Fundamentalism, one step from atheism


“Sometimes I feel like God isn’t mentioned enough… when ppl are asking for help we are reminded that we are not alone. That God is sitting right next to us.”

In a scene starting at, “Two decades earlier, I sat on the top step in an apartment swimming pool while a foot away Joseph…” here, I the father was “sitting right next to” my child. I did not feel like I was not mentioned enough (which is the whole point of that article). When Joseph nearly drowned and was “asking for help, [he was] reminded that [he was] not alone. That [Dad] is sitting right next to [him].

Before I was a father, I was an ardent, militant, falsely pious, self-righteous, dogmatic “soldier of Christ.” I was going to give God God’s due, and be sure that others did too. I’m not so much now. It doesn’t seem to me that Christ needs me. Not that way, anyway. It seems, specifically NOT that way.

As each of us parents sit next to our children, do we want them to know we are there? I think too often, too much. I think it is a distorted impulse that we want our children to “know” they are loved and ok. Look at them when they are full of joy. They don’t give two shits about feeling safe under the watch of their parents. WE are the ones who create paranoia in them by over-emphasizing the value of safety at the expense of joy. It is OUR need for them to be safe, not their need. And it is OUR delusion that we can keep them safe from everything. Before they were our child, they were Someone Else’s.

I think this is very much where we get our distorted militant sense of God’s need to be worshiped. God’s need to be mentioned. God’s need to be thanked. We have that distorted. It is actually US who NEED to worship something larger than ourselves, to express thankfulness, and to feel safe. Not God needing it. Our prayers are for our OWN benefit also, we forget too easily. We are comforted by the notion of a Higher Power in charge of things we lust to control. We grasp at being God.

Yeah, God sits there next to us all the time. Not just the times when we notice it. But I don’t think God cares nearly as much as we do about whether God is noticed. That does not seem to be God’s nature. God’s nature seems to be entirely aimed at us, not aimed at our attention to God. I bet God is moved with gratitude when we return love, sure. That surely seems to be what love is, and there is no reason that God’s love needs to be any different than our love for God. I don’t think it is by chance that we have given God a parental label. The natural order of things, by which parents love their children unconditionally, seems prudently ordained:-)

When I am watching my child pour out joy, the last thing I care about is whether my child notices my watch. I myself do not even realize I am watching. That’s the infectiousness of innocent, child-like joy. Why would I deny that God gets lost in our joy that same way? Jesus sure seemed to enjoy wedding receptions, and wanted the wine to keep flowing.

The child does not have to know who the Parent is for the Parent to know who its child is. Even when an atheist experiences joy in creation, I don’t think God gives two shits about being credited. That care is ours. I’m cautious about ascribing that care to The Love.

So, yeah, I sometimes wish more people would mention God. Just so *I* can be reminded what’s inside each of us… Inside me…

.
Neil D. 2021-01-28


Published by Neil Durso

Just another mid-lifer sharing the journey...

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