Oh Me Oh My

Saturday, October 21, 2006


I recently stumbled across a website that allows you to input any bible passage and it will look it up for you. I was randomly inputting passages like “Deuteronomy 3:14” and getting things like “Jair, a descendant of Manasseh, took the whole region of Argob as far as the border of the Geshurites”. This was instantly funny to me because it reminded me of Homer randomly picking a bible passage (Matthew….21:17) when trying to counter Rev. Lovejoy, which the Reverend instantly recites: “And he left them and went out of the city into Bethany and lodged there?” Homer just responds, “Yeah, think about it”.

This was until Earl suggested I enter my Confirmation name and my birthday as a search (John 3:30) and let that answer any question I might have. Though I never formulated an exact question I was looking for overall inspiration and what came up was “He must become greater; I must become less”. This sort of weirded me out since A) It was the first quote I had randomly selected that didn’t blather on about a location or a family line of some sort and B) Because it actually offered a sort of response.

If “He” was referring to God then does that mean I should make God an actual presence in my life? I haven’t exactly been on speaking terms with any sort of deity since I was 14 or so and decided that the God I was raised to believe in was either dead, non-existent, or no longer concerned with the pettiness of his creation.

When I studied Gnosticism for one of my English classes I related to the idea of a demi-god. Gnostics believe that the true God cannot possibly communicate with his creations. In the movie Dogma they touch on this saying that if we were to ever hear God’s true voice our brains would explode and our hearts would melt. According to Gnostics the true God creates a projection of itself which in turn fulfills the role of creator people often attribute with God. This demi-god however believes itself to be the true god and so do most all of its creations. This to me has always been the God people pray to in hopes of passing an exam, or getting the job they applied for. It is humanized, assigned gender and given the role of “The Father”. It is a far less lonely perspective to believe that Jesus is your homeboy than to think we are incapable of comprehending what God truly is.

I don’t like organized religion, to those who know me that is hardly news. It’s not that I don’t comprehend its value, I just dislike many of its aspects. Though many people internalize and adapt their religious doctrines, questioning their faith to make it stronger, a lot of people just take the package as is, accepting at face value everything that they are told—and that creeps me out. Historically, not questioning a belief system and following blindly a set of rules that aren’t resisted in any way, rarely ends well.

While chatting with a neighbour who had just gotten his mail I glanced down and realized he had a subscription to “The Catholic Register” and for some reason it bothered me and I didn’t understand why. This morning I had this conversation with another neighbour while waiting for the elevator:

Me: “Hey Adam, how’s it going”?
Adam: “Pretty Good, beautiful day out there”
Me: “It is…You’re looking pretty spiffy, where you headed?”
Adam: “My turn to spread the good word” (or something along those lines)
Me: not knowing what to say, “Right On”
Adam: “You should take one of these,

As Adam got off the elevator I read the pamphlet he had given me. As a Jehovah he would be witnessing the end of false religion including those who support the unions of gays and lesbians. Adam was off to hand out his pamphlets to any number of people who would scrap them or close the door on him, but he might find someone today that sees the rapture coming and wants on the boat away from the hellfire. Here’s how you can be saved. Here’s what is right and wrong. Here is what is good and bad. Open your hearts and wallets my friends, salvation is coming and it don’t come cheap.

I really don’t know how I am going to make “God” a “greater” presence in my life. In writing this I realize the answer most certainly does not lie for me in the template of organized religion, yet the vague “spirituality” non-atheists practice always seems unfulfilling. This blog doesn’t really have an end. Mea Culpa


At 1:46 p.m., Blogger Darek/Darciu/Dariusz said...

Two comments on your great post:
1) Maybe it doesn't have to be God that has to become part of your life, but what God traditionally stands for? The good of the world/people. Not thinking about it religiously (I love puns!) but if you just think God = Good/ Non-God = bad.
You volunteered for the Phillipine Mud Slide Benefit and didn't have to (you came as a guest, not a volunteer).

2) What if it's the other way around? "He must become greater; I must become less" What if the 'He' is you, not God? What if the prespective is from God's point of view? You become greater, God become less. Remember, it's organized religion that tells us to read the Bible - I don't see God shashaying away down here telling us to be more "hey hey hey" and not so "what what what" :)

At 12:27 p.m., Anonymous jen said...

i like that quote. i would take it as point 1) in darek's response though.

its very humbling. for me the cornerstone of my religion/faith has always been servanthood. because it always means putting someone else before you.

He = the other.

good luck on the search if you even decide to search at all.

At 3:49 a.m., Anonymous Amy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:29 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talking about religion and politics is something I usually avoid like the plague... but in the past few weeks I have had a few revelations or new thoughts about God.

1) Part of the idea with God is the way that God is presented to us... I think we need to stop thinking about God as a big, white, old man who sits on a throne in heaven wearing a white robe. Why can't God be love? Why can't God be qualities that we see in other people... I helping hand, a sincere smile, a selfless act etc. Does that make religion easier to digest? Or reflect the idea that we truly don't know about God's form and God's role in our lives?

or is God, according to F. Scott Fitzgerald, the creepy eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleberg... in desperarte need of visine because God keeps watching us, but is distanced not because he chose to be, but because we drive-by him constantly as we traverse our paths of life in our Big Swanky Yellow Cars, with our hoes next to us, on our way to another party while choosing to ignore that he present in many ways around us.... (I don't even know if that makes sense)

I just don't know... All I know is I don't have any answers, only some insights that are easily swayed, a lot of questions, and a desire for goodness in the world.

I just did the same thing you did and mine says that I should be at peace at home and in my own palace... Does that mean I should live at home... get my own palace without burning bridges at home? Or is the palace the world itself? See... questions, questions, questions.... :o)


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