I read a Huffington Post article recently that started out with a quote from Anne Lamott that went like this: “You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” This really got me thinking. Next, I read the blog post of a woman who’s blog I follow. She was talking about big, ornate churches like the St. Paul Cathederal in St. Paul Minnesota. She and her bible study group decided that spending the money to build these beautiful buildings was justified if it was done to glorify God. This seems to make a statement that is oppisite of the Anne Lamott quote. God likes everything you like.
So this is the line of thinking. God blesses the U S in all our endevours and battles and wars, therefore God hates our enemies too because we know that God is on our side. And we think giant cathedrals and places like the Vatican are beautiful and we build them and cover them with gold to glorify God so God must love them too because we are glorifying God by doing it. Besides, the bible says the streets of heaven are paved in gold so we know that God loves beautiful things like buildings and gold right?
Do you see where this is going? It is interesting to note God’s attributes as spelled out by the bible. God is loving, kind, generous, forgiving, angry, jealous. It seems God is afflicted by all the same emotions that we humans are. Now if we are made in God’s image then that makes sense. But we know the kinds of problems our emotional states can cause for us. Shouldn’t we expect that God would not be affected by petty jealousy or anger. These two emotions alone are responsible for most of the problems humans face. Unfortunatly the biblical writers didn’t have much imagination. They couldn’t imagine a god outside the realm of humanity. If God is affected by all the same emotions and problems that we are, what sets him/her above us? How is God set apart from the created thing other than by supernatural powers?
So, have we created God in our own image. When we say “God bless America” we believe he will. Why isn’t he blessing Iran instead? Because the god we believe in is the god we created for ourselves. The god who loves us and not them. The god who is on our side, not theirs. Does this mean I don’t think God is real? No it does not. The truth is; no one knows. There is no proof. I think it better to live believing that I don’t know if there is a god rather than worship one that I created. If God is real, he’s going to be mad that I have put my god before him. If he’s not real, well then, no harm done.