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Meditation on a “vengeful god”

by Nicholas Barnard on October 31st, 2014

Why and how can people believe in a vengeful god?

When I was a teenager I abandoned religion. How could I not have? When the implicit or explicit message is god hates gays and you’re gay, its illogical and self-destructive to continue to associate with the organization of god. If someone or some organization hates an immutable part of yourself, continuing to associate with them is self harm.

I just did something that I do every month. Although, this time there was a small variation in the details. That variation made it so exceptionally hard for me to do and opened up a mess of emotions.

I Googled seeking a bit of wisdom and Google suggested that I add bible to my search terms, so I did. A site I came across had the thesis: that humans commit wrongs (sin) and because of that god punishes humans. I had to close that page.
Why should you continue to associate with a belief in a being that causes you harm? That is self harm.

When choosing what axiom to rest the world on, I chose the axiom as delivered by Forrest Gump in the Network TV edition of the eponymous movie: “It Happens.” There is no need to ascribe motive to why it happened. Hurricane Katrina happened. Why did it happen? It happened because the environmental conditions were such that a hurricane formed. Why were the environmental conditions that way? Answer. Why was that? Answer. Why was that? You can continue to ask why, eventually there will be a question to which the answer is not known, and to support all your other answers you will have to choose an axiom. Instead of “God is Vengeful” or “God did it” I choose “It Happens.”

I choose to believe that the interdependent web of existence of which we are all a part of does its best to support us. Since the web is made of life, systems, and energy that are fallible, the web itself fails at times. The interdependent web isn’t vengeful. It simply could not offer support. It cannot give what it doesn’t have. When the interdependent web is unable to offer us support, we’re forced to grow, to make the part of the web that we hold up stronger.

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