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  • drmkandle

Flipping Off God

Updated: Apr 10, 2022

No offense to God or those who believe in God, but there may come a time in a person’s life when they just may need to flip God off.

{Side note - combining my knowledge as a psychologist and a PK (preacher’s kid), I’ve settled on the belief that man made God in his own image. This anthropomorphic perspective is an example of what psychologists call “projection,” and it’s one that might not do justice to God’s truly Divine nature}

Whatever your beliefs about God, there’s an abundance of evidence that He/She/They/It is, just like life itself, unfair. Terrible, tragic, traumatizing things happen to good God-loving/fearing people every day for no justifiable reason. We can rationalize why God causes (or allows) so many horrible injustices - as a test of one’s faith, to learn lessons, grow stronger, or maybe God subscribes to karma. But God shouldn’t need a clever defense attorney to justify the unjustifiable. We all have different breaking points, and when that point is surpassed, that may be when a person might need to flip God the bird.

Crossing the line from being a devoted worshiper to the “flip off moment” can be scary. Pissing God off may come with the fear that it'll make things worse, so it requires a leap of faith that God won’t be vindictive.

Nobody likes being flipped off. But if you’re a compassionate person who truly understands the depth of pain from which the flip off originates, you might be able to forgive the offense and continue compassionately loving the offender. And think about this - if a mere human can have this capacity for mercy, how could God not also? If one believes in a Supreme Being that is too thin-skinned and proud to tolerate being flipped off, how omnipotent is that? Is that how little one should expect of God? Why not believe in a God compassionate enough to absorb, understand, accept, and forgive a middle finger?

We should understand why someone might need to express fury toward God in the first place. When a person of deep faith, conscience, and devotion to God suffers a soul crushing injustice, has their prayers go unanswered and feels betrayed, fury happens. It’s a fury of agony erupting in strong language that a merciful God can handle.

Coping with excruciating suffering requires that it can be freely expressed. But society is loath to tolerate rageful expressions of any kind toward anyone, least of all God. Instead we suppress it in ways that make us sick in body, mind, heart, and soul. Healing requires that we puke out the poisons of fury and despair rather than swallow them. Who knows, maybe God would even be willing to help clean up the mess.

Here’s another good reason for letting God have it. Most people influenced by monotheistic cultures have been taught that God is like Santa Claus in the sense that they are both watching to see if we’re naughty or nice, deserving of heaven or hell, delivered presents or coal under the tree. This type of “Judging God” is meant to keep us on our best behavior, but at a significant cost to our emotional and spiritual well being. God-based judgment, fear, guilt, and shame can become so toxic that flipping off this mythological version of God can be liberating. It can even clear the way toward developing a healthier understanding and relationship with a more compassionate God.

Flipping God off might not be right for you, and hopefully you’ll never suffer an existential crisis that will drive you to your breaking point. But if you should hear this type of furious agony being expressed by another’s tormented soul, try to be as understanding and compassionate about it as a truly loving God is likely to be.

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