Faith is defined in numerous ways, but most definitions include two basic components: you have no concrete or scientific evidence that what you proclaim is true, and you are basically taking someone else's word, written or spoken, on the issue or belief. For religious faith, the evidence is sometimes even more obscure because you may be taking the word of some scripture or another, whose origins may be in doubt or whose other issues may have been proven over time to be less than accurate. But religious faith is generally referred to as a gift--the gift of faith. Some religions believe that the gift is bestowed on a date certain. For instance, the gift of Christian faith is said to be given at baptism. Others at miscellaneous "coming of age" celebrations. Others at actual "proclamation of belief" events. But whenever and however, faith is universally said to be a gift from God. In exchange for this gift of faith, some or many tenets of that religion are accepted as truth, even when they are totally unexplainable by reason or logic. Being a person who does not consider himself a receptor of this gift of faith, so many tenets of every religion that their followers must accept seem somewhat or fully "beyond the pale." So many beliefs that have allowed or even sanctioned religious wars and persecutions or many types of of organized or individual discrimination seem well past the basic reasons beyond those upon which any faith could have been founded. This is especially true if, as I believe, almost all major religions share as their basis the love and adoration of God(s) and the love of self and neighbor(s) near and far. Thus, it may be possible that the gift of faith is not really a gift at all. If this so-called gift is allowed to blind one to reason, contemplation and logic, which I believe are God's true gifts to mankind, then quite frankly I'm not sure that I'm missing out on anything. I will continue to try with every breath and thought to love all of you, professed faith not withstanding.