omg(od)

I don’t know how to talk about God. Mainly because there seems like two options: either crazy town, evangelical nutjob or equally as whacked out new age mumbo-jumbo. I want to talk about God though. Not because I want to convert anyone or because I want to prove to the world how remarkable my faith is. It’s just a really interesting relationship. I’ve been trying to figure out how to talk and write about God for about a week. I even pondered it on Twitter. Because if you’re gonna delve into life’s complex topics it’s best to do it on the same platform where stars from Jersey Shore share what they had for lunch. In 140 characters or less, naturally. As usual, my “unique problem” with God isn’t so unique and there’s even a study to prove it.

Last week this headline caught my eye- “Critical Thinkers Less Likely to Believe in God.” Being critcial and sarcastic myself, I couldn’t help snarking, “Nooooo! Reallly?!?” New research shows that, yes, smart-ass, people who like us who love knowing all the facts aren’t too big on drinking the God Kool-Aid. “Most of the people who have ever lived believe in a religion of some kind,” says Will Gervais, the author of the paper and a doctoral student at the University of British Columbia in an interview with US News and World Report. “But there are nearly half a billion nonbelievers. We’re trying to understand what leads some people to believe and other people to disbelieve.” The study put participants through a series of exercises, like surveys and critical thinking drills. Through the scientific yammering all they came up with was, in essence, people who need to believe in God do and people who don’t need to, well, don’t. Here’s where my God stuff comes in and where I tie back into what I opened with (I know. It’s about fucking time.) Maybe I’m still a little like those smarty pant non-believers. Maybe I still have moments where I think I’m too cool for school when it comes to God. And I definitely don’t think religion is the thing for me. I’m not a joiner, says the active 12-step member. Me and God we’ve got our own thing going own. I don’t feel the need to hang out with God and a bunch of people in hats on a Sunday to prove I have faith.

So why the hell, if I’m a little like those survey people, do I want to talk about God so darn bad? Because I need to. Believing in something else saved my life. Asking a power bigger than me to take my problems continues to save my life. I’ve been so supremely fucked so many times that nothing could get me out of it but somehow I’m still here. And it wasn’t because of any of my big ideas. Regular readers of this blog know that most of my big ideas are pretty cray-cray. The fact is that I’ve dodged too many bullets to not believe in God. Or at the very least “The Universe”. I guess the main reason I wanted to talk about God is this- maybe I’ll never know what to say or how to define my relationship or receive any “Mega Believer” plaque in the mail. But all I can tell you is in this era of “we hate everything” and “we’re suspicious of everyone” perhaps it’s really badass to believe in God. Or something. And maybe it’s punk rock to have faith and it takes balls to pray. It’s chickenshit to hate everything and trash talk everyone. You have to have real guts to just  believe that everything is going to be okay. And truly believe it. Yeah I guess I just wanted to say if you are one of those believing types, I think it’s okay. More than okay. I think it’s amazing. And don’t worry, I won’t make you talk about God. You don’t have to. I totally get it.

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14 thoughts on “omg(od)

  1. True story: True Christianity is not for wimps.
    It’s that great that you feel the urge to talk about it; greater still that you acted upon that urge. If you believe that something is important, speak up. If you’ve got potentially dumb questions, ask ’em. In a nation of religious freedom (allegedly, at the very least), matters of faith shouldn’t be treated as a taboo.
    …Hence my poking my head in and dropping comment. Oldest sibling synodrome, I suppose; I’m for leading by example. (:

    • Thanks for the comment! I’m a middle child so I’m all good with advice from the big kids 🙂 Luckily, I feel pretty solid on my relationship with God. Recovering from drug addiction and alcoholism, hopefully, will do that for a person. Still, I think it’s important to have honest conversations about spirituality. It helps demystify the whole thing. So thanks for being part of the conversation.

  2. I love your post. What I love about God is that you don’t have to join a club to feel the love. God is everywhere, for everyone and can’t be avoided. We are all connected.

    • Exactly Karen!!! I love that you said, “God is everywhere, for everyone and can’t be avoided. We are all connected.” Brilliant and true. It doesn’t matter which flavor or version. God, Allah, Buddah, The Universe. Whatever. it’s all good and all God.

  3. Doesn’t sound to cray-cray to me, but then again, consider the source. Speaking of The Source, we alcoholics who have been able to witness the miracle or recovery are pretty damn lucky. Not just because we were plucked from certain demise, but that we don’t have to wrestle with the concept of an invisible loving force. (And doesn’t all love start out invisible until we act upon it?) Personally, I think the game is rigged. Our life here is set up to coerce us into turning to The Creator. Gently at first, and well…you know…a little more firmly when we resist. I don’t know if there have ever been atheists in foxholes, but I’m pretty sure they were f—ing miserable and scared shitless.

  4. So some doctoral student student writes a paper where his premise is already questionable, and the “intellectual” atheists eat it up. Here are the problems:

    1. The claim is there are a half-billion nonbelievers. Where does this number come from?

    2. The current estimated world population is over 7 billion. Were his claim true: there are only 500 million people on the entire planet who possess the skill of critical thinking, then why aren’t bodies stacked up like fire wood outside hospitals? Why do our machines still run? How does stuff get built, and repaired every day?

    3. What about Einstein and Newton? Both men believed in a God. Newton believed Calculus was the language of God, and hos faith allowed him to explain the laws of gravity without defining gravity. These men are somehow less intelligent? By whose standard?

    Based on his numbers alone this theory fails the reality test.

