I'm James Maxey, the author of numerous novels of fantasy and science fiction. I use this site to discuss a wide range of topics, with a heavy emphasis on cranky, uninformed rants about politics and religion and other topics that polite people attempt to avoid. For anyone just wanting to read about my books, I maintain a second blog, The Prophet and the Dragon, where I keep the focus solely on my fiction. I also have a webpage where both blogs stream, with more information about all my books, at jamesmaxey.net.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Got God?

You know, as an atheist of many years, I get especially frustrated when I feel like I need to explain Christianity to Christians. Tonight on the way home I was listening to a talk show host on a rant over some judge in California declaring the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegence unconstitutional. This is an issue where I normally just roll my eyes and sigh. If I were writing the Pledge of Allegience, I wouldn't put the word "God" into it. Nor would I invoke him if I were declaring independence or drafting a constitution or even designing money. On the other hand, I am not so fragile and frail in my atheism that the words "under God" in a pledge cause me to reexamine my entire belief structure when I hear them. Nor have I ever picked up a quarter and read "In God We Trust" and suddenly thought, "Oh crap! I've been wrong this whole time!"

But, evidently, quite a few people are this frail--especially on the Christian side. Tonight the talk show host said "We've banned God from schools." He went on with variations of kicking God out of schools, removing God from courtrooms, banishing God from congress, etc. And I have to think to myself--just how impotent is your God if a court ruling is going to keep him out of a schoolroom? When I was a child, I grew up in a fundamentalist church. There was a mighty and powerful God--omipotent, omnipresent, infinite and incomprehensible. He was a God who was just as powerful on the surface of the moon as he was at the bottom of the sea as he was on the plains of Africa as he was in the subway of New York City. He was a God that was just flat out EVERYWHERE, in EVERYONE'S business every single moment of the day and night and he definitely wasn't a God who was going to get discouraged by a court ruling against him. Of course, paradoxically, according to the church, he was also a God who controlled everything. Your baby died? It was God's will. You won the lottery? It was God's will. The New Orlean's flood? God guided every molecule of water. So, by the tenants of my church, it was God's will that the judge rule as he did today, and that I be a snarky atheist with an internet audience of dozens.

Alas, for the talk show host's God, he needs a good lawyer and better politicians to get anything done. If I were the host, I'd think about shopping for a new religion. Something more fundamental. Old time religion. Like volcano worship. Let's see them try to ban volcanoes from classrooms.

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