There’s No Business Like The God Business

It is remarkable that in the year 2007, to be a successful candidate in the USA, you have to be a Churchgoer and identify yourself as a good Christian.

Now that the political season is really heating-up in the USA, all the candidates are sporting their devotion to God. Somehow, the words God-fearing and politician used to describe the same person in the same sentence is quite a conflict.

Is there a God? . . . Prove it! And then prove which of the many Gods is the legitimate “creator” of everything.

Is it the God of the Jews? The Christian Son of the God of the Jews? The Prophet of the God of the Moslems who has “borrowed” from the Jews and the Christians? The Hindu Gods? Buddha? Or other Gods?

When people sing: “there’s no business like show business, there’s no business I know . . . etc” – they’re almost right, since the God business is the ultimate in show business with scripts, props and great special effects.

And it’s a business that’s been going on for longer than mankind can remember. Probably even longer than prostitution.

I know – many of you are reading this and cursing me-out. How dare he attack my religious beliefs, you’re probably thinking? Who the hell is he to say that my God doesn’t exist?

That’s one of the many nice things about living in a society governed by the Secular rule of law. There’s no government prohibition that keeps me from saying that religion is a con-job, which has made many people rich and powerful by providing nothing more than the fear of not believing.

I won’t debate the minutia of Intelligent Design versus Darwin, since the understanding of Darwin is based exclusively on debatable scientific theory, while Intelligent Design is based exclusively on faith alone. And faith is not debatable; otherwise it would not be faith. Sort of a “catch 22” don’t you think?

That’s as far as I will ever be willing to go in a debate between religious and Secular beliefs. But, I will debate to the end of time; the damage religious belief has done to humanity and to the well-being of all manner of life.

History is replete with countless numbers of acts of extreme inhumanity all done in the name of someone’s religious belief. Even today, as I am writing this, people worldwide are being savaged somewhere on the planet in the name of someone’s God.

In this day and age, I wonder at the elaborate costumes worn by followers of religions including Chasidim, Moslems and Priests. What does the elaborate garb of the Pope have to do with Christ’s unwritten message?

It is remarkable that in the year 2007, to be a successful candidate in the USA, you have to be a Churchgoer and identify yourself as a good Christian.

What’s that all about in a secular society, where the US Constitution separates Church from State, and guarantees people the right to practice their religion, and the right to be free from practicing any religion?

It kills me when athletes thank God for victory. Does that mean God wanted the other guy or guys to lose? Or when an actor, singer or dancer wins an award and thanks God. Does that mean God didn’t like the talent of the others?

The best is when a prizefighter enters the ring and makes the sign of the cross upon himself or herself, before he or she attempts to beat the other fighter’s brain into unconsciousness. I’m sure that’s what God wants to see.

If God is all-powerful, as all the religious types seem to agree, of what need do we have of intermediaries such as Rabbis, Priests and Mullahs? Or is God incapable of communicating with us directly? But how can an all-powerful God be incapable of anything?

What does one’s belief in God have to do with obscene wealth and power?

How is it in God’s interest, or better yet, in the interest of believers in God, that the Catholic Church is perhaps the single wealthiest organization on the planet?

What does it really mean to be a good Christian?

Can I not be a good person without being a good Christian? More important than that. Can I not be a good person without being a Christian at all?

Christian Evangelicals believe that only believers in Christ can go to heaven. As a Jew, where would I go? Worse! As a Jewish Atheist, according to them, I’m doomed.

It seems to religious believers, that one cannot be a moral person if one is not a believer. I had an argument with a holier-than-thou Mormon several years ago, who said that I couldn’t be a moral human being without believing in God?

My question to him was: Why not? He had no answer, other than the usual gobble-gook.

How can people be so arrogant as to assume that their all-powerful God would dismiss everyone “He” has created because of “His” creations’ (me for example) free will?

When I see religious devotees, especially fundamentalists spending most, if not all of their time practicing their faith, opposed to living their lives, I feel sorry for how much they are truly missing. Especially the women.

My belief is simple:

I was born through an act of sex. I have been alive for 57 years and would like to live a bit longer. I am happily married to a wonderful person with whom I share everything. We have no children by choice. We treasure our animal family and all that lives around us. And we are always there to help whomever deserves help, as long as giving that help is within our ability.

We wake up each morning looking forward to the day. And we go to bed each night feeling “blessed” by the universe for all that we have.

To us, this is heaven of our own making. And when it’s all over, our particles, the essence of whom we are, will once again become one with the universe, only to eventually be “resurrected” as something else, since energy and mass are interchangeable, and neither can be destroyed.

That essence will come back in a different form. To me, of that, there is no question. But no one could ever assume what that form will be. Kind of like Buddhist and Hindu thinking. But not exactly.

So, I go about living each day as if it is my last. I do the best that I can for others and myself. And when my time comes that ends this existence, I will know that I didn’t waste it believing in the powers of religious intermediaries building a path to a heaven that doesn’t exist, when in fact, a heaven that does exist is already within my immediate grasp.

When I was attending a Rabbinical school in Montreal, I asked these questions of myself and my teachers. The two common answers my teachers gave were simple:

BECAUSE – and it is a sin to question the word of God.

I like my answer better. And if I’m wrong, where do I lose? Isn’t “He” supposed to be the all-understanding and the all-merciful?

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