    I was raised an Episcopalian. I was born in 1964 and came of age during the 1970s when my church was thinking outside the box about everything it did. We saw the ordination of women as priests, and later homosexuals. Yes people left, but they were replaced by people who suddenly felt welcome where they had not before. We had folk-masses where we’d sit on the alter, and acoustic guitars played as we sang folk-songs. For Passover pot-luck (Episcopalians love pot-lucks) we invited a Rabbi to perform the Seder, and he did it in Aramaic (the language of Jesus). It was powerful to hear the words as the J-Man would have spoken them. It was also cool coming from a Rabbi in a Christian dining hall. I can go on, but the bottom line was I was taught the world is a big place full of different people, and to try to love them in spite of my own weaknesses.

    I’m not sure how this makes me an idiot.

    • Beautifully said. I think this survey coupled with that Dan Savage mess, really got me thinking about tolerance and faith. Specifically my own. The notion that only dumb people believe in God is itself pretty dumb. And folks like the ones you mentioned are proof that it takes some serious brains to believe in something. Anyway, it’s a great conversation and I’m glad you chimed in. Always love to hear your take on stuff.

  5. As always, beautiful thoughts! Responses are cool also…

    I was taught that the first 164 pages were there to help me find MY truth about my HP. EGO says I (and many others) don’t have one, don’t need one, not going to be THAT kind of SHEEP….. Then I got to learn that… what I think about, and how many times I talk about something or someone is WHERE I am actually putting “hope” and where I will end up. Absolutely could not say the word God for almost 12 months. Entire room sucked air the day I DID say it for the 1st time, bahahahah!

    I found, I only needed my intellect to make people think I was important, smart and in command. I bought what “the rest of the sheep” were buying so I could feel good about being superior. I still have that thought about organized religions (all of them). Still can’t say “faith”…it just doesn’t have a meaning I can relate to in my truth, but hope….yeah hope does it for me.

    My hope that there is a plan,(I don’t have to know what it is for this world, my family.friends or myself) and it does not depend on ME …sets me so free. It’s like seeing life through a child’s eyes. Every friutloop and cheese fishey has a different color, taste and shape and makes my granddaughter giggle, wow… Every minute a suprise and full of wonder… it’s magical..and isn’t that what I was after in my disease anyway? A place with no worries, no pain and Magical? A place where I didn’t really have to think and could just have fun?

    I have sponsored 3 atheists and 2 intellectuals and a gazillion Christians…very funny…I prefer the atheists…less EGO and a blank slate by my experience.

    Funny, had a conversation the other day with a sponsee. She asked me why she wasn’t allowed to call me 6 times a day. I told her “Well if you are praying in the morning and and night, you are talking to your HP twice and me 6 times. Your source is ME and I am not your HP, not in charge and definitely can’t keep you sober. Who you talk to the most is where your “source” is.. Do you really want ME to be your GOD?”

    She decided calling in the mornings after her prayer &/or at night when she has a problem bugging her might be a good idea after all.

    Thanks for the post, always stirs me up! You are such a blessing!

    • Lady, I love ya and love your outlook, creativity and style. I laughed out loud when you said, “I prefer the atheists…less EGO and a blank slate by my experience.” So funny because it’s so true. Nothing causes us more grief than when we think we have it all figured out. Thanks for popping in and chiming in. Your words always class up my blog!

  6. Hey there Neighbor!

    boy this is a big one. and an important one. I see this debate in meetings and after meetings and saw it in bars and on dance floors and in art galleries and….

    Seems to me during My Day, we were all Arteests and it was way NOT COOL to think about God. talking about god (lower case) was fine. I would take LSD and hide away in the early morning Mass. Only one friend, a painter, knew where to find me. I had to hide my God Side and oddly the more LSD I took the Bigger My Got Thing got. weird. or not…

    I had weird kinda creepy god things happen as a kid so have an in. In my brain I mean. I just KNEW that it was god that did X.

    I love some of the dialog on the blogs: one old timer calling his higher power Bus 59 on Al. K. Halls blog. Bus # 59 got him to his meeting and that kept him sober. My friend recently decided that hers may be Harper Power, in honor of her dearly departed Dog.

    I like some of the dialog about intuition being God or HP: turn off your brain and LISTEN Kinda has a Buddhist bent. I dig the Moon and the pagan rituals, do Buddhist meditation, and go to mass at a parish downtown that is ALL INCLUSIVE (and therefore always in trouble. good for them)

    I know that getting clean and sober was at first just my amazing WILL POWER; over 2 decades in: not so much. some other thing needs to take the wheel. I call it “my god” who the hell knows what the frick that is BUT it works. (If is let it work that is and keep my Brain tied up and caged)

    It is a tricky thing and I know for me I can’t do this. I CAN do a lot of coke and lsd and…. I got all that covered…. Staying clean: something else better take over for me there.

    Peace, Jen

    WHEN is the next play????

    • Amen, neighbor! It truly is all about “something else” taking over when I can’t handle it. I agree with God and X. I thought I had found it when I stumbled on that one! Bummer when it stopped working. As I look at the caliber of these thoughtful, brilliant comments, it’s remarkable how many of us can talk about God without sounding nuts. Growing up Catholic, I naturally did not think that was possible. And as always you nail just what I’m thinking. Want proof of a Higher Power? A kindred spirit like you down the street, out of nowhere is good enough for me! hearts, Sean

      • Good example: the weird small world wonder things that happen! How could that be? I choose to ignore ‘coincidence’ and label it “WOW!” instead.

        Semantics? Sure. Why the hell not?

        XO Jen

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