There but for the grace of god….

There but for the grace of God….

I absolutely hate that phrase with a passion. I think it’s one of the cruelest things you can say to a person. Seriously, I think it’s awful. So, imagine, that you are a drinker and one night you end up drunk and in an accident and paralyzed. Awful. And then you are sharing your story with some well meaning person who used to drink and they, thinking that they are full of compassion tell you that they would never judge, because “there but for the grace of God, go I”. Guess what? I’d rather be judged!

Because here’s the thing, if you haven’t already caught on to this. When you try to tell someone that you understand them but implying that it is only by god’s grace that you were never (fill in the blank), what you are actually saying is one of two things: 1) God’s grace is random and you just happened t be the recipient this time or 2) the other person simply wasn’t worthy of god’s grace and therefore they did not escape harm.

Let that sink in a minute. I am a well educated professional because I was born into a family that afforded me the opportunity to go to college. But this poor sap did not have those opportunities and I would feel bad for him but “there but for the grace of God…”. I mean, if God didn’t love me best, he could have birthed ME into that kind of situation and then what??? THEN WHAT??? Sickening.

My spiritual beliefs are not up for discussion. If you’re that interested, comment and I’ll email you. But I can tell you some of the things that my beliefs DON’T embrace:

The notion that god loves some of us better than others because we are a) a specific religion b) holier than thou. C) any other cockamamie reason you can think of

The notion that god has gender outside of how you perceive divinity. Meaning if your god is a woman, then She is a Goddess and that’s valid and real. I think we interface with the divine in a manner that has meaning to us. To apply a gender and then infer that the opposite of that gender is somehow subservient.

That there is a heaven and a hell. I think these “places” are absurd. For hell to exist, then religion would have to exist in absolutes and that is impossible, as religion is faith, not Truth. To further simplify this thought, answer me this? Who is going to hell? All the Catholics or all the Baptists? You know as well as I do that this depends on who you ask. Even the notion that serial killers go to hell is faulty, as it implies that the individuals soul is somehow “evil” and beyond redemption. As for Heaven, well organized religion ruined that for me. Apparently, heaven is not about humanity, it’s about dogma. It’s not who you are, it’s what you believe! No thanks.

That god(dess) somehow brings good things into our lives and somehow prevents bad things from happening, or any variant on that thought. Only humans could be that self absorbed. To clarify: If God(dess) brings good things into your life for whatever reason, then it again implies that you are somehow more blessed than other people who have bad things happen to them. And if god(dess) fails to protect you from the bad things in life for whatever reason, then somehow we are “less than” in the eyes of divinity. Puke. Here’s the facts. Shit happens. The only role divinity plays in that is how we handle the after effects. Faith provides comfort and strength. Not protection and luck.

That somehow those who believe in god(dess) are right. Arrogance. A persons belief in god(dess) does not make god(dess) exist. No one knows for sure. Believe what you believe but don’t demean others by assuming their wrong. That goes both ways, incidentally.

That divinity requires sacrifice or humiliation or that we are not capable of interfacing with the divine without the assistance of a clergy.

I could go on but I think you get the point. “There but for the grace of god…” It’s condescending and cruel. People who hold themselves up as somehow more holy or better equipped due to the touch of the divine make me want to puke. We are all human and therefore all flawed. We are not better loved because of what we believe. We do not require the grace of anything to be “saved” and there is no reason to believe that one belief system is any better than any other. Also that person who hurt you? Probably not going to hell. However if it make you feel better to think so, then I would never stand in your way. But please don’t stand in mine, either.

Don’t get me started on “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven”……


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