Roid Rage Theology

I don’t see the point in arguing about the nature of God or the gods. I mean, in the sense of cool-headed theological contemplation I do see it, but if we’re all honest with ourselves, that’s not usually what happens. I mean the kind where I believe something about how many gods there are or aren’t, and I am so confident in my view that everyone who thinks something else seems like a moron – and I tell them as much, with much shield-clanging and posturing. It is the theology of teenage boys on steroids, and every religion seems to get a share of it.

One of the problems is that we’re not dealing with hard sciences here. None of us can definitively prove that there’s only one God and that one matches my particular description, or that there are many gods that all reflect one, or many that are many down to the bone, or gods of this type but not of that type, or no gods whatsoever.  That means that if you are not a great philosopher or theologian or rhetorician, as most of us aren’t, arguments in this subject are liable to run in this direction:

“Worship Thor!”

“He’s made up. He is totally not even the god of thunder.”

“Is too!”

“Nuh-uh.”

Which is all about useless. And worse, if the speakers’ enthusiasm for their subject prevents them from letting go of their unprovable point, it can spiral out this way:

“You are dirt stupid for worshipping a made-up god.”

You are the dumbest person ever and you should be drowned in a sack!”

“Threat! Threat! Oh, you are going to be sorry you said that, filthy heretic.

And so on until each person has decided that the other person is everything that is wrong with the universe throughout time and space. (I’m not exaggerating, and this doesn’t apply just to the Christians, the Muslims, the Atheists. Browse the internet, and see how many examples of this argument you can find! Make it a drinking game, because you’ll want to numb the pain.)

But there isn’t anything to prove in at the core. And even when what we’re really arguing about is religious practice and how it intersects with public life, many people really do prefer to “keep it pure” by focusing on “is not.” “Is too.”

Where I’m ultimately headed with this is toward “Christians, don’t push so hard,” but that may have to wait for a separate post.

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