From WILLIAM EDELEN (1922 – 2015)
The Contrary Minister
Blessed are the Atheists, Agnostics, Deists, Mystics, Humanists, Free Thinkers, Taoist, Buddhist and all others who do not have an archaic, primitive God in their mind/brains.
Blessed are they for they do not believe that a God is on their side.
Blessed are they for they do not participate in holy wars, Jihads or Crusades.
Blessed are they for they would never be martyrs for the “Glory of God.”
Blessed are they for they do not condemn others as heretics or infidels.
Blessed are they for they do not conduct inquisitions nor slaughter millions of women as “witches.”
Blessed are they who do not participate in sectarian violence, nor harass little Catholic school girls walking through their neighborhood.
Blessed are they who do not twist biblical words to condemn homosexuality as a sin, nor to condemn a woman’s right to choose.
Blessed are they who would never say that a terrorist act is God’s punishment against those who do not believe or think as they do.
Blessed are they who know that the only hell that exists is right here on earth created by man. And that it is in man’s hands alone to create a heaven here on earth through intelligence, empathy and love.
To clear the cobwebs of a Biblical God out of the human brain is no easy task. It means cleaning out all of the brainwashing, indoctrination, and ministerial cliches and giving your head, mind and spirit a fresh start. A book review of A Spiritual Response to the Attack on America brought out the fact that most of the essays were the usual cliche filled pablum like, you know, God gives us free will, and God was there, loving the survivors and all of that theological ministerial mush and gobble-de-gook. Only one essay got to the heart of the issue. An essay by Episcopalian Bishop John Shelby Spong on “The Theistic God is Dead” calling for a new concept of something we call God.
The “God” being presented to us is a mish-mash of meaningless images. A God who loves the families left behind… a God who was on the last thoughts of the murderers as they drove their planes into the buildings… a God for America who now demands ‘justice’ and wants to help us bomb them back into the stone age.
“God Bless America” is a song that has been played, and still is, on almost every radio station ad nauseum.
Are you aware of the fact that the song is a prayer for only orthodox Jews and orthodox Christians? This nation has many, many millions of citizens that are neither Christians nor Jews and who do not believe that there is a God “out there” to “bless America.”
For writing like this I have been called an atheist. Few other words in religion are used so irresponsibly. Throughout history going back to the days of Athens and Rome until the present day, that word has been tossed at anyone who did not share the orthodox beliefs of the common man or woman about God, Gods, and Goddesses.
Those using the word as a derogatory charge always fantasize that they alone have the truth with a capitol “T”, and all other beliefs are false and atheistic.
So the Romans of the first three centuries called the members of the new Christian cult atheists. The Christians said no… you Romans are the atheists. The Hebrews called the Egyptians atheists, while the Egyptians called the Hebrews atheists with their false Gods. And so it went.
The ignorance of those who call others atheists is embarrassing to anyone with a sophomoric exposure to the history of religions.
Theodore Roosevelt was a religiously ignorant man. He kept calling Thomas Paine “that filthy little atheist.” Paine was not even remotely an atheist. In all his writings he celebrated Deism. Deists are not atheists as anyone with a religious I.Q. above 3 knows.
The centuries are sick with a God made in man’s image and imagination who shares the same nationalistic pride and arrogance whether it be the countries of Islam, or Israel or America.
My opening paragraph was “Blessed are the atheists, agnostics, deists, mystics and so forth.” There is no primitive God out there in any of these perspectives and yet many of them stand in awe before the incomprehensible mystery that saturates the entire cosmos even as do I.