Saturday, February 22, 2014

I don't believe in an interventionist god.

Home again, home again.
Sleepytime Sinus Soother Tea
Dagoba New Moon Chocolate Wafer
(even though I'm saying it "duh-gobuh" aloud, I will always think Yoda in my head)

Tonight's soundtrack provided by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (thanks, for the title)...

I don't believe in god.  Not in particular.  But I don't believe that there is no god.  I'm agnostic - I stop at, "I dunno."  But if - if - there is a god, I don't believe he/she/it/they will ever intervene for or against you if you ask them hard enough.

No matter how many prayers you whisper or shout, no matter how pious, how charitable, how flawless, how penitent... god won't step in for you.  God is not going to stop that bullet.  God is not going to help you win the lottery.  God is not going to pick your team to win whilst bitch-slapping your rivals.  It doesn't work that way.  It can't.  Because if intervening is on the table, and god doesn't step in, then god is the Universe's biggest bastard.

After the Sandyhook shooting, I saw this meme start up, even on some of my sweetest friends' pages, claiming that it was the godlessness of today's society, and the absence of prayer in school in particular, that allowed this horrific tragedy to take place.  All I could think at the time was that if I was one of those parents who had lost their child, and someone said that in front of me, I don't know how I would be able to stop myself from slamming that person's face into the nearest solid object.  Repeatedly.

Think of what you're saying...  God could have stepped in?  He could have spared the lives of those little children, who were barely older than my little babies are now.  But, no, what mattered more was... what?  More divine "Likes"?  These children deserved to die for other people's lack of conviction?  That was the righteous divine action in this case - to let them die?  Why?  Because not enough of us clapped our hands and shouted that we really do believe in fairies, I mean, god? 

This country is overwhelmingly Christian (I am obviously turning my criticism more directly in the Mike Huckabee direction, here), far more than a simple majority.  What kind of numbers do we need to put up?  And how, exactly?

As I said, I'm agnostic.  Just how am I supposed to appease this vain bastard so that he'll see fit to not let 6 and 7 year-olds be literally torn apart by bullets?  How?  You can't force me, or anyone, to believe in something.  Or would he rather I mouth words I don't feel and I don't believe just to "allow" him to put the gunman's hand down?  I do believe I read something about not bearing false witness...

If god is willing to intervene, choosing to do so when it suits him, then think of the awful stuff he allows to happen.  Holocausts and wars, ethnic cleansings, pandemics and debilitating diseases.  And then there's the really, truly awful stuff I can hardly type...  The Game of Thrones stuff that, minus the dragons and the White Walkers, really does happen around this world every day.  There is no place or person that is inherently safe, sacred.  Remember, god has been letting priests rape children by the thousands for centuries.  If he could prevent any of them, why would he let a single one happen?  What child, what pious little choir boy, deserves that?

If god doesn't intervene in his own house, why would anyone think he would step foot in a schoolhouse?

As an agnostic, that's not a god I have much incentive to believe in.  That kind of god is so repellant to my psyche, I just refuse to believe that he.../she/it/they... could exist.  But I said already that I don't believe there is no god...  Just no god like that.

A Creator does not necessarily mean a Controller.  It is possible that there exists - or existed - a god - or several gods - that brought the Universe into being.  But after that?  Was the Universe just set into motion and left without any further great galactic guiding hand?  Or is there still some cosmic consciousness aware of everything that continues to pass?  I don't know.  How am I supposed to know without some kind of divine-intuitive epiphany?  I can only say that if some all-knowing, ever-present deity is out there, it is possible that it has the power to intervene but has chosen long ago not to - ever.  Perhaps our choice is absolute: free will or nothing.  And perhaps, it has never been able to change anything we do.  Is a god still a god if it isn't all-powerful?

Whatever the answers are, god still could have been present in that schoolhouse that horrible day.  He/she/it/they... could have been in the heart of the teacher sheltering a frightened child in his last moments of life, so he could know love could still exist...  God could have been throughout all the halls and classrooms in Sandyhook Elementary, giving comfort to those who could feel it, in the face of the greatest horror...

And maybe god doesn't will the other team to lose, but maybe the personal solace your favorite wide receiver feels in his relationship with his lord and savior gives him the strength that carries him to the end zone, oh so fleetly...

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