Wednesday, January 11, 2012

God: More Secrets Revealed

My son just turned four. Naturally, we've started to have the occasional discussion about the Almighty, so I thought I'd share with you an insight the kid shared with me in the car this evening.

I have to warn you, though: the kid's a bit of a serious chap, and can take you so far down the rabbit hole, you'll be scratching your hindquarters and begging for a carrot. 

THE KID: I'm mad.
ME: What are you mad about?
THE KID: I don't remember.

A pause.

THE KID: I'm staying mad forever.
ME: How very God-like of you.
THE KID: Are you telling on God?!? That's not fair!
ME: It's not fair?
THE KID: Don't say that.
ME: Why not?
THE KID: Only kids can say that. Not humans.

Now, you're probably way ahead of me and don't need any kind of explanation, but I like to think with my fingers, so here's what I'm guessing the kid was saying.

I, his father, introduced God into the conversation by making a wry comment on one of the implications of the concept of an unchanging God that is posited by the Judeo-Christian worldview. To wit, that an unchanging God who gets angry sometimes must therefore always be angry.

Now, it's a complex and confusing point, about which theologians and philosophers have written reams of dense, nearly impenetrable prose; but what I want you to see here is how quickly and cuttingly the kid reminded me that it is foolish for a man to propose to speak for God at all. "Are you telling on God?" he asked, "That's not fair!"

He didn't stop there, though. My son - that wisest confounder of the the wise - went on to subtly suggest (I think - I'm a human, so I'm a little slow) that it is only children who have the spiritual grace, humility, and uncluttered reason to have the right to say anything about God's nature - to actually talk meaningfully about God at all. My son, I'm beginning think, would probably be aligned somewhat to a Kierkegaardian mode of thought... if that weren't such a human thing to do.

I never did find out what he was mad about, though. Probably the Republican primaries.

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