If you like humor, you may like this short essay. If you do, please share. And if you don’t, pray for me to receive the right guidance from your God and I will pass it by my God to see if it would be acceptable to him/her or it.
On Sunday, July 8, I watched portions of Joel Osteen’ sermon. He is one of the Charismatic religious speakers in the World, and I like him and his message. Of course, religion is a business for him, and at least, he runs a clean business, and there are many good priests out there like him.
How would you know one if one is not a good priest? It is a simple calculus. Any priest who resorts to denigrating other people’s faiths, traditions and cultures in his or her sermons is a purely evil man. What the hell does he know about others faith to make a statement about it? Such a man is a manipulative schemer, he or she knows that the average humans sit on the fence, and it is easy to get them to jump on either side. All that he has to say is, “Judaism, Mormonism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism are cults, and Islam is a false religion.” You can watch the videos of standing ovation of the dumb ass congregation and open their checkbooks. That is the whole purpose; to fish money.
People go to a place of worship to feel calm and peaceful, love and loved by fellow humans. However, that does not happen frequently. I can never forget what my little daughter had said, “Dad, if the priest says that all religions are good, then why would anyone come to his place and give him the money?”
I have visited nearly every place of worship, if it is a mosque, I pray, in other places I meditate and admire the devotion of the people, but seldom do I want to hear the sermons, most of them are biased towards others, and generally irrelevant to my daily living. If the sermon gets meaningless, the smartphone comes to my rescue.
Joel Osteen surprised the heck out of me, but I was pleased to hear him out. His message is usually right, and I have never heard him put down any other faith. I was stuck with his statement, “Dear lord, I’ve repented now, come into my life, I’ll make you my lord.” I had a big laugh, there was a condition, if you came into my life, I will make you my lord, God must feel good to be honored to be our Lord.
A week ago, I wrote, “Indeed we can appoint/institute a God among us, deriving his or her just powers from our consent.” I wrote this in the same tone as our declaration of independence, “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Isn’t that the truth? Doesn’t God exist because of us?
There was an imaginary dialogue between Abraham and God. God tells Abraham to be grateful to him for giving him life, the quick-witted Abraham retorts back, hey, you should be thankful to me instead, if I did not exist, you wouldn’t either.
The Computer programming has taught us to visualize the result first, and then design the programs to achieve it. As an example, we can create a God to meet the needs of the entire society.
If we believe that God is just, kind and wise, somewhere along the way we have derailed him, and he is not what we say he is. What we have is a God who burns all others in hell except us; a God who does not accept others’ devotion, as if each group belongs to a competing God.
It is time for us to appoint a new God that is acceptable to all and does not make deals with Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus or others behind our backs. Who wants a nepotist and a biased God? A new God that does not give exclusive rights to Jesus, Moses, Krishna, Muhammad, Nanak, Buddha, Confucius or a known and less known peacemaker.
Whether God is one, none or many, we will continue to live our lives. We do need a God and let’s make him an ideal God who is, kind, fair, honest and caring.
Mike Ghouse is committed to opening people’s hearts and minds and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His work is at www.CenterforPluralism.com and other websites including www.WorldMuslimCongress.org