Since beginning the Mr. Deity show back in 2007, I’ve received a number of personal emails and comments on YouTube telling me that "God will not be mocked." This claim is so patently false as to be laughable — and when I say “laughable,” I mean mockingly laughable. Just the other day, I called God “big nose” and mocked Him for wearing black socks and Florsheims with a pair of really nice Issey Miyake dress shorts. He looked absolutely ridiculous, and I laughed my tuchus off!
What happened to me? Nothing whatsoever. In fact, He took it extremely well. When I pointed out that He looked like my 92-year-old father (God rest his soul soon), He was actually able to laugh at himself. In fact, He made a really funny remark about how His tiny calves made Him look like a chicken. Imagine that — God has a sense of humor! We ended up at JC Penney’s where He got these really comfy St. John’s Bay Tsunami sandals for men (which I found incredibly ironic as the first episode of Mr. Deity was inspired by a tsunami). I later apologized for the "big nose" comment.
But seriously, folk… God will not be mocked? Yes, that’s the way some religious people would have it. When Christians had power, God could not be mocked. Or, more accurately, He could be mocked, but the person mocking Him was likely to end up roasting on an open fire like a chestnut in late December.
For more than a thousand years, Christianity was protected from critique, tough questions, ridicule, and even honest inquiry. At one point, it was a capital offense to possess a Bible! Even today, people are outraged at the likes of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens, who have the nerve to speak ill of mainstream, organized religion. I can’t think of anything which has been so coddled as the notion of faith and religion (though, admittedly, the disabled get away with a lot too).
As members of polite society, we are supposed to respect and be sensitive to people’s feelings when it comes to matters of faith (and I generally support that idea in the micro/personal realm). But when people of faith have power, are they respectful and sensitive to the feelings of non-believers, or even people with a difference of opinion? Ask Galileo! Ask Giordano Bruno! Ask Theo Van Gogh and everyone throughout history who has been murdered or otherwise harmed for having a different opinion of God and religion.
Am I mocking God? Of course not. I don’t even believe in God. What I mock — and mock proudly — is Man’s notion of God. The idea that I’m mocking God is especially ironic to me when it comes from people who revere the Hebrew or Christian
Bible. Clearly, those who accuse me of making God appear dumb, silly, intemperate (and even evil) are entirely unfamiliar with my source material. Christians and Jews make God look so much worse than I do. For heaven’s sake, I’m just goofing! They actually take the Biblical depiction of God seriously, and think it worthy of praise, adulation, and respect. Really?!
Of course, no one likes to be mocked. This is even more true when you’re talking about a person’s most cherished beliefs. I understand that. So, in that spirit of understanding, I offer the following set of recommendations for those who wish to avoid such unpleasantness — a user's guide to avoiding religious mockery, if you will.
When going out into the world to tell people that you know the will of a morally transcendent, all-knowing, all-powerful being (whose existence cannot be demonstrated), first do a thorough background check to make sure this “transcendent" being has refrained from engaging in the following activities...
- Genocide (both committing and ordering others to commit — this includes the murder of infants).
- Ordering the murder of non-virgin girls.
- Ordering the murder of homosexuals (and creating thousands of years of intolerance towards them).
- Ordering the murder of Sabbath-breakers (including old men gathering sticks).
- Threatening unbelievers with eternal torture.
(I’ll stop here as this list could get very long.)
Make sure your transcendently all-knowing being has the following information handy and passes it on to the faithful:
- The Universe was not created in seven days.
- The Earth is not the center of the Universe.
- The moon is not a source of light.
- A female virgin does not always show "signs of virtue" after her first sexual encounter.
Try keeping your beliefs to yourself and stop attempting to make the laws of a free society conform to your religious values. Let free people be free to live as they see fit so long as they are not 1) harming anyone 2) damaging the property of others, or 3) listening to post-"Beautiful Noise" Neil Diamond recordings.
Stop watching Glenn Beck.