Year Eight

This entry was posted by on Thursday, 30 June, 2011 at

These annual reflections seem like quite a farce at this point, but it seems that I have somehow managed to retain a couple of regular readers. Also, my previous post reminded me of something that I was thinking about a long time ago but I never got around to posting. So let’s do this.

Someone once told me rather bluntly to simply “get over whatever it is that you’re mad at God about.” This was probably a couple of years ago now, yet it has stuck with me, not as a useful piece of advice, but rather as an indication of a total lack of understanding of my situation.

Mad at God? I remembered in that moment that I had already once admitted to being mad at God, and one thing I have learned about dealing with conservatives is that it is important to not take back anything that you have said lest you be labeled a “flip-flopper” and they will never respect you.* So there was no denying that I was mad at God.

The question then becomes: what does it mean for me to be mad at God? For someone who has a “relationship” with God, I can see how it would be quite simple. It would be like if you had two friends that had a fight and and now they are not speaking to each other. One of them needs to make the effort to apologize and take it from there. (Obviously if we accept such a scenario, then God being infallible and all, the fault is entirely mine.) But what if I am not mad at someone that you know? What if I told you instead that I was mad at my grandfather? (My mother’s father, and I am not, by the way.) However, if I were… he is dead now and whatever the issue, no reconciliation is possible. Or indeed, what if I had some reason to be mad at my father’s father? Well, he died long before I was born. He is not even a “real person” in my head, more of vague person-shaped idea.

What if I were mad at a legendary figure? Someone who either never existed at all, or is so surrounded in mythology as to be essentially fictional? Santa Claus. King Arthur. Odysseus. What would it even mean to be mad at one of these?

So then, what if God were not real? What if all that I have attributed to Him over for the last eight years was but a mishmash of hopeful naïveté and confirmation bias? To be mad at this is to be mad at an abstract concept. One might as well claim to be mad at “love”, or mad at “peace”.

This is where I stand.



*I am fully aware that this is a downright insulting over-simplification, but I could write a whole separate post on what I actually mean by this. I do not feel like doing that now, so maybe you could just pretend to understand what I am getting at here and we can move it along.

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