INSITEVIEW- - tom shugart's weblog

Monday, March 11, 2002

Eric Responds

Eric Norlin, bless him, has emailed the link to his blog post about the near death of his beloved dog. I can now add Point Number Four to lessons learned: God demands attention--whether you like it or not.

Here's the bulk of Eric's piece. Definitely deserving of a reprint:

"On Saturday night, at approximately 6pm Mountain Time, I married the woman I love. Flowers and dresses and vows, oh my. Rageboy was even there -- guffawing at the Cluetrain reference that my minister-turned-web-designer father inserted into the sermon.

It was joyous.

Today, my English Setter, Norman, almost fell over while standing in the kitchen. In twenty-four hours he had gone from hyper, squirrel hunting maniac to lethargic, no-eating, no-walk zombie. A trip to the vet has revealed the worst: an immune disease that gives him a 40 percent chance of surviving to the weekend.

At one point in my life I was a seminary student. Not in the traditional sense, mind you, but as a person deeply interested in the western theological traditions -- I was a seminary student. An ex-Tibetan Buddhist, turned archetypal psychologist, turned reader of Martin Luther (didn't he post some theses?).

And now, standing betwixt my marriage and the possible death of my best friend, I am reminded of the theological stance that I argued so vehemently at one point: God is not just.

A just and loving God does not inflict pain upon creatures that have only loved -- be they dogs or babies. A just and loving God would not-- as the Roman Catholics believe -- send unbaptized babies to a state other than Heaven (be it purgatory or hell). All of the liberal, feminist, creationist, Matthew Fox believing, bullshit theology can never truly argue that God is just. Because in the end, their arguments must resort to this: God is just, but we are not capable of grasping the nature of his/her justice.

This is pure and simple bullshit.

God (and I should tell you that this is a bit specious as I'm a polytheist) does not live by justice because the very nature of "justice" would imply a standard to which God is accountable. Rather, God is all about attention. Be it hatred or love, either emotion is attention paid to God (just ask Job). Hating God does not displease him. He is a God of attention -- he does not simply love, sometimes he hates, and rightfully so. But it is attention nonetheless.

God is not just -- he is attentive.

He is loving in his attention, but not just.

Likewise, I am not always loving -- but I am attentive. "

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