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Let Me Talk To You About Jesus
Wednesday, 2007 May 2 - 10:31 pm
Or, "My God Is Not a Bearded White Man". I have some literature which may interest you.

I've started and stopped this post several times, because let's face it, who really wants to hear anyone else's views on religion? This post is probably like the Jehovah's Witness who rang my doorbell at 8:00 AM one Saturday morning, after a night of heavy drinking: not necessarily offensive, but not terribly welcome.

But hey! For those of you who complain that I don't blog enough, at least I'm blogging about something.

The reason I'm writing this is because someone was talking to me about the Virginia Tech shooting, and how he needed to believe in a God that would dispense justice on evil-doers. He didn't want to believe in a world where good people weren't rewarded and evil people weren't damned. To him, that sort of world was hopeless: after all, why should people be good if goodness wasn't rewarded?.

I think that's a reasonable basis for belief. I don't see how that would necessarily favor one religion or sect versus another, but I can see how that would form the basis for believing in God in general.

But here's where I differ from a lot of people. See, I don't really need to believe in a world where God metes out justice. Instead, I need to believe in a world where God is not arbitrary. I need to believe in a world where something like whether I get sprinkled or dunked in water determines whether my soul is pure. I need to believe in a world where my salvation isn't dependent on whether or not I eat pork and shellfish. I need to believe in a world where it doesn't matter whether or not I accept a fanciful tale about a guy who died 2000 years ago.

In short, I need to believe in a world where the rules are clear and indisputable. The world's religions present me with a multitude of different rules, sometimes overlapping, sometimes conflicting. There is no clear indication which rules are correct. And it would bother me if there was an all-powerful being who was so insecure and jealous as to discourage scientific discovery and rational thought that might confirm or threaten any particular notion of Him.

And that's why I can't see God as a person, full of human emotions and impulses. "Hmm, today, I'll help Notre Dame win that football game." (Football is how I reward my best peeps.) "Boy, it sure would be fun to mess with Job today." (Because he is SO my bitch.) "I'll let this guy live if his wife prays enough." (You only get health and strength if you ask nicely, with sugar on top.) "SOMEBODY has to die for all these sins." (I only accept payment in the form of death. Or MasterCard.)

I mean, come on. Why would God be so capricious? And why would an all-powerful being need the devotion of humans?

I am comfortable with the concept of a God who set the machinery of the universe in motion, then bemusedly watched as the experiment progressed. But I'm not comfortable with a God who would make Himself so inscrutable that we have to fight wars with each other to decide which concept of him should win.

And if, every now and then, some psycho escapes our concept of justice because he shot himself in the head before we could execute him ourselves... well, I can live with that.
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Posted by Ken in: commentaryinteresting


Comment #1 from JohnC (Guest)
2007 May 3 - 9:27 am : #
nicely done. This is what i like to see you bring. You are incredibly insightful and articulate, and I am hapier when you blog

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