Well over half century ago I was taught about the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve, the first two humans on the planet, were given a choice – either obey or leave. One chose to disobey, the other to be enticed into disobeying, and then both were forced to roam the earth to suffer eventual death because of their disobeying of God’s word.
A harsh punishment for both of them, and subsequently, for all of us. And yet, reflecting on this anecdote and trying to discern how, and if, it applies to civilization today, we are certainly equipped to ask morally, whether of not our Creator, who certainly knows now what He did then, countenances our human-enforced proclivity to make people believe and speak and act in ways that a very violent and unrelenting group of “fundamentalists” feels they should believe and act and speak.
As a participant, as a subject of, as an observer, as a part-time historian/activist/believer/unbeliever/writer, as a parent and grandparent and academic and mix of optimist and pessimist I ask for the right to second-guess my fellow human beings who are so preoccupied with making sure the rest of us do what they want and believe what they believe. I ask them when God Almighty Himself, right at the very beginning of creation and populating the planet, why did He, knowing the future and past, allow his most cherished creation to destroy itself, much in the same way it is doing today.
Why did God place so much power in the hands of mankind to create havoc and fear, intimidation and hatred, death and destruction in the hands of the few? Or was it merely allowing those same destructive forces and elements that create them to rise up as does fermented yeast to become a billowing overflow of good and evil that is simply too repulsive for our Creator to allow to prosper – if that is the word to use.
My theory is that He gave us a chance. A chance to create, a chance to destroy, a chance to work together or a chance to fight together. He gave us the tools to fashion success and failure equally, to choose which we would, individually and collectively, employ to write the history of our world. My theory is also that humans are not God nor do they have any direct link to Him other than, perhaps, faith. Certainly there are no humans either today or in the past that could prove that their so-called visions or experiences were a private audience with our Creator. Any evidence supporting such claim has always been open to interpretation and sadly today, countless centuries later, interpretation that challenges blind faith and worse, blind violence based on alleged obedience to God, is itself answered with hatred and fatal violence.
If our Creator, back then at the dawn of creation, chose to allow us to go our own way, to seek as we do, to question as we are wont to, to pose fundamental questions and reach out to the stars, who then is it that demands that all of us, or in fact, any of us, blindly worship a God they really know nothing of?