Amateur theology

Recent bus news highlights the common representation of the God of the world’s major monotheistic religions as having an excessive and prurient interest in the sexual antics of His children (for so we, mere humans, tend to be portrayed).  In polytheistic religions this seems to be less of an issue – perhaps because the gods have a practical outlet for their carnal needs (either with each other or with their worshippers – yes, I’m looking at you almighty Zeus) and have less need to obtain their “jollies” vicariously.

Actually, I am probably doing the one true God™ a disservice: I suspect He is as uninterested in the gland games of the human race as I am.  No, it seems more probable that this obsession in matters of erotic practice is down to the more vehement of his self-proclaimed followers.  It has always puzzled me why an entity who can list omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence on his CV should need a bunch of overly noisy, intolerant and, all too often, violent hangers-on to look after His interests here on earth.  I understand as a single deity there is a risk of being seen to micromanage one’s creation, but His attempts at delegation do appear to involve some rather puzzling, not to say, contradictory choices.  Perhaps He is hoping that this (apparent) use of competition will bring down costs and improve efficiency in His creation?  If so, was Adam Smith a prophet (and not just of profit) with his talk of the invisible hand of the market? (Now revealed as an allusion to the Almighty.)

Many deities also seem to have an unnatural interest in our hair and food.  Rules on millinery (or at least head coverings) and the cutting and styling or not of one’s barnet and facial fuzz seem common themes across a whole range of religions.  I suppose deities are generally supposed to live somewhere above us, so their main view of the human race will be of the tops of our heads, which probably isn’t our most edifying aspect, and could explain the strictures.

To the amateur theology student, all these rules, strictures and obsessions do tend to portray our Maker(s) as a sex-obsessed hairdresser on a rather faddy diet.  Surely, this can’t have been the intent?  Though it might give new, more spiritual meaning to the phrase “Anything for the weekend, sir?”.

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