Comedian, musician, host of Chris Crofton's Advice King Podcast and former Nashvillian Chris Crofton asked the Scene for an advice column, so we gave him one. Crowning himself the “Advice King,” Crofton will share his hard-won wisdom with whosoever seeks it. Follow Crofton on Facebook and Twitter, and to submit a question for the Advice King, email bestofbread[at]gmail[dot]com or editor[at]nashvillescene[dot]com.
Dear Advice King,
My mom used to say that we all need to "get right with God" before we die. Now that we're clearly in the End Times, it actually feels relevant. But how do I "get right with God" if I'm not even religious? I don’t know what to do!
—Anonymous Heathen in Los Angeles
Great question, Anonymous Heathen! I agree with your mom! It’s always a good time to “get right with god” — but it depends very much on which “god” you mean. I’m pretty sure your mother intended for you to “get right” with the Christian version of God. Christians believe that God is a vengeful man with a beard who watches humanity from above, judging their actions — and threatening retribution.
The God your mom is talking about allows people to act like assholes their whole life as long as, at the last minute, they ask for forgiveness. That’s right, the God the Christians conceived promises that even the world’s biggest dicks can get into heaven as long as they ask for forgiveness before they die.
Call me crazy, but that sounds suspiciously like a god invented by some folks who wanted to be able to break all the rules and not get in trouble. I don’t believe in gods who issue “get out of jail free” cards. I also don’t believe in gods who issue jail.
I’ve been thinking a lot about getting right with my god lately, Anonymous Heathen.
Getting right with my god has nothing to do with asking for forgiveness on my deathbed after a life of crime, because I do not believe in a god that is made in my image. Oh, I know the Bible says that we were “made in the image of God,” but it seems pretty obvious to me that since men wrote the Bible, it has to be the other way around. Judging, condemning, forgiving, punishing? Those are human behaviors, projected onto God. Once you accept that the Christian God was made in man's image, it makes sense that he focuses on men. And when I say he focuses on men, I do not mean the male gender (although he does that too). I mean that since he looks on the world through eyes modeled on human eyes, he focuses almost exclusively on humans, as human eyes tend to do.
Why doesn’t this Christian God give animals a heaven? What happens to the people who lived before the Bible was published? Are they supposed to suck eggs? And what kind of god says, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's”? A god created by man, in the image of man — that’s who. Do you actually believe that the real God would create the ENTIRE UNIVERSE and also have opinions on taxes?
My god doesn’t forgive people who mistreat, subjugate, steal, lie or cheat. My god does not forgive greed. My god does not forgive OR condemn. My god offers joy and shame in abundance — you get to decide which you prefer. My god is you, me, dogs, trees, foxes, deer, dirt and the atoms that make up the pigment of the colors of every person, paint hue and flower. My god is everything. My god is love.
Get right with god, Anonymous — but make sure you’ve got the right one.