Thursday, June 19, 2003

Who's Afraid of God?

God is perhaps one of the thorniest topics ever to rear its holy head in what passes for intellectual discussion in these parts. He's... embarassing. Like dandruff. Or hidden gayness. Or that love doll you keep in the trunk of your car. We're often afraid that every frank and open discussion about The Almighty is going to degenerate into biblical, q'uranic, apocryphal and gnostic verses flying fast and thick across the dinner table, producing nothing but frayed nerves and a splitting headache for all concerned. After all, that is exactly what happens every time Brother Eli Soriano invites people from every other religion to partake of his religious discourses broadcast on national television.

The trouble is always that the people on any side of the table are different, and often speak from their own unique experiences. The Zennist speaks of God by shutting up and pointing at someone ("He who does not know, speaks"; "like an eye that sees, but cannot see itself"). The Scientist tries to make God fit the pattern of a rationally describable world (the phenomenology of God, God as an anthropomorphic concept). The orthodox Catholic/Protestant/Nondenominational Christian/Islamist/Jew will always speak of God as he is depicted in (pick one) scriptural revelation. The Wiccan will probably speak of a Godess, and speak of her in... I don't know what terms. Meanwhile the agnostics, the atheists, the Satanists and non-practicing ___________s are waiting in the wings...

Obviously, God is important, whether he exists as an evolutionary coping mechanism or as a real motive force in the created universe. We have to talk about him. I just don't know how.

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