By David G. Hanger
November 05, 2008
Closely studying this thing called God and religion, the first thing we discover is everybody else is wrong. Verily and forsooth, a fascinating reality this. The major religions of the world, all evolved from great civilizations, are Shintoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity, not so many, really. Then there are the two remaining great tribal religions, inordinately martial in spirit and obstinate in nature, Judaism and Sikhism, both surrounded seemingly in perpetuity by enemies. And everybody else is wrong.
Christianity, fragmented as it is, provides us with the ultimate stomping ground for "them and us." The modern model for developing super churches, networking like-minded people, insures that the rules of exclusion become more fundamental, more profound. God is not love, God is fear; and Jesus is the shepherd pointing the way to the collection plate. Believe as I believe, or else, it is not the damnation of your soul that is here at peril, but its very existence; for if you do not believe as I believe, you will experience not just death of the body, but also that of the soul. And I am the arbiter of your fate, the controller of the collection plate, and be I Methodist, Lutheran, Mormon, Catholic, Episcopalian, Unitarian, or whatever, hear my carny con: "I am right, and everybody else is wrong."
Whoever, whatever God is, He doesn't have time for any of this stuff. There's a whole universe of things going on out there, and any bit of it is more interesting than this malarkey. As manifested by most of these folks God is an old white man with long white hair and a long white beard. You can believe in the George Burns version if you want, but I doubt God would run around in a shriveled old body with arms that can hardly hold up a cigar. I'm not sure why God has to be an old white man, unless maybe it's white men who conjured that image up, but Mother Earth, his regional subcontractor, is definitely all woman, and sometimes a real bitch at that. Best be nice.
So old white man, maybe, who knows. But if He's an old white man with long hair and a long beard, He is not out there saving souls, trying to get Elizabeth Dole re-elected, or terra-forming new galaxies, no no. He's playing golf. There is no other possibility; it has to be golf. Good lord, He's God, He is omnipotent. Everything is as it should be. Chess, He's omnipotent; He beats everyone. But golf is golf. If you cheat, it's not golf. It has to be golf.
There's a universe of golf courses out there, and in His dotage, the Old Man's having a good time. Doubt seriously He even knows what's happening down here, and if He does, He could care less. About the only observation He might make: "With freedom they sure do make a mess of things."
Perhaps somehow it is re-assuring that everybody else is wrong.
David G. Hanger
Received October 31, 2008 - Published November 05, 2008
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