I breathe in god.

We reclaimed Church earlier this week, let’s reclaim god today.

I have no taken extensive classes on theology. I have read many of the world’s holy books – I spent a couple years in middle school reading the Bible, Torah, and Qu’ran, and I’m sure annoying anybody who would listen with facts about their similarities and differences. I am fairly sure I was the only 7th grader from my school who did their “compare and contrast” book report (take two versions of the same story – compare and contrast) on the torah and the old testament. After I gave up on Christianity I went on to read books on Wicca, Buddhism, Ba’haism, Atheism, Agnosticism, etc. I have taken a smattering of classes here and there – world religions, feminism and fundamentalism, today’s Islam. And when opportunities arise to attend lectures on religion or other religious services then I go. But I would not say that I have studied religion in-depth. I feel I have, at best, a cursory understanding of many religions and a somewhat-more-than cursory understanding of Christianity.

I give this build up because I know I’m going to piss some people off with my lack of knowledge and I want to make sure that everyone knows I am coming at this from a lay person’s grasp of theology.

That said? Let’s reclaim god.

Before all my atheist friends start screaming at me – stop. You do not have to believe in god. There is no moral high ground stemming from belief or nonbelief. I am not saying that we need to make a god that everyone believes in.

Seriously. I Do Not Care.

But for those of us who do believe in something but have a problem with the old testament, patriarchal, damning, omniscient, omnipotent God of the Christian mega churches that are everywhere? I think it’s time to take a step back and realize that that God is one of a very narrow definition.

If you are comfy with the idea of god being some old guy sitting up in the clouds with a beard then, hey, have at it. If that works for you then that’s fine.

Many reading this blog will have heard the song “Jerry Falwell’s God.” If you haven’t it is definitely worth a listen.

Why would I want a God that could hate me for almost anything? God that most mainstream Christians believe in seems pretty anxious to dislike us. And, honestly, I get that that works for some people. It works for my little brother pretty well. It doesn’t work for me.

But, unlike a lot of my friends, I also don’t feel like I can just give up on God. I don’t believe in an old testament, creater of the universe, smiting people here and there kind of God, but I do believe in a god that loves. A god that cares, that is compassionate. God is like… Santa. Not in that he’s a big fan of home invasion, but that after you stop believing in Santa you can keep believing in the spirit of Santa. Of doing good, of giving without expecting to receive.

I may not believe in some all powerful deity, but I believe deeply in the spirit and idea of love, and peace. When I breathe in, I breathe in the energy of this great big world, I breathe in the prayers for peace all over the world, I breathe in the caring and compassion of the universe. When I breathe out I sent love and energy to everyone, because this loving god is for everyone, not just for me, and I breathe out compassion, and I breathe out all the pain and worry and hurt and I surrender.

I can’t take on the world on my own. I can’t ask somebody else, one somebody, to take on the world for me. I can’t do it alone. We can’t do it alone.

We need to believe. In goodness, and in love, and in hope. And in all those things that my lowercase-g god is. Not what my lowercase-g god STANDS for, but what my lowercase-g god IS.

Let’s reclaim god as something that can help us move forward into a just and compassionate planet full of love and expressive drumming.

Because when I breathe in, I breathe in peace. When I breathe out, I breathe out love.

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4 Comments to “I breathe in god.”

  1. Good stuff!

    Just for your info. In case you haven’t read these, The three books below are written by Christians and clergy, who feel that God, Jesus has been stolen and remade by the Fundamentalist Right. Spong’s book was written 20 yrs ago or so, Bawer is gay, McLennan was the model for the Minister in Doonesbury comic strip.

    Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism – Spong, Stealing Jesus – Bawer, Jesus was a Liberal – McLennan,

  2. Yes, this is fairly close to my atheistic-Buddhist-UU notion. My god is the Life Force, which is ever-changing and compelling. In fact Its strength comes from those things and others. Blood, air, energy, compassionate action… And fewer things. Grace is one of Its calling cards. Choice is another one. French Roast may be too. Calm love, however it may be, is definitely a synonym. God is a verb, an adjective, an adverb–a conjunction without a doubt. My god is gender-queer for sure. A “lord”? A white guy in sandals? My god is a compendium of races and species. A metaphysical magistrate? Nope my god is the dole. I think there’s a line in the Koran that begs forgiveness for the inadequacy of the worshipper’s use of the most glorious things s/he knows for symbolizing god. My god is okay with that. Thanks, Andrew, for writing and giving me space. To paraphrase Walt Whitman, I didn’t know I held such goodness.

  3. I just read my response and realized again what an excellent writer you are, Andrew. It’s hard to make sense when writing quickly about god, as evidenced by my slap-dash paragraph. You make it look easier than it is.

  4. I think you’d like Gungor’s song “God is not a white man.” Pretty awesome video too.

    Peace.

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