Maybe you’ve seen my little dialogues. The ones in which I attribute God for some distinctly sarcastic and sometimes even foulmouthed responses to prayers made by me or the Christian church. Maybe you thought, “The Cynic has no right! The Cynic has no respect for God! This is hate speech against the clergy and churchgoers! The Cynic is a blaspheming blasphemer unfit to meet Grandma!”
I do have a right and I do respect God, and I don’t at all hate the clergy or churchgoers as a group. God is the center of my existence, and I do in fact go to a very lovely church these days. Without God I’m nothing, and the church is a nice way to bask in the gifts of God. The fact of the matter is that my faith is so matter-of-fact that I don’t mind shaking the cage now and again to see if I can free a few winged thoughts that were theretofore imprisoned therein.
Christians often speak of a “personal relationship” with God, but what good is a personal relationship without a little fun here and there? Surely reverence is not the only permissible attitude one can have towards a personal God. Christ’s greatest commandment to his followers is to “love your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Call me a crazy fundamentalist, but here I interpret “all your mind” to mean literally all your mind — even the parts that laugh.
When I write my silly dialogues with God, it should be apparent that I am merely using my God-given creativity to lend him a “human” voice, to supply an access point to knowing him, to explore the many aspects of “personal” that such a relationship can take on, and to demonstrate that there is nothing to fear in talking with God. In my imagined renderings, sometimes he’s irascible, sometimes he’s bored, sometimes he’s tender. But I always present him — as the astute reader will note — as steady, present, loving, and, in the final analysis, patient.
If you feel a compulsion to deem my humorous religious writings blasphemous, I would just ask you to consider the deeper, more important principles at play here. I highly doubt God gets “offended” the way so many of his well meaning champions do.
That said, my aim is not to offend, but to present different ways of thinking about God. Where readers take it from there is their business, not mine. Think what thou wilt, but I would just suggest that you exercise grace towards anyone who does not share precisely the same boundaries you feel are necessary for maintaining your own relationship with God.
Do we have a deal? Are we cool? Is it safe to smile now?