I’ve been watching the show “Orange is the New Black.” I’m not recommending this show to anyone because of the “rawness” of the content, but I am fascinated by the characters in the show; how they got to where they are at and what they are doing to survive. Piper Chapman, the main character, said something in one episode that stuck with me. There is no doubt that she does not believe in God, yet one of her fellow inmates would like her to get baptized (for all the wrong reasons, of course). Chapman is about to do it, but then stops and says she just can’t. Here is her explanation:
“I can’t pretend to believe in something I don’t, and I don’t [believe in this]. I believe in science. I believe in evolution. I believe in Nate Silver and Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Christopher Hitchens. Although I do admit he could be a kind of an asshole. I cannot get behind some supreme being who weighs in on the Tony Awards while a million people get whacked with machetes. I don’t believe a billion Indians are going to hell. I don’t think we get cancer to learn life lessons, and I don’t believe that people die young because God needs another angel. I think it’s just bullshit and on some level, I think we all know that, I mean, don’t you?… Look, I understand that religion makes it easier to deal with all of the random shitty things that happen to us. And I wish I could get on that ride, I’m sure I would be happier. But I can’t. Feelings aren’t enough. I need it to be real.”
I think this sums up what many people think of when they think of Christianity. I wanted to yell at her, “I can understand why you don’t believe in THAT God. I don’t believe in that God either!’ God isn’t opposed to science; he doesn’t give us cancer or need angels; he could care less about the Tony Awards and hates the fact that people get whacked. We live in a fallen, crappy world. People “need it to be real,” and I agree that feelings aren’t enough, but my belief in God is not based on feelings. I didn’t check my brain at the door in order to become a Christian.
Rob Bell in his book, “Love Wins,” says, “Often times when I meet atheists and we talk about the god they don’t believe in, we quickly discover that I don’t believe in that god either. When we hear that a certain person has ‘rejected Christ,’ we should first ask, ‘Which Christ?’” The God that Chapman describes is not a God I would want to worship either.
Being Human connection: We all need it to be real. But when our god is a false god, how can it be.
So true and well put.
I tried to believe in ‘that’ God for many years, as it was my childhood teaching. Doesn’t work!
Yes, I think that was the God I was used to as well. One that was full of a whole lot of judgment and not much grace. Thanks Carol.