Lately, I've been aware of people's comments, especially when it comes to using the words god or Jesus in their appeals or thanks. I'm not talking about being petty and militant about phrases such as "God Bless You" when someone sneezes or when someone is casually saying, "Thank God" when they are glad something trivial happened. I'm not on some mission to be irate over every reference to a deity in everyday conversation. I'm not so arrogant as to think people should completely forget about their belief system, just like I wouldn't want believers to be so arrogant as to think I should feel the way they do or be pissed at me (even though that is the norm).
What I'm talking about comes from a different kind of arrogance. For instance, tonight I watched an episode of Survivor, and there was a competition segment. This season the show is pitting family members against each other, but in some cases they are put in a position where they can root for their family members. In this competition, three players faced off in a house-of-cards building challenge where the tallest houses would win and the shortest was eliminated from the game forever, costing them a shot at a million dollars. It came down to one guy and a mother of a mother-daughter tandem. The guy was besting the mother and was a mere three minutes from clinching the competition when his stack leaned too far and toppled over to the ground. The daughter, watching from the sideline, said, "Thank you, Jesus."
Like Jesus, the Jesus they believe in, has nothing better to do than watch this competition on a remote island and blow a guiding breeze toward this guy's house of cards just so this mother could advance. Do Christians really believe Jesus (and/or god, whatever) performs petty acts like this, so much so that he deserves thanks? And if so, are they this arrogant to feel he's acting on their benefit and directly against their opponent? It gets back to my last post about the two college football teams; Jesus/God, even if they did exist, don't have rooting interests in petty competitions.
It makes me sick to think there are people on this planet who believe their deity is concerning himself with their specific petty interests while children all around this world are starving, dying of said starvation, drinking from watering holes where E. coli and other life-threatening diseases are prevalent and are contracting diseases that will make them die a horrific painful death. But keep believing your god is making cards fall over so your favorite cast member in a reality show will survive another week.
Why is this a problem? Well, it seems harmless on the surface, right? You have to carry it out to its extreme and ultimate conclusion to see what kind of damage it can do. If you have people who truly believe a diety is acting on their personal behalf, first this is irrational behavior and borderline insane, but when you think these people could be making decisions that affect your life, you start to understand why this is so scary. There are far too many people dying these days when parents won't take their gravely ill children to a hospital because they believe their god will heal them. And these people are rightfully being thrown in jail. Now imagine these people running a country and thinking their deity is acting on their behalf.
Believing in a mythical god is bad enough, thinking everything that happens is him doing it just for you is just plain loco.