Tuesday, February 13, 2007

What do I believe about God?

Ms. Kitty has a truly marvelous entry in the latest UU Carnival, Ms. Kitty's Saloon and Road Show: Prophetic Atheism . At the end, she asks a question one almost never hears asked by a UU Minister: What do you believe about God?
Like Ms. Kitty, I cannot believe in the “old man on the throne” God. The ancient concepts of God, from Zeus to Jehovah, is not really a God, but a man writ large; a being who thinks as men think, who sees as men see (just better), who feels the same emotions men do, and acts upon them just as savagely as men do. This is the God that inspired Mark Twain to say, “God created man in his own image; man, being a gentleman, returned the favor.” For this reason I no longer even use the word “God” to refer to that which I worship, nor use the masculine pronoun; they have too much baggage- I say “the Divine”, and “She”.

I am a Panentheist: the Divine is part of the fabric of space-time itself, (I speculate on how it could have happened here ), and so is in everything. The Divine is not the creator, but the substance of creation- but She is also a living sentience. As She is in everything, I am also an animist.

The Divine does not manipulate the physical world; she does not cause natural disasters to punish, nor saves from disaster to reward.

The Divine operates through living agencies, by speaking directly to our souls. She does not compel, she only persuades; we are free to ignore her if we wish.

The Divine does not damn us for disbelief, nor punish us for disobedience; She dispenses her gifts unconditionally. Any price we pay for these “sins” we impose on ourselves, by denying ourselves her abundant joys and wisdom.

The Divine is not fed by our praise, nor diminished by the unbelievers’ ridicule. If you deny her, She will love you still; if you praise her, she cannot love you more. Just accept her, and be enriched.

What do you believe about God?


ms. kitty said...

Marvelous, Joel, thanks for the post---and the plug!

Joel Monka said...

As for the plug- you've earned it by writing as well as anyone in the UU blogosphere. As to the post- you inspire deep thoughts.

ms. kitty said...

You sweet guy, Joel. Thanks. I hope our paths cross one of these days (GA?) and that I will recognize you and Ms. Monka with your clothes on.

Joel Monka said...

You're more likely to meet us when we visit the Mother in Law, who lives in Port Townsend. You'd like her, too, I bet- I do, anyway. We'll be easy to recognize- the M.I.L. will be the skinny one not feeding the gulls on the ferry!

ms. kitty said...

Well, do let me know when you're coming and we can meet.