Monday, March 27, 2006

You Can't "Humiliate God"

The latest bit of fundamentalist idiocy comes from the enlightened state of Afghanistan, where a fellow is in jeopardy of his life for converting from Islam to Christianity. A number of clerics have called for his beheading or "tearing apart" because the conversion "humiliates God." How could a person of God possibly come to this conclusion?

Is God so powerless that man must come to God's aid? Does the creator of the universe, the One God (Allah) require the help of finite, imperfect humans? Can a person take any action that in any way makes God feel "humiliated". Not.

Any person with even a faint glimmer of intelligence understands that God is more than capable of taking care of God, and sees that God permits and tolerates all sorts of slights by us mere mortals. The Christian scriptures say "God lets the sun shine on both the good and the bad." God seems to be pretty much a "hands-off" creator in this world, reserving judgment for a time when our work is done and we move on to another realm. But God demonstrates power in any number of natural ways, showing us clearly who is in charge.

Has God delegated to us the duty to take revenge on any person who apparently has slighted the omnipotent? Who then are we, to take God's judgment upon ourselves? Do we honor God by assuming God's prerogative? Are we worthy to do this? Or do we take a great risk if we elevate ourselves to exercise God's justice?

Fundamentalists of all religions often seem to get turned around on this point. They get so deep into their version of "religion" that they start believing that they have God's power of attorney. Some would say that this is the greatest of the devil's temptations - to convince a person that he or she can make decisions and take actions on God's part. I think, however, that man's inherent need to be powerful often can be easily satisfied by convincing the ignorant that the power is taken in God's name. "I'm just the instrument!", they cry as the axe falls or the bomb explodes.

The world needs to come down hard on these Afghani religious terrorists. God cannot be humiliated, God does not need their help to manage the universe, and they profane God by professing to kill in God's name.

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