Saturday, July 25, 2009

Interview with George B. Wallace, author of "Oh! God? Is That You? I Have A Question"

Chatting with us today is George Wallace, all the way from Hawaii. George recently published a controversial book that is sure to create headlines. Welcome to Reader Views, George.

Irene: Tell us the gist of your book Oh! God? Is that you? I Have a Question.

George: God is not human. Humans might say this. They do not believe this. Nearly everything they do and say and symbolize indicates that they do not believe this. This idea of a nonhuman God changes everything.

Irene: Please clarify you are saying that God is not human and people say He is not, and dont believe He is not. Are you meaning to say that people say that God is human? Im not quite following your answer above because it doesnt make sense of what you say later.

George: Simply, actions speak louder than words. Pay attention to what people do, and not what they say. In other words, watch the hands. People will agree, if not directly say, that God is not human. People will agree that He is beyond human. People will agree that He is not, cannot, be human. That He is beyond human comprehension. That is OK so far as it goes. They do not believe this in their bones.

Take a look in the materials provided to children in the indoctrination classes. Look at the picture books. Look at the pictures in books for older kids and even adults. Look at the walls in instructional areas and chapels at icons, paintings, and sculptures. Start with the Sistine Chapel ceiling. How is God portrayed?

Plus, there is the backup use of the cop out plea. Jesus was human. We can show you God as human because Jesus was human. Begin with the Nicene Creed, the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost. If Jesus, Christ is God, how is he pictured? The last time I checked, this fine example of middle-eastern Semitic Hebrew manhood is often portrayed as a northern narrow faced European, fair skinned, sometimes with blue eyes and wavy red brown hair.

Irene: What inspired you to write this book?

George: The Ah Ha! moment when I suddenly realized the effects on humans of a God that was not human. Our words say one thing and all our symbols say another. This is a really mixed message. This realization continued to expand as with a layering of shells. One concept led to another, and soon I knew that I had to write in an attempt to keep things clear for my own mind. The book grew out of that writing.

Irene: Your book is challenging some belief systems. Tell us about some of the controversy that is around your writing.

George: The very idea that God is not human is quite controversial enough. The last few days of rioting in the Muslim world illustrate just how emotionally attached to such basic bed rock concepts we humans can be. Even if those concepts are irrational. The happy, fuzzy, warm idea that God is human is a fairy tale. This fairy tale is very comforting to most human beings that believe in a monotheistic God. To take it away outrages many.
Most are unwilling to even consider it. It rattles their bedrock of faith like an earthquake.

Irene: It is my understanding that its only some religions that believe in a human God. I also understand that some Christian religions believe that God and Jesus are the same. Would you please clarify this for us.

George: I did not research to discover the number and names of religions that believe in a human God. I think that in terms of numbers of believers, Christianity and Islam are about equal in numbers. Each of these is about equal in size to Hinduism, and Buddhism. In theory Christianity, Islam, the Hebrews, and possibly a few other splinter groups all worship the same God. Each exhibits different variants in this process. I am not an expert in how each of these religions shows God. Or, even if they try.

As to some Christian religions believe that God and Jesus are the same that was the argument in about 300 AD, which led Emperor Constantine to force the religious issue for political considerations (reduction of civil strife) and which brought about the Nicene Creed, the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost. In my book, I left that question a bit unclear. I said that Jesus returned to God. I am unclear in my own thinking as to
Whether or not Jesus and God are the same. I simply believe that Jesus is now a part of God. Does that mean that they are the same? Can you split an eyelash finer than that?

My work was to briefly look at religions that did not think of God as human. It was the thought process that fascinated me as it is the thought process from which values for living and relating to other people are derived. I was not, and am not particularly interested in all of the perverse methods that people have found to mistreat each other over the thousands of years of human culture. I was interested in exploring basic issues. Questions like: Why would God create anything? What could possibly be the motivations that would move God to do anything? In the possible God-human relationship, where does Man really fit?

Irene: Why do you believe that many of the people are disbelieving what you write?

George: While we are early in our gathering of responses, those responses are definitely mixed.

Irene: Yes, I can image they are mixed at this point. I would image you would get different responses from different belief systems for example the Buddhists who dont believe in a God would have a different reaction than a Christian, lets say a Catholic, would. What are some of the responses you have been getting.

George: My readings about Buddhism are less clear than your statement that they do not believe in a God. There is their eternal search for enlightenment. Is enlightenment just another word for God? Ive met a few practicing Buddhists that have said to me that they pray to Buddha. Might this not reflect a drift in their belief about the nature of God?
Possibly it is a lack of clarity?

The last person to say to me that he was a Buddhist, also said that he wished that he had had my book years ago to give to his son. The implication to me was that his son was struggling with the concept of God.

Whenever dealing with the word Christian I tend to want to ask a lot of qualifying questions. What brand of Christianity? Catholic? Greek Orthodox? Russian Orthodox? Ethiopian Gnostic? Protestant? Main Stream? Sect? Who is your leader? Do you bite snakes? Do you speak "in tongues"? I have attended church services in about twelve different Christian denominations. At the moment, I have three books in the hands of friends. I await their written responses.

Irene: One of the points you cover is the effectiveness of prayer. Please give our reading audience your opinion on prayer.

