Today I watched the first hour of a film/documentary called Religulous – a combination between the words Religion & Ridiculous. I was of course rather hesitant to watch it when my Film Club teacher at college first brought up the title screen, and part of me was thinking, oh blimmin’ heck. Do I want to be here? However I did stay and I have to say it was rather informative!
A review of the documentary said that if this film is not for you, it is about you. And that caught my attention.
As it started I realised within the first few minutes that it was in fact not as I had expected. It did not have chimps in it as the title screen suggested, but rather reminded me greatly of Richard Dawkin’s TV series of The God Delusion and of Faith School Menace.
The man documenting did not in fact have it out completely for God, but rather the people who were ‘fundamentalists’ – who take every word in the Bible as literal fact.
Again I found myself wanting to cry out, Hello Sir! Come to England for a while and meet me! Meet some Liberals Sir! He had been a Roman Catholic previously but could no longer understand Popal authority and Biblical interpretations.
And I do in fact sympathise with him. He made a few cracks which I thought were rather below the belt, but he had many fair points.
And his documentary really asks, what am I supposed to believe? Amongst all the many interpretations, amongst all these different understandings of God, the rejection of science amongst many, the terrible, shocking voices of a crowd protesting against homosexuality (one protester quite happily exclaimed that she didn’t hate them, it was God who hated them), what am I believe and how can I possibly live with all this?
And so Mr Larry Charles and all those others, I say that the God I know, the God that so many dearly do know and don’t seem to be acknowledged quite as widely as I think they should, or those who believe, experience and know that God is in fact not a shouting, hating God, but a caring, compassionate God.
God is in fact Love. God is in fact Life.
God is Love.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. – 1 John 4:7-12 NRSV
Dear Larry Charles and friends, God does not hate anyone. God loves all people. I am sorry for the way that some people treated you, thankful for the ones who were nice and whom you had good, civil conversations with, and I’d like to say that I admire your work, as your documentary indeed highlights some major issues across the world. God does bless you, and I saw it in your mother’s eyes too.