MIRACLES

Are there miracles?  It is an important political question.  The “Religious Right” claims there is a Divine Being who plays a determinative role in human affairs; that religious teachings about right and wrong are objectively true and, therefore, should inform political decisions.  Their opponents, often with the most derisive voices, claim such beliefs are foolish and that religion is a compilation of ancient, unbelievable myths.  At their most strident, these disbelievers are horrified by the concept of “sin”—that conduct, both individual and as a nation, is to be judged against a divinely imposed standard of right and wrong.  These positions could not be more diametrical.

Opponents of religion constantly claim that their skepticism is founded on science.  With a devotion equal to the most pious saints in former ages, they claim an almost omniscient power for the scientific method: that all truth is embodied in science and no truth can exist not provable by science.  While the marvelous results from the advancement of science are obvious, to claim that science is the only test of truth—and that belief in God must fail because scientists have not yet created a “God-meter” to measure His presence—is to exalt science far beyond its real role.

Astronomers currently estimate that 73% of the total mass-energy in the universe is “dark energy.”[i]  “Dark matter” constitutes another 23%, leaving the everyday matter and energy we studied in physics and chemistry as providing only 4.6% of the mass-energy in the observable universe.[ii]  These “dark” constituents of the universe were discovered only recently and are, as yet, inexplicable to science.  To trust that science is the only way to comprehend reality, when science currently admits a total inability to explain 96% of even material reality, is an act of faith equal to any religious zealot’s.

It is statistically impossible that our universe could exist as it is without an Intelligent Designer doing the designing.  This creates a tremendous problem for atheists.  Their response—that there is such an infinite number of universes that there must be one where these conditions randomly occur.

“The concept of other universes has been proposed to explain why our universe seems to be fine-tuned for conscious life as we experience it.  If there were a large number (possibly infinite) of different physical laws (or fundamental constants) in as many universes, some of these would have laws that were suitable for stars, planets and life to exist. . . .  Thus, while the probability might be extremely small that there is life in most of the universes, this scarcity of life-supporting universes does not imply intelligent design as the only explanation of our existence.”[iii]

In other words, to avoid accepting Intelligent Design by a Creator we are asked to accept an infinite number of universes.  One doesn’t’ need Occam’s razor to reject such a far-fetched alternative explanation, his butter knife would be more than adequate.  Unfortunately for the multiverse crowd, the multiverse theory is utterly unscientific.  It cannot be proved nor disproved—so much for the scientific method—because whatever evidence might exist to prove its truth lies outside our universe and forever beyond our reach.

If there is a God, where are the miracles?  If there are miracles, then there is a Creator and the Declaration of Independence’s claim for His role and expectations for our form of government could be true.  If there is no Creator, the Declaration of Independence is another, unbelievable, myth.  Actually believers know there is a God.  Innumerable small children (and adults) have their prayers answered regularly.  The question really shouldn’t be one directed to believers, “Can you prove there is a God?” but rather one for disbelievers, “Why do you think God isn’t answering your prayers?”

There are miracles.  The very existence of the United States of America is a miracle.  Our national seal, emblazoned on every one dollar bill, states: “Annuit Coeptis.”  As explained by its designer, Charles Thomson, the seal contained “a pyramid unfinished.  In the Zenith an Eye in a triangle surrounded with a glory proper. Over the Eye these words ‘Annuit Cœptis’.”  Annuit means to smile upon or favor.  Coeptis means undertakings, endeavors, beginnings.  Thomson intended that it “allude to the many signal interpositions of providence in favour of the American cause.”[iv]  Did the people who were there when our nation was created believe in Providence’s miraculous intervention on their behalf?  Look at a dollar bill.

This recognition of the miraculous role of Providence was explicitly stated by George Washington in his first inaugural address in 1789:

“. . . it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect . . . No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States.  Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency; . . . [requiring] some return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage.  These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed.”[v]

Rather than reject the miraculous role of our Creator in establishing this nation, may we join with Thomas Jefferson in the closing words of his first inaugural address: “And may that Infinite Power which rules the destinies of the universe lead our councils to what is best, and give them a favorable issue for [our] peace and prosperity.”[vi]

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