Monday, March 5, 2012

Imagine

“God made me do it” is perhaps the perfect definition of the “last refuge of scoundrels”.  Mr. Tony Perkins, head of that Christian Taliban outlet store called the Family Research Council, announced breathlessly to his eager audience that "God has defined marriage.  It is not up to us to redefine it." And by that he denounces gay marriage and urges his faithful followers to see to it that North Carolina totally bans any and all attempts to redefine marriage to include lesbians and gays.

He brings to mind the guys who assure little boys that if they will don a vest full of dynamite and explode it in a crowded marketplace so as to kill dozens of innocents, they will be rewarded in heaven and will assuredly get their 71 virgins. Yes, God has also instructed them in the fine art of killing people because they are different.  Apparently, God is a busy fellow, and always, always on the side of scoundrels.
It makes me wonder about God. Could God really make such pronouncements? And why would God do such obviously unethical things? Do you suppose that God does no such things? And that people like Tony Perkins and the Taliban leaders who push ignorant boys into immoral acts are simply making it all up, for their own unethical purposes?
There really are alternative views of this grand universe. Even assuming that a God, or collection of Gods and Goddesses exist, and that they really did create the universe, it seems entirely likely that they provided no instruction manual to the creatures they created. So, one alternative is that God did create this whole thing a few billion years ago, just to see what would transpire. They maybe just set it in motion and are now watching it all unfold. See, that would mean that the scientific evolutionists and physicists, and biologists, and geologists, et al, are not at all at odds with God. Maybe it’s the religiously inclined preachers, et al, who are at odds with God.
See, this other view might hold that life is a wonderful opportunity that we all (that is, all God’s creatures) create through our best procreative efforts. That life is set in motion and then, at some undetermined point, that life element just stops—winks out like a light bulb burning out. And that nothing follows—no heaven, no hell, just . . . nothing. One is here, conscious, and then one is not.  Suppose that were true. What would that mean?
Well, for one thing, it would mean that all the religious leaders everywhere would no longer have any power, because they could no longer operate their grand Ponzi scheme. See, they would have nothing to promise. People would have to behave well . . . or not, sort of like they do now, but without any aftermath—no grand payoff, but also no awful punishment.  There would no longer be any point in killing someone because he is different, or holds a different view of life.  No power would accrue to people because they own God. There would be no kings by divine right. No Ayatollahs, no Popes (Nazi or otherwise), no bishops, no priests raping little boys. Just people being people--the good, the bad, the ugly.  And of course, butterflies . . .
Reminds me of that Jon Lennon song, Imagine . . . imagine there’s no heaven . . . no hell below . . . all the people living for today . . . all the people sharing all the world . . .
Imagine that . . .
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