That’s right, I said it. I’m firing God. He’s not doing a good job, and he’s not serving his creation very well. George Carlin said it very well:
I want you to know, when it comes to believing in god- I really tried. I really really tried. I tried to believe that there is a god who created each one of us in his own image and likeness, loves us very much and keeps a close eye on things. I really tried to believe that, but I gotta tell you, the longer you live, the more you look around, the more you realize…something is FUCKED-UP. Something is WRONG here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is NOT good work. If this is the best god can do, I am NOT impressed. Results like these do not belong on the resume of a supreme being. This is the kind of shit you’d expect from an office temp with a bad attitude. And just between you and me, in any decently run universe, this guy would have been out on his all-powerful-ass a long time ago.
Of course, a lot of you all will accuse me of blasphemy and apostasy, but before you do, hear me out. I’m not firing THE God, I’m firing the guy that far too many people claim to “worship.” This is the God that Carlin is speaking of. A god we’ve managed to make in our own image (generally speaking, a white male), who conveniently hates all the same people you do.
I’m tired of people using their religious beliefs and their god to justify their bigotry and hate. And yes, there are many “Christians” in America who are bad as some of the Muslim extremists. I’ve been recently following a number of conservative Methodist Facebook groups, and the number of discussions on homosexuality is astonishing. I have seen commenters there compare homosexuality with pedophilia and bestiality, of course. Then when the commenters are called out, they and their defenders claim they weren’t comparing, just citing an example. (Sure they were.)
There is no room for discussion of different interpretations of the few (I think it’s 13 or so that are cited) Bible verses they claim condemn homosexuality, and the church can never evolve to a different view on the subject because God’s word is final and everlasting. You bring up how the church has changed its views on slavery, and even more important, and divorce. There are quite a few verses on divorce and adultery, and Jesus actually had some things to say about that topic…bupkas when it comes to homosexuality.
I actually had one commenter, a UMC licensed Preacher, who’s had some issues with the church hierarchy, make a comment that the whole of scripture was about sexual morality…the whole thing. Let that sink in a minute. This person, a Methodist preacher, claims that the whole entire Bible is about nothing by sexual morality…but since divorce and re-marriage are OK with her (something the Bible calls adultery), that only really leaves one sexual sin…meaning her belief is based on the entire Bible being about condemning homosexuality. What a small and insignificant God she must worship, if that’s all he is concerned about.
I see people invoking their god to support wars and the ownership and use of guns. The Republican Party, having no program of policies that actually benefit Americans use religion, and their god, to pit Americans against one another, and claim that god is Republican. They cut the social safety net, the very thing that all of Jesus’ ministry was about, then say they are for family values. They invoke god to support their bigotry against other religions, and against the civil rights of others.
So their god is one of politics, and claims of power over others, and a claim of beliefs the supersede all others.
Believers of the god I’m firing even use a slanted version of their holy scripture to claim their “dominion” over creation gives them the right to exploit the planet and its resources.
They believe in a god that would sentence non-believers to an eternity of torment, and claim it a Biblical truth, when hell wasn’t discussed for the first 1,500 years of Christianity. This is a god who reigns through fear and vengeance. This is not a loving creator. This is a god who says we’re broken for our entire lives, and saved because of his benevolence, and never based on our works in the world. This is not a god who deserves worship.
They worship Paul more than Jesus, because Paul offers Christianity lite…a version that requires an easy grace achieved only by a profession of faith, while their true god, in the form of Jesus talked only about good works, and taught that all should share what they have with all others. Their beliefs rely more mysticism and fairytale than caring about matters, and spend ink and blood arguing over things like a virgin birth and a resurrection, when the true miracle is that a single man, walking throughout a small, backward and isolated part of world brought a message of hope and caring for one another that lasted 2000 years for many people.
But evangelicals/conservative Christians have to have something to be against, and not something to be for. They have to have enemies, and have a god who demands worship through fear. A god who gets credit for all the good, but bears no blame for the bad in the world. They have a god who can heal unseen medical issues, but can’t re-grow a limb for all to see.
A Facebook meme said, ” Sometimes, God lets you hit rock bottom so that you realize God is the rock at the bottom.” So their god is a god who wants one to struggle and hurt, just to make us turn to him in worship. Who wants a god that interacts with us on that level?
In reality, theology functions to set evangelicals apart from any sort of belief, ideology, cultural expression, political movement, etc., that doesn’t fit into the way that evangelical leaders and their constituents want the world to work. Evangelicalism knows what it is by fighting against what it is not. Take away the threats and enemies, and evangelicalism loses its identity and reason for being.1
But given all this, I’ve decided this is a god too weak and hateful and domineering to merit my worship, so I’m firing this god, the god of the evangelical/conservative “christians.” I have no time for a god who’s just sitting around watching who I build my life with, so he can joyfully throw me into a fiery pit just for grins and giggles, but doesn’t have time to show people the need to care for their world and for one another. I’m seeking the God who teaches love and caring and sharing, and building a better world, so this one has to go.
So to those of you who continue to worship this god, this god that sends bad things your way just to test you, I say fine, keep your god, but if your god is so small, so weak, that he needs and the agencies of government to fight his battles, then you worship a weak god not worthy of that worship. Find a god who can stand on his own.
What the Fight over Allah says about the Future of Evangelical Christianity, Religious Dispatches, University of Southern California, Annenburg ↩