I have to pity poor old God. Did he (substitute she or it or whatever else you like) really know what he was getting into when he created man in his own image? For an omnipotent being, he sure managed to screw it up.
From the dawn of history he has had so many faces, so many incarnations, that even he must have lost track of them all. And absolutely all of them were THE correct one, according to somebody on his ground based management team. I would have given up a long time ago, thrown up my hands and headed for a nice vacation to another planet. Or maybe that’s exactly what he’s done because we haven’t heard from him directly for a long time now.
His agents, the guys who look after his business on the ground, have been busy, though. For centuries, I might add. The Christian God’s agents alone have been pretty busy: Crusades, Inquisition, Teutonic Knights, just to name a few have kept them going. We’ve also had witch hunts, other miscellaneous burnings at the stake, prohibitions of meat on Fridays, and a list of sins to be punished that boggles the mind.
And all in the name of God! And since it’s now OK for Catholics to eat meat on Fridays, did the local managers get it wrong the first time? Oh, no – no siree! New directions came down with a focus elsewhere. At some point he must have also decided that the Crusades and the Inquisition weren’t accomplishing all that much, so he gave up, omnipotent or not. Or maybe it’s his agents who didn’t hear it right the first time.
That’s just a slight glimpse of the Christian side. Allah has also produced several versions of what he wants and still does. There’s the Taliban who would rather behead you than sit down for a cup of tea, Al Qaeda guys who know exactly what their god wants and are not shy about blowing up anyone who disagrees. And what about the Ayatollahs of Iran? They claim to have a direct line to god as well. What a busy guy.
Jehovah used to be a really nasty guy, too, according to the Bible, but lately he has left the Jewish people alone. At least you don’t hear all that many new directives coming down as for some of the other guys.
Then there are still the Eastern religions – Buddhism, Hinduism and others. There seems to be quite a bit less confusion here – the big guy has pretty well kept a low profile, at least as far as most of us in the West are concerned. We’ve heard all about the rift between Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan and it would be no news to me if each side claimed that god was with them.
Has any side in a war ever asked for help from up above for the other side? Not likely! Both sides know that god is on their side. In the old days this was insured by a few sacrifices of maidens, lambs , what have you, but we’re different today. God’s local agents only call on him to destroy the other side – with a couple of lightning bolts and maybe a drum roll of thunder as accompaniment. Less messy than sacrificing people or animals and just as effective.
So let’s give three cheers and an amen for god’s agents on earth. They’re doing a heck of a job telling us what god wants. In the religion business everyone claims they’re right. So listen up! Or else …
© Copyright George Salmins 2009