Dear Miss Emily:

I have been up and down about the existence of God.  I do pray if I am afraid,  need assurance, or if something bad happens to me or my family.  I ignore God and doubt his existence, otherwise.   I fee like a terrible hypocrite.   I don't want to be this way, but I feel like I need to see it to believe it.  How can I become more believing?  I don't want to be brainwashed into it.   

--------------------Miss Emily's advice-------------------

 Dear Confused:

The belief in God is a personal matter, and that is why a belief or non-belief in God is a decision only you can make.  Do not let others “brainwash” or intimidate you.  The famous cosmologist, Carl Sagan, was an atheist.  Once he wrote to his friend, an intellectual equal, and asked her, “How can you believe in God?”  She wrote back, “How can you not?”  If you choose to make God part of your life, believe only what seems reasonable to you and disregard the rest.  In truth, no human truly knows the nature of God.