Editor’s Note: A Former Fundamentalist Preacher shares with us the letter he would have sent to God, if he could have found his address. This is adapted with the author’s permission from his personal blog
Our working relationship is not what it used to be. My parents absolutely worshiped and adored you, so out of respect for them, I feel that it’s only right to explain to you my thought process re what I’m about to tell you. I’m sure you can see what’s coming next and have anticipated it for a while. If not, why not?
We communicated often at the start, then less and less. Some years ago I noticed that certain duties which are part of your job description were being neglected or mismanaged. I’ve called you several times, leaving messages asking you to address these issues but you have repeatedly refused to answer my calls.
When my parents first handed this life over to me you had already been in charge for a long, long time. They told me that you were the family’s closest friend and knew more about the life business than anyone else. They told me to trust you no matter what, so I let your apparent negligence slide, remembering how they told me to trust you. In deference to them I decided overlook your unexplained behavior considering all of the fine work that I thought you were doing in other areas. The universe, after all, is pretty incredible, my life could have been worse and beer was definitely a nice touch. I am afraid however, that my patience with you has come to an end due to relatively recent information that has been bought to my attention. I know you’re kind of old school so let me break it down for you.
I have followed with great interest the interim findings of the ongoing Public Inquiry into the Workings of the Universe (a.k.a. “The Sciences”) for some time now. As I became more familiar with these findings I began to see that much of the work that you have taken responsibility for—the work that really was the only thing that prevented me from firing you long ago—was not your doing at all. In fact, I learned that it’s been known for centuries that pretty much everything that I credited you with had actually been fully outsourced to the universe since the very beginning but that you and your cronies suppressed that information, hiding it from my family and countless others, with tireless zeal. If only you had applied that same level of devotion to your actual jobs I wouldn’t be writing this letter now.
You lead us to believe that you lovingly and purposefully created our amazing bodies. That, I learned, was actually Evolution. You say that you created the universe. I should have suspected that you were full of it when you had the audacity to say you did it by the sheer force of your own will out of nothing at all in just six days. I’ll give you this: you sure did show some balls in demanding a day off for the good job you did! By the way, quality assurance results on the universe are in and it’s not all that well “designed” after all. Yeah, the universe was caused by the big bang. The “acts of God”? Natural disasters. (I never understood why you wanted to take credit for those), love, compassion, justice, community? That was all us; it had nothing to do with you. I wish you had told me yourself and I didn’t have to find this out from other people. Boy, I was so gullible! Oh well, you’ve tricked better people than I so I’ll forgive myself for falling for it. Well, enough is enough. Something has to be done about the situation.
There’s no point in continuing this working relationship. You do nothing useful (or anything at all it seems) and your contractual demands are utterly outrageous! I mean, it’s all fine and good if you don’t like bacon or aren’t into boys (I hear you knocked up some lady and had a son a while back so I’m assuming you’re straight, but with all that homophobia and misogyny you keep spouting, it’s hard to tell). But it’s not part of your job to enforce your personal preferences on others or to threaten the kinds of punishments you’ve been known to hurl around if people don’t share them. Come on, death followed by ETERNAL FIRE!!?? Wow, If that isn’t the very definition of “overkill” I don’t know what is!
So this is the end of the road for you as far as I’m concerned. You offer me no value, take credit for work you don’t do and cost too much. I am therefore terminating your position effective immediately and cancelling all contractual obligations between us.
Don’t bother returning to clean up the mess you left in my life. All of your stuff should be in the parcel which accompanies this letter (though it’s doubtful that you’ll receive this as most communications to you come back marked “Return to Sender”).
If you’re thinking of using me as a reference in the future, don’t bother; I wouldn’t give you a good one. In fact, I’ll tell everyone who asks me not to waste time, love, energy or resources on you. They can do a better job on their own at a fraction of the cost and with better results. I’m sure that won’t bother you as there are many who continue to let you manage their lives. I’ll warn as many of them as I can to stay far away from you.
Good riddance. You’re fired.
Editor’s Question: Assuming God existed and you could get his address, what would you want to tell him?
Bio: Dennis Augustine is a former Pentecostal minister who had doubts in seminary as he learned about the problematic history of the biblical cannon. His faith in God died a slow painful death for years. When his sister murdered her own children there was no more denying it. Today, Dennis works as a software developer and business analyst in Toronto, Canada. He speaks out passionately about rational thought and the psychological and social impacts of religious faith and hopes to contribute to research in these areas in the years ahead.
Photo Credit; http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Creation_of_the_Sun_and_Moon_face_detail.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Creation_of_the_Sun_and_Moon_face_detail.jpg