To a Too Small God,
I don’t really know how to say this. Honestly, if you were bigger this would be so much easier. If you were bigger, you could take the questions and I wouldn’t be so worried about hurting you.
Look, I’ve been trying to make this “us” thing work for awhile now, but it just feels so increasingly and shamefully dishonest that I can’t take it anymore. This is it. You are just too small of a god. We’re finished.
I’ve known it for awhile, but it all came together when I was watching Cosmos. I’d never heard of this Giordano Bruno fellow but I like what he had to say when the institutional Church of the day came after him for entertaining rational thought (a.k.a., thinking for himself, not towing the party line). He said, “Your God is too small.” Frankly, in those five little words he completely nailed the problem.
Any understanding of God that cannot withstand questions and rational thought is a “too small” god.
I’m sorry, but that’s you.
At least, it’s the version of you that far too many of your followers worship and I just don’t get that. I mean, just look at their tweets after Cosmos aired. They sacrificed logic and reason for you. I never thought those were the kind sacrifices that pleased you. Why would people want to worship something that frail and insecure?
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried to make space for you. Even long after I didn’t believe in the “too small” version of you they talked about. I tried to make space for you, believing we are all on different journeys and the “too small” version of you some people worshiped was okay for them where they were on their journey.
I was wrong. It is not okay.
As a matter of fact, that version of you is so myopically infinitesimal in comparison to what a god worthy of worship would be that it begs to be put down for the betterment of humanity. That version of you hurts people. That version of you encourages one group of people to feel superior to others. It justifies self-righteous judgment and it’s not uncommon to see it lead to violence.
You see, a god who could have stopped the Yom Hashoa (Holocaust) and didn’t is not a God I can remain in relationship with. A god that is so afraid of mere questions that people must be burned at the stake (even metaphorical ones on Twitter) is not a god I can respect more or less worship. A god who graces some lives with the opportunities to win Oscars while seemingly turning his back on the 2.6 million children who die of hunger-related causes each year on a planet with more than enough food for everyone is not a god who deserves honor let alone worship.
That god is a god of the privileged. It is a god designed to reinforce exceptionalism and justify the unjustifiable behavior of the powerful. That god is a god tailor-designed to make lemmings of his adherents to the point of denying realty and dismissing science for the sake of further propping up a bastardization of the god I believe Jesus was trying to teach us about.
So, it’s over. We are finished. I simply can’t make space for you any longer. I won’t play nice. You need to go away. You are “too small” of a god.
Don’t worry about me. I’ll be just fine. It turns out there is a bigger god — full of love, compassion and revelling in the questions – oh, and a bit tired of the dogma and sacrificial bleeding of reason.
Here’s the thing: I don’t actually miss you. If anything, I feel better than I ever have — and that tells me something: from the very beginning, our relationship doomed one of us to die (even if it’s just a metaphorical death).
I choose you.
Follow Mark Sandlin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/marksandlin