Monday, May 14, 2018

The God I Don't Believe In

“When somebody says to me, “I don’t believe in God,” my first response is, “Tell me about the God you don’t believe in.” Almost always, it’s the God of supernatural theism.” 
- Marcus J. Borg, Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary

Another version of that ends with the asker responding, "I don't believe in that God either."

This is a common misunderstanding among some of my liberal believing friends.  The assumption is that my lack of a belief is a response to their deity.  Either I abandoned faith because of a faulty view of God... or that my remaining Atheist is because I do not have a right view of God.

They seem to struggle with the idea that I don't believe in any deities... not just theirs.  Jesus, Mohammed, Krishna, old, new, liberal, conservative... I don't believe in any of them.

Because they hold to a notion that I just haven't "met" the right god yet (theirs), I am regularly encouraged to listen to this or that speaker, read this or that book. They spend zero time reading the books and listening to the evangelists of other religions... but they can't understand why my eyes glaze at the thought of reading theirs.

Beyond that, I sometimes get the angry liberal believer who chastises me for only addressing conservative, fundamentalist religion.  "Why do you not address liberal belief?  Why do you only go after "the easy targets""?

When liberal Christians start petitioning the state to make my students pray to Jesus, I'll bitch about that too.  But they're not, so I don't.  The vast majority of my outward complaints concerning religion concern its tangible negative influence on humanity.  If your belief in God encourages you to do things like smoke pot and save the whales, I'm not going to have much to say.

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