March 5, 2008

Mark Morford: How to Abandon Your God

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Volt @ 6:54 pm

Mark Morford, The San Francisco Gate, March 5, 2008

This much we know: God is failing.

Or more accurately, God is mutating. Changing. In flux. Becoming perhaps slightly less appealing as a dogmatic force of rigid closed-minded sit-down-and-shut-up paternal scowling and becoming perhaps more fluid, interesting, dynamic, unspecified, something you actually want to take into your heart and into your mouth and lick until you find the rich, creamy center and then define that taste for yourself, blissfully independent of what your parents or priest or president tells you, until you reach that point of deeper knowing where you can’t help but go a-ha.

It’s all part of that big new study from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, released just recently and ripe and ready to be spun a thousand different ways, the one that contains the big whopper of a statistic that says 28 percent of Americans have abandoned the religion they grew up with and have taken up another one, or none at all, or maybe more than one because polytheism certainly sounds tasty and, you know, what the hell, right?

It’s not really all that shocking. People change religions. People swap denominations. People evolve, go to college, learn to think (and seek meaning) for themselves, change their minds or marry someone of a different belief or go through a personal revelation, or actually experience the spiritual/intellectual epiphany that reveals how all religions are one and God is not “out there” and you are not here to be its meek sinful guilty mindless servant.

And maybe you go even further, as you realize that it’s actually quite dangerous and small-minded to hew too closely to one narrow way of seeing/feeling/tasting the divine as you perhaps come to the slippery conclusion that it’s all about co-creating God in your own way and, therefore, any religion that contains more than one person (that is to say, you) is deviously suspicious and apocryphal at best, unhealthy and destructive at worst. Or maybe that’s just me.

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