Why should I seek favour or advantage over my neighbour? Why should I be so solipsistic to believe God is willing to shower me personally with a golden show of blessings? Which blessings, and how do I measure the success of the appeal?
Do theist Mormons believe God is moveable to bless Her blue-eyed favourites with a bounteous Brucey bonus? Funny definition of a God. If the payment of tithing is rewarded with blessings, is there a sliding scale of reward?
'If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.' Dorothy Parker
The debasement of begging for blessings is an example of the trouble you attract with a belief in a personal God. ‘God speaks through me,’ prophesized a monosyllabic George W Bush with his finger on the button.
'The president of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive.' Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation
‘Who says that I am not under the special protection of God?’ assumed Adolf Hitler. (‘Oh no you’re fucking not,’ two-fingered God from Her favourite armchair and returning to the lucky-stars column of The Sporting Life.)
'Simply put, they want a human God to eliminate all risk from their Life. Pat them on the head, kiss their bruises, put a chicken on every dinner table, clothe their bodies, tuck them into bed at night, and tell them that everything will be all right when they wake up in the morning. This public demand is incredible.' Bill Cooper, Behold a Pale Horse
The personal God soaks the praise for every drop of good fortune that befalls our Lives from God’s high Heaven; the personal God escapes the blame for the deluge of bad fortune that drenches our Lives with devilish deliberate determination.
'If it turns out that there is a God, I don’t think that he’s evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he’s an underachiever.' Woody Allen
For God has a plan — a personal plan — that plagues our feeble prospects and from which we never find relief. The late Christopher Hitchens lamented hymn-like God’s battle-plan: ‘Some design. Some father. Some caring God. Some designing supervisor.’ Collision: Christopher Hitchens v Douglas Wilson
Overarching the unravelled rainbow of a multi-spectral belief in a pot-luck God, Professor Dennett draws the distinction between belief in God and belief in, well, Belief: ‘There are no good reasons for believing that God exists. And plenty of good reasons for believing that God does not exist. But there are several good reasons for declaring a belief in God.’ Daniel C Dennett, AAI 2007
Why would a rational God give a rat’s arse about whether we believe in Her? Why would God set Faith as the deciding factor in winning Her favour?
'The most preposterous notion that homosapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.' Robert A Heinlein, Time Enough For Love, 1973
The noble and honourable stance for the reader when cowering in the dock on Judgment Day is to protest against this fascist empire-building God in solidarity with our condemned sisters and brothers who were wasted by the wayside with disease and starvation and the wicked wayfarers condemned to blow the fag-end of Life in flaming Hell.
'God doesn’t exist. So I guess nobody loves you.' Author Unknown
Religious addicts fawn and patter and praise God-knows-what, and are selfish in the saving of their own souls rather than protesting support until every last sister and brother is saved. Selfless solidarity is the highest lesson we struggle to learn of a Life sentence, and wins the pot of Pascal’s challenge that we may as well believe in God because we have nothing to lose.
'Why do you write to me, ‘God should punish the English’? I have no close connection to either one or the other. I see only with deep regret that God punishes so many of His children for their numerous stupidities, for which only He Himself can be held responsible; in my opinion, only His non-existence could excuse Him.' Albert Einstein
French author Jules Renard takes the ‘pleasure of breaking’ ‘un grand silence roux’: ‘I don’t know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn’t.’
The living fear of being dumped in Hell and having your backside used as a toast-rack is not sufficient reason to worship a fascist intergalactic empire-builder.
Under English law a contract made under duress or fear is invalid. ‘To rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world is just as base as to use force.’ Hypatia
Shake free your spiritual shackles, shed your fear, show some backbone, and shine in support of your downbeat sisters and brothers: 'If he is infinitely God, what reason should we have to fear him? If he is infinitely wise, why should we have doubts concerning our future?' Percy Shelley, pamphlet The Necessity of Atheism
The street-philosophy of why God permits such suffering in the world, and why so many feeble infants are fated to die of suffering and starvation, presents a stunningly powerful Epicurean argument against God being God.
'Maybe at the very bottom of it ... I really don't like God.' Professor Steven Weinberg
The comedian George Carlin fires the first shot in a good spot of God hunting: ‘If we could just find out who’s in charge, we could kill Him.’
'He was an embittered atheist, the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him.' George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London
The Mormon victim suffering cognitive dissonance after a Life sentence of indoctrination may feel obliged to worship a weirdly fascist God festooned with faults and funny habits. But many Mormon addicts openly admire and hanker for a fascist God and a Sturmbannführer brotherhood.