This I Believe

Dreier, Thomas

  • Thomas Dreier describes how his belief in a loving God too big to be contained by labels helps support his beliefs in religious tolerance and in the importance of demonstrating God's existance through a life of loving service.
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And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Thomas Dreier is a writer and lecturer. He earns his living by writing good will copy and editing monthly publications for a number of business organizations, but he spends more time in the public service. During the Governorship of John Winant, he headed the New Hampshire State Development Commission. Now he is engaged, among other things, in trying to get better libraries for Florida. Here is Thomas Dreier.
I believe in a God too great to be confined within the limits of any manmade organization. I am able to associate lovingly with members of all religious groups without concern for their labels. As Alexander Pope said, We are all parts of one stupendous whole whose body nature is, and God the soul. There was joy in my youthful discovery that I could do business directly with God, that to avail myself of God's gifts, it was not necessary for me to seek the help of a special priesthood or to worship in chapels or cathedrals. Emerson, who was a great influence on me in my teens, wrote, There is no screen or ceiling between our heads and the infinite heavens, so there is no bar or wall in the soul where man, the effect, ceases and God, the cause, begins.
To me, it is clear that just as there is an indefinable force called electricity that has always been in existence, so also there is a greater force which we may call God or love or goodness. All one needs is to recognize it and then make use of it. I believe we can choose between believing in a god of hate or in a god of love. If a man believes in a god of hate, he will give testimony to that god's existence by being cruel, brutal, and selfish. If we believe in a god of love, we will be loving and kindly and useful. And I believe we get what we give, in just the measure of our giving.
I believe to be happy all we need is an unswerving faith in a god of love, a faith that is an integral part of our daily life.
All the good things desired by us are made available to us when we are lovingly useful. My God of love obviously has no existence except that which I give Him. He himself can give no evidence of His existence except through me. Another man's god of love depends upon him for externalization. Both of us must be loving, kindly, helpful, thoughtful, and useful. It matters not at all what jobs we do, provided we express goodness in filling the needs of our fellow human beings. Our god of love is not concerned with race, religion, political or economic beliefs, or color of skin. Our belief makes us see that it is not race that makes men different but the quality of their souls. Where the god of love is manifested, there are no castes and no segregation.
My religion, then, is a religion of freedom. It is also a religion of joy and of confidence. There can be no fear, nor limitation, to one who believes in a god of unlimited goodness. I do not seek goodness. I simply see it.
When I lack anything I need, it is because I do not avail myself of it. Mine is the responsibility to use or not to use. My task is to work in harmony with divine laws. I need only a flaming belief in an unlimited, inexhaustible, free supply of goodness, of love. And I must give evidence of my belief by living a life of usefulness, goodness, lovingness, triumphant joyousness. I believe by living this way, one can live in heaven right now.
That was Thomas Dreier of St. Petersburg, Florida. His beliefs are expressed more fully in his book The Religion of a Vagabond.