The overwhelming majority of Americans believe in God, the capitalized version; God Almighty, Jehova, Yahwey, Allah, or any variation on the Abrahamic names for the ultimate power. There are divisions about exactly what God is and how God feels about and is inclined in favor or against a long list of activities and actions. These divisions are in urgent need of reconciliaition in order to deal with the era of global interdependency. Is the God of all these diverse interpretations big enough to deal with it?
Now it could be that is the wrong question because if God is big enough to want humans to undergo a few purgings then so be it. True, the Abrahamic God has a substantial record of pestilence, revenge, and slaughter so there is always the possibility that we have it coming to us — pick your reason.
It seems to me that is a cop out position, however, if one also claims personal responsibility. Wouldn’t the ultimate personal responsiblity be not screwing up so much that God wants to smack us across the head? So it seems having as an "out" God’s punishment may make it easier to avoid changes that are needed.
It may be that we need God to either change or simply make clear to all who call your name that the world is not a zero sum game. So many who are believers insist it is in fact a zero sum existence — there are winners and losers and "my God is truer than your god."
Robert Wright argues in The Evolution of God that the concept of God has evolved over the eons, just as all of existence has evolved. He carefully traces this process often making the case for unconventional understandings.
What called out to me from his works is that we need to help God reveal to us the possibility that in all aspects we can live in a world where the existence of winners does not mean there are losers.
It takes a great God to create that world. It would call on us to grow up to the point we drop our ways that do not fit in that world, those that are intolerant, selfish, partisan, sectarian and divisive ways.
In one community it is the prayer to have one’s character defects lifted by a higher power. To those of faith it may be God’s grace; there are so many ways that can be expressed and absorbed. It is the life work of many of us.
This could be called a humble way of being, as one really has to look upon differences as natural, not something having the power to exalt one over another. For one person, one nation, one people to honor and appreciate rather than cause hatred and discord.
Pollyanna it may be. But I cannot even consider believing in any understanding of God this calls for less. God has evolved. "There ain’t gonna be war no more."
That is what god told me anyway.