Monday, July 14, 2008


There's a picture in today's Trib showing some protesters on Chicago's south side. They are protesting the alarming rise in gun violence in their neighborhoods. OK, but, the signs many are carrying say, Our GOD is an awesome GOD.

Why is that the sign and what could it mean? The signs wording is a nice short phrase for many nagging questions regarding theism.

1. Ownership. " Our God" implies that there are others but this group has their own and he (or she?) is awesome.

2. Assuming that awesomeness is measureable, how can you tell your God is awesome. Awesome by his good deads or by the destruction that he wreeks?

3. Do the sign carriers not see the irony of believing in a powerful God (or at least awesome) and yet their kids are dying in the streets. Where is God's hand in this mess? Is he un-involved and so there is the violence and if so that's not so awesome. Or, is it His had that is involved in the shooting (although a pistol is really the devil's right hand - Steve Earle) which would be awesome in a way.

4. I'm so tired of empty phrases like this. Support our Troops. Moms are good. Smile. Cubs Suck. Sox Suck. It is especially hard with religious empty phrases because people get so indignant when you try to ask them what a phrase might really mean. 'Take Jesus into your heart'. I went round and round with a Jehovah's witness about this once as I claimed the phrase was devoid of true meaning. I think maybe it only means something (maybe) if you already believe in this stuff. Even then it doesn't really take you anywhere.

Well, I agree that something should be done on the south side and elsewhere where hand guns are so available. To his credit, mayor Daley has tried to get hand guns outlawed in Chicago only to get shot down (!) by the NRA and gun lobby. I guess there are a number of south side hunters that like to go after deer with their Glocks. Right.

Anyway, these people have a good case for protesting and asking for some action. So, what's with the signs?

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