Tuesday, December 18, 2012

God isn't allowed in here.

I really want to talk about something.  Something that will probably ruffle feathers, and upset a few people.  Which is the very super honestly last last last thing I want.  I am desperate for unity and connection between us all, and I accept that going against the grain is difficult for many of us to tolerate.  But I need to go against the grain.  I need to ask questions, and I need to try and understand.  Because I don't.  I don't understand.  I want to.  I want the "right" answers as much as the next person.  But no answers can come to us unless we first ask the questions.  I need to ask questions.  I hope you will still be with me when I'm thru.  Because this is difficult, and I am honestly kind of nervous about the backlash.  But here goes.

First, this.
Nearly every person I know has suggested something similar during the aftermath of the terrible tragedy in Connecticut.  It's a beautiful thought.  Let God in where God is needed, and bad things won't happen.  At least, not as many bad things.
But there are things about this specific concept that make me uncomfortable.  I hope God and his followers will bear with me while I dive into what I already know is a sensitive subject.

First of all, it's god.  If we're agreeing that the concept of this God in particular is the one from the Bible, the all-seeing, all-knowing, loving yet vengeful god, who is literally capable of creating a universe in just shy of a week, something tells me that the silly little laws we make and abide by down here on earth are truly laughable to a being with powers as great as his.
He can make oceans full of fish.
He can make snow-capped mountains and the Grand Canyon.
He can make an endless supply of people, and their dogs, and their SUVs.
He can put a baby inside of a woman who's never known the touch of a man, and create a savior for the whole wretched lot of us, so that all we have to do is say we're sorry, and we're instantly forgiven.
That's a pretty damn powerful God.

The point of this is not to question whether God, or at least the God within that specific concept, is real.  For the sake of this post, assume that he is.  Assume that the Bible is accurate, and that everything we've learned about God is the truth.

Which forces me to ask this question.

How is God not "allowed" in school?  Or anywhere, for that matter?

Whether we create and enforce laws regarding where God is and is not allowed, or whether we don't, what in the hell does that matter as far as God is concerned?  What stops a person from praying silently at his or her desk?  What stops a person from bringing one from bringing one's belief and love of God with one, wherever one chooses to go?  What stops a person from choosing to reach out in love and compassion toward another human being?

If the claim is that God created everything, *everything* in less than seven days, how is it that we're then expected to believe that the walls of a school building are impenetrable by that same God?  There are those who would suggest that God does respect our laws, and therefore stays out where he isn't wanted.  So, does that then mean that God ignores the prayers of anyone inside such a place?  If God is banned from schools by the law, does God then stop hearing the pleas of the christian people who find themselves inside such a place?  Should one of my children choose to follow the teachings of Christianity, would God ignore their prayers because this is an "unafilliated" house?  A Pagan house?  A heathens house?

I am also struggling to believe why we think prayer stops bullets.
Admittedly, I do not keep up with world news.  But don't Iraqi children pray at school?  How many of them have we bombed?  God was allowed in their school, in their homes, in their churches and streets.  And we have intentionally destroyed all of those things at some point.  "But theirs is the wrong God!"  Yeah, I personally know someone who has said those very words to me.  They're wrong.  Their prayers are wrong.  Their beliefs are wrong.  Ok.  If that's true, does that mean that Bible God ignores the prayers of all those innocent children, who have been brainwashed to believe in, and pray to Quran God?

The problem is not lack of prayer.  The problem is not lack of God.  The problem is lack of humanity.  We have been lead to believe that we are consumers.  We have been lead to believe that the "rat race" is the norm.  We have been conditioned to accept violence and heartlessness as a way of life.  We are distant from each other.  It has nothing to do with God.  It has nothing to do with prayer.  We need one another, and we have forgotten that.  We need compassion and love, and we have forgotten that.  We need patience and helping hands, and we have begun to see such things as weaknesses to be shamed.

My concept of "god" is admittedly different from the majority of the people I know and associate with on a daily basis.  I understand and accept that a person with "no religion" asking God-themed questions probably makes a lot of you pretty upset.  I'm sorry, and it's truly not my intention.

The truth is, I do have religion.  I do have spirituality.  I do have an idea of where I think we came from, and why, and I have ideas about what will happen to us when we die.  Beautiful, hopeful ideas.  But those ideas are not the Bible.  Those ideas are not God.  Those ideas are not religious.  And it leads me to ask questions in tough places, where logic does not offer the answer.

