Shut out by ruling, God* may take His case to higher court
There was anger and chaos when an obviously atheistic judge issued a ban on public prayers to God at a Texas graduation ceremony. There was outrage by some over what they saw as clear abuses of freedom of speech and a thinly veiled assault on religious freedom.
Typical of the sentiments of those who believe strongly in the supposedly all-knowing father figure were comments such as, “How, in heaven’s name, is God supposed to know what we want, what teams should win what games, who should be elected president and exactly what horrors He should bring down upon our enemies? It’s just not fair! This is an outrage against the Almighty Himself.”
With God’s workload apparently, if not temporarily, somewhat lightened there is conjecture in religious circles as to how such selective targeting may effect the balance of power among the various religions, all of which can be seen to be vying for the attention and favor of the God of their choice.
“I shudder to think if someone goes down on bended knee to tie their shoelace that some godless liberal will try to arrest them,” said a local high school sports coach.
Some televangelists took the opportunity to increase their donation drives. Said one well known TV preacher:
“Times like these try the souls of men so we must redouble our efforts to get God all of the cold hard cash we can get our hands on. He clearly needs it now more than ever. Our operators are standing by.”
Suggestions that any individual is completely free to silently pray 24 hours per day were immediately met with scorn and contempt, “If He can’t hear the prayers of the faithful, what’s He supposed to do, read our minds and hearts as if He was omniscient or something? It’s obviously been the prayerful among us who, for centuries, have helped God get His priorities straight.”
When they were asked exactly why people pray to God, the following answers seemed to shed some light:
“Well, obviously we’re afraid that if we don’t pray God will think we don’t believe in Him, which could have some bad consequences, such as being sent to Hell when we die.”
“If we don’t don’t pray it would mean that we don’t have confidence that God will eventually answer all the prayers that He hasn’t ever answered so far.”
This may also explain why people are taught to say the same prayers, over and over, no mater their own personal circumstances, age, etc. Or, as one person put it:
“We know that God deliberately doesn’t answer our prayers just to test us and make us even stronger in our faith.”
God Doesn’t Lie but Statistics Do
While the logic of these explanations may escape some, it could help to explain why the countless billions, if not trillions, of prayers directed upwards over several millennia have obviously been unanswered. Not that it’s a bad thing, actually, especially considering how many prayers have called for the deaths of individuals and indeed whole nations, etc.
However, one 16th century monk, Hubert the Unfortunate, was punished severely for pointing out that the most prayers seem to have gone completely unanswered. He was ordered to pray for hours on end that he wouldn’t be executed for blasphemy, which ironically, if not predictably, turned out to be just another unanswered prayer.
Theologians may have various theories as to why the presumed Creator-of-All-that-Is, whose most noteworthy accomplishment seems to be an amazingly complex and even perfect universe with a whole hosts of immutable laws, etc., could have screwed up so badly and always needs so many constant reminders to fix people’s lives, stop allowing all sorts of unfair and downright horrible things to happen, like not creating and then not curing cancer, letting the wrong football teams win, allowing jobs to fdisappear, lotteries to not be won, etc. Explanations such as “God works in mysterious ways”, don’t seem sufficient, let alone satisfying except to perhaps to the most ascetic, masochistic and uncritically thinking among us.
A student of the works of Hubert the Unfortunate (who wisely has chosen to remain anonymous) has suggested that while God is obviously creative, He may just have a colossal case of godly ADHD, and be in need of lots of reminders.
The elephant in the room however may be this uncomfortably timely question, “What if God is, and always has been, imaginary?” Certainly it would itself answer just why prayers aren’t answered, as well as produce tremendous discomfort for millions if not billions of people who would actually have to take complete self-responsibility for their own lives. But isn’t that how it’s supposed to work?
NOTE: *God, for those who don’t know, is the figure first popularized in the Old Testament as the Creator of the universe and all life in it, etc. He is known for His quirky, sometimes whimsical, contradictory and frequently merciless, bloodthirsty actions that include bringing together a band of various nefarious tribes, homeless nomads, gypsies and wanderers, etc. and declaring them to be a special “chosen people”. His decision to grant them a particular scrap of land in the dessert was rather bad news for the people already occupying it, i.e. the Canaanites. While credited with being the author of “Thou shalt not murder” (kill innocents), God’s capricious instructions to the soon to be new occupants of the land to “kill both man and woman, child and suckling” (1 Samuel 15:3) were faithfully carried out, though not warmly welcomed by the late inhabitants.
When criticism of the God-directed genocide that was foundational to the creating of Israel is brought up, a common defense offered is that the Canaanites sacrificed children and were altogether unsavory and evil. The logic of wiping out every living child and infant, along with everyone and everything else, as a cure for infanticide comes up just a tad short; certainly eradication obviated the need to educate or convert any of the innocents among the Canaanites. (It should be said that some students of the laws of cause and effect perceive a slight problem for the currently installed residents of the reincarnated state of Israel. Raising one’s hand to point out that exactly such troubles, and the possibly inevitable, horrendous consequences, as were foretold by a largely unrecognized prophet some 2,000 years ago, has not yet proven to be anything but an exercise in futility.)
