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So, is God not Dead? – And How God Exists

The unitary God of the Israelites after their Egyptian bondage, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of kings Solomon, Saul and David, so also of the Great Prophet M., and of J.C. of Nazareth, is not dead, not by a long shot.  This self-same God has held many in variable thralls of love, terror, reverence, repentance, covenant, dispensation, fealty, bravery, humility and submission ever since Emperor Constantine held those great meetings.  Like the one in Nicenaea that lent us the creed recited in so many Christian churches weekly.  The conclaves were held to settle the truly thorny issues like monotheism/polytheism among 4th Century (Common Era) Roman subjects just as the religion was being consolidated as the state’s.  Today, I can’t even remember the name of the losing party that held tenaciously to his by then I guess outmoded belief in one single solitary god.  He’s not famous anyway.  As it has in every successful political decision ever rendered, a great compromise was struck, to honor three-in-one.  That compromise held as the theologians worked out the kinks right through the dark ages, past the Reformation (and the rest of the Renaissance era in a Monty Python “wink-wink” sort of way), and down to us in the scientific era.

The modern era has been a bit rocky, careening from the old wild west camp revivals to the great blossoming of science (with both Victorian civility and civic reform movements) in the late 1800s, to a strong holiness reaction capped by the prohibition era of the early 20th Century, even as some enjoyed their roaring ’20s and uncensored ‘30s, to the Head of Jesus painting (1944) and civic McCarthyism in the ’50s to the “Is God Dead?” cover of Life (1966) during the ’60s cultural revolution into which I was born, and then the twin <liberal “Jesus is just alright with me”/conservative fundamentalist> reactions since. But there’s no doubt that This God will be with us for a Long Time to come, especially if future State Leaders continue to commingle predominant spiritual and civic religions.

I wrote way back in June 2008 of my own personal beliefs in “How God Exists” in the human psyche, and how I believe it got in there in the first place; though most people would agree it is not proper to foist those personal beliefs on anyone else in the world who may read this comment.  So I won’t link to it directly; you can ask me by private message or in the comments below if you think you’d like a link (for crying out loud, just google my name with “how god exists”…it’ll be there 3 or 4 entries down…and, I’m not sure why “Paul Suckow” the Villanueva business professor comes up ahead of me on this!)…  But I do like the advice of a dear stats prof of mine who sadly got sick and left for home in Nigeria:  “Each person should read widely!” Come up with a personal best solution that fits the data and its chain of truth, sits well with your own headdome and heartstrings and most allows you to be charitable in dealing with others.

Far be it from any of us to discount the deepest feelings held by another.  Especially where these feelings have been so deepened by sectarian bloodshed over the millennia (which sadly continues in Nigeria and elsewhere today).  Regardless of their cosmic veracity, all such beliefs matter a great deal.  From them, a religion of the future is being worked on right now on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.  I pray they may all continue to eek out a touch more good than evil in the world around us.  Same wish goes for the sciences by the way.

To keep the global picture, I’ve been following the http://www.adherents.com web page for years now, and although it appears fairly static (graph is from 2005), it’s a helpful and fascinating collection, especially if one perseveres to the written sections that continue to the bottom (http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html).  Christianity holds up top rank.  The web page does note how this is somewhat an apples-oranges measure because Christianity is a far broader umbrella for nominal adherence than is Islam, which ranks five slots higher in “unification” among the classical/functional list of big world religions.  Of course three religions, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism (hey, even I thrill to “Also Sprach Zararthustra” as picked for Kubric’s 2001 theme music, don’t you?), and the Baha’i faith all rank above Islam in “unity.”  But then again Buddhism and especially Hinduism beat out Christianity in “diversity” ranking on the opposite end of that spectrum.  Check out the many interesting pages of http://www.adherents.com, but especially “List of the Major World Religions ordered by size”.  There’s even a fun count of religious beliefs mentioned by works of science fiction! (at least there was once when I visited there).

Happy spiritual questing to you all as you fill the “God-shaped vacuum” of your Lymbic system, and cheers on still another week wherever you may live in this paradise!
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