A little something I wrote in response to an email I received giving examples of how God destroys anyone who mocks him.
That kooky God of Vengeance stuff always splits my mind: on the one hand I’m tempted to ask “so while some nameless guy was being fed his severed fingers in some concrete-walled torture chamber in Cambodia and praying for a quick death, God was too busy to listen to him because he was out knocking off Bon “Highway to Hell” Scott, or while that mother in Sudan was lying on the floor of her hut praying do die so she wouldn’t have to watch a hoard gang rape her ten-year old daughter God was a little preoccupied killing John “we’re more popular than God” Lennon, how do you explain that.” The answer invariably is “well God works in mysterious ways,” well he wasn’t so mysterious a minute ago when you were preaching about all the death and destruction He’s caused, he was pretty damn un-mysterious then. On the other hand if some prick doesn’t abduct that girl because he’s afraid of God’s vengeance, or that drunk doesn’t drain a sixth gin and tonic and bloody his wife because he fears divine retribution, well I guess that’s one less pedophile and one less wife beater.
Personally I side with Jefferson and Franklin when I say “I don’t know.” This is the only honest answer anyone can give when it comes to the existence of some godlike entity. One thing I’m certain of, the one conclusion supported by overwhelming evidence, is that if there is a God he/she/it plays no role whatsoever in the day to day workings of this planet. What kind of God brings an idiot who broke his neck while flipping his ATV back to life while sitting idly by while the son of a Liberian fisherman has to watch his dad get his hands cut off before being forced to put the final bullet into his father’s brain. As Desie would say to Lucy “he’s got some ‘splaining to do.”
My plan, and the plan I pass down to my kids, is to live life in a descent way, and in the moment before death reflect back on a life well-lived. I believe that when you just let go of the mumbo jumbo and simply accept the fact that there is no divine intervention; that God suffers as we suffer, you free yourself. Sadly most folks are not willing to be free, they would rather harbor dreams of being “born again” having their sins “washed away.” Sorry sucker you are who you are so think twice. Same story with the bible – a valley was flooded, a farmer along with a goat and a cow floated to safety and over the generations the story grew to the entire earth being flooded and a giant ark with every living animal aboard. The bible was written by folks with a very limited world view: to the author of the great flood story the entire world was that valley. The bible is basically metaphors and rules for how to behave in a lawless world. When you accept it as the work of fallible humans you free yourself from all the denials, conspiracy theories and circuitous logic required by the creationist crowd.
The sad truth is is that most folks would rather be led around by the nose than to truly think and be held accountable for their actions. They want to blame someone else for their poor miserable lives: it ain’t my fault that my marriage failed: it’s because of that homosexual over there. This is why the God of Vengeance theology needs an enemy – someone to slaughter as a scapegoat. Is it any wonder now that the homosexual card is becoming played out that churches are beginning to take aim at Islam.