"Every great shift has to pass through
because that God no longer exists."
William Paul Young, author of The Shack
I am an atheist to the god of fear-and-control.
I am an atheist to the god of shame.
I am an atheist to the god of hell and damnation.
I am an atheist to the god of wall-building, exclusion, ostracism, and shunning.
I am an atheist to the god of Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, any god that supports the separation of children from their parents at our southern border.
Call me an atheist all day long, because the god that supports or condones any of these things does not exist to me.
I've been told I'm a heretic, and I'll wear that badge with pride these days, too.
"The word heresy simply means that an idea or a teaching is different from what has been traditionally understood and taught." Stan Mitchell
The traditional teachings that have brought us to this place as a nation, carried on the backs of traditional "biblical" interpretations?
The traditional teachings that said white men could preside over genocide, enslavement, lynchings, and oppression with the blessing of "what the Bible clearly says"?
The same teachings that are still being used today, this minute, as an excuse to abuse children and families who come to this country for asylum?
Please, please, please understand that I am absolutely a heretic to that tradition.
If I am able to stomach anything religious in these harrowing days, it is only because I have long since been in the process of becoming an atheist and a heretic to the traditions that allow for god to be the kind of monster that encourages human beings to behave in such monstrous ways.
If I am able to be a Christian at all at this time in history, it is only because those who have long suffered oppression have been showing me the road to hope, despite the horror we see around us, created in the name of a monster-god.
That god is not true or real; it is only a naked emperor, propped up by other naked emperors.
Let us all be atheists to that god,
and heretics to the traditions that support it.
Let us turn instead to Love.
Love that is patient and kind.
Love that receives immigrants.
Love that welcomes the children.
Love that feeds the hungry.
Love that heals the hurting.
Love that works for justice and mercy.
Love that makes whips and flips tables.
Love that is true.
Love that is real, for everyone, not just for rich white men.
These puny traditions and little monster-gods will fall on the ash heap of history,
Love never fails.
I can love a God who Loves, but no other.
I can adhere to a tradition that Loves, but no other.
If I am able to be part of any religion these days, it is only Love.