*Note – This post is addressed to these 42%
In my first Letter to Pope Francis- The Peace Story: Ending War and Poverty, I state –
“My God is my Creator, that gifted me this turn upon the field of play, for which I am grateful.”
This is not quite the same as being a Creationist, but is a long way from being a “Godless Atheist”. In my Post – Defining God, I make clear that I have no real belief in a “deity”, a supernatural being. I am going to stick with uncertainty, AND my statement to Pope Francis. According to Wikipedia –
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists.
In religious belief, a deity (i/ˈdiː.ɨti/ or i/ˈdeɪ.ɨti/) is a supernatural being, who may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred. Some religions have one supreme deity, while others have multiple deities of various ranks.
Conundrum. Am I allowed to call my Creator “God”? Should I be grateful to a deity in a storybook, or the God that Created me and the world around me I see and experience? Clearly by the wikipedia definition, I am an atheist, because I do not believe in a supernatural being, and consider the word “supernatural” to be an oxymoron
In my reality, if it exists, it is natural, by definition. In a sense, this is a belief in One God, but still not a belief in a deity. Ultimately these are all just words, and I wonder how much of the conflict between Atheism and Theism is just bad communication, and how much is not mis-communication, but false perception arising from our beliefs. A theist will have assumptions about my character based on my rejection of theism, and likewise, I will have assumptions about those that believe in a supernatural being in a storybook.
If I say I do not believe in your deity, then I am Godless, but I am not actually Godless, I am deity-less. Turning it around, from where I stand, you do not believe in God, you believe in a deity in a storybook. You reject ALL of God’s creation, especially if it contradicts the story in your book, to embrace a deity in a storybook because he promises you heaven and threatens you with hell. In my religion, God gave me everything, and I am grateful, and seek to repay my debt by sharing my good fortune with those less fortunate. In your religion, the deity in your storybook gave you everything, and that was still not enough. Rather than being grateful for what you have been given, you have a selfish hunger for heaven, and will do ANYTHING to get it, including kill your children (or suffocate their minds), like Abraham was prepared to do.
I suspect that my perceptions of your character are as errant as your perceptions are of mine. I believe I am standing very close to where Pope Francis is, and that conflicts between us are most likely due to terminology. I believe I am standing very far from where Christian Fundamentalism is, and our differences go much deeper than terminology. I can love God with my whole soul and my whole heart and my whole mind, and still be a “Seeker of the Truth”. To love the deity in your storybook, fundamentalism demands that you must be a “Knower of the Truth”. You must know that the words of the deity in your storybook are True, and that the promises of heaven are True, or you would be a fool for obeying him to get to heaven, especially if you need to sacrifice your children in some way to get there.
By all means, please correct my misperceptions of your religion so that we can come closer together to serve the mission of Jesus, the ending of war and poverty. I could not care less about promises of heaven and threats of burning hell. I have a debt to pay by my free choice, not an original sin I need saved from to get me into heaven. I would have tried to save Jesus from the Cross, as he once rescued me from living-hell. Deity-less does not mean God-less, and for the life of me, I cannot understand why you believe that humility is the road to hell, and arrogance is the path to heaven. To call the bible inerrant is to call yourself inerrant in knowing the words of God. Nobody is fooled about this except yourselves. How do you reconcile that with sincerity? We seem to be VERY far apart.
I stand in God’s Garden, playing God’s Guessing Game.
Which of us is the Prodigal?