I am not completely opposed to the idea of prayer.  Not really.  I am a firm believer in the power of pure intent, focused positive attention, and our own ability to affect changes with our intentions and emotions.  I will never ask you not to pray for me.  I will never ask you not to pray near me.  Sometimes, albeit a rare event, I will even opt to pray with you.  Yes, me.  Sending my Pagan prayers and my earthy intentions up into the universe for your God to hear.

I will also burn my candles.  I will set my intentions and meditate on the positive and the peaceful.  I will sage my house and my children and my self.  I will just sit, and think.

But, even as ridiculous, wishful and heathen as that all sounds, it is what is close to my heart.  It is what I believe to be effective, and it is what I choose for myself.  It can't stop bullets.  But it does help me to be the kind of person who seeks compassion and love for all of us.  All of us.  

Even the man who abused me.
Even my mother.
Even my mean third grade teacher.
Even the members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

Even the mass murderers and sociopaths who are capable of the horrible acts we've seen them carry out.
Love.  For all.  Because more love will *never* be the wrong answer.

And regardless of the rules and regulations that are sent down from the people who find themselves in imaginary power, I will continue to believe those things.  I will continue to practice (to the very best of my endlessly inadequate ability) compassion, love, patience.  I will continue to meditate, to focus on peace, and to think on unity.  No law will stop me.  No mandate is capable of keeping me from bringing that with me wherever I go.  No politically-correct argument for or against my beliefs will stop me from believing them, from practicing them, and from sharing love and compassion to the very best of my ability.

I would like to think that God, in any concept, would be capable of the same, and that he certainly doesn't need my permission to visit a church, a school, a veteran's memorial.  I would like to think that God, and the infinite love I'm told he has, can penetrate the laws of man, and hear my prayer regardless of the building I happen to be in.



  1. You are right. People do not care about each other any more that is the problem. Not to sound preachy and I know how you feel about the bible. But I would like to share this with you. It does show in the bible this will happen at
    2 Timothy 3:1-5 - But know this, that in the last days critical times hard* to deal with will be here. 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty,* blasphemers,* disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, 3 having no natural affection,+ not open to any agreement,* slanderers,* without self-control, fierce,* without love of goodness, 4 betrayers, headstrong, puffed up [with pride], lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godly devotion* but proving false to its power; and from these turn away.

    1. Yeah, unfortunately, all of that is way too accurate.

  2. I agree. God does not need to be prayed to in school, his name does not need to be spoken for him to be present. Personally, I am a non-believer. An Atheist with strong emphasis on Buddhist philosophies. My family is very religious and I was raised Christian. I have absolutely no problems with the religious community seeing as how all of my sisters are still followers of Jesus. However, theoretically, if he is real, he is everywhere. Humans do not make rules for god, god makes rules for humans and he can break any rule he chooses. We don't dictate whether or not he can "go" places, in fact the bible teaches that he is EVERYWHERE - in the trees, in the dirt, in animals, even in people. I had asked my parents why god allowed bad things to happen if he was "all-powerful" and their response was because he gifted humans with freedom of thought and the freedom to act of their own accord and make their own choices. God cannot be blamed, but the lack of prayer in schools should not be blamed either. Great post. I like you more and more, the more I read! Bright blessings, I hope you had a wonderful Solstice. :-)

    1. What a lovely response! Thank you so much for such great feedback :)
      I don't have any affiliation with organized religion. I'm a firm believer in keeping an open mind, and accepting when we don't know the answers. And I don't know the answers. But if there is a great source of creation, call it god, or whatever, I believe that it is indeed in all of us.
      Thank you again for sharing :)

  3. Have you ever heard of the Offbeat Families blog? I bet you would love it. Here's a great article that made me think of The Sugar Mattress. :-)


    1. Thank you so much for sharing! What a lovely article, and a lovely, open-minded way of viewing the topic of religion and children. We've followed similar paths in our own house, offering our own opinions and the opinions and belief systems of other religions as well, so the kids can sort out their own beliefs based on their own experiences. I love hearing stories about more and more families opening up to this way of thinking.
      Plus, there was an ad for plus-size lingerie in the sidebar. Heeeel yeeeeeh! :D