Last week when I was heading out from the house, I drove past a rather thought-provoking sign in front of a church (I know “thought-provoking” along with “clever but wholesome” pretty much encompasses all of what most church signs try and pull off, but go with me here) that said “New Year, Same God.”
That really got me thinking. Sure, it wasn’t in the manner that this establishment of the divine long-distance relationship wanted, but I was thinking nonetheless. What if the accepted model for churches was to pick a new deity each year?
I just imagine the church newsletters towards the end of the year:
Once again it’s getting to be that time of year we all celebrate: the grand selection!
Unlike previous years, Pastor Bob will be taking nominations via email. Additionally, while last year’s “cow pie bingo” made for a fun afternoon, the ultimate selection of Prithvi, in retrospect, should have been an foregone conclusion from the effort. In order to level the playing field a tad this year, and to raise some funds for the new altar, we will be having a bake sale and pie-eating contest. Come join us the second Sunday of December when our new deity is chosen in a swirl of banana bread and blueberry pies.
Honestly, I think is a model that could really work for the typical American. Protestants are inherently afraid of deific pluralities (aside from that whole Daddy, Junior, Spook thing that really just seems to be three sides of one thing), so this is a great way to expand cultural diversity and education while not having to tackle the entire gang-bang of a given Pantheon.
Sure, you may be shaking your head at this point thinking that I’ve finally gone way off the deep end, but I did not originate this idea. Way back in the 16th century, the Hopi did just about the same thing for practical matters their cosmology could not address or weren’t working out for them so well.
I think the main thing holding most Christians back is that whole fear thing. Those of us raised with Christian backgrounds have had the whole “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” thing pounded into us from an early age. Sure, given the old guy’s track record for smiting and pestilence-ing places into nothingness, I can see He’s got some separation anxiety.
But, seeing as we having had a good smiting or literal fire and brimstone falling from the sky (sorry televangelists), I think it’s time to put another Baal into play.
With deference to Saint Eddie of Izzard, I believe I am going to lobby for Jeff, god of biscuits or Simon, god of hairdos for 2012. Both of those chaps seem to really be speaking my spiritual language these days.