Monday, February 18, 2013

giving up god

when i began to open up about where my theological fall out was taking me, i found it helpful to use this phrase: "i am not holding onto god anymore, but maybe he is holding onto me."

a dear and devout friend, upon hearing that phrase, told me essentially that maybe that is the place god wants me. and i wonder sometimes if it is the place he, if he is who he says he is, wants everyone.

okay, i know that making assumptions about what god wants for everyone is a strange thing to hear from someone who is holding to the "hopeful agnostic" title. and i'm really not sure if i even know what i mean, or what i'm talking about.

really all i know about theology is the things i can not buy into anymore.  i can't buy into a just and loving god who creates finite people just to send them into an infinite hell. i can't buy into an inconsistent morality which gives god leave to commit genocide, murder and construct different legal consequences based on gender. i can't believe in a god who lets people go to hell just because they were born in a different place, or born into a hindu or muslim family. i can't buy an all loving and powerful god who is "disgusted" by the "sin" of love that contains anything other than two opposite cis-gender people.

maybe, just maybe, i could buy a god who loves and holds on to you, no matter what.  a god who isn't threatened if you call him buddha or jesus.  a god who gives freedom without eternal consequences if he doesn't like your choices.

of course, most people i know would contend that what i just described isn't god, and i don't get to pick and choose what i believe in and that what really matters is truth, absolute truth.

well. my thought is that "truth" and "absolute truth" are just distractions.

they distract you from paying attention to yourself, to others, to the understandings and truths of others. if you're a christian, it distracts you from learning from other christian faith traditions, maybe the ones that have been ridiculed by your peers or teachers.

i loved this article by Brandon Ambrosino. he is giving up god for lent. i loved the first story he told, because for a long time that was all i knew of Nietzche. i resonated with the experience of rejecting god as wholly unknowable and other and building him to be what i wanted him to be or what i had been taught that he was. the only aspects of him that were unknowable were the faith-destroying things we had to just make up answers for, or say "well, god is god." the rest?  we knew.

this is the god i was introduced to, the god i thought i knew: "Indeed, the God of my rigid ideologies, of my complacent Theology; the God who validates my unwillingness to explore heresies, and rewards me for arrogantly dismissing them as sinful; the God who grounds my intellectual arrogance in His omniscience, and my politics in his omnipotence; the God who vanquishes all of His and my inquisitive foes, forever silencing their obnoxious questions with the fires of Hell; whose very Nature demands that humans separate and categorize the world into manageable divisions; the God who has made His Will known to us through Natural Law, and a Holy Book, every word of which we are to follow without hesitation or consideration; whose ethical character remains beyond discussion; whose decisions remain beyond the scope of human analysis; the God who grounds all Thought in his Being - this God, who is Himself nothing more than an idol of Modernism, is dead."

that god is dead to me.

Brandon is giving up this god for lent. i plan to give him up entirely.

whether another god will show himself to me is beyond knowing right now.

and i'm entirely okay with that.

meanwhile, i'm going to learn. and breathe. and dance. and sing. and just be.

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