A friend’s 3-year-old, I recently read on Facebook, concludes her mealtime/bedtime prayers with “Ah, man.” Her mom thinks it’s rather endearing. I think the kid may be onto something. I just have a feeling that God/Allah/Jehovah/Whomever (and I am quick to admit I believe quite deeply in the one who said we should love one another) is somewhere in cyberspace shaking Her head and saying, “Ah, man.”
I mean, look at the messes we’ve gotten into because somebody knew what God said. You can start with the crusades, but it would be just as easy to start earlier. In any event, today is an exemplary peril.
Take Egypt, for example (since it’s too painful to start with the U.S.) In the August 26th New York Times, David Kirkpatrick and Mayy El Sheikh report on the Egyptian military’s latest move, enlisting Muslim scholars to persuade soldiers and policemen that it’s their religious duty to kill their friends and neighbors who are supporting the recently deposed President Morsi. Why? Because God said to. On the side of the military in this is a televangelist (the U.S., it turns out doesn’t have a corner on televangelists) Amr Khaled who is out there assuring the troops, “You, you conscript in the Egyptian military, you are performing a task for God Almighty!” Ah, man. I have long since lost track of what whose god is telling whom in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and assorted African countries. In China no one seems to be listening to the Buddha, although it was indeed distressing when the monks got angry in Myanmar.
Closer to home, the troubles I am most often confronting these days have to do with what several groups presumably listening to the same (as in, Jesus) God believe that god is saying. “Life begins at conception. Abortion is murder.” What that correct? Or did She actually say, “All you children are made in my image. You may control your own bodies.” Who knows?
Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone would quit believing he or she knows exactly what God is saying and started listening instead for the voice of god? I have no theological training, but I’d be willing to bet God isn’t saying “Now remember, abortion is murder.” Or even, “Get out there and perform this task of killing your friends and neighbors.” More likely, She’s somewhere in the ethernet saying, “Ah, man. Could you try to get along?”