August 20, 2004
The Wisdom of Disbelief

by Donald G. Mashburn

A lifetime of trying to figure out what to believe, and what not to believe, has helped me embrace some valuable truths, and helped me avoid a bunch of stuff that shouldn’t be touched with a ten-foot pole.

Some things I once believed, or at least tolerated, turned out not to be true – the “just so” stories of evolutionism are prime examples. And I’ve concluded that what we don’t believe is an important part of any wisdom we may possess.

First, I don’t believe the Constitution prohibits prayer or any other manifestation of belief in God, as our Creator, Sustainer, Healer, Savior and Lord. I don’t believe it because my years in a Choska Bottom country school, followed by my high school years in America’s Heartland, taught me to read and to reason!

It doesn’t take a law professor, or a basket-full of brains, to understand that the Constitution, which says, “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” did not, and does not now, mean that God must be banished from all areas of public life in America.

I don’t believe that if children learn about the Bible, God, and the faith of our founders and forefathers, a religion is “established”. Nor do I believe that anti-God activists are justified in whining about being “offended” or “singled out.”

I don’t believe the ACLU and NEA are qualified – morally or academically – to teach our children about “lifestyles,” or that hanging a banner with the words, “God Bless America” is in some way bad or illegal. Nor do I believe the Constitution says anything about a “wall of separation” between religion and the state.

I don’t believe members of Congress should give themselves pensions for life for serving just a few years in office. No one drafted them. No one called them to active duty. Mostly they’ve turned in a sorry record in Washington, and I don’t believe they should be deprived of the opportunity to work for a living like the rest of us.

I don’t believe SUVs and bovine flatulence cause global warming. And, in particular, I don’t believe that those who rant most about global warming know what causes it, or even if it’s anything other than a natural cycle our Creator has deemed our planet should go through every so often.

I don’t believe that Christians – be they called “religious right” or “fundamentalists” – are a negative influence on society. Compare a map of where Christianity spread from that upper room in Jerusalem, with at a map of civilized nations where citizens have freedom. They look pretty much the same!

I don’t believe that pornography, partial birth abortion, and anything else that degrades or harms children, women, and society are “rights” of anybody.

I don’t believe that the spread of AIDS is caused by the lack of U.S. dollars and a surplus of hardhearted conservatives.

I don’t believe the “just-so” stories and lies of evolutionism, such as Haeckel’s false embryo drawings and claims, and the staged photos and discredited reports of peppered moths in England. Nor do I believe such discredited commentaries and illustrations should remain in textbooks used to teach our children the baseless, unscientific beliefs of evolution.

I have mercifully omitted any mentioned of evolutionists’ early claims about “Nebraska Man,” which turned out to be a pig’s tooth.

I don’t believe it’s wrong to call upon Almighty God in times of trials, such as the Sept. 11 horrors, or for people to individually and collectively turn to God for strength, healing and comfort at such times.

Nor do I believe it’s wrong to openly voice our faith in God and ask Him to bless our wayward and wounded nation.

Finally, if we have accepted, tolerated or believed something that turns out not to be true, I don’t believe it’s wrong to change our minds and quit believing it.