This I Believe: A Statement About My Religious Beliefs

From all-creatures.org
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion
Articles Archive

Vegan - Vegetarian - Human Rights - Animal Rights - People - Animals - Love - Compassion - Peace - Justice - Righteousness - God - Bible - Jewish - Christian - Jesus - Christ - Holy Spirit - Soul - Spirit - Wisdom - Knowledge - Environment

This I Believe: A Statement About My Religious Beliefs

From David Gerow Irving (author of The Protein Myth)
December 2012

For the entire essasy, read the PDF

THE REASONS FOR THIS STATEMENT
 
Agnosticism/atheism was a philosophy that I formerly embraced but which I abandoned long ago.  I originally saw this belief system as expressive of a minority view in society among the intellectual elite and, in part, a reaction against certain quarters within the religious sector which tried to impose control over people’s lives.  I left it behind because it seemed rather apparent that  neither agnosticism nor athieism could lead to the truth.  I also learned that often people who insisted they did not believe in God really were saying that they did not believe in the church.  Church, to them, meant the same thing as God. 
 
In the ensuing decades agnosticism/atheism has grown by leaps and bounds so that today it often occupies a majority position in control of many social settings, commercial and noncommercial, where, in a manner formerly employed by religion, it imposes a kind of societally sanctioned block on the free expression of belief.  This is especially true for topics related to Christianity such as church, Jesus, the Bible, heaven and hell, and even God.  I have found it especially disturbing to observe how people who express belief or interest in spiritual matters in these situations often find themselves ostracized or categorized as intellectually inferior when the authority of this philosophy is superimposed upon them.  For me, the existence of a spirit world of which mind is a manifestation is obvious, and to exclude the topic from debate is to limit the search for truth.  What follows, therefore, is an effort to push back against the domination of free expression of belief from any corner in any form whatsoever wherever and whenever it may exist while stating my position in terms of my own spiritual growth and beliefs so that there can be no mistake about where I stand.  It is also a statement of expiation for my own past participation in a process that limits the free expression of belief.
 
MY RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND
 
I grew up as a Christian attending the First Baptist Church  in a small town in Northeastern Indiana.  I was very religious with a strong belief in Jesus Christ and seriously debated becoming a Baptist minister right up to the moment of graduation from high school.  As a Christian, I defined Jesus in terms of compassion, goodness, and everything virtuous.  I was very much directly in touch with the spirit of Jesus who I regarded as my personal savior.  I was also very concerned with racism, anti-Semitism, and the plight of the poor, about which I knew little but  sensed its wrongness whenever I encountered it from the time I was in the second grade.  The need to do what was right in these areas was connected with the belief in doing good which came from my religion.  I did not pursue religion as a vocation, however, but instead chose music in which I excelled on the French horn. 
 
During my eighteenth and nineteenth years I had a crisis in my religious beliefs and from that point forward hovered between atheism and agnosticism until I was about twenty-eight.  At that time I ingested LSD which led to an experience in which I perceived that God was in everything that lived.  I maintain that no one could come away from such an experience not believing in God.  In fact, I exclaimed in utter astonishment: “There is a God.!  There is a God!”  This God, which I experienced that day in the beautiful coastal mountains of Big Sur in California, was the absolute essence of an all-inclusive love that permeated everything wherever I looked, indeed every leaf and every branch on every tree.  The earth itself breathed the spirit of love. 
 
[Please note that this is not a recommendation for LSD which can have serious and irreversible side-effects which I have personally witnessed happen.]

For the entire essasy, read the PDF