August 16th, 2021
I get asked regularly about why I don’t believe in a capital-G God, mostly by people who are genuinely curious or just want a different point of view on things.
I realize that there may be value in putting these words out into the world, to validate them and maybe other people who are having trouble figuring out what it is they do or don’t believe.
I’d like to preface this by saying I am deeply envious of those who have strong beliefs, the kind that gives them strength and peace and relief, and inspires them to be a better person every day. I absolutely mean that.
Now, with that said.
As someone who works daily on myself and how I see others, I cannot subscribe to a judgmental God. That actually blows my mind. You’re telling me that God has had eternity to work on His character defects, and dude still judges? Additionally, I can’t abide by a God who has requirements to get into his version of everlasting life. There are beings on this planet — some of them human — who literally can’t comprehend and give themselves in a way that satisfies the rules for admission to Heaven. It turns me off imagining a God with a velvet rope and a V.I.P. section.
Man has had too much of a hand in all things allegedly of God, and we’ve made a mess of it. (The Bible reads like a soap opera brought to life on HBO.) The only thing I could fully commit myself to believing in is something that makes complete sense to me. The sheer amount of things in Christianity that simply defies logic, history, and science are too much for me to blissfully ignore.
Logical thoughts about time and eternity itself are also a deterrent for me. If the afterlife is truly eternal, then why would there be a timeline on Earth, including things that have been predicted but have yet to happen? Why would an everlasting being care about planning, or waiting for things to happen in a order that, in relation to His existence, would happen in the blink of an eye?
And to that point, of course all religious predictions point to our secular existence ending badly: any child who watches the news for more than five minutes could tell you that humans are going to screw all this up. That is not a good prediction. It is an easy and cynical one.
And then this, probably my biggest issue: there is a large population that talks about “thinking for yourself” and “doing your own research” and “freedom” who also believe that, out of thousands of religions and Gods, theirs is objectively the right one, and they will fight you about it. Actually fight you and tell you that you’re wrong. Even though there is literally no objective way to prove it, and their entire personality has been built on the idea that we are of free thought and of free will.
How so many people can’t recognize that absurd cognitive dissonance astounds me, and it is a heartbreaking revelation.
But I love the ideas of community and compassion and prayer and the universe speaking through people and fate being bigger than coincidence and, of course, my favorite phrase: radical empathy.
I see all of that taught in religion, and I get it.
But I also see a thousand man-made sketches of flawed creators and rulers, and then I just don’t.
I believe the phrase I introduced in The Weirdos — “The universe is bigger than God” — does not discount God, nor rejects Him, but instead allows all religion and people to exist, and is the most inclusive sentiment I could imagine.
And that’s what I believe in.
I believe there is a place for every single being, a place that lacks judgment and is imbued with love, of pure acceptance.
And I believe we have to build it ourselves.
All are welcome. There are no invitations, initiations or secret handshakes. If you are a part of this life in any way, you’re a part of eternity, too. You helped build it, after all.
It’s a simple belief.
In no way do I find that discouraging. And I sure as hell can’t find any reason that tells me I’m wrong.