So yeah! Just wanted to say that despite my belief in a healthy and secular Caesar whom it is (I believe) the duty of every patriotic me myself and I to render unto; despite my high regard for the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment, the part that blocks any government establishment of religion, which means it blocks any and all government establishment of anybody's religion; despite the fact that it seems obvious to me that any law whose basis cannot be established without resort to supernatural justification is a government establishment of religion (I know, right?); and above all despite my emphasis on that protection as the foundation and wellspring of everyone's religious freedom - despite all that crap, I'd hate any of the kids back home to think I'm some kind of atheist. I'm not any kind of atheist! I'm strictly a theist. I'm a full-on theist. Full-bore. Hard-core! In fact, I'm a monotheist.
Come to think of it, I just re-read through all those "despites," and there really isn't an actual despite in the bunch, is there? None of them remotely conflicts with theism. In fact, they provide all practicing theists with vital and necessary support. So it's strange that some of my theist friends think that believing in the establishment clause as I do runs in some way contrary to...belief in God! Or in God's will. Or something. I don't really get it, to be honest. I don't understand the attitude, but I'll tell you what - it's been pretty prevalent! You tell someone that you abominate laws whose sole justification is in the supernatural, you tell them "FUCK THOSE LAWS! GET THEM OUT OF THERE! ROOT 'EM OUT RUTHLESSLY! OVERRULED! IT IS FORBIDDENETH!" - and they challenge the sincerity of your belief in God! Can anyone who actually believes in God think God needs the Constitution's help?
God doesn't. Sorry. But we do: we need that help from the Constitution, to secure our freedom to practice our own religion in this world where will runs free in all directions, nature plays no favorites (what a gift that is, the natural and discoverable, increasingly explicable universe!), and society cannot accurately be described as "sane." For one thing - worst case of multiple personality disorder ever! Society. True, it's not insane either, but you couldn't call it sane. Calling it either would be unwarranted anthropomorphizing.
So I emphasize that "despite" my firm believes up there, as I lay out what I see as the best, most righteous and most God-blessed way to govern and to set up a government - I am monotheist! I am monotheist nonetheless! I apply it to myself as both adjective and noun! Hopefully not in the same sentence: a monotheist monotheist?
But I am, though. I am even that.
I get the sense most people know this about me, but you know what? People change! So I don't mind checking in from time to time: "Yup! Still do believe in God, oddly enough. Ask myself every morning, the answer keeps coming back!" I don't mind people wondering, because to speak the truth is easy and pleasant. I love to reassure - I have never been shy about laying about me with brickbat reassurances! People accuse me of subtly about as often as they accuse me of espionage.
So yes, let there be no doubt on that score: I am a monotheist. "What's a monotheist?" you ask! Well come on pal. Really? Do you have to ask? Do you think the question's going to confuse anyone? I'll have you know I hold with none of your tricksy "I believe in God as the impersonal sum of the laws of physics!" style monotheism. That ain't what monotheists believe around this planet, and you can ask them, and you can check their public proclamations and statements of faith. The God I believe in is the one God that is. My understanding of God is held in common with all major monotheistic sects: the same major characteristics and attributes, held in common throughout the world by every sect, faith or congregation of anything like what you'd call significant size. There is not, as some claim, a great and irreconcilable variety of conflicting versions of God - not in God's major aspects, and not among the major competing sects. All monotheistic sects of any considerable size agree upon the main attributes of God.
For any monotheistic sect whether Judaic, Islamic or Christianic that even bothers to lay out God's attributes at all, there is unity on the most major and consequential aspects of God:
God is eternal. God existed before spacetime existed, God will never stop existing.
God is infinite. Infinite in capacity, extent, and intellect. Infinite in knowledge. Capable of anything!
God is personal. God can not only feel, God does in fact love.
I feel sure there are a few splinter sects tucked away here and there all over the world that deny God is eternal. Or that deny God is infinite (power, knowledge, whatever). Or that deny God is personal - although, there's already a word for those folks: they're called Deists, and they are not what you'd call a sizeable demographic. So if I missed somebody's sect with any considerable global prominence or membership, please fill me in! That's something I'd be keen to know.
As things stand, though, I've looked into an awful lot of monotheistic sects and what they publically claim to believe God is is very strikingly consistent(hot tip: if it refuses to publically proclaim its core beliefs - that's not a religion. That's a cult). To the best of my life-long-habitual deeply-delved and assiduously-sought knowledge, all monotheism unites on God being the one eternal, infinite, personal being - and for me to say "the one" there is pretty howlingly redundant. Since we're talking about monotheists.
Those are the significant aspects. Aspects the next level down are kind of trivial by comparison, unless I'm forgetting something pretty big. A lot of them fall under speculations over what God wants. I will quote Roger Waters, "What God wants, God gets." Followed immediately by "God help us all," - a sentiment with which I could not agree more, Roger Waters!
But then I tend to trust God to manage God's judgment, and to administer the fulfillment of God's will. I also take as granted - which it very much seems to me to be granted, a stringless gift! - I take it as granted that my own will is free. I don't subscribe to the idea that God cares what school I decide to go to, or what jobs I apply for, or what hobbies I apply myself to in my spare time. Some people do subscribe to that. They believe God has a detailed plan for every inch of their life, which it is their job to divine! I don't suppose they'll get it wrong, if I'm right that God's OK with us picking our path - but wow, some of them sure do drive themselves crazy trying to figure out what God wants them to do, like it's a puzzle. Life is hard enough to figure good ways through without bringing divination into it.
For me, I believe that to serve God's will it is above all important that I love others as myself, that I love especially my enemies, that I judge no one's eternal worth or personal soul. It's crucial for me to recognize and accept that no one, no matter how bad I think they are, is beyond the power of Christ's mercy - which is to say, the power of God's judgment. Any of us can reject God's judgment, of course: any of us can take it on to presume to the throne of Christ's judgment, to reject the judgment of God and to install our own judgment in its place. Not that it has force - but we have free will to do so, to pronounce emptily and arrogantly and presumptuously and such. I believe we are strongly cautioned against doing so, but does that stop us? Nobody's perfect I guess!
The bottom line is I can't swear that my understanding of God's will for me is the right one. I am strongly led by scriptural and liturgical guidance to accept those precepts on what I should do. I feel calm and collapsed in the saving embrace of God's judgment when I am in harmony with all of those things. It's the best I can do at the moment, and it feels like the best way I can possibly do it!
But since at bottom if even I, sweet and harmonious as I am, can't proclaim from the mountain what it is God's will for me and others - beyond making loved ones of your worst enemies, beyond relinquishing judgment to God, beyond doing one's best to love and serve: of course I can proclaim on that! - anyone can proclaim on that. It's evident. But if some son of a bitch gets the idea he can take his idea of religion and stuff it into the code of law in MY country - well, for one thing they're not going to have too much fucking luck. Laws like that are to be rooted out and struck down, and I expect continuous progress on that front. I'm not too worried.
Anyway, God will take care of all such heretics and blasphemers however God judges is warranted, and in God's own sweet time. Where do they get off!
Yeah. Also: not gay. Not gay at all. Excuse me! I am "gay" as in - I traipse, I frolic, etc. Great word! I was pretty much born gay, in that sense. I'm not homosexual, though. That's what I should say to be precisely accurate. Where gendersexual orientation is concerned, I am in complete and utter solidarity with the lesbians.