Thursday, July 3, 2014

Heavenly fatherliness #3 - Coping with emotions

According to popular wisdom, a good father must be able to express his feelings in a healthy, balanced way.

Talk to your typical Mormon and he'll tell you that the Heavenly Father feels love, pity, disappointment, wrath, and maybe a couple of other emotions, and because he's perfect he certainly never behaves badly when in a particular mood.

I say no way. If we take the stories of the Old and New Testaments as representative of God's standard behavior we have to conclude that he's anything but stable. It takes every effort you can muster to keep the Big Man from flying off the handle. Remember when he killed everyone on Earth except Noah and his small family? Remember how he killed Uzzah for trying to be helpful? Remember how he's supposedly responsible for earthquakes and pestilence and famine and all that sort of thing because that's how he expresses his anger toward people who don't obey His Holy Laws? When's the last time you met a father like that and didn't call the cops on him? Or at least think he was a total piece of shit?

But we should back up a bit here because I have a problem with the whole idea that God the Father feels anything at all. How can an omniscient being with a perfect spirit/soul (and a perfect body) be effected by any event or collection of events taking place in the universe that he himself made and utterly controls? If God has known since literally forever everything that we will have done in our lives doesn't that kind of soften the punch, if not totally neutralize it? If God's being is so complete (i.e. perfect) and integral how could anything we ever do move him in any direction, either towards happiness or sadness, peace or violence, contentment or frustration? What exactly is an omnipotent being supposed to be susceptible to?

Whether Our Father's the abusive shithead you read about in Scriptures, or the untouchable self-subsiting One beyond our petty emotions, I can only conclude that he doesn't sound like any dad I'd like to have.

*These attributes represent the popular thoughts of Ask Men’s Jullian Marcus,’s Tanya Tringali, and Open Talk Magazine’s Glenn Silvestre as per their respective articles on what makes a good father.

No comments:

Post a Comment