I’ve been considering this column for quite some time, but it took a Sunday Chicago Tribune piece to finally get those particular mental gears going. Reporter Nara Schoenberg interviewed six local women regarding their thoughts on wearing the “hijab,” or Muslim headscarf.
Though their stories were all fascinating, one of them hit the nail on the head when she said, “I think God’s got so many more problems to deal with than whether I’ve got a scarf on my head or not.”
With that eminently cogent logic in mind, let’s go over exactly what God is not:
1. She is not a fashion consultant
That’s right! Whether it’s a hijab, yarmulke, burka, massive silver cross around your neck, turban, Hasidic dress, Amish dress, or flowing robes, that edict came from men and not God. She doesn’t really care if men take their hats off or women cover their heads in in a Catholic church, and I absolutely refuse to believe that zippers are a direct route to the Inferno.
In fact, God doesn’t really care to which faith you might adhere because in the end, it’s utterly immaterial. So, blatantly displaying your religion for all to see is nothing more than a form of bragging and a way of creating separation. And God really doesn’t care for either of those human traits.
When France banned the wearing of “conspicuous” religious symbols, they might have gone a bit too far, but the thought was a very good one. I’m sure God would agree.
2. He’s not a beauty consultant
If it were within my purview to ban those obnoxiously bushy beards that many men – and especially baseball players – insist on wearing these days, I’d do it in a heartbeat. But unfortunately, God has a much more laissez-faire attitude when it comes to facial features.
As for me, the only reason I have a beard/Goatee is because I really hate shaving.
If he came back today, what do you think the Buddha would say about folks wearing a red dot on their forehead to honor him? God doesn’t care about your hairstyle either. Wear it long, short, or embrace the Sinead O’Connor look, it’s all good!
Salvation comes through good acts, not from avoiding a razor.
3. She’s not a dietician
Given the dangers of our predecessors partaking of pork and shellfish, I understand those specific biblical caveats, but I refuse to believe a dinner at Red Lobster is a one-way ticket to eternal damnation.
Ramadan, Passover and Lent? They’re just some ascetic’s idea of a good time, but doesn’t fasting on demand kind of dilute the entire intent? If you have to be told to be devout then you weren’t very devout to begin with.
And those kinds of restrictions can be deleterious to your health, too! Despite his best efforts to follow the Buddhist vegetarian tenet, the Dalai Lama’s health deteriorated so badly that he was forced to go back to eating meat.
To wit, many of my type O compatriots will confirm that, unlike the more recent blood types, going the vegetarian route is fraught with peril.
The bottom line is, God doesn’t give a flying bleep what you eat as long as it’s not another human being.
4. He’s no sports fan, either
Sometimes I wonder about the whole New England Patriots thing, but this one is my personal favorite. God is far too busy dealing with hypocritical Christians to be a sports fan. That means that every time I see a Major League Baseball player point two fingers to the sky after hitting a homerun, I want to scream – and I usually do.
Because if God actually paid that much attention to sports, and the Chicago Cubs and Javy Baez in particular, I’d be the first one to question His priorities. And if He had that much power over sporting events, I’d expect to see the same players flip Him the double bird after they hit into an inning ending double play.
Don’t you have to take the good with the bad?
And pregame prayers? Really! Isn’t asking God to grease the skids of the other team’s defeat a lot like Vinnie Barbarino’s mother praying for the gym teacher to have an accident? That certainly doesn’t seem like the Christian thing to do.
So, no! God doesn’t take sides in sporting events because it wouldn’t be the God-like thing to do.
I’m glad we finally cleared all that up!
While I certainly understand what God isn’t, I suppose what She is is still open to debate. I prefer the Buddhist notion of a collective consciousness or a Lucas-esque Force, but I have no intention of recruiting followers and forcing those thoughts on them or anyone else for that matter because I’m too busy, too!
And God is good with that!