Sunday, April 02, 2006

All in "God's Plan" huh?

"It's all in God's plan." she said with a sort of arrogance one could almost buy at Neiman Marcus. Her nose pointed into the air and filled me with disgust as she tipped her pinkie out, sipping, sipping hot tea on a muggy spring afternoon. Who drinks hot tea when it's almost eighty degrees outside anyway, I asked myself with irrational frustration and dismay. This entire meeting was unnerving.

Then I realized it. It is not in "God's plan" for human beings or any other creature to suffer. What loving, "totally in control" God would purposely cause a child to be molested by a perverted uncle? What kind of "totally in control" God would allow a loving, nurturing, pure & giving person to be continuously screwed over in every aspect of their life?

No, it is irrational that a God who is full of love & personifies love itself would purposely cause suffering. "No", I responded to her with tardiness, "It is NOT in God's plan for these people to suffer or be in pain or to go through hardship. I think that all these horrible things would sadden a God of love. Where God comes in to play is if and when one chooses to bring God's divine light, goodness, or positivity, (which are all aspects of a God of Love) into their lives in spite of their hardship. I see God as more of a clockmaker. He makes the clock and winds it up and lets it run on it's own. The only time he intervenes is if the clock stops ticking altogether. It makes him sad if it doesn't work as well as he wants it to but he chooses not to fix it and to let it run its course on its own, in hopes it might fix itself."

The conversation grew completely silent and I saw a hand raised in front of my face. It was her hand as she said "no more". Why is it that she didn't want to hear more? Was it making her think too much? Was it making her question her blind faith? Good. Blind faith kills a lot of people in the world. Thorough, responsible investigation and analysis, and weighing of evidence helps to prevent extremist views and keep hate from spreading.

So, you may ask yourself Why I seem to feel so much contempt for people who take their religion so fundamentally? Is it because some tend to take their beliefs to such a literal state where they forget the human aspect of life here on earth? Is it because they have been taught that their way is the only way that is correct? Is it because they see their religious doctrine as a reason to single out people and hate? Is it because they tend to see their doctrine as a literal, word-for-word incarnation of God's very own words instead of looking at the context clues that surround the writing of it...meaning fallible men with their own personal, varying life experiences and agendas writing THEIR interpretation and political opinions of the times in which they live?

It's because for years I was forced into attending a church that did not focus on what was important. Never do I remember even once doing anything for charity or thinking of the poor or the unfortunate. I remember being isolated, because I didn't wear the right brand of jeans or because my parents were not doctors or lawyers. Sure, kids can be cruel, but that's not all who were cruel. Adults were just as bad. I remember sitting in the pew, watching men with uptight grimaces, shaking hands, then wiping them off on their pantlegs, or passing out business church. One time, a black man, wearing traditional African clothing came into our church, bowed with respect and sat quietly to watch the service. People got up and left. This is what I don't understand. It's the hypocrisy, the blind faith and being there for the wrong reasons. The anxiety the church put me through as a child...the constant, on-going talk of hell & brimstone, punishment and death, sin, sin SIN!!! Never did anyone focus on the positive things God or Christ did in existence. It was always about death, hell, sin, and the cross. I appreciate the sacrifice on the cross but let's focus on the good Christ did in his life and ACTUALLY make a TRUE EFFORT to follow that instead of mourning over the cross. I mean, that part is over, right?

Needless to say, I never felt God there. I never felt God anywhere until now. That's because, until a few years ago, I was told that God was in just one belief...and I thought I was right about that. I thought that might be true. But, now, I have found that it is not. God is everywhere. God is in everything. You have to think on a higher level, however, than black vs. white/good vs. evil/right vs. wrong...and you have to understand that life is full of disappointments, pain, and suffering and that it is not God trying to punish you for something you may have done wrong in the past. I truly believe that. It is because bad things happen in this universe to good people....very good people. It's how you deal with it, how you choose to bring some inkling of positivity into it...break into the divine light...that's what makes the difference.
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