Tell your God to wipe this religion thing off.
Do you believe in such a thing as sin?
Two very special people – good friends of mine, both – separately gave me these pieces of prescription immediately upon knowing that I am fasting for Ramadhan. I smiled a little. Mortals…how trendy it has become to lampoon God. A la mode. It is interesting also. Asserting that you are godless does a lot of things to you: It absolves you of faith, to begin with. It sanitizes you from belief. You are free to go forth and transgress. Free.
I believe in God, although I’ve my adjustment problems with organized religion. I reckon, if not anything, the notion of God puts a beautiful sense of discipline in your heart. They say he who kneels before God can stand before anyone. I concur.
Faith is imperative. It is often redeeming, expiating. Faith helps you evolve in a million different ways. You can hang tough. Our individual beliefs are not simply trivial topics which come and go over time. They delve into the very fabric of our being and strengthen our character. Faith is like the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark, as Tagore avers.
It is strange that people confuse God with religionists. We flunk to understand that people can be bad – both in faithfulness or faithlessness. People fight for religion because they are either too ignorant about or misunderstand its tenets! Faith discourages all conflict.
Yet some of the biggest atrocities on earth have been committed in the name of religion – The Christian crusades, for instance, were the worst form of human wickedness ever, Islamist anarchy in the modern times is plain vulgar. A purely Jewish state commits little genocides each passing day. Faulting God for this human fallaciousness is like accusing your father for your misdemeanors.
History teaches us that people have pillaged one another since eternity. From antediluvian -- pre-religious -- years humans have been at each other's thoats. The Romans, Punic, Persian, Sicilian, Spartan, Syrian wars – all pre-date modern religion. People have always been murdering fellow people – as long as it was in the name of land, gold, greed or God.
Organized religion, let me concede, has bred superstition, bigotry, priests and rituals. Who was it that led to the supreme exposition, exploitation of these misplaced emotions, passions? Religion and not God. And ever since, people have done the most horrendous things in the holy name of religion. Such is the diabolical complexity of human brutishness. The god men, clergy, prelacy have only added to the confusion. It is indeed sad but does it still give us a carte blanche to curse God?
Indeed a large crop of thinkers, scientists and writers – who came in the last 300 years --have raised their voice against this abject irrationality that half-understood, half-baked religions spawn. As Swift puts it, we have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.
In hindsight, I reason, may be there really is a need to know God. To understand the significance of God in our lives. Not because of sin or vice. Virtue or paradise. But because God is the only elixir to the spiritual hollowness and emptiness of our times.
As for all those blokes – who like to be dubbed godless -- maybe the atheist cannot find God for the same reason a thief cannot find a policeman. And as they say -- any fool can count the seeds in an apple. Only God can count all the apples in one seed.