Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Do you remember that judge in Georgia or Alabama who installed a large stone "statue" of the Ten Commandments in his county's courthouse? Eventually, he was forced to remove it much to the gnashing of teeth and shredding of garments of the "true believers" who felt --- this showed just how Godless America had become.

I remember seeing this judge being interviewed on television by Bill Press, a liberal political writer and journalist. Bill was the soul of courtesy --- and showing extreme deference asked the judge what "God" did he mean when he said that the USA was founded on the belief of God and his teachings and commandments. The judge was absolutely dumbfounded.
He grasped his Bible and holding it aloft said something like: The God Who is found within the covers of this book!

Personally, I think it is close to blasphemous to believe that God is found within a single book by any name. Or any group of words, no matter how large. Words are written or spoken expression s-- much of the time -- of concepts. And, for my money, a God that can be encapsulated in a concept --- just can't be God.

Yes, the word God has many meanings. Bill Press's inference along these lines when he asked the jurist his question --- pointed to this.

I found recently some wonderful quotes from -- above all -- a Baptist minister who has been heading a church in Evanston, IL since 1980. I don't know exactly what kind of Baptist church this is --- but it's the kind I might like to visit.

Here are some exciting and enlightening comments from Reverend Robert V. Thompson:

"If I'm being asked about whether or not I believe in some supreme being with an extreme ego who insists that people conform to a rigid dogma, I say, 'No, I don't believe in that God'."

"If I'm asked if I believe in a God whose abode is in a heaven, separated from the earthly domain, the answer is, 'No, I don't believe in that God'."

"If the question is if I believe in a god who uses coercive power to make things happen a certain way, I reply, 'Not that one either'."

I may not agree with everything the Pastor says, but he is rather refreshing.

P.S. The photo at the top is the minister -- not the judge.