Dear Reader, My friend Kathleen Jacoby has written a remarkable short piece in which she compares the God that is so often worshiped with another one that will capture your heart.
Her piece persuaded me to rethink my perspective on God, and I believe it will affect your thinking as well.
Crime and Punishment in America is based on the God of War concept – and it leads to the same recidivism over and over again, just as the middle east is engaged in the same eye for the eye engagement because they are wedded to the God of War.
What does this mean, the God of War? It is the old testament judgmental deity who elevates one group over another and inflames them to war against all that defile its identity or grip of power. This is a relentless “god” who never rests until vengeance is extracted. And the problem is that this God is viewed from several different perspectives- each claiming to be the only true inheritor of its divine stamp of approval. Yet there is no pleasing this god. Its lust for revenge is legendary. All one need do is read the bible or other religious texts. A never ending fear based loyalty is demanded and extracted.
The penalty for disloyalty is death – often through torture.
When one strips away the indoctrinated level of fear, one has to ask – “how could this god have created the universe?” And the answer is…it did not. This is a subservient god to the Ego based identity of the tribal hierarchy. There can only be one king, one dominant figure, and the rest is subservient to that figure who rules by force and innuendo. Instilling fear and holding ruthless justice over one’s head can hold a tribe together – but it leads to resentment, bitterness, disregard for life, and it stifles the true potential inherent in all humans – the divine gift of creativity, love, and compassion.
As long as we worship at the feet of the God of War, the earth will continue to go through the ravages we see of one group against another “in the name of God, Allah, Justice” As long as we allow this patriarchal view of god to lead the way, our road is filled with slings and arrows, because that is the only way this god controls.
As we move into a new millennium, we move into a new vibration – and the possibility is to depose this warrior deity and replace it with the force of life, light, and forgiveness. This is the creator God that Jesus spoke of…the one who asks us to turn the other cheek, to love our enemies as ourselves, to forgive them - for they know not what they do.
This God seeds life abundantly. This is the verdant green God that brings the lilies of the field and the rich forests and meadows. This is the God that clothes and feeds the earth in light and love. This is the One who holds us in the palm of hand and comforts us in times of trouble. This is a compassionate God – the only one who could forge creation into the living beauty it is. And until we claim and acclaim this Creator God, we will continue to extract an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth until the world is littered with the corpses of an insatiable war god who knows no peace.
From Seasons of the Soul print edition, Autumn 2007 http://www.kathleenjacoby.blogs.com/