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RE: Prayers for a Friend

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Bill and David,

Let's not turn this into a religious debate or discussion. This discussion
is about Roger Turk and I don't wish to turn it into an argument. I wrote
the original comments because of my personal lack of belief and this, I
felt, was not fair to Roger who deserves whatever the rest of you feel will
help him right now.

I understand both sides of the theology argument. I spent almost a lifetime
questioning and making the decision I choose that led me to my opinion.
Faith is something that lies in your heart, not in your head. This leap of
faith requires a trust that you can hold in your heart and feel comfortable
with. It is neither right nor wrong since the consequences are the same - we
are born, we make the best of our life that we can and die. Believing in
morality is not the same as believing in g*d (there is a Jewish explanation
for not writing the name or reference for g*d and if you are interested,
write me in private - but my reasons are out of respect).  

Moral stories are important in my life and have always been the basis of
teaching my children to be the best people they can. What you do between
birth and death are what gains your immortality - the ability to be
remembered in the lessons you pass on and the life style you live. This
doesn't require belief in g*d but does require a respect for how you wish to
be treated and how you will treat others.

I don't share this with anyone and I am neither proud to announce my lack of
faith nor to admit that I would have any as this is my private choice that
still molds the person I am. 

I never intended to do more than respect that which would give Roger the
strength he needs to face what lies ahead of him. I know of his belief
although I don't know of his faith - and this is something that you and
Roger can discuss if you choose to write him. I am not his spokesman; I only
wish to provide him with whatever is available that he can accept regardless
of my own opinions. I can tell you that I was surprised to learn what
religion he practices - when I mentioned my surprise his reply was; "You
don't need to advertise these issues."

What I can tell you is this Roger is receiving much of his strength from his
professional peers in the Tucson area and he feels that this has been his
family. He is weak, understanding of his fate, alone (other than the
possibility of a brother somewhere in Kansas); and all of you are (to your
surprise) the extended family that Roger believes he has. Losing the
Internet has taken him from his family and his recreation. If you care, then
you will compensate the lose by returning to the days when computers did not
exist and when people cared enough about one another to send cards and
letters and, most important, to stay in touch.

I beg you to stop this argument about faith - you can't prove or deny
existence - you can only offer comfort and you can't do this by becoming at
odds with one another. What David, Bill or I believe in has nothing to do
with Roger - it's time to give him what he needs and you need to ask him
what you can do to comfort him. If you believe then pray for the man. The
strength of prayer does not prove existence to me, but it does show me that
faith can be strong enough to overcome those mysteries in life we have yet
to discover (a philosophy from Albert Einstein)

What you do from this point forward, I want you to do for Roger - he is our
friend and part of our extended professional family.


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