God comes up a lot in my writing. I’m not a religious person. No, “God” could often be used interchangeably with terms like “Mother Nature,” “evolution,” “fate,” or “dumb luck.”
But the fact is, if you’re like most people, you’re either unhappy with society, the government, your job, your kids, or your spouse—or most likely some combination of these. And circumstances are largely out of your control. Often the only semblance of control you do have would only fix a bad situation with an equally bad decision: tearing your family apart in a divorce; becoming a citizen of Mexico; or starting an angry blog to vent your spleen at an apathetic society. Er. Anyway, the point is you’re stuck.
Here’s the problem: You can’t really get angry at fate or nature. In the Kübler-Ross Five Stages of Grief, if your world view doesn’t include God, you have to skip bargaining and anger and go directly to depression—and where’s the fun in that? It feels better to blame it on someone than to blame an abstract concept like fate. So in the context of a world in which there’s a God, you have an awesome emotional scapegoat.
Now, don’t misunderstand my contempt for a hypothetical God as disrespect for the world’s religions. I respect and marvel at religion’s role in helping humanity to grapple with the really big questions—the ones that really matter—the ones that science can’t hope to explain.
But let’s face it, it’s funnier to blame all our problems on God—the invisible man who either doesn’t care about us or maybe just doesn’t like us. It’s not that funny to say, “Well, I guess it was just meant to be.” But if all the pointlessly bad things in life are part of a cohesive plan abiding by a sense of right and wrong we can’t hope to comprehend OR someone’s punchline in a cosmic joke that has gone careening past the point of being funny, into the realm of very poor taste…Well, that’s kinda’ funny.
BUT you can rest assured that I’m not looking for a chance to break bad on God. On those occasions when it is funnier to blame nature, luck, or fate, yeah, I’ll be right there to do it.