Monday, February 4, 2013

Dereliction of Deity

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of creative writing, and this is told from the point of view of a Catholic priest which I certainly have never been. I'm no hypocrite, I never force my opinion on anyone, so just read and don't be offended, okay? When it comes to religion, I'm all for freedom of belief and allowing individuals to find the truth that works for them (as long as it does not infringe on the inherent rights of others.) That said, I am an Atheist and damn proud of it-- willing to explain and defend my faith in humanity. Enjoy.

Dear Father,

Do not mistake this letter of concern for a prayer. Yes, when I was a much younger man I looked to you for advice-- even revered you above all else-- but alas, that time is no more. I now find your existence implausible, an angle I see as an optimistic one. If you do happen to exist, I'm terribly sorry... for you must be the loneliest creature in all 'creation.' I say this sentiment not as passive aggressive blasphemy, but out of a sense utmost and genuine pity.

Perhaps you're asking yourself why a lowly mortal would pity the great and glorious all-father, hands of earth and sky, know-er of the why and the all-seeing eye. Simple really. Your character is tragically beset by crippling narcissism, a condition made even sadder by the myth of perfection you desperately perpetuate. You say you've made man from your image, yes? Meaning our emotions are derived from your own? The Holy Bible accounts countless times when you display anger and sadness. There's no denying it, Yahweh.  The sin of humanity disturbs you, and causes you to isolate us-- damn us to hell even-- but who is really being isolated?

Any therapist worth his salt knows the answer. You've isolated yourself. As the 'active' dictator residing over all reality, the blame of sin is yours alone. Don't say it's human freewill that created evil. You're the one who created that so-called freewill; ipso facto, you created sin in the process. Arranging for someone else to commit a crime with knowledge of the consequences is called conspiracy. For one that is supposedly all-knowing, it's surprising that you could be shocked at the outcome of mankind's choices. If you created men as imperfect beings, how could you ever realistically expect them to behave otherwise? You couldn't... and you don't. You may have fooled a good chunk of mankind, God, but I see the truth. You do not love mankind, you created them for the sole purpose of loving you. That's not just selfish and manipulative; it's outright pathetic.

If strict obedience to your will dictates the quality of our afterlives, how is that 'free' will? There's a price to pay for that will - eternal damnation.  According to your word, if a man sins (something you created them to do) he deserves an eternity of suffering, loneliness and darkness. Excuse the pun, but how the hell is that justice? The length of mortal existence within the grand scheme of an eternity is absolutely negligible. All sin is equal in your eyes, correct? That inferiority complex of yours is blinding, Lord, because that groups me, an earnest and loving person, with the likes of serial rapists, murderers and worse. Do good people truly deserve to burn forever just because they chose not to put their faith in a God who is too shy (or apathetic) to show them any proof of his existence? That's not a healthy give and take in a relationship. It's all take. Abuse.

The righteous to you are essentially those who chose to worship you, bribe you or dedicate their entire lives to convincing others to do the same. That's dreadfully egotistical, don't you think? It makes one wonder why a God would need so much reassurance in himself. As a man of humility, receiving praise is an uncomfortable feeling. I could not even imagine being worshiped. Those in history who have desired and demanded such allegiance have always been scorned as unhinged, malevolent egotists. Dictators.

As the people of North Korea could tell you, suffering for the sake of ruler who offers them nothing in return and ignores their plight is a miserable existence. Jehovah, are you any different than the likes of the late Kim Jong Il? I'm sorry to say this, but it would appear not. I could even draw parallels between the hyping up of your sons as living divinity. You're aware that you have nothing to offer humanity to deserve love, so you use fear and propaganda to extract it. You create imperfect beings and curse them for the flaws you've built in, and then damn them to hell for not thanking you for it. Sick indeed... but perhaps the promise of a 'heaven' is your cruelest prank of all.

