Wednesday

7. This thing about God


God really gets a bad rap. It’s blamed for most of the world’s ills and most of its religions.

Things got written down that are allegedly what God said. Then they were put in boxes. Some of the writings are terrific and some of them are terrifying. All of them, if they were said were relevant for that time. What people often don't realise is that God is quite capable of updating with the times. You would be really, if you were a God.

Most people nowadays will say (if they say anything) ‘I’m not religious – more spiritual.’ They quite understandably don’t want to be tied up with any of the dreadful things that happen in the name of religion.

Lots of people say to me ‘if there’s a God, why is the world such shit?’ (there’s an answer to that on my YouTube comedy video). But basically, the world isn’t shit because of God, if the world is shit it’s because of human beings.

Sure, natural catastrophes happen. That’s because we live on a living, breathing planet that sneezes sometimes. And, frankly, if you were covered in a species like us wouldn’t you find they got up your nose a bit? But when catastrophes happen, that’s when human beings show up as their best – as well as at their worst.

People often say that religion was invented in order to control people. I think religion was invented to try and make sense of death and dying. The control bit came later.

But here’s the thing – if God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient and all that, He/She/It is simply not going to fit in a box. And any religion is a box.

‘Hang on a minute,’ you may say. ‘You’re an independent Catholic priest. Isn’t that a box?’
Not really  ... or if it is, it’s a box that embraces all the other boxes. It’s a faith that just happens to use a certain liturgy because we like it and it works. But I’m just as happy at Ashrams, Buddhist temples and synagogues as I am in a church. I'm just your common or garden heretic.

So we’ve hung these labels on God and put He/She/It in boxes. And He/She/It doesn’t fit in any of them.

Even more, God hasn’t read the terms and conditions.

Throughout this blog I’m going to refer to God ... and to God and me ... and I’m going to call God ‘It.’ Apart from anything else, the He/She/It part takes a lot of typing and feminists don't like it. And if I type She/He/It, we're back to the original question... 

I know that lots of people have problems with the name God and prefer all sorts of other soubrettes  but it’s what we believe that counts. Most of us actually believe in a mean bastard of a God who's totally unfair.

God is going to be what to you exactly what you believe it to be.

Ouch.

People said to me when my first husband Henry died, 'Aren't you angry with God? How could God do that to you?' God didn't do that to me. And just supposing God did do that to Henry and/or me, then where was the good in it? Trust me, there was a lot of good in it. Trouble is, you can't see any good if you really think that physical death is the end of everything. I get that. But I don't think physical death is the end of everything. I'm an immortal soul. I'd quite like death to be a bit of a rest as this life of miracles has been pretty busy on and off, but I'm sure I'll get bored pretty soon and want to come back for another go on the roundabouts.

By the way, not being angry at God doesn't mean I'm not angry at other things. The life-enhancing disease has a lot to do with not learning how to experience and release anger safely. But I'm doing a lot of chopping logs lately along with all the therapy and I'm getting the knack.

I believe in a truly all-embracing loving God that allows human beings to be responsible and pick up our own messes. It’ll step in and offer to help if we ask and it will often provide miracles. But we’ve got to notice them.

The thing about miracles is that they are God thinking out of the box that you may have put It in. So you’ve pretty well usually got to get out of your own box to recognize them.

1 comment:

Roger Martin said...

Maggy: Peter gave me a link to your blog and I was reading the 7th installment, "This Thing About God," when I recognized the fit between our concepts of the Man Upstairs, as my grandma used to call him. I once began a book this way: "I begin in media res – the middle of things – or perhaps, more accurately, the muddle. As Jessie Jackson said at the 1984 Democratic Convention, after having made a racial slur against Jews, “God’s not finished with me yet.” I am so unfinished a spiritual product that I wonder, at times, whether God’s even started – or, for that matter, what the word “God” points to. In fact, please bracket the word God with quotation marks when you see it in the pages that follow. I use the word in some sense other than the familiar – rock of ages, shelter from the storm, a buckler (whatever that is), a light at the end of a tunnel, a father, a king and so on. I’m not sure what the sense is, but it’s not, to be precise, any of those."

Keep on blogging. Barbara and I continue to pray to ???? on your behalf.

Roger in Kansas