Alec Guinness: The Evils of Faith

Interview with James Grissom

I am an example of and a witness to the power of faith, and my spiritual life, such as it is, has been very important to me, but there is a destructive element in faith--some faith--that disturbs me and hurts a number of people. We cannot do anything we want or achieve or find or enjoy everything we deserve, and I am hearing more and more people claim that they can. Then a new failure emerges when you do not have all that you want, at which point you are condemned for having insufficient faith. I hear so often now that great and glorious things would have been yours if only you had prayed more or given things to your higher power or visualized the outcome more clearly. This is insane, and this is what Tennessee was speaking to when he referred to the evil of prayer, the evils of faith. 

We can rely on our concept of God and we can rely on the reserves of faith we possess, and this will bring us so much strength and peace and means of surviving, but it promises none of the things that I believe we most want. There is in the world something called luck, and it visits the good and the bad, the dumb and the bright, and this is one of the caprices of life that we must accept and ride beside on the journey.

Have a realistic faith. Try your best, work very hard, be kind. Good things may happen. Have no faith and very few good things happen. This is a tough catechism, but it is a true one.

©  2014  James Grissom


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