Toward a Deity Liberation Manifesto
"My god is a real god, yours is an idol!" declares Lt. Gen. Willam G. Boykin to the Muslims. May the gods save us from such thinking. This is an idea that has brought mayhem ever since Samson committed genocide against the Philistines. For the sake of all the gods and the people who believe in them, we must establish a Declaration of Deity Rights.

The gods cannot speak for themselves, so it's up to us, the humans who have created and who sustain them, to draft the Declaration.

1 - All deities are created equal. They are created by the imaginations of human beings, to satisfy very deep felt needs, and no human being has a right to question the validity of those needs.

2 - Deities all have the attributes that their human believers assign to them. They may be male, female, or gender-free, they may have an elephant's head or a profusion of arms or a bright nonhuman color, elaborate headdresses, nail-holes in their limbs, or they may be completely noncorporeal and physically undescribable. No matter; no believer in a god with one set of traits should mock the believers in a god (or goddess) with some other set of traits. People believe what they need to believe, and to mock their gods is to mock their needs.

3 - All deities need believers. Without them, they cease to exist. Therefore it is extremely cruel to any god or goddess to deprive him/her of believers.

We should note that these problems hardly exist among the deities themselves. Tlaloc (of the Aztec) could probably get along quite peacefully with Ganesh (of the Hindus) or Jehova (who comes in various versions) or Estarte or Venus or Inti or Allah. We should let them be, all of them, and any future gods that humans choose to invent. They all meet real human needs, and thus must be respected.

No comments: