Denial of Denial

“God is the denial of denial.” – Matthew Fox

My debates with atheists date back to late nights on the beach in Margate, New Jersey in the 1970s with my buddy Jackie. Fueled by cheap beer and rotgut wine we’d go at it long into the night, and regardless how vehemently he tried to defend theories on the universe creating itself, like the Big Bang, I’d cut him off at every turn with, “How about before that?” and drive him completely mad.

One thing I will say about Jackie and my many atheists friends is this: They are all curious, respectful, intelligent, helpful, and entertaining. I have learned a lot from them and each has enriched my life in some way. They don’t try to convert me to their religion of non-religion, and I don’t return them the favor. I respect their beliefs, as they do mine. What is clear is that each of them cares about and appreciates the world we live in–its people, places, mysteries. And that, I believe, is where we are more alike than we might admit.

I’m no intellectual, but when it comes to creation I rely on a guy who was a pretty deep thinker. Einstein said, “I want to know how God created the world. I’m not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details.” I  figure if the guy who discovered the theory on relativity wants to know God’s thoughts, then I’m in pretty good company.

And when it comes to proof I look to aviator and author Anne Morrow Lindbergh who said,  “After all, I don’t see why I am always asking for private, individual, selfish miracles when every year there are miracles like white dogwood.”

And here I end with a Jack Nicholson quote, “You want the proof? You can’t handle the proof…,” or something like that.


About Jim Brennan

Jim is a Philadelphia-based writer, author, poet and editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
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8 Responses to Denial of Denial

  1. I’m an atheist (and you win the prize for spelling it correctly), and my best friend, Clare, is Catholic. I suppose there are territories we don’t venture into. A discussion on abortion would probably send us both over a cliff. But I always appreciate her patience with me. I always say, I’m not seeking proof for anything. I am 100% sure I will die without all the answers. I would, however, like to approach my life with wonder and remain open to all the newest discoveries. I believe Clare would say something similar.


  2. Dennis says:



  3. Mark Mangan says:

    Unless it’s only “80 proof”!


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