move steadily away from any kind of proper noun and has simply come to
be known by the category of being that he (surely male) is. No longer
is he Zeus, or Thor, Or Yahweh, or Allah, or Amon-re or any of those
other permutations of God that everyone is an atheist about that
Richard Dawkins frequently enjoys rattling off in public forums before
arriving gleefully at the punch line that he ‘just goes one god
further’. God, graying at the temples and perhaps wearing a sweater
vest is now just God. Noun.
Maybe it is liberating. It must’ve been tiring to be mistaken for so
many separate beings across such a span of time, just because you’re a
little moody. It would be as if everyone called you Christina when you
were angry, or Samantha when you were horny. In reality, you’ve been
Paul this whole time, good-old Paul, and people are always giving you
new names, and ascribing different features to you based on the
culture in which you were viewed. It’s better to just be Paul. Much
But let’s go farther: God, who is still occasionally called Allah or
Yahweh here and there (but only casually), is no longer really either
of those names. God is God. When people call God Allah or Yahweh, it's
more akin to the way your dad calls you 'Chief', or the way other
drivers on the highway call you 'ass-dick' when they talk to you on
the highway, even though you're still just Paul. No, calling God 'God'
is more akin to the way it would be if people stopped calling you Paul
all together, and simply started calling you Human. Could you imagine?
Talk about having the weight of the world on your shoulders. Talk
about gross over generalizations.
But whatever the case, God--the executive being--is taking it easy
these days. There is less and less for him (of course he’s a man!) to
do. We’ve all realized how unfair it is to give him kudos for the good
things that happen in our lives (because otherwise we’d have to also
give him credit for all the bad things that happen to us, and what
kind of god would allow bad things to happen to us basically decent
folk?), so he doesn’t have to worry about that stuff anymore.
Advances in the sciences have shown us that God really hasn’t had much
of a hand in our design, or too much of the material stuff that goes
on down here on Earth. Some will still say that he ‘guided’ evolution,
but really, that’s just like a director that giving a producing credit
on her movie to a friend or some detached but insecure financier. God
appreciates the gesture, but he realizes that it’s mostly empty.
And since we know that god doesn’t intervene in our lives, prayer has
become more of a self-help enterprise. A way for folks to visualize
goals. A form of meditation. With all the silence, God has a lot of
time to do the things he really cares about. Like watching sports.
That’s right. God may not do as much as we may have once thought he
did, but he does watch sports, and he does intervene. He has a method
for determining which team it is that he wants to win which
competition. It has something to do with the number of hot dogs sold
in the stadium multiplied by the thickness of black paint smeared
under a randomly chosen player’s eyes, divided by the square root of
Gatorade. I’ve never been very good at the maths, but watching God at
his chalkboard is something to behold, even if his knees do pop
sometimes when he stands up from a crouching position.