Each day in which I read or hear more news is another day that I cannot help but think that there is an inextricable connection between faith and fear. Whether it be using your faith to inspire fear in others, as some do, or fearing those who have faith greater or different to your own. I cannot deny that is unfortunate that this seems to be the case because there are so many other things in the world to fear; yet we choose the myriad of human spiritual expressions to be fearful of. One the one hand it makes a strange kind of sense to fear someone else’s faith, whether it is that they have faith or the actual faith they pursue. Faith is that thing which sustains us when nothing else does, which can be a frightening thing to observe if you yourself do not have faith. Faith is also something that people have always been willing to do extraordinary things for, which can be a frightening thing for others who have faith.
Not many things can be truly described as primordial when it comes to animals, but fear is certainly one of those few primordial characteristics of animals. We as humans may see ourselves as being the dominant species on the planet but even still we are only animals and fear is as much a primordial part of us as it is a part of birds or dogs or fish. Fear itself also comes in a myriad of shapes and sizes. Some types of fear are as old as our fight or flight response from way back in primeval history. Other types of fear involve spiders and snakes and all those things with either too many or not enough legs. Still others are as simple as fear of the dark. Though there are times when we have no choice but to either ignore or overcome our fear, they do not account for the majority of the time. Which is where faith re-enters. Faith, on a very fundamental level, allows us to go about our lives with a little less fear in our lives; past or present or future, it cannot be denied that faith is what we turn to when things happen that we have no answer for, what we turn to when we are afraid but have no way to express why.
The great irony is that faith, that thing with which humanity has fought fear with for eons, has now become something for us to be afraid of and fear has become the thing with which we fight faith.