God’s capriciousness, or at least proof that He’d never taken any courses in celestial sensitivity or parenting, arose earlier when He directed Abraham to slay his son, Isaac. Of course we all know He played the “just joking” card in time to spare Isaac from unnecessary open heart surgery. The entire episode is mysteriously regarded by some as a great example of how God was just “testing” Abraham, etc., as if Mr. Almighty doesn’t always and already know the innermost workings of all His creations. Conveniently overlooked, therefore, by all the God fans is this first, proudly recorded example of extreme child abuse and terrorism. But what the heck.
God shows up a few thousand years later just in time to cause a second major religion to be formed, as immortalized in the New Testament. Again showing His divine penchant for killing off children, this time He lovingly offers His own(ly begotten) Son for a tidy bit of crucifixion. He cleverly avoids being labeled the Parent from Hell by having already created His arch nemesis, the Devil, as the chief authority figure thereof. In another turnabout on the dead kid thing, the Son apparently un-deads Himself after a few days and is thereafter regarded as being the actual God, or Lord, by many.
So fabulous is this whole deal that the main, majestic symbol for this marvelous religion (which establishes itself in similar grand tradition by racking up the deaths of countless millions of non-believers, etc. since its inception) is the kid-on-the-cross, or, since liberties have been taken with the Savior’s ethnic origins, the WASP-on-a-stick. It serves, of course, as an unspoken reminder of just what happens if you actually dare to “do what Jesus would do”, the irony of which is obviously missed by the pious worshippers of torture and death. To assure that the whole bloody philosophy is imprinted deeply in the subconscious of the “faithful”, it’s stealthily reinforced by the unquestioned legitimization of symbolic cannibalism in the “sacrament”.
(Apparently many true believers simply can’t get enough of Jesus and claim to actually have a “personal relationship” with Him. Apart from the fact that there’s no actual historical record of any “Jesus Christ”, the notion that someone has a personal relationship with anyone who’s been dead for 2,000 years would challenge even the most ardent necrophiliac’s imagination, at least those who haven’t been sipping the Kool-Aid at church. Simple, easily formulated and admistered tests to determine just what Jesus is saying to and about all of His friends haven’t, for some reason, been high on the list of ecumenical priorities.)
The Pope(s) and his crew, who dutifully institutionalized the tradition of abusing children for centuries, long avoided any scrutiny not just because they cleverly dress themselves up like every day is Halloween but because they managed to convince the muddle-headed masses that ordinary, often subhuman, men could elevate themselves and each other to positions of infallibility.
One might also suggest, during these times of earthly corporate downsizing, etc., that God likewise eliminate the quite unnecessary office of the Devil, in light of the Church’s generous assumption of his duties and the obviously already accomplished relocation of Hell to a special little state within Italy.
A few centuries after all of this drama was set in motion, God is said to have showed up, again in the sunny Middle East, and inspired the “one true Prophet”, a claim that was apparently sufficient to rouse the formation of yet another religion, one that served to stem the tide of global enslavement by the Church…while creating not just a few other little problems in the process.
We could take a moment to wonder just why God didn’t choose to share all His wondrous wisdom and other goodies with far more evolved societies, such as the ancient Chinese and Indians, let alone the Sumerians who not only preceded the Hebrews/Israelites by many thousands of years but also already had their own versions of the legends of Noah, Genesis, etc., which have long been claimed to originate in the Old Testament, a fact largely unknown by the adherents of Judaism, which could otherwise really cause some cognitive dissonance regarding their extreme “specialness”. But since God works in mysterious ways, perhaps He was saving special appreciation for a future time in which He foresaw that the Chinese and Indians would engage in a fireworks celebration that would not disappoint the most “jealous and vengeful” of gods. (See: Henoch Prophecies “China will attack India”)
It should be noted that such is the clarity and omniscience of the Supreme Being that, centuries later, the descendants of the primitive tribes involved in the previous dramas not only are firmly at each other’s throats but they have continued to gather adherents and converts who are equally willing to participate in whatever holy, and other, wars as clever humans gleefully create.
Conveniently, whenever problems arise with the logic, reasonableness and wisdom of the whole “word of God” thing, the escape from the bondage imposed by such literalness is facilitated by all those religious authorities who confidently explain that such clear contradictions and irrationalities are simply symbolic and metaphorical, i.e. “not what God meant”. This facile bit of mind reading, while apparently not mentioned or allowed for anywhere in the famous holy books, conveniently supersedes the unambiguous authority of “God’s word” in an ironic attempt to preserve it, kinda.
Perhaps the “God of love and mercy”, long having been created and re-created in man’s own image, may benefit from a timely makeover, with a re-branding in the form of a new, unifying symbol for all of the major religions. Timeless in its significance, certain to not soon become outdated, perhaps the Sacred Spigot, from which rivers of blood flow, would be appropriate.
So, for those who need to publicly pronounce their prayers, announce their fealty and put non-believers on notice, perhaps it’s not only right to lift the ban but it could potentially serve as a kind of early warning system, a way of taking some of the guesswork out of just who may be speaking for the Great Smotster in the Sky, declaring that it’s, once again, “His will” that they fully open up the Sacred Spigot (see: Henoch Prophecies “Civil wars and anarchy in America”).