On page 367 of The Ends of Power, H.R. Haldeman (with Joseph DiMona) refers to President Richard Nixon’s exhortation to Haldeman to read Nixon’s book, Six Crises, especially the part of the book’s introduction in which Nixon talks about the agony of trying to make a decision, and the peace that comes after the decision is made.
Do I feel fine after I have made a decision? Overall, I’d say yes.
We’re often presented with imperfect options in life, and we find that
we have to choose one of them. When I resolve to pick one of them,
notwithstanding the problems in my choice, I feel all right.
One area in which this is a challenge, however, is religious faith. I
don’t feel good waffling among belief in God, agnosticism, and atheism,
but I also don’t feel good within any of those options. Within
atheism, I feel hopeless. Within theism, I feel as if I’m turning off
my mind for the sake of naivety and embracing a God who doesn’t fully
accept me because I fall short of his standards. Within agnosticism, I
feel rudderless and without a solid foundation. There are times when I
feel good just ignoring religious issues altogether. “Why fret?” I
wonder. “Just enjoy life right now.” But there are times when I think
that I need a solid foundation, or a divine friend to lean on. I’m just
not sure if I can find answers in evangelical Christianity, or even the
mainline versions of Christianity.
NOTE: I'm not saying that everyone who believes in God is naive, shuts
off his or her mind, or embraces a God who conditions his acceptance on
people's obedience to his commandments. I'm talking more about where I
am right now, and how I read the Bible, than I am about other people's