People come up with some strange logic to justify their actions or the actions of others. I have always found it strange how people will use God as a way to justify what they do or don’t do. I am not sure what it is about me, but for someone who was raised by Christian parents and was made to attend Sunday School and Church all the way through high school, I have never thought much of God or organized religion.
As a student of History, I can point to several examples of how God and Religion were used as a way to simply maintain control over others and worse, to wage war and to justify horrific behaviors toward others. This is not a knock against Christianity, it’s a knock against organized religion. It’s not my fault I was born in a Christian nation, although I suppose there are several who would say I was selected to be born in one.
I have no problem with people who are spiritual, but tend to have a big problem with those who claim to be religious. There is a big difference. Pope John Pail II was spiritual, Mike Huckabee and Michele Bachmann are religious. One led by example, the others set a horrific example.
Still, this is not meant to be a knock against the Mike Huckabees or Michele Bachmanns of the world. I just wanted to point out some of the flaws I find in the traditional, and very simple, depiction of who or what God is and why these depictions just never set well with me.
I will leave out the “You will spend eternity in Hell” argument because it is just too laughable for me to address for now. However, feel free to tell me that’s where I am headed after reading this.
God Put It In The Ground For Us: I love it when someone says God put it here for us to use. I love it more when it comes from someone with a scientific background. Case in point: oil. “Well, God put it in the ground for us to use it so there’s nothing wrong with drilling for it.” Huh?
If this is true, why didn’t God make it easier for us to suck the earth dry of oil? The oceans are right there for us. Why not suck them dry of water and use them for hydropower? We don’t tap humans with mini pipelines to extract their “natural” gas because frankly, who wants to try and wear a nice outfit while being pumped for fuel when you can ruin nice land instead?
Just be honest. Tell the real reason you want to dig up the land for fuel. Is it because the real reason is you have not figured out any other way to tap the wind and sun for energy in a way that will make major corporations swim in profits in the way they have with oil and gas?
The Eighth Day: God Created The Earth and he did it in six days just so he could take a nap on the seventh day. Seems to me, this does not fall in line with the creation of the seven-day week. What did God do on the eighth day? Did he create another world?
It’s In God’s Hands: Huh? He has hands? He’s a human figure? Okay, this is a figurative term. However, it’s really just a nice way of someone saying there is nothing more they can do or they have simply just given up or failed to try. In other words, just accept what is and move on. Try telling that to someone living on the street or someone who is the victim of a violent crime. Try telling this to a kid who is abused or a nation starving for aid from one as wealthy as ours. This might be a good reason why so many people around the world have turned their backs on “our” God.
God Chose You: I use to hear this one a lot when my first child was born with a rare and serious medical problem. Some would tell me God chose my wife and I because he knew we could handle a child with the problems she had. Really? Did the same God choose her to have these problems for the same reason?
Then there were others who would tell us God chose us because he was punishing us for our sins. Again, really? What were the sins of our daughter to be chosen to be born with such a problem?
Why were some doctors, nurses, and hospitals selected to care for our girl? Was it because they can solve her problem or because they were being punished?
Maybe, just maybe there is no God and some things are just accidents of nature?
God Chose Me: Seriously? Of all the people on this planet, God chose you to (fill in the blank) ______________________________________.
Usually, when someone claims they have conversations with others in their head it is a sign of mental illness. Why isn’t it the same when a politician, athlete, or singer claims it was God who empowered them?
I Want To Thank God … : Who really believes God has nothing else to do than to sit back and determine the outcome of a ball game? So God is a sports fan who loves to tune in and see who wins the playoffs? It was God who loves you so much more than the other team yours was selected to win while all the others were chosen for defeat? Were all of you being rewarded for the wonderful way you conduct yourself on and off the field while the others were punished with defeat? If so, how did the Raiders win so many games in the 1970s?
We also know God loves a good movie and wants to reward liberal nuts who display their talent in films that depict acts of violence and sex with a golden statue. Lets face it, with wars, famine, drought, and a general lack of regard for people who believe differently, God needs an occasional break from his duties which is why he created such violent sports as football, boxing, MMA, and Hockey or films like Dirty Harry, The Godfather, or Goodfellas.
Did God love Brokeback Mountain because it depicted love in a way we have not seen before or did he return the video to his local store and demand a refund before unleashing his punishment on mankind?
In God We Trust: Funny how this phrase appears on our money and modern day religion is centered around collecting huge sums of it to wage a war against the evils that plague us, you know, things like homosexuality, abortion, and presidential elections. We trust God about as far as we can throw him, or her depending on your beliefs.
Manifest Destiny: I just love this. God chose us to build this great and domineering country, one that would wipe out the native population, rip apart its environment, wage war on other nations, hoard the world’s wealth and justify it all by saying this is because God chose us. Is this God inferior to China’s God now that they are in the process of becoming the world’s economic power or will our God reward us with some incredible military prowess that we simply do away with China? And what about Allah? Doesn’t he have a say in all of this? After all, Islam is on the rise and God help us if it takes hold in America. This was never God’s intent, or was it?
Sorry to be such a cynic, I just find all of this God stuff to be far more complicating to someone who prefers to enjoy life for all it has to offer and for one who sees no point in making happiness for all mankind more complicated than it has to be. We have seven billion people on this planet, that is 7,000,000,000 for those who need a more visual impact.
We have dwindling resources, a lack of space, and far more humans doing without than who are thriving. It just seems to me if there is a God, it would guide us all toward the best interest of all mankind and not toward the personal interest of individuals, corporations, governments, and especially sports teams.
I find it odd that there is only one God and yet countless interpretations of him/her/it and most are just excuses to justify how we treat one another. Of course, if I am wrong, and if all of this is blasphemous, I want you all to know I only shared this with you because God made me do it, and who am I to question him, uh I mean her, no, wait, I mean it?
Top photo is a Facebook meme.
Jim is a life long resident of California and retired school teacher with 30 years in public education. Jim earned his BA in History from CSU Chico in 1981 and his MA in Education from Azusa Pacific University in 1994. He is also the author of Teaching The Teacher: Lessons Learned From Teaching. Jim considers himself an equal opportunity pain in the ass to any political party, group, or individual who looks to profit off of hypocrisy. When he is not pointing out the conflicting words and actions of our leaders, the NFL commissioner, or humans in general, he can be found riding his bike for hours on end while pondering his next article. Jim recently moved to Camarillo, CA after being convinced to join the witness protection program.