My problem with people invoking God to justify and rationalize their views on controversial issues is that they are so confident that this God actually supports and sides with all their biases, prejudice and definition of righteousness. If this God actually exists as a distinct entity, I still don’t see why he has to be a ‘Yes Man’ who nods his head to one particular person’s views and opinions, as if he doesn’t have his own mind on the matter.
Most of the people I meet who assert their certainty in the existence of a God profess belief in a character that closely resembles their desires, behavior and views, or at least one that shows complete approval of their outlook. It is like a ‘Mary Sue’ archetype in a story, a character made up to project the author’s wishes and idealized self. Another way of putting it is that this God resembles a puppet, a mouthpiece, an intimidating mask used to assert one’s views without providing room for criticism and analysis. Like a gangster with a big, handsome car running over someone, disrespecting that person’s voice and sense of self, disregarding that person’s protestations, just because they do not have a big, handsome car.
It is no surprise that mecha, giant robots in Japanese anime, are often depicted as God or are associated with God, as is the case in both the Evangelion series and Gundam 00. The staunch believer pilots the giant robot, metaphorically speaking, projecting his desire for a world to stay the same, to vent out his frustrations on what he perceives to be the enemy of his world, the threats to his sense of security. It is a behemoth best friend that will step on appeals for reason, logic and evidence and crush them because these are taking apart his perception of what he wants to be real and what he wants to not be real. It reminds me of squealing fan girls who get angry at someone for pointing out the flaws of their favourite Hollywood actor.
(image source: http://www.myspace.com/crosstout)
If there really is a God, he/she/it will not be a vessel for any person’s biases, any more than that the American President’s views does not necessarily reflect the overall values of every American. Even Batman’s Alfred has to tuck in for the night on his own and often disagrees with some of Bruce Wayne’s decisions. I am somewhat confounded that many believers call God their Master, when it is they who are pulling the strings and rubbing the lamp so that this God will fulfill their wishes and inflict punishment on those that they are angry with.
Even the biblical God has has been known to say, “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” (Isaiah 55:8, NIV). If that is the case, then it would seem that many believers are simply putting forth a being of their own creation, tailored to fit their worldviews. They’ve made it that way so that they do not have to deal with the fact that the world is full of people with a variety of beliefs, ideals, and various cultures where people view their separate experiences as truth.
I have people who I can call really good friends, and even if I have a lot of things in common with them, they do not always agree with me, and they have separate lives and experiences that produce a truth that is subjective. They do not always take my side, they do not pander to my convenience, and they are honest enough to point out where I am wrong. They will not be my friends if they said yes to everything I said, and I will doubt their sincerity. In the same way, people who invoke God as if their relationship with him is without question, are only invoking something that is imagined, idealized and made up so that any other opposition can be conveniently disregarded. It would be like the Emperor hitting the child for pointing out that he doesn’t have any clothes, all because he is the Emperor and the child is weak. This God is a person’s reflection of himself, a self-compensation for his feelings of inadequacy and therefore a necessary means to force everyone else to adjust to his ideas of right and wrong.
(image source: http://hiscrivener.wordpress.com)
This invocation of God as a perpetual ally to the hardcore believer’s every cause is an issue of power, an expression of a bully’s sense of helplessness that he has to call on a bigger, brawnier gang member to beat up the small kid whose only crime is defending himself and his convictions. It is the reflection of inner fear, a fear that induces a person to show bravado and use intimidation to achieve a sense of control in a world that is out of his control, rather than taking up someone their own size, on their own, without asking a divine benefactor to confront his own life issues for him.