Faith, Aspergers and God

A writer with Aspergers talks of faith

I was asked one day, “if you see everything so black and white, how can you believe in God?” My answer dumbfounded the inquiring person : I said “because everything IS black and white, how could I NOT believe in God?”

Yes I live in a literal world. No doubt that I do not work in subtleties. So I can understand asking how can I have faith. Isn’t faith believing in something you can’t see?

To me faith in God as related to Aspergers has three elements: logic, hope and acceptance.

Let me insert my honest disclaimer here before we begin. I am not one of those self-righteous people who thinks I am better than everyone just because of my faith. I am actually quite the sinner. I can cuss a sailor out of the room, I smoke, I am FAR from perfect. This post isn’t about how you should save your souls (although I hope you do!) It is about the perceived conflicts between having Aspergers and having faith in Jesus Christ.

Being an Aspie, there is a down side to my faith; I don’t communicate my emotions well. You won’t find me jumping up and down screaming Praise God and Amen in church. That used to bother me. I just couldn’t be like that. Did that make me less o a Christian? Now I am comfortable with how God made me. Now I know how my Aspergers works. So its no big deal to me.

My faith in Jesus has always been easy because I CAN see things logically. I think it is my logical brain that helps me see better than most NT’s. When I see payers get answered I don’t try to second guess if it was really an answered prayer or coincidence. I watch NT’s do that a lot.

As an Aspie, there are questions that can only be answered with God. Watch a baby come into this world. A billion things had to happen to get to the point of birth. How can something that complex happen by accident?

I love when people argue the Big Bang theory. They can be so passionate about their believe of the creation of the universe. For the record I believe in the Big Bang as well. However they can’t explain what made the Big Bang happen. I can; God.

Evolution? What about dinosaurs? I say what about them? Noah didn’t bring any on the ark. Duh (sic).

Then people go after the big question: ‘where did God come from?’ I like to pick this apart. The people who ask that question are the same ones who love science fiction stories of space and worm holes and time travel, but refuse to admit that God is not bound by time as we understand it.

To my Aspie Brian, that is the only logical answer.

There is so much LOGIC to God. Let me give a few examples-
If the dinosaurs didn’t die we would not have oil. Logical.

The intricate process of the food chain. That delicate balance can’t mathematically happen by chance.
There is almost a mathematical formula to everything. Even to following the bible. When I gladly pay my tithe, I have no money troubles. When I don’t pay my tithe thus keeping that extra money, it seems I always have money trouble.

So logically looking at the odds, the bible is right.

What is faith if it isn’t hope?
As an Aspie, I take comfort in my faith. I have hope for a future and my place in this life. I hear some Aspies saying they don’t fit in. Why me? Whine and cry… I never really feel that way. God gave me gifts. I have this gift to see things clearly. I tend to be smarter than most people. I don’t panic. And most importantly I have hope; I know I have a purpose to my life.
I am so thankful for all that I am! Thankful for all that I have. Thankful for hope. Life as an Aspie is awesome.

If you can say the universe is just one big accident, then you can say that I am just an accident. And if I am nothing more than an accident, I serve no purpose. In the words of Spock “illogical”.

Then there are my personal selfish reasons for my faith. I like to feel loved and accepted. Who doesn’t? Yes, we Aspies spend most of our life being judged and misunderstood by NT’s. Yet I am never judged by my ‘church friends’ they always accept me for who I am. We don’t always agree, but I am always accepted. I love that feeling of acceptance and I always have.

If you are the parent of an Aspie child, consider ways to give him or her that hope and acceptance.

The question isn’t How can I have faith? The question is How can I not?!?


9 thoughts on “Faith, Aspergers and God

  1. We are all Aspies. The Bible says that we don’t know what to pray for as we should, but it is the Holy Spirit who makes intercession for us in language we cannot describe (Romans 8:26 my paraphrase).


    • Bryan, I have to thank you very much for the best laugh I’ve had for days.

      Your column this morning about the views of a Christian Asperger just tickled me to death. I myself am an Asperger, having been diagnosed some 14 years back by a Melbourne Professional. Wish to hell that the Syndrome had been known some 50/60 years ago, as the understanding would have made my life much much easier. Three of my confidants on this blog are quite familiar with the fact, and appear to have graciously forgiven me.

