God loves you :-)

*bites tongue* … **presses down really hard** … ***winces***… ah, fuck it.

Really? That’s interesting, because I have few questions and given I reserve my respect for theories based on the weight of evidence, I’ll direct them towards you, because you’re real.

So, which God is it?

Let me assume, and correct me if I’m wrong, that I can guess this God’s characteristics; he’s omnipotent (all powerful), right? Which means it’s within his grasp not only to decide not to send us all to the ‘hell’ he created, but also to set up a scenario where it’s possible he didn’t have to send his own son (who is also him?) on a suicide mission, for the benefit of a minority of people.

He’s also omnipresent (present everywhere), right? Which means he’s aware of everything that’s happening. He is intimately familiar with the unimaginable suffering of those he knowingly created into situations of inescapable torture and cruelty, and sits there doing nothing other than expecting people to believe in him, to no end.

Oh, and he’s omniscient (all knowing), correct? Which means when he created absolutely everything in 144 hours, he knew exactly what was going to happen. Maybe that’s why he regretted it all when he murdered everyone except for Noah and his family, but that doesn’t excuse him because he knew about war, disease and everything else, and he chose to do it all anyway.

Yet he’s omni-benevolent (all loving), right? So does that mean we must afford him some unique moral platform that we both don’t understand and goes against every fibre of our inner sense of what it means to be good, to excuse him of incalculable cruelty?

I’m not even out of first gear; don’t get me started on biblical textual criticism.

I don’t want to be a downer, and fully expect a drop in follower numbers given this post (hey, you’d be more consistent if you just forgave me), but the time has come for our society to draw a close to this befuddled nonsense. Believe in yourself! You are innately beautiful and capable of producing true goodness in the world. You need no third-party narrative; you are enough, and you are amazing.

Are you religious?

I used to be a fundamentalist Christian, and I’m not any more. I’ll explain why.

As I grew older, I discovered new things: rainbows exist because light is refracted; reindeer cannot run at the speed of light, and closing your eyes doesn’t make you invisible to adults. One of the ways I could track the fact I’d grown up was to look at things I believed when I was younger and compare them with what I discovered when I was older. The process of discovery, about myself and about our world, was an amazing process and is throughout our lives.

I couldn’t reconcile that with a belief underpinned by a selection of ancient texts written so long ago, before most of our major discoveries were made, dictating an unchanging, dogmatic and often demonstrably wrong and immoral truth. It was a juxtaposition that seemed to violate the very core of what it is to be human: to grow, to learn, to discover, to understand. I approached the bible as a historical document, and at that point I realised I needed to be wilfully ignorant to accept it. I wasn’t prepared to be so.

Also, I find our existence, our world and the universe we’re part of, absolutely beautiful. I’m awed and humbled by how tiny and insignificant we are, yet how we’re alive and able to comprehend what we’re existing within.

That’s amazing to me, but it doesn’t require total explanation.

There is beauty in mystery, and the questions are often more astounding then I think any answer might be. We all seek to understand and it’s comforting to have answers that help us make sense of it, but that’s not truth. Wisdom is acceptance of our ignorance. We can’t know some of our deepest longings, but that’s OK. The wonder isn’t contained in 66 old manuscripts that haven’t existed for centuries, it’s alive when you breathe in the ocean air; when you hold somebody close and two souls meet; when you become lost in a child’s laugh.

Yes, we all want to Know. But it’s ok to accept we don’t, because the beauty of life isn’t what’s at the end of our journey, it’s on the road we travel, and what we make of that.

We’re all yearning towards the shining lure of the bright impossible, but around us exists majesty made reality through the wonder of existence. I prefer to experience and enjoy that for what it is.

Having been on both sides of the religious fence, I’d recommend it to anybody.