I had a conversation with someone today. It’s my usual holiday conversation about the existence of Christ. As a gratefully recovering Catholic and now proud atheist, I did my usual dance of trying to be considerate and polite and changing the subject. As is often the case, my friend continued on undeterred with great curiosity about how I cannot believe in any god and what that might mean. I obliged by quickly employing the word delusional and said that I see no difference between one fairy tale and another. Predictably, we finished up pretty quickly after that.
(Cross-posted at The National Gadfly.)
However, as I was walking the dog and enjoying the more respectful conversation it provided, I thought about what kind of god I might be interested in. Nobody ever asks me what kind of god I want. They always seem to be shoving theirs onto my lap for blind acceptance, fear, intimidation, peer pressure or just a plain old grab for cold, hard cash.
Here is a list of the attributes I would want in a god / supreme being / maker of all this stuff…
- Does not give a shit if I swear. I can say anything I like.
- Does not care if I listen to any priests or anyone else pretending to be god.
- Does not send me off to kill people.
- Does not want my money.
- Does not want me to be afraid of god.
- Does not care if I believe in god or not.
- Wants me to use my brain as much as I possibly can, exercise my own judgment and choose my own life.
- Does not want me to tell / convince / convert anyone else to believe anything about god – ever.
- Doesn’t really care what I do with my life – it’s mine to live as I choose.
- Does not care which words I use to define myself or for what reasons I choose them. This includes gender, race, age, ability, sexuality or any other descriptor I define myself with.
- Is not keeping track of my fuck-ups as a reason to justify me being punished to suffer for eternity.
- Does not care if anyone agrees with my definition of god or not.
- Is happy if I’m happy.
- Doesn’t allow people to be raped, starved, beaten, tortured or killed.
- Can move neocons or me to another planet entirely, so that I don’t have to hear or see them – ever again.
- Would make a public statement that all the ‘holy books’ in the world are a bunch of crap, written down by men, for men over the last few thousand years – and nothing more.
- Is not a man.
I am not guaranteeing that I would believe in this god, but I would have a hard time not really liking it a whole lot.
You may have your own. What are they?
You may find this hard to believe, but I do celebrate Christmas. I celebrate life, each other and the giving of joy. I wish you all the very same.