A Telephone Call From God

By: Troy J.

How come God only talks to old men who are bigots? Doesn’t God ever talk to or call anyone but fossils filled with hate? Watching the documentary “8: The Mormon Proposition” I listened to the church bigots defining God’s orders; mostly about sexual behavior which suggests that God, though ostensibly responsible for sexual organs, is not very enthused about the use of them. It appears that God rarely speaks directly to women, young people, persons who are not pale in complexion, with the notable exception of a few Black preachers who holler a great deal and condemn everyone for practically everything.

Having a television program seems to be the best qualification for receiving a call from God. I remember Pat Robertson reporting a phone call he received from the Big Guy during a national election instructing the good reverend to vote Republican, and urging him to pass the word on to his viewers. Talk about separation of church and state, or in this case, God Almighty and the voters.

A colleague of mine at The Fortune Society, an organization that works with people who were formerly incarcerated in New York City, once ran for the City Council and was able to gain the support of several unions, the Daily News, the Village Voice, the Amsterdam News, but not a peep from you know who. I figured He didn’t get involved in local elections. But a priest once visiting The Fortune Society declared that my colleague was doing “God’s work.” So I figured that might earn him a campaign boost, a sort of ecclesiastical quid pro quo. Isn’t that the American way? I’m sure that I’m not the first to suggest that some of those claims to having God on the other end of the phone are merely using Number One to give credence to their own fears, superstitions, ambitions, and dare I say it, their legitimacy to their physical pursuits. That is to say if you have a television program and you’re asking folks to send money; it’s very helpful to state you’re on a first name basis with the Creator.

Listen, I’m just as curious as the next person about the mysteries of creation, procreation, and the changing seasons. But I’ve seen no evidence that there’s a single entity whose calling card says “God”, who’s sitting around watching you and me and our every move. If He’s on the phone so much, how could He have the time to monitor your various quirks and peccadilloes? I know, I know. He’s God and He could do it all at once. Least that’s what the press releases all say. My Mother used to give me an “I only have two hands” look, so I’m familiar with the limitations of omnipotence.

There are obvious questions to be asked of the Mormon bigots, with whom you’ll become acquainted if you catch their flick “8: The Mormon Proposition.” I’d like to ask them and Pat Robertson why they are always talking to God about politics and sex. Doesn’t the subject of war, or disease, or gun control ever come up? I’m just asking.

You have to admit it, God has good press. I realized that when a young boy, who was the sole survivor of a plane crash, one that killed the other hundred passengers.  The papers called it a miracle, and attributed his being alive to the wonderful work of God. I don’t recall a single media reporter challenging why God was so cavalier about those who went down in the plane. There are people who work full time to enhance someone’s image, working for people like Lindsay Lohan, and Sarah Palin, and the Jonas Brothers, and for God; most of its illusionary, but very effective in the age of the sound bite. The truth is every time the phone rings, in spite of my skepticism, I hope that it might be God calling. More often it’s some yahoo trying to sell me something, or someone who disagrees with my views and suggesting that I go to Cuba. Not that all of this has anything to do with infinity, but I do wonder if Verizon bills God for all those calls. I can just picture Him, “Can you hear me now?”

But a few questions. Does He speak only English, or is He conversant with all languages? And if that’s the case, as I suspect, how does He feel about Arizona’s immigration laws, which seems obviously slanted against people who speak Spanish? And does He have a cell phone or just a landline, or in His case, a Heavenline? And the big question is, is He a He, or as rumored a She, or devoid of gender specificity? And if that’s the case, might He or She or It, lean favorably towards same sex marriage? The more I think about this and probe some of the preacher rantings, brings me to the conclusion that we’ve given this God on the phone thing not enough serious consideration. Oh, we pray to Him, implore more often than pray, negotiating for favors in exchange for atonement, but it all takes place in our minds. There’s nothing out there to suggest that His or Hers or Its presence, unless it’s the autumn leaves. The war in Afghanistan is certainly not on the priority list of issues. And the state of our prisons would indicate that He’s more occupied with sexual counseling than with human rights. The holy bigots seem to have a corner on His attention, which makes me kind of sad.

(RING!) Excuse me now; I think I hear the phone ringing. (RING!) You never know who’s on that line. (RING!) I’m Troy J., out on a limb. (RING!) Hello God. Is that you? . . .

10 Comments on “A Telephone Call From God”

  1. “How come God only talks to old men who are bigots? Doesn’t God ever talk to or call anyone but fossils filled with hate?”

    Two reasons:

    1. ‘God’ doesn’t exist. He/She/It was invented by people as the ultimate trump card to control other people.