      Over the years I have delivered numbers of lectures for Autism Victoria, met and corresponded with lots of fellow Aspies, and duly had my own book published. I was fortunate to be able to preface the same with no less than two Forewords of high recommendation by two prominent world authorities. I avoided mentioning my AS status on this forum, so that the fact would not influence anyone else here in their interactions with me, whether for against or patronising.

      Your column was interesting to me, as I have enjoyed looking into the views of the many Aspies that I have been associated with. Strictly speaking I have to acknowledge that they cover just the same distribution of religious types as the rest of the population. I have known and corresponded with Aspies who are Atheists, Catholics, Liberal Prots as well as a few Fundamentalist and Evangelical minded folk. I guess I can say with reasonable confidence that we are individuals who make a point of pursuing our ‘Special Interests’ with a great passion. We tend to go to extremes you might say.

      Among my own Specials are of course Christianity, Art, Theatre, Books; and like many other High Functioning Aspies, I make a special study of Aspergers Syndrome itself. Oh and I should include my love of Cats too.

      So having confessed to the matter, I trust I can expect everyone to forget it. Oh, if there are any other Aspies on this blog, I would be most interested in hearing about them.

      Cheers, Rian.


      • Pardon me butting in again, but it just struck me that I ought to explain just what I was laughing about there.

        As you will recall, for the previous 36 hours or more, I had been engaged in a great little debate with Bryan about a couple of Christian truisms. The style of my intensive and penetrating approach during this argument was classic Aspie, which I fully recognized. When right out of the blue I find that Bryan’s column today was on the subject of Aspergers so soon after, it just broke me up.

        I was of course not laughing at either the column or the Interviewee. They were quite great. And I noticed with interest that the latter made it plain that he is in no way any sort of ‘young earth Creationist’. The issue of a belief in a God in conjunction with the Aspergers Syndrome, reminds me of an interview that I engaged in with one of Australia’s most famous Autistics – Donna Williams, one of my old colleagues, a few years back. One of her questions concerned my involvement in the Theatre. Just how can an Aspie, she asked me, be an Actor? and it led to quite an interesting chat on the matter. The interview is still there in her blog on the Internet.

        Cheers, Rian.


      • Rian is a remarkable person everyone, and is a most gracious host. He really is great company. He has a wealth of knowledge which he loves to share and is never boring. He’s lived (and continues to live) a most fascinating life, and Rian, I wish I lived nearer to you as I would never tire of your religious art lectures, such as the Sistine Chapel one you’ve been working on recently, and your music programmes on video. Oh, and I am so fascinated with your collection of Egyptian god figurines—-wonderful! You obviously love people, and you are good fun.

        And yes, sometimes I think there’s a bit of Aspie in me. 🙂


      • thanks Mon my dear friend,
        I am most touched by your comments. It was I must say, an absolutely delightful day I spent with you and your good husband the other month. (crumbs, to think that it is now over two months ago!) It was just great to see the lady behind the postings that are so significant on this blog. Thanks for your generosity.

        But my dear girl, just a few minutes with you is enough to show that you truly belong to the NTs of the world. One sees so clearly the rapidly changing and genuine emotional responses in your face and in your speaking. You show no signs of any sort of struggle to be real in an alien world. Being and expressing our realness in front of others is one of our big difficulties.

        Among our fellows, our artificial or assumed appearance doesnt cause any bother. When you are dealing with an Aspie, it is wise to avoid jumping to conclusions based on expressions & body language. We tend not to express them, and we are most often weak in reading them in others.

        I might add that my pussycat didnt stop talking about you both for weeks after. Oh heck, a horrible thought just struck me. maybe Bruno was actually trying to tell me about a couple of stray cats he’d seen invading the garden….. Well, as you were! Forget that.

        Just for the record, since I havent reported to you on the matter yet, I finished up with an enthusiastic group of six for the session on the Sisine Chapel and its incredible Michaelangelo paintings. I showed some 90 ‘slides’ in digital projection on the big 3 meter screen, lasting about an hour and a half. All a great success.

        A couple of the ladies brought some lovely supper, and we finished wih the necessary teas and coffees, with everyone gone by 10pm. The ladies even went on to wash up the crockery after! Just thought, I might send you over a disc of all the pics that I showed, though you have seen a couple of the relevant paintings already.

        again thanks. Rian


  2. Reblogged this on In Princess' Heart and commented:
    The question isn’t How can I have faith? The question is How can I not?!?

    His explanation why he believes in God is also my explanation to myself. That we believe Science and Logic, but to discount a higher power for all these things are just illogical to me.

    This is a great read. 🙂


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