Sunday, May 04, 2008

In His Own Image

They say that God created Man
As part of an enormous plan,
And did so in His image, cos he loves us, every one.
When men of God discriminate
And treat their fellow men with hate
They do so with the knowledge it’s what Jesus would have done.
When righteous men, in righteous ways
Hate atheists, or Jews, or gays,
Or Muslims, pagans, redheads, southpaws, foreigners, or Voodoo
I know at first it may seem odd,
But clearly, you’ve created God
In your own image, when you find he hates the same folks you do.

“You can safely assume you have created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates the same people you do.” --Annie Lamott

(there are a number of versions of that quote floating around, attributed to Lamott—If anyone happens to know the definitive version, I would be happy to correct what I have here.)


Paul Mohr said...

Good poems as always.

Unknown said...

Apparently Annie Lamott uses this phrase fairly frequently, so it’s hard to know how or when it originated.

In her Wikipedia entry (which we all know is gospel), it says,

“I know some very great writers, writers you love who write beautifully and have made a great deal of money, and not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts. All right, one of them does, but we do not like her very much. We do not think that she has a rich inner life or that God likes her or can even stand her. (Although when I mentioned this to my priest friend Tom, he said you can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out God hates all the same people you do.)” -Anne Lamott from Bird by Bird

It also cites:

"You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do." (Traveling Mercies; although on page 22 of Bird by Bird she attributes this quote to "my priest friend Tom")

I found a article which quotes her as saying, “The opposite of faith is not doubt: It is certainty. It is madness. You can tell you have created God in your own image when it turns out that he or she hates all the same people you do.”

On the other hand, phrases of a similar sort are all over the web, mostly unattributed, as:
"If your god hates the same people you do, you have made god in your image, not the other way around" unknown

So who knows? I think the concept is ubiquitous in debates on religion, but especially when debating homophobia. It’s an obvious concept, which doesn’t make it any less telling.

Congrats on another great poem with yet another zinger of a message.

Old Bob said...

Nice poem. Poor theology. Jesus
teaches us to love one another, turn the other cheek, judge not, and
cast the first stone if we are without sin ourselves. I do not
know the Jesus who would have
people act otherwise.

Cuttlefish said...

Read your bible, Old Bob. He's in there.

Old Bob said...

Cuttlefish, Happy to oblige;
if you get a chance, please read
"What the New Testament says
about homosexuality."

Cuttlefish said...

Remarkable, then, that so many people who claim to follow Jesus use Him to justify their homophobia, isn't it? It's almost as if they have created Him in their own image...