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Personal Statement

Most of us can remember turning points in our lives after which we were different or headed in a different direction. For me one of those times occurred the summer when I was fifteen and approaching my sophomore year in high school. Being a “Type A” personality even then, I picked up a world history book that summer and read the book cover to cover in order to prepare myself for the world history class I knew was coming in the fall.

I had been raised a Catholic. I had been taught what was necessary for salvation. And yet this history book revealed to me that a majority of the world's population was not Catholic or even Christian. Were they all condemned to suffer in Hell simply because of where they were born? I thought something must be wrong with my prior picture of the world.

After high school, I became the typical questioning, searching college student of the late 60s and early 70s. While I did stop attending church, I did not really define my beliefs about God. After college, law school and starting a career and a family, I attended the Lutheran church for a number of years. But still I had not really defined with specificity what I truly believed.

After practicing law for thirty-two years and being only fifty-six, I decided it was time to follow my father's advice. He claimed that one should have two different occupations during one's life. After selling my law practice in Illinois to one of our sons, my wife and I moved to Colorado to enjoy our passion for the mountains. But before embarking upon a second career, I decided I should first set forth clearly and concisely my beliefs about life. My thought was that this exercise would greatly enhance the choice and conduct of my next occupation and help me make the “right” choices for all my future actions.

Before attempting this book, I felt that my beliefs were not defined with sufficient precision. I could not fully delineate these beliefs if asked, nor substantiate those that I could set forth. As I started this task, my goal was not just to set forth what I believed, but to set forth the justifications for those beliefs with an emphasis on what I believed could be legitimately "proven."

Within these pages, I define what I believe can be "proven." I expect some readers with religious affiliations may feel that their beliefs are reinforced by my argument, but others may be offended and believe that I fail to acknowledge the truth of their religion. My purpose is to set forth what I believe can be reasonably “proven” and not to justify any particular set of religious beliefs. Having issued this caution, I should also suggest that the “proof” within these pages could very well support the reader’s faith even if all aspects of that faith are not supported by my arguments.

However, not only does the proof set forth herein not fully support any existing religion, but portions of my argument actually call for revisions in much current religious belief. This aspect of my book should not be a barrier to the believer hearing me out. It is indeed a prime tenant of my argument that it is vitally important that we all be willing to examine the viability of all aspects of our religious beliefs.