So many evil deeds are carried out every day throughout the globe. I sometimes can't bear watching TV news or reading newspaper articles about war atrocities, genocide, and the enourmous cruelty carried out by individuals against other individuals for no apparent reason other than the thrill it gives to warped minds.
One of the most tragic murders I've heard or read about locally in recent years happened on Halloween in 2005. The victim was an attractive, unmarried woman, 25 years of age, who earned her living as a freelance pholographer. Apparently she was a happy, family-and-church-oriented daughter, sister, and aunt who lived with a friend next door to her parents.
While on a photo shoot, from what newspapers reported and what scant information can be pieced together from one of the two convicted perpetrators, she alledgedly was kidnapped, stripped naked, spread-eagled and bound in a bed, repeatedly and brutally raped, tortured with a knife and finally shot numerous times. This young woman was humiliated and tormented until her life was snuffed out. Her lifeless body was then burned.
A shirttail relative of this horribly abused, victimized woman and one of my co-workers expressed to me her belief (faith) that the murdered woman did not experience any pain during her ordeal since God was watching over her!
"Why would you think that?" I asked.
"Because it just makes me feel better," my friend pitifully replied as tears welled in her eyes. "And she was a wonderful Christian!"
I said nothing in an attempt to reason with her. I just gave her a big hug and let her cry.
I would describe this dear friend as devout, morally scrupulous, generally thoughtful, and polite. She is a widow and a caring mother and grandmother. She is a dedicated, knowledgeable employee in a women's health clinic. She works tirelessly for her church and attends mass regularly. Yet, she had no objective proof for the validity of her statement. She only had "faith" that her God protected this young woman from actual, physical pain because, otherwise what happened was too horrible to contemplate. I wonder if my friend thinks that God also watched as the young woman cried out for mercy while she was raped and mutilated; or did he simply turn his back on her after he fixed it so she at least wouldn't feel physical pain.
To me this is a graphic example of what faith (firm belief without logical proof) does to a person. It distorts rationality. If my friend's God has the kind of power to eradicate pain, why didn't he step in and prevent this senseless atrocity from happening in the first place?
In several thesauruses (or thesauri), the words "faith" and "hope" are synonyms. To me, no matter how strong a person says their "faith" is, it's really just "fervent hope."