Sunday, 21 January 2018

"Do you believe in God?" they sometimes ask me

"Do you believe in God?" they sometimes ask me and my stock answer is that it depends what you mean by "God."

Is that the cartoon God with the long beard and the white robes and the golden throne in the clouds with the angels and the harps and the trumpets? Well, at least I've seen pictures of that one!

Or is that the old-testament Jehovah, sending his favourite tribes rampaging round the desert destroying every village and city they came across? I've read about that one.

Or the one most people spend most of their lives praying to, money, which promises power over other people? That one's for frightened people and, like most promises of power, it leaves you in slavery. I don't believe in that one either.

I once spoke about this to a friend of mine, a friend who spent his spare time doing naive oil paintings and having old bibles rebound in new leather. We were sitting on the kerb of a side street and he confided to me: "You know, Martin, God is an old man with a long beard who walks the streets and when you meet him, if you do what he tells you, he gives you eternal life.

Well, I hope he meets his God, and when he does, I hope he does as he's told!