    2. The people who want to control others are usually bigots and fossils who have no other use to society.

    Be they kings or priests, it’s a convenient argument to say, “‘God’ put me here on this throne/in charge of this church/both. You can’t see or talk to ‘God’; only I can. If you don’t do what I say, you’ll go to a Very Bad Place where Very Bad Things will happen to you forever.”

    Now, an exercise in logic:

    An argument, for which no shred of proof is required, is flawed to the point that disagreeing with it is not only a good idea – it’s a requirement.

    Agreeing with said argument carries another name:

    Insanity.

    Thus endeth the lesson…..

  2. Just a quick clarification:
    You stated “There are obvious questions to be asked of the Mormon bigots, with whom you’ll become acquainted if you catch their flick “8: The Mormon Proposition.”
    This makes it sound as if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints put out the movie, which they did not.

    That being said, this movie caught my eye when it was in production, it raises important questions and arguements and should be openly discussed.

    No Church or Orgainized Religion should require members to vote a certain way in order to stay in “good standing”. Also I am deeply troubled by the amount of meddling from out of state Mormons in the California election process (as well as other states for that matter)

    I don’t know what the answer is but phone banks and collections should not be established from Utah for another state’s election.

  3. I remember when a 400 foot (=/-) high Jesus came to Oral Roberts and commanded him to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to find a cure for cancer. He started begging on television, radio and the pulpit, and people started sending him the money. However, some of us wondered why Jesus did not just give him the cure for cancer and eliminate all of the waste.

  4. Ah yes.. what happens in one state only stays in that one state. Nothing ever spreads across the border. Yea.. right! Once something becomes “accepted” in one state… it has the potential of becoming accepted in other states.. and then if one is not careful.. it becomes the norm.

    Marriage among homosexuals is not the norm. And as far as I am concerned.. it should never become the norm.

    God doesn’t talk about sex on an on going basis.. he said it once and once is good enough. Actually he said it twice.. both Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. But alas.. is that just a fairy tale?

    Prophets have come in all sorts of ages… even as young as 14. But who listens to a 14 year prophet saying that God speaks to him? Crazy kid hasn’t learned to deal with his hormones yet. Right?

    And the same goes for women. If there were prophetess’s.. people would say she is just PMSing. I guess God figured out that most of society for the past 6000 years has been dominated by men.. and even in today’s progressive society.. men still do. So.. not to disrupt the human beings.. he chooses to speak with older men.. who at least have some life experiences behind them in dealing with a Church on a world wide basis.

    Ah.. and just because one does not accept the lifestyle of a homosexual.. in 2010 we are now called a bigot? Well so be it. I don’t agree.. but who cares?

    As much as people refuse to believe there is a God.. because they say there is no proof.. and of course you can’t prove that he isn’t there.. because trying to prove something that doesn’t exist is just plain silly.

    And what is up with the constant miss use of separation of Church and State? Don’t people know that it was designed that the Government could not dictate to the church as to which religion you would be? Jeez. Churches have the right to explain to its members God laws and how going against them is wrong. Even when the majority of the population decides its now A OK. Remember the time when adultery was punishable by death? Hey.. now a days there is no punishment. Adultery seems to be regarded as no big deal.. unless you are the spouse of the one being cheated on.. oh yea.. then it is a big deal. And sleeping together and have sex and babies… and not be married. Wow.. have we ever come a long way to totally ignoring Gods laws and just having a free for all.

    And please tell me… when a plane crashes.. and everyone survives.. they just pat the pilot on the back and say good job. So.. for God to get a bit of recognition.. take out the whole plane except for one kid… and guess what? People actually think about God. Same thing when hurricanes, tornado’s, volcanic eruptions or any kind of natural disaster happen.. then people think about God. I can hear the prayers now.. “oh please God.. let me find my child”. (Not a prayer from that person in over 20 years.. but now.. now they pray.)

    Well.. seems the phone is ringing here too. Difference is that I know it’s not God. We already had our talk. 🙂

    Yes.. so I will put up with the name calling and the critic spewing their rhetoric.. but when it comes to me and my house.. we do serve the Lord!

  5. “…trying to prove something that doesn’t exist is just plain silly.”

    That’s really the crux of the matter.

    Until you or someone like you who ‘serves the Lord’ can prove to me incontrovertibly without association or metaphor that there IS a ‘god’, I’m of the opinion that said-beastie doesn’t exist — it’s in the realm of the boogeyman, or that Critter Under The Bed that your Uncle Cletus told you would eat your eyeballs if you didn’t behave.

