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BELIEVE WHAT YOU WANT, IT’S ALL GOOD

I don't care whether or not you believe in any particular religion. That's your business, and as silly as all organized religions seem, well, that's your own business and none of mine. Just don't ask me to join you. And don't get into particulars if you don't want to hear anything negative abut your beloved faith. If you ask me what I think, I'm going to tell you. I've read the books that are the basis of your faith and frankly don't see the connection. The practice of all religions usually strays pretty far from the instruction manuals. And some of the instruction manuals are pretty ambiguous and contradictory too, so I suppose people pretty much had to improvise to make a coherent religion out of the mixed messages in the various holy texts. But men never admit that they are the inventors of religions, they would have you believe that God told them directly what to do. Since it seems the cat's gotten God's tongue for quite some time now there's no way to refute or corroborate these stories.

So that's why it's called faith and not fact. If you want to believe the earth is only 5,000 years old, fine. If you think proven science is wrong because it doesn't agree with your mystical magical faith, that's okay too as long as you don't intend to pursue a career in science. If you believe that hallucinatory passages in holy texts accurately predict future events, well, don't let me be the one to pop that little balloon of belief. But don't expect to be taken seriously if you try to spread these notions in logical discussions with rational people. Wear all the silly outfits and insignia you like. Scorn who you will because they disagree. It's your life to fritter away on superstitions and your right to believe any foolish nonsense that makes you happy.

If your notion of God is that of an angry micro-managing tyrant, well, there's no proof one way or the next so go for it if that's the sort of God you're comfortable with. If you like the rainer of fire and brimstone and the deliverer of plagues and disasters, who's to say he's not that rat bastard type of entity? If you think God is a hands-on loving teddy bear always looking out for you every moment of every day, that's probably a pretty good feeling. If you think God anoints some of us to speak for him, well, as dicey a prospect as that is, believe it if you like. Me, I have a deep distrust of anyone who describes himself as a "man of God." What does that make the rest of us? Second class spiritual citizens? Spawns of the devil? And it seems a pretty huge presumption on the part of a human to speak for an entity responsible for creating the entire universe.

Would a human allow a dust mite that eats the dead skin on his eyelids to speak on his behalf, no matter how exemplary a life that dust mite leads? How could it have any conception of what's on our minds and communicate our wishes to his fellow dust mites? Dust mites would no doubt consider us angry Gods, what with all the washing of our faces we do at their mortal peril. And the dust mite priest just may have some accurate things to say about that human, like the shape of his eyeball and his physical characteristics maybe even as far as his nose and forehead. But a human being is a little more extensive than that small area of our bodies and no eyelid-dwelling dust mite could ever comprehend the full extent of a human being. So why do some humans claim to have a detailed knowledge of God and his wishes?

Judging by the astronomical scale of only the small portion of the universe of which we are aware, we don't even rate as dust mites. Not even as the dust mites on the dust mites' eyelids. Even claiming that miniscule designation seems presumptuous. For a race of beings that still earnestly kill one another and doesn't even know all that much about our own oceans or the tiny portion of the universe that surrounds our little planet at the remote edge of a smallish galaxy, we think pretty highly of our capacity to connect with an intellect of unimaginable complexity as near equals. When one contemplates the magnitude and incomprehensible power of an intellect that can create this magnificently vast and complex universe it seems to me the only thing we should ask of God is mercy. What happens to us when he washes his face? Let's hope he doesn't scrub too hard.

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