The Glory and the Blame

In this post I talk about God and religion in a way that may seem blasphemous to some. Don’t open this post if your faith is weak or your skin is thin.

“The Ancient of Days” by William Blake, frontispiece to «Europe: a Prophecy»

A rando on a social media platform I no longer frequent once asked me, “Why are you autistic? Why not pray for healing?” As if it were something I chose and not part of the hand life dealt me.

Being in a lousy mood at the time, and generally not one to suffer fools, I sai something like, “If God didn’t want me to be like this, he should have done a better job of making me instead of drinking on the job.”

They really didn’t like that answer, but fuck ’em. As I said to them before hitting the block button, I think I’ve got Scripture on my side, so if they’re offended they should take it to the Lord in prayer. Or, if God isn’t listening, they should go to Hell since the Devil may care.

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

Isaiah 45:7 (King James Version)

Giving God the glory when everything’s going your way is easy. But most religious people seem to have trouble with also giving him the blame when everything is against them. The mental gymnastics through which they put themselves to avoid accepting that God is capable of doing evil to serve his notion of good would make excellent television.

Unfortunately for them, and as Isaiah 45:7 suggests, it’s all on the big guy’s shoulders, the good and the evil alike. Furthermore, the book of Job shows that even if God is not directly responsible for your tragedies, God will still let them happen—and let Satan afflict you as he did Job—if doing so serves his purpose.

Unfortunately, the way Christians tend to view Satan betrays the influence of Zoroastrianism on Christianity. Many Christians seem to view Satan as if he were God’s equal, and not a lesser being whose continued existence God tolerates because he is occasionally useful (or amusing). Indeed, the terror of Satan that many Christians show seems almost like worship to me; it’s almost as if they fear the Devil more than they fear God.

Then again, if God’s the potter and we’re all just the potter’s clay, then Christians are being what God made them to be, too—even if they annoy the undead Christ out of me. I can tolerate them more easily than they can tolerate me.

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