A ‘stupid’ God

Probably, for lack of a better word, “stupid” was the most available from President Duterte’s vocabulary to describe one of the most difficult episodes in the bible, namely, the original sin of Adam and Eve.

“Mysterious or complicated’’ could have been better in describing a God who has been doing actions that are ridiculous on the surface, but truly theologically purposeful in effect, such as the orginal sin. It was to prepare the mind of man towards the universal salvation offered by Jesus Christ or technically termed, as proto-evangelium.

In fact, the Easter liturgy calls original sin as a “happy fault” which from the contradicting sound of it is simply “stupid.” And there are many other quotes Jesus had dished out in the gospels — to name a few: “When someone hits you on the right cheek, turn the other cheek;” “Love your enemies;” “Do not exact revenge;” among others. And on the surface, they are all stupid. And because of these teachings, Jesus was thought to be crazy, a fool!
But that is the nature of wisdom and the wise. Great minds started off with “stupid” theories such as Galileo, Copernicus, Thomas Alva Edison and other milestone scientists and learned men of history. It took time for the world to appreciate the truth of their “stupidities.”

In the past, theological thought was an endless digging into mysteries where even angels fear to tread because you either ended up enlightened, ridiculous or crazy, such as calling God holy, holy, holy was foolproof evidence of the existence of the Holy Trinity!

Stupidity is way out, especially when intellectual rationalizations end up illogically to the point of punning the events or making such an object of humor.

However, the paradigm of a “stupid god” is quite common in Greek and Norse mythology and they even have a god of stupidity, named Koalemos, which means “the idiot one.”

Humanity abhors it when gods play around with their fates and destinies as if playing chess and they are totally helpless. Their only hope anchors on the interventions of a higher or at least a lesser stupid god fighting on their behalf.

We really cannot blame humans when God acts uniquely beyond man’s thought patterns and intellectual categories.

In Sydney a few years ago, we were watching the movie, The Passion of the Christ of Mel Gibson, with a 14-year-old girl who was totally aghast over the livid portrayal of violence against Jesus Christ. As we were having coffee, the girl, obviously unfamiliar with basic catechism, blurted, “How stupid can he be, he could have escaped!” You can imagine my friend, the girl’s grandma, almost fainting over the adolescent blasphemy! We can hear the whimpers of some thinking guys who are unsatisfied over how a priest or a counselor explains the nature of suffering in the context of a good God. How in the world can a good God, for instance, allow evil to thrive among good people and tolerate a comfortable life for the evil and corrupt?

For those who believe God’s ways are different from man’s ways, then it is all about faith and that divine actions and designs are simply mysterious. For others, who want to strip the puzzling events of mystery or complication, the handy word is “stupid.”

There was a guy who thought that God was way out of proportion when he put tamarind fruits in a large tree and the large melon fruits in a small vine, when suddenly, an overripe tamarind fruit fell off the tree on to his nose.

Then, in a sigh, he whispered, “Ah, God must be absolutely right.” Obviously, it would be a different nose if it were a ripe melon fruit that had dropped.

Calling God “stupid” may be man’s way of buying time for himself to finally reconcile his mind with God’s perfect wisdom. It is nowhere in the vicinity of religious blasphemy!

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