Here’s an updated version of an earlier post on why I wrote GOD GAMES.
This is a question I get a lot and in particular about what drove me to, well, ahhh, put religion in a dim light. Religion is not bad. Faith/belief drives human determination, endurance and greatness. But it is also the cause for some of the greatest tragedies in human history (think the inquisition, the holocaust, etc.). So, my reason is complicated but, here’s a 35,000 foot sunrise view of the answer.
A while back, I came across an article about former President Jimmy Carter’s decision to leave the Southern Baptist Convention. That article sums up my unconventional relationship with religious beliefs, customs and rules.
Now hold back on the tar and feathers. It’s not that I don’t believe in God. To the contrary, I believe there is indeed a higher power. Matter of fact, I understand from the highest spiritual authority that my church, the High Episcopal Church, is the correct form of worship to which all should adhere. Just kidding! Aside from what I learned in church, the observed laws of thermodynamics, conservation of energy, and entangled particles brings me to that conclusion.
Problem is us mere humans have absolutely no clue as to the true nature of God. Yes, there are inspired writings but since none of us living today were there at the time, we have to rely on faith that what was written and interpreted, by people who by their very nature are imperfect, to be true.
And there are gaps, events and things that seem inconsistent with our lives that must be explained or examined for we are, again by nature, a curious bunch. And nature, God’s nature, abhors a vacuum. So, we fill in the blanks with what we are taught along with things that suit our whims, desires, fears, and hopes. And that’s OK . . . until, as happens all too often, some bozo twists the meaning of our experiences and those inspired stories around to his/her advantage.
My problem with religion is that with the right social media strategy you can convince millions to believe and act on just about anything your little heart desires just by referencing the right part of the Bible or any religious text. For example, slavery of dark-skinned humans–it all started in Genesis 9:20-27 where Noah curses Ham’s son Canaan saying “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.” Some took this to mean subjection of the Canaanite people and that Ham’s descendants were Africans. Then, there’s my favorite- Colossians 3:18 an instruction for a fitting Christian home that spouts “wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.” For some reason that doesn’t work for me. My wife sharpens the Ginsu knife set every time I remind her about that passage. So, I end up washing the dishes my damned self.
And that is why Jimmy Carter left the Southern Baptist Convention. They believed (and tried to influence others) that all women must be subservient to men. For example, the Southern Baptist Convention used I Timothy 2:9-14 to backup its conviction that the office of pastor is limited by Scripture to men. So, Carter’s article and the Bible itself illustrate the root cause for my skepticism toward religion.
Problem is I have nothing to replace religion with. And who truly knows the nature of God? Yes, I have beliefs, hopes and customs based on how I was raised. And that formed the basis of the Six Rules of Life described in GOD GAMES.
But I also prefer to build upon faith with some science. After all, one of my beliefs is that God and scientific reality are the same . . . to know one is to know the other. So, I haven’t completely thrown out religion. Matter of fact, I developed a simple formula to quantify the relative importance between religion and science with something called a Faith Rank (FR). For me, it’s a result that changes often. How about you?
And there is plenty of evidence to show that a greater hand is monkeying around with our reality. I won’t bore you with examples but suffice it to say, I show them in GOD GAMES an upside down SciFi retelling of the greatest Biblical story ever told! It’s about a secret contest to determine the fate of Heaven and Earth. Think of it as the newest version of the King James Bible. And for that, you probably think I’m crazy!
Hey, do you remember that movie back in the ’80s called THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY about a traveling Bushman who encounters modern civilization? GOD GAMES follows a similar theme. Yep, just like those descendants of Canaan in Africa, the whole truth is probably nothing that can be imagined.
So, yea I modified Genesis a bit. But unlike Tomás de Torquemada, I don’t force anyone to drink the Kool-Aide!
Want to read more about GOD GAMES? You can download this Upside Down SciFi Retelling of the Greatest Biblical Story Ever Told at Amazon/Kindle Unlimited. Click here or the image below to purchase your eBook copy NOW!
Want more SciFi? Check out my fellow SciFi authors’ works by clicking on the image below.