There’s a huge difference between the Faithful and the Paranoid. I see religious people reciting or posting or quoting Biblical references all the time – this may happen with the Muslim community as well, though I’ve yet to see them quote the Koran in a facebook post – and I’m not sure why.
I was raised going to church a LOT. And the messages haven’t really stuck. The interactions with some people have, though. That old saying of how you’ll always remember how somebody made you feel rings very true. I can’t remember every sermon, hymn, or Sunday School lesson, but I do know the difference between Faith and Paranoia.
Faith, they say, is the unshakeable belief and confidence in the reality of things you cannot see. It is usually a belief in a deity or in the doctrines of a belief system which work FOR the benefit of the Faithful.
Paranoia, however, is defined as a repetitive thought pattern fueled by anxiety about an unseen or misperceived threat.
Faith is ordering a drink and knowing it will eventually arrive at your table and be as you expected it to be.
Paranoia is thinking the drink won’t show up on time and when it does it will be awful and probably poisoned.
The thin line between Faithful and Paranoid bisects the gray area between “Realistically Positive” and “Realistically Negative.” And when somebody of Faith tells anybody else what they are doing is wrong and will doom them based on the doctrines of a faith the listener doesn’t adhere to, the Faithful has then become a Paranoid scorekeeper.