of the Bible was to keep cultures from teetering on the brink of destruction.

Onan wasn’t punished because he lay with his brother’s wife. He was punished for not producing a family, for not keeping the line going. Christianity, at its core, is about survival.

As an allegory, I can understand the aim of Christian faith. I can understand why it holds the position it does.

What I can’t understand is why, in an age of logic and reason, people still have to take it upon themselves to act out against people who follow different ideals.

Maybe we’ll never have peace. I don’t know.

If there’s anything I’ve learned it’s this: I have seen the best in people from radically different backgrounds, all connected by uncertainty who seek to enjoy the simple beauty we can find in this world.

We value companionship. We value learning, and understanding. We debate, but we aren’t intolerant. We argue, but we’re not violent.

It’s frustrating to see the world as it is. If only things were as simple as they are amongst friends, then maybe the world would really appreciate lovers and value those who ask questions.

Maybe.