God bless my friends for understanding that when I raise my voice it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m angry, it can simply mean that the topic at hand is something I’m very passionate about. Such was the case on Wednesday during a conversation about the recent election results. If you’ve been reading this blog you should have an idea about my opinion of religion and how it has affected human nature. If not, feel free to check out those links.
In the most simplest of realities, I’m a Christian. I believe in God/a supreme being. More specifically though, I’m a Deist. In my quest for spiritual growth and maturity, I’ve come to the knowledge that deism is the most accurate representation of my current belief system. I absolutely don’t believe that creation is random. I do not however, discredit the theory and reality of Evolution. I have a high level of respect for Science and all that it has taught us. And most importantly, I do not for a second believe that we have the capacity to comprehend the nature and scope of God. I do not believe that we can be absolved of the responsibility and consequences of our actions by passing off the results as ‘God’s will’.
In all my learning and understanding of the Bible, free will has always been demonstrated as God’s greatest gift to Mankind. There was no micromanagement in the Garden of Eden. Man was given dominance over all other created things and left to his own devices to do with them as he saw fit. What was expected of him though, was that he would exercise care in order to maintain it. He was left with a very specific instruction and with the expectation that that instruction would be adhered to. In exercising free will however, he fell out of favour with God and set the course that we are still on right now: the course of using the free will given to us, not to keep and care and facilitate progress in that which was entrusted to us, but to use and abuse and deplete and exploit and destroy. And when we tear down instead of build up and we stand in the midst of that destruction we whine about it being ‘God’s Will’. Slavery was justified as God’s will; anti-miscegeny is also seen as God’s will; famine, disease, natural disaster, divisiveness, war and a host of other atrocities brought about, perpetrated and facilitated by man, all passed of as the will of a Supreme Being who in other circumstances we hail as merciful, caring, giving, loving and desirous of the best for his creation… Please, read that sentence in it’s entirety as many times as you need to in order to come to your senses… I beseech you.
It is irreconcilable. It does not compute. At what point in time do we accept the responsibility of free will and admit that everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen, is caused by our attitudes and actions? In the plainest of terms, the Bible gives us a set of rules designed for us to live peaceably with our fellow human beings. There is no commandment or charge that tells us to hate, exploit, strip the earth of its natural resources and use our free will to make decisions that will negatively affect our fellow man. Where we should have evolved well past the ignorance that can be blamed for bigotry and discrimination we instead continue to wallow in the mire of hate. Where we should have reached a level of mastery over the earth and its resources we have allowed greed to destroy and decimate and endanger the lives of every living thing. Where we can use free will to advance the causes that will bring unity, harmony and peace, we instead use or voices and our power in an attempt to dehumanize and subjugate anything and anyone that does not look or behave like us.
God’s will? I think not. Or maybe we don’t believe in the same God… You see, I believe in the God who created earth and gave me dominion – not to exploit but to protect, to replenish and to perpetuate. I believe in the God that promises hope, long life and a future. I believe in the Creator who charged me to love my neighbour as myself – with ABSOLUTELY NO QUALIFICATIONS. That’s the being who moves my spirit. The God who was around long before man conceived of and constructed the Bible, long before the Bible was edited and translated to English, long before it became a text used by those with religious and royal authority to manipulate and control the populace.
So pardon me if I slap you back when you talk to me about God’s will when you are referring to something negative that we actually have control over. Talk to me about dominion and how we have almost unlimited power in the form of our bodies and minds. Talk to me about how we can invent and build and innovate and improve creation rather than destroy it. Tell me about how science should allow us to cure diseases and extend life and utilize natural resources in a sustainable manner. Admit that it is greed and capitalism and the selfishness of man that has limited these possibilities. Admit that it is the 1%s quest for power by the subjugation of the 99% that has limited our ability to advance as human beings. Talk to me about the free will that allows us as individuals to change our attitudes and our actions to facilitate progress and harmony and the betterment of this world. Admit that the perpetuation of bigotry by the willfully and purposely ignorant and hateful and in some cases evil, is what causes war and racism and discrimination and all the atrocities that stem from those things.
My spirit has led me to a place where I believe that the only thing God wills for us is that we take care of this earth and each other in the best way possible to make this beautiful place as comfortable as it has the potential to be… But until we accept responsibility for our actions and the consequences thereof, we are destined and doomed to repeat the most destructive elements of history until we can no longer withstand or recover from the calamities that result…