As we now pray for this to be over maybe we should ask why we have to. Is God not this benevolent being that oversees all mankind and yet he is the one killing the oldsters. Why would God allow wars, most all of them about him or over him and kill so many children and women put on earth to breed them? We can spare men as it only takes one seed right?
Again I am an Atheist and while I respect those views not of my own it gets challenging when you see so many conservative sects of faiths be the hardest hit communities when an outbreak of disease hits... such as the last measles epidemic. Apparently God who gave us people brilliant to actually know science does not mean we need said science until we do but then again we don't when it suits our faith, our beliefs or are own ignorance and arrogance as those two are besties when it comes to this. The anti vaxx crowd will embrace I suspect this Covid one but then again not. Only god knows.
But I share this opinion piece I read today for he asks salient questions about this God.
Religion justifies many conflicting human behaviors. How would God reconcile that? |
DeWayne Stallworth, Guest Columnist Published March 17, 2020 The Tennessean
Religion accounts for much of the best and worst of human behavior throughout history. What would God make of this?
DeWayne R. Stallworth is an African American religious studies scholar and the author of two books.
Narratives stretching back millennia help explain how a divine being, or multiple deities, created what we mere mortals know as humanity and planetary substance.
Early humans, while adapting and defining the social world around them, discovered their limitations and began associating the creation of things beyond their physical grasp — the moon, stars, sky and so on — to that of a more informed, super natural and transcendental phenomenon.
This mode of contemplation often resulted in the attribution of divine essence toward nature as well as toward humans who were recognized and worshiped as demigods.
Religion helped form differing cultures
By correlating aspects of the natural world with that of divine essence, humans garnered the ability to envision a sacred space beyond the here-and-now moment, which also inspired the use of rituals and symbols to communicate cultural significance to peoples of the world. As the God concept developed in practice and theory among various cultural groups, the world became fragmented and accustomed to the use of divine influence as a means to further human ambitions.
The Crusades are an example in which human beings used religion as a means to vie for more space, power and geographical positioning. Muslims and Christians killed one another because both sides were convinced that they possessed solely God’s blessed directive to pursue cultural advancement.
Similarly, American chattel slavery is yet another example of how humans use religion to substantiate oppressive and dehumanizing behavior. In fact, in 1562, British sailor John Hawkins became the first European to sail the triangular trade successfully. The slave ship that transported these newly-enslaved Africans to the new world was ironically named Jesus.
In the 21st century, humans continue to co-sign God to acts that border on sinister and nefarious intentions. Diverse religious groups gather together weekly in order to worship the God of their understanding. Jews, Muslims and Christians believe that their respective notions about God, this world, and the hereafter are validated historically, and they have the words to prove it: Hebrew Bible, Qur’an and Christian Bible.
Which religious group is right? A Christian understanding of God, for instance, entails a belief of hellish torture if one does not possess faith solely in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
In other words, according to Christian dogma, one can fight against social injustice, advocate for LGBTQ rights, assist the homeless and treat all human personality with a sense of relevance, but still reserve a spot in hell if one does not believe the Christian narrative of the historical Jesus. I find this mode of thinking to be difficult, absurd and dangerous.
Neo-Nazi groups also subscribe to hard-wired notions about God. They are convinced that God has given them authority to kill, harass and terrorize non-whites as a means of preserving God ordained whiteness. As far as these racists are concerned, God deems their hateful consideration of another race as being both appropriate and meaningful.
Therefore, I believe that God, albeit a plausible cosmic reality, is also a mental construction that provides a context for what is good and proper for the individual. Thus, God is real according to how the individual understands and interprets this reality via lived experience. I often wonder how God feels about people who use religious dogma as a means of manipulation, control and social expansion.
Does God even care? I think God does care; and if God is real, the agents of religious manipulation will have to provide an accounting for their abuses; or maybe not.