I and many of my Atheist cohorts have been accused over and over of being “Angry at God”. Ray Comfort even recently used our supposed hatred as evidence that we each know that God exists intuitively….seriously, read it here. Since this is occurring with some frequency right now I feel the need to try to deal with the assertion as effectively as possible. The initial reaction of most Atheists is that the assertion is silly, “How can I be mad at a God that does not exist”. I, of course, agree entirely with this but the fact does remain that myself and many of my peers are mad at something…It just isn’t quite what Ray Comfort and other Christians may think.
God the being does not exist, I think I have made that understanding abundantly clear here, however God does exist in another way. God is an idea, a concept, and an institution – three intangible things in one, the true Holy Trinity. These things make me angry, these are the things at which my aggression is truly directed. I am mad at God because the idea of God makes me sick, the concept of his requirements for man are intolerable, and the institutions that represent him are dangerous.
To begin we must look at the idea of god, Christians often call this their personal saviour or a personal relationship with god…The idea of god is the construct that one creates in ones mind regarding who god is, his nature and his actions. This God is, in my view, nothing more than a figment of ones imagination that feels very real. The God I once worshipped and felt and communicated with was simply an idea….the way that I constructed God from my understandings and experience, that is what made him my personal God. The fault is not that a person creates this god, but that so much time can be spent pursuing that deity. My own personal desire for my god prior to my denunciation of god all together drove me to insanity because that pursuit is endless and only ends in the painful realization that god is all in your head. This is something I am angry at…myself for creating it and following it, and that if there were truly a god he would allow me to create and follow it.
The concept of God is what I would define as the claim that one can understand theology in such a way that something promised by god, lets just say salvation, is actually attainable and that one has the knowledge necessary to attain it. Someone with the idea of god will often promote a concept of god to the outside world wherein the outside world will attain their own idea of god….so on and so forth. The concept of God is the assurance that YOUR god is the RIGHT god…and there is no way around that ultimate truth. What angers me about that is that the individual pushing this belief, much like I once did, has absolutely no way of proving it. No way of proving that the threat (hell) is even real or that there is even the slightest need for this salvation (or whatever this god is promising). The propensity for error here is gigantic, there are thousands of conceptualized gods, most of whom threaten hell (or other punishments) for the unbeliever—so you have a slim chance of choosing the right one anyway….a less than 1% chance that your god is the right god, yet there are people out there proselytizing in the name of that god, never realizing that they very well be putting your soul in jeopardy rather than saving it!
Lastly, there are the Institutions of God….in ChristianSpeak this is the church. Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, etc. all claiming to be institutions set up by god so that man may worship him in the correct way, not to mention that most of them embed themselves in secular politics in order to shape the world in a way to fit with the desires of their institution and their concept of god. These institutions wield power over people that had never been seen before their inception, slavery on a scale more vast than imaginable. Money, power, and privilege are given to these institutions with no questions asked while they wage war on any idea that challenges their beliefs. Nothing is more dangerous than a group of people that have a hidden power to save men from that which they fear most, or to provide that which men desire most. The level of manipulation and corruption possible is massive yet these institutions are simply trusted to do that which is right. Even after the Catholic church has been caught covering up scandals, molestation, rape, and lies they still have 50 billion dollars in their coffers and they are growing. These institutions of God piss me off probably more than any of the other things; they encourage bigotry, shape the ideas and concepts of god in ways that generate extremism, and practice condemnation without shame.
So, to close here, it isn’t any real god or gods that I am angry at….it’s the power that a belief in god can have over a person and the things that can accompany that. Not every person that believes in a god is going to blow up buildings or shoot abortionists, not every religious institution is going to practice the arts of condemnation and manipulation–but for those that do, yea, I hate their God.