    Thanks to the sixteen words in the First Amendment which begin, “Congress shall make no law”, you’re free to believe in Allah, Buddha, Jehovah, Yahweh, Jupiter Optimus Maximus – or Jesus, as you prefer. Tomorrow morning, the big church down the way will have people directing traffic so’s those-attending can get in and out. I’m happy with that. It makes my grocery shopping easier, and the farmer’s-market is thinly-attended until after lunch.

    In fact, there’s no law against your pastor preaching against homosexuality, sodomy, adultery, nail-biting, the keeping of ‘engineered’ pets like Labradoodles, or Ludacris CD’s. You can go right on proscribing these things amongst the ‘faithful’, and I really won’t care. None of this affects me.

    Not, that is, until you begin to politicize it.

    Then, we’re at odds, and how.

    For all your worrying about the ‘norm’ – your best method for teaching any of your book’s lessons is to take a page from what your Leader said – and lead by example.

    If you keep yourself busy doing that, you’ll be far less likely to engage in activities which will arouse the ire of people like me – and organizations like Americans United and the American Civil Liberties Union, which (thankfully) keeps an eye on politicized pulpits.

    Nope – you’re not being persecuted.

    You’re being ignored – until you step over the line.

    Meantime, thanks for freeing up the parking tomorrow morning….

    -W

  6. @MrNirom,

    A couple things ou should know…

    1. I know of no one that “refuses” to believe in entities like “god” – the whole concept is something of a misnomer as one doesn’t really have much in the way of conscious control over what he believes: refusing to believe in “god” is just as silly as refusing to believe in Candyland – as there is just as much evidence for the existence of both of them (i.e. none).

    2. It is you who is misinformed about the separation of church and state, and apparantly ignorant of the historical context that led to its creation – a history of church-ordained persecutions of “heretics” and interference in the affairs of government. To understand why the nation’s founders saw the need for such a separation, you might want to brush up on your European history…

    3. “God” has no “law” that doesn’t originate with the establishment – you allude to the idea of adultery being punishable by death at one time and now seen as “no big deal,” but you overlook the fact that if there was no social institution called “marraige” the very concept of adultery would be completely meaningless: in other words, the “law” of “god” is little more than a reflection of the mores and values of the social order that happens to be in power at any given time – in this case, the reduced penalties for adultery show that the established order no longer values the institution of marraige as much as it once did (primarily because the patriarchy has fallen – since this institution’s historical purpose was to secure the wealth and property of the family patriarch, the end of the old power structure has reduced this institution to a mere formality of “law” for such things as tax benefits and whatnot to a couple involved in sexual relations).

  7. My only dereliction from the comments by Will and Christopher is that most people seem engineered to believe in a god. The belief system varies according to how the brain is wired, from stacking stones believed to contain unearthly power, to a belief in their own god-like manifestation, i.e., Nietzsche style. For some, science is god. For some, the pursuit of capital gain is god. Your god is the sum of your belief system.

    The great equalizer is the word, “power”. We want our god to empower us. If it doesn’t, we’re vastly disappointed and designate that god to non-existence. Logic should tell us that we aren’t truly able to understand a higher intelligence than our own so we can’t really interpret that entity’s agenda. We demand an exhibit of power when in fact, this intelligence might not even be interested in giving a demonstration. It might not be interested in rescuing us. It might see humans as an experiment gone wrong, or as the clumsy beginnings of a deeper awareness of who we are in the scheme of things. We’ve created a god in our image and have told him what we expect from him.

    I just don’t think it works that way. Nor do i think there are people with a special phone service to this god created in our image, only people in agreement of what needs to be done in order to insure their own immortality. I don’t think anyone has an exclusive hold on immortality. Either we all have an immortal consciousness that continues to feed the spark of life and its expanding awareness, or we are simply the amused, lonely or bored fashioning of a curious nature that decided to develop a brain with a conscience and free will apart from the instinctual behavior of other earth life forms. Either way works for me because they both explore the depths of what we could become or are destined to become without dismissing the human drive that has had a tendency to acknowledge an intelligence superior to itself since the day it recognized itself as different from the other developing species by painting its historical progress on cave walls.

  8. To MrNirom:

    I would definitely say you are a bigot and sound like one. If you know your Bible so well, and so do I, having read it numerous times both the Old and the New, you would know that when God did speak to people they aged very rapidly. So unless you look to be about 900 years old, as did others in the Bible, I don’t believe God has spoken to you at all. This would fit into the same category of its just not the norm, if you have read the Bible.

    You also sound like someone who is against abortion. So I would like to ask you, if you save the life of an unborn child, and that child grows up to be Gay, will you also fight for the rights of that same child? We are all God’s children so I thought, and God made us to be who we are.

    Glad to see that my commentary did hit upon the truth in even bringing the bigots out on this blog page.

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