G is for God

| April 13, 2014

1. I am most familiar with the Protestant Christian version of God. A being whose supreme goodness is overwhelming to the point of being inevitably misunderstood. Yet humans try to make sense of this benevolence, thinking of ways to please God in whatever form we suppose would please a being of his (always male in this tradition) magnitude.

2. I grew up in the Deep South, listening to Southern Baptist preachers tell us of the wicked ways of those who fail to go to church. The environment created a separation between us and them. Those were the people who were wicked and needed to be saved. We were the ones who had to do the saving. The rhetoric was always the same and was purposefully self-righteous.

3. The subject of god (or God) in the classroom is something I have trouble with. As an educator, I do not want to tell a student that his/her belief in God (the standard Christian one in this example) is misguided and wrong. I do not know enough about the world to disprove this belief. Yet I do not want to allow a student to shut off any critical modes of thinking because it might be detrimental to his/her belief system. I don’t know what to say to the student who, when we have a discussion about the existence of God, removes him/herself from discussion because he/she is “not supposed to ask these sorts of questions.”

4. The quote above is from an actual classroom experience.

5. Rather than focus on the ontology of God/god in the classroom, there could be a focus on the personal views towards a supreme being. What makes the existence of a belief in the supernatural so common amongst cultures? What is the desire we have to create meaning out of the life we experience?

6. The desire to create a god in order to explain the world around us could be the same desire that drives art or science. It is a means to come to terms with a world that is not always what it seems.