A new book recently came across my desk, called _Dogspell: The Gospel According to Dog_.
At first I thought maybe _Dogspell_ was a new version of the musical _Godspell_, but using barking dogs-- kind of like the Christmas music cds put out by “Jingle Dogs” or the even more annoying “Jingle Cats” music cds, where a group of cats meow out Christmas classics like “Here Comes Santa Claws” or “Meowy Christmas.”
As it turns out _Dogspell_ is a book that wants to guide Christians to a better understanding their relationship with God. According to the publisher, the author “Uses [the] metaphor of dog’s unconditional devotion to its human and the joy it finds in [this] relationship….”
This idea is disturbing in so many ways:
Can this be the spiritual goal of most Christians-- to view the universe on all-fours while sniffing the crotch of God? And think of all the theological questions it raises. Is it appropriate to hump God’s leg only on Sundays? Or Saturdays? Or should this be a daily ritual?
And then there is the question of Evil. How can we address the fact that I have fleas? Why doesn’t God do something about this? Get me a flea-collar! Buy some flea powder! Please, God, do something to clean up all these horrible problems in the world.
I love my neighbor. So can I ask God to send the Mobile Spaying Unit to my neighbor’s house and “fix” them all? (Just my idea for cleaning up the local gene pool.)
What if it turns out that my God is violent and brutal, and he beats the hell out of me with a 2x4 and sells me out to dogfights, like Michael Vick? Am I still expected to lick his hand?
Why is it that people look up to the sky, searching for some invisible master, and abase themselves like dumb animals?
What is it about this idea that makes me want to lie down and lick my own ass, just to get the taste of this out of my mouth? Oops, I can’t reach. A little help here!
The fact is that The Religious never cease to amaze. Sometimes their weird ideas are pretty funny. Other times their violence and senseless bigotry are downright shocking. From female circumcision to bombing abortion clinics, these people are seriously disturbed. Maybe they are trying to work out their own serious emotional problems; both a lack of love at an early age and their overwhelming feelings of worthlessness lead them to accept crazy ideas. And these ideas are truly crazy. Not eating fish on Friday. Not using birth control. Praying with candles and statues, and wishing for miracles. Then they accept whatever crazy shit the preacher tells them, and reject the evidence of their own eyes.
I know of a Baptist preacher in our town (pop. 18,000) who has a congregation of only 25 people. Every Sunday (and Wednesday and Friday) he subjects them to 3-4 hours of yelling and personal abuse (I am *not* exagerating). Why do they put up with this jerk! And worse yet, a few months ago he emptied the church bank account and left town. And some church members still want him to come back! How sick is that?
People can be convinced to believe almost anything. The enormous growth of the Mormon Church in the last century proves, beyond a reasonable doubt, that people can be made to believe almost anything, no matter how goofy it is. The Church of Scientology is equally crazy. And all these religions are, almost without exception, violent and cruel to non-believers. So why do people still fall into the trap of religious belief?