God — made in the image of humanity

The Bible says that God created mankind in God’s image. But have you ever noticed that, for most religions including a large percentage of Christianity, the god they worship turns out to be much more human than devine? That is to say, God seems to be against anything theiy happen to discuss.

In fact in the United States, there seems to be a belief amongst many that somehow their God loves America and Americans more than anybody else. If they happen to dislike, be afraid of or disapprove of some group, be it immigrants, refugees or the LGBTQ community or any other minority, it is obvious to them that their god cares less about those people.

Then, in science, as long as the evidence of science supports their belief system, all is well. But in a case where the idea that Gays and Lesbians are a natural part of the universe, since they abhorr that group, they refuse to listen to the science. Where science reveals that we are damaging our envirnment with our extreme use of fossil fuel, since they don’t want to change, that is against God’s plans also, apparently.

One of my favorite quote is the one that says “we know we have created God in OUR image when that God hates everything we hate.” Sadly, this has always been true to a certain extent, and continues to be so.

There is nobody that I find as politically, ethicly and socially more repudient than trump and his cohorts. They have attacked compassion and human dignity for millions of immigrants, refuges and other minorities including the T portion of the LGBTQ community. However, I would never go so far as to say that God hates trump. I do, but God should and is almost certainly better than I am.

So how did we get to this position? Well, the Roman and Greek mythologies were at least honest about it. They projected their Gods with every human weakness going. They were jealeous, unfaithful in relations and just generally like humanity often at its worst. However, when Judiasm, Christainity and Muslim came along, they had a book to tell them what to do, supposedly.

The “Old Testament”, the book of the Jewish people, was mostly a history book and a group of laws. The laws were all about making their people different from all people. They needed that to stand out and have their own identitiy. Also, they believed that God had to approve before anything could happen. So if they won a war, it was because God helped them. Now, we would be willing to at least say that some ways are because of human evil…example Nazi Germany.

Yet, even that narrative is not of one piece. There is evidence that at one time, the Isrealis believe that the god they worshiped was their nation’s god only. They had to carry their deity around in a box so it would be with them when they ventured into foreign lands. Later, they decided that their God was the universal deity. Those ideas came along when they went into captivity and still felt the presense of that which they worshipped.

Chrstianity started out as a breaking away from all the ritual purity and the straitjacket of literally hundreds, if not thousands of small, often petty laws, to get to the core of what made life livable and decent. Of course, it didn’t take long for that to get ruined.

Most of what we read these days is not anything Jesus ever said especially when we gather in churches. It is what Paul supposedly said. Paul, many scholars will tell us was at least a difficult man. I have often observed that Saul and Paul were not opposites. Saul was an arrogant, self-righteous Jew who thought and even tried to help destroy the Christian sect as it was developing within Judiasm. Paul was an arrogant, self-religious advocate for the Christian message who had very little patients with those that felt differently. (don’t believe me, actually read the New Testament as literature or a narrative of interpersonal relationships sometime, it might surprise you)

Most recently, I went though a class within one denomination of the Christian faith, and the statements I made above were roundly supported in that class. The fact that both Judiasm and Christianity are a product of history and specifically the history of a group/nation of humanities’ thoughts and beliefs about what the higher power is and wants.

So what is God? First of all, I think we need to all be a bit agnostic about what and who God is, assuming we are not of a mind to just ignore the whole concept. I understand, with religion taking the stand it has taken about so many people over the years (Native Americans slaughtered, Blacks enslaved and now LGBTQ denigrated all in the name of some religious principle of the time) that some might just find it necessary to step aside and be atheist or agnostic.

In my opinion, to be a God worthy of any kind of worship, the deity would have to be broader and better than the image many so called Christians assign to it. And no, I don’t call God a he because I don’t think spirit has gender.

So, there are those that have decided that the whole concept of religion and God is bogus. They feel that way because of science and the fact that science can never prove the existance of a spiritual being OR because they have seen the harm that narrow minded religion creates. However, some of us want to hang on to some of the Christian, or religious narrative without the baggage of the hatred that is so often bound up in it.

How can we do that. 1. Remember that the books we have today were written long ago in a different age. 2. Their view of how the universe worked was totally different. 3. they, for the most part were a minority group of persons who had to struggle to maintain a separate identity. However, there is also another side to that coiin.

The other side is that has always been disagreement about what the devine wants and expects. Jews believed that Pork and shell-fish were forbidden. Christianity rejected that concept when Peter reported having a vision. But what did Peter actually do differently. There is no report that he started eating pork and shellfish, at least that is not recorded. What IS recorded is that he opened up the doors of the church to the Gentiles.

Many in the Christian religion want to hang on to all the negatives they find in the writtings…in particular about the LGBTQ community. Yet, Peter’s vision report has much more to do with people. While there is no record that there were Gay or Lesbians prominently with that world, it does seem to have about people instead of food.

And so it is today that some christians, more every day it seems, are seeing God as being bigger than human prejudice. Specifically about homosexual and transgenderism, these people believe that God loves everybody just as they are. That includes the LGBTQ communities as well as refugees (which by the way the Bible even tells the people they should welcome and help), and not just those that society has agreed are “normal”.

Many like to look in John for uplifing scriptures about God loving the world, but they never look at John 10:16. There, Jesus says “I have other flocks of whom you do not know.” It might behoove some “conservative christians” to develop some humility and wonder just who some of those “other flocks might be”.

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Left Wisdom

68 and retired, and living my dream free, knowing that only by working with a union am I fortunate enough to be able to be where I am.