I was raised as a Catholic and attended Catholic schools from elementary through high school. One thing that wasn't really tolerated was questioning the nuns or priests. I guess that is what made me a good Catholic. I was expected, like all good Catholics, to never question the teachings of the Church or anything the nuns or priests said for that matter. After high school and attending a public college I grew up and developed a mind of my own. As I grew older I would often lay awake at night thinking about God or religion in general. I never spoke with anyone about my thoughts and questions, as I was not looking for answers or explanations, especially from the clergy or so called religious Christians who were very public about their beliefs. I have found that many religious people, including priests and other clergy simply accept what they have been taught or told, or what they have read in the Bible and never seriously think about what they are told or read. I simply wanted and still want to explore my thoughts or have an open discussion with like minded people.
One thing I often thought about, and still do, was the number of times God has spoken to us human beings. I continue to particularly think of this as I hear about the violence and terrorism perpetrated in God’s name and wonder why God doesn’t do or say something about this. The only evidence we have that God ever talked to us is taken from the Bible. But we have to realize that the Bible was written by men to be read by people who were both uneducated and superstitious and living in a male dominated society. We also have to realize that the Bible is comprised of just a fraction of the books written and those were chosen by a group of Catholic male officials of the Church who were more interested in maintaining and growing their power than they were in historical accuracy or truthfulness.
That being said let’s look at the times when God spoke with man. According to the Bible it appears that God spoke with a number of people. He first spoke to Adam in the Garden of Eden. Apparently God did not speak to Eve, as in keeping with the times women were not regarded with high with esteem. He spoke with Noah when he told him to build an ark in preparation for the great flood. He spoke with Moses when he gave him the Ten Commandments and then he spoke with Abraham asking him to sacrifice his only son. God also spoke to Cain after Cain killed his only brother Abel. God didn’t speak to Mary, but sent his messenger, Gabriel, to announce to her that she would give birth to Jesus. So God seemed to be quite talkative from the creation of Adam and Eve up to about 2000 years ago. What I don’t get is, why God was so talkative back then and suddenly he became silent. All through our history of wars, killings, and other types of violence he hasn’t said anything.
During the present times tens of thousands of people have been slaughtered in God’s name, but he hasn’t said a word. He hasn’t condemned those killing and perpetuating violence in his name. Hundreds of thousands of people have died in natural disasters and he has said nothing. I don’t understand why God was so verbose thousands of years ago and then suddenly went silent in modern times. Could the writers of the Bible simply be saying that God spoke to certain people in order to add some credulity to what they were teaching ignorant and uneducated people on how to behave? Was it simply a means to control the population? Many people in the present time have said that God has spoken to them, but it is either a case of trying to control people or a mental disorder. Some of our politicians have even resorted to saying that God has spoke to them, presumably to gain support from Christian Conservatives. We all have seen incidences where obviously mentally ill people have believed that God was talking to them and even thought that they were Jesus Christ. Could this be the case with those incidences in the Bible? I don’t believe that mental illness was recognized in Biblical times. I believe that in those times people suffering from mental illness were regarded as being possessed by the devil or as simply sinful.
I still lie awake at night with the same thoughts and questions. I guess I will never know the answers to my questions. But as I grow older I want to know why God just doesn't come down from heaven in a spectacular event and just tell people to quit killing each other in his name. I don't think that will ever happen and so my questions will continue.