Admittance into heaven is the most rueful of all fates for a free thinking human. Just as your perfection is a delusion, your utopia is a prison. You promise streets of gold, jeweled crowns, mansions and other objects of worldly beauty. For what purpose do I require such frivolous symbols of riches? Your conjured gold is worthless, made common by the effortlessness of its alchemy. Don't insult my integrity.You will not coax me into your den by dangling a carrot at the end of a rod. You allow children to starve on the mortal plane, but offer them feasts when they die and no longer feel the pains of hunger. Excuse me if I don't revel in the irony. If I enter your heaven, who I am ... will die.

Your heaven not only makes a mockery of men-- it destroys us.  The gift of perfection is a curse. Our flaws make us beautiful, unique and have meaningful existences. Personality must be checked at the door with St. Peter. Censorship is the bricks that make up your so-called paradise, and absolute uniformity is the mortar that holds it together. Heaven is truly a worse fate than hell, and only a paradise for its dictator. Humanity deserves to express its self in any style it chooses, not be forced to wear soulless white robs. In your stagnant white zone, we cannot procreate. Learn from mistakes. Cry. Read about villains and exciting thrillers. Enjoy a nice, brutal boxing match. Be unique. You tell us to cast away the pleasures of the world, but what do you offer as an alternative? Seeing the loved ones you stole from us? Singing your praises? Your heaven robs us of our minds and rapes us clean of our humanity, leaving behind an uncanny human puppet that does nothing but sing your praises. I shutter at the thought of serving an unending sentence as an unthinking choir boy. I'd rather have my skin melted off in hell than abandon my humanity and become a hollow toy in your divine dollhouse.

There's a reason you've made man out to be the bad guy. You're jealous of us. Coveting the freewill that you yourself can never acquire. Sin is an integral aspect of existence, and, since you cannot understand it... it horrifies you. You've shoehorned the stigma of 'evil' upon the fallen angel Lucifer (aka Satan), but what exactly has been his transgression?  All one needs to do is read the book of Job and it becomes clear who truly is the villain. Satan gave Adam and Eve knowledge, freeing them from the shackles of ignorance and your empty paradise. Had I believed in his existence, I'd personally thank him.

And that's what it all comes down to - freedom. We've proven that we're better off left to our own devices, Yahweh. By embracing our imperfections and using them as tools to create our own world, mankind has become their own gods. We solved the problems you refused to fix. Our technology has exceeded the beauty of your own inventions. We've granted ourselves powers you've hogged to yourself, and fought off all the diseases and dangers you've thrown at us. Our knowledge transcends the scraps of wisdom hidden in your archaic book. Our stories are now more amazing than your myths. We found reasons to be happy. We are loved by each other... not a passive God. You don't help us because your intervention is for the worse, and that irks you to no end. Oh? A just being like God couldn't possibly be that petty? Of course he can.That's why he's ordained our destruction-- outlining it in the tantrum known as the book of Revelation.

I suppose I could continue listing off examples of your selfishness until the short timer you set for my life ticks off, but I won't. I lied God, I don't pity you at all. I pity the naive half of humanity. I pity the world that you've created solely to alleviate your loneliness, inflate your ego... and amuse you. You had mankind ghostwrite your opinions in a dusty anthology of era-bound rules and regulations that have since been lorded over us freethinkers and used as a means to control and segregate societies for centuries.Our seven years are up, God, it's time for you to free your slaves. Stop living off the Bible's endless royalties and wake up. How can a benign author sit in silence while countless people twist his magnum opus' ancient adages to fit their own selfish agendas? The Bible is long overdue for a sequel-- one where you own up to your dereliction of deity, publicly resign as God and let humankind soar with its own beautiful wings. If you love a bird, you do not clip its wings with lies.

Don't worry though, as I said, I personally am under the impression that you've never existed at all. I easily prefer living in a realm dictated by the laws of science over a fantasy of vanity dreamed up by self-serving sovereign spirit. In either case, I'm content with my fate. I cherish humanity's flawed world and its limitless potential  Out of my love for humanity, it is my earnest desire that someday all of us will realize this truth I hold so dear to my heart. Until the day the truth finally is realized, I will do my best to defend it.

A Disillusioned Priest

- B