Recently, I had one of those conversations that those of us who are “religious” have with real (ie, non-religious) people. The person ususally makes it clear that they are ”not religious” and then proceeds to tell me why, often with a reference to a “God” that I don’t believe in either. In this case, the primarly reason for the person not being able to believe in “God” is the presence of suffering in the world. Fair point – to which I always want to reply some variation of the following (which I wrote in a bit of a tirade in my journal that evening, so please be warned: bad langauge ahead; I have cleaned up the spelling):
“The Universe is a beautiful, shitty place in which strangers give their last twenty dollars to a woman whose home has just burned down, and in which tiny children are afflicted with cancer, and babies die of starvation, and natural disasters decimate whole commuties. And the Force of Good, the Ground of being, the Source of love and life, suffers and is killed and is birthed in this. I don’t know how it works. It seems to be a logical flaw that an all-loving, all-powerful God can exist in this – which suggest to me one of four things. Either a) God’s a capricious bastard who doesn’t give a shit about His creation; b) God’s a capricious bastard who takes pleasure in fucking with His creation; c) God’s a paternalistic thug who beats His children in the vain hopes of making them stronger; or d) God is all loving and all-vulnerable and suffers as we suffer, is beaten as we are beaten, starves as we starve, fears as we fear, and dies as we die.”
This is what I want to say. Normally I can’t think of any remotely eloquent variation on that. That’s just the way I roll.
On a completely different note, last night marked the momentus occasion of my fiftieth blog post. So, in a pre-emptive celebration on the weekend, I had my nose pierced. Fifty seems worthy of being marked.