George: The concept of God answering any prayer, or making some change in the real world based on the request of any human, is ridiculous. The value of prayer is entirely internal to and for the individual. God has a Plan. It is His Plan. We are a very small part of that Plan. Our limited purpose is to provide God with information. If He goes fiddling with the parameters of His Plan in the middle of the process, He gets incomplete or
inaccurate information. He would not do that because humans are simply not that
important to Him.

Irene: Why do people believe the opposite?

George: Because it is easier and much more comfortable to believe otherwise. They lie to themselves. It is a self perpetuating falsehood. Few persons ever truly want to accept reality and responsibility to and for themselves. It is so much easier to give responsibility to someone else. Especially someone powerful, like "God". God will take care me.
Whatever He says, goes. God wants it. God did it (to me). This is not quite sane.
It is quite similar to believing in a large invisible furry rabbit with magical powers as a personal friend and companion.

Irene: You have been referred to as an anti-Christ and demon infidel. Those are some pretty strong accusations. What does this do to you?

George: It generally makes me laugh. That any humans act so, and say such drivel, tells me that we humans are not so far removed from the apes as we would like to think.

Irene: Do you think their accusations could be coming from their own fears? And why?

George: I really, really want to say simply, yes. Because they are afraid. Afraid that they are wrong. That they have made a mistake. That they have bet on the wrong horse. I have a lifetime of study and experience in dealing with all ages of people from classrooms to boardrooms. This tells me that the louder the message, the more circumspection and suspicion is required. The loudest are the least secure. The most vociferous are the least secure. The most profane are the least secure. Most such
Are torn by internal strife, and are closest to a shattering of belief. They know this instinctively to be true of themselves. This is particularly true as shown in their personal actions. This is especially true when their personal self-interest is involved.

Irene: What is your personal image and belief around God?

George: God is a timeless eternal immaterial intelligence who questioned Himself and in that process created the Universe and initiated life for His own purposes. He needs to have done this only once. That humans existence is an accidental, random chance result. A result that derived from the evolutionary process of developing life. Life which follows the rules that God first established for the Universe. However, we are here, and God is perfectly willing to use us to further His purpose. What happens to us individually, or as a race, is not particularly important to anyone but us, and certainly not God.

Irene: How does that differ from the masses?

George: As a first estimate, I'd say that it is totally at odds with the beliefs of the masses. Most people refuse to believe that God did not plan everything around the human race. They believe that we are special, in Gods favor, and that God is there for us. Many insist that God created the Universe the way that they say He did. In other words, telling God how to do His job. Why do they do this? Because a document written by humans
said so.

Irene: What do you believe is Gods purpose for Himself?

George: In my book, I say that for God to have decided to make any change in the Perfection that was Himself, He had to Doubt Himself. God had to ask, Am I Perfect? All else came after that first question. Creation of the Universe. Creation of life. And so on. Gods Purpose is to seek Perfection.

Irene: You say that what happens to us individually, or as a race, is not important to God. How important is it to ourselves to improve and live a fulfilled life?

George: That question is the ultimate question that every human must eventually answer for himself, unless he / she dies first. Very large numbers of humans never face this question. They are too young and still gripped by their internal belief in their own immortality when they die. Unfortunately, I fear that the activity we so easily call war is our own unrecognized genetic programming that could have as a purpose to force a confrontation with this very question of life fulfillment. It functions as a built in safety valve. Face death. Face it squarely. You will ask different questions. You will have different answers. You will act differently.

Irene: In your book you say if a soul is banished to Hell that Burned souls would give God indigestion. Thats a pretty strong statement against the belief of some. What do you base your belief on?

George: I believe God uses us to gather information for His Purpose. He therefore uses all humans to do this. God wants the souls of all humans. All of them then go to God. God does not need to keep some souls in a freezer for later use like leftovers in a plastic dish. Similarly, He has no reason to burn some souls. God has no need to "punish" some souls, nor burn some souls. God has no need of overdone human toast. God has no
Need of Hell. Hell is a human construct. Hell is a lie. Hell is a Big Lie, created by human beings with the purpose of seeking control of other human beings. My literary effort of language is an attempt to break through the impenetrable shell most humans have created around their minds and beliefs. It is shock value. Maybe if they are shocked a bit, they will also consider a new idea.

Irene: After Father Leo Booth published When God Becomes a Drug: Breaking the Chains of Religious Addiction & Abuse in 1991 he hired bodyguards to protect him when he went out into the public. He was threatened with the loss of his life. Have you been threatened?

George: Not yet. I expect it to happen any day. As sales start to increase, it is inevitable that some unbalanced mental case will come into possession of my book. Such brain dead defectives are always waiting "out there" to take advantage for themselves that fabulous fifteen minutes of infamy. Luckily Hawaii has a higher level of tolerance than most Holy Book thumping places.

Irene: I would imagine there are many people out there that are outraged with your comments. How do you handle their objection to your beliefs?

George: I tell them that I'm looking forward to a debate with Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, and that I expect to win. I encourage them to watch when the show finally comes on TV. Other than that, I am on a relatively large island in the middle of the largest ocean on the planet. It reduces exposure to a large continental sized variety of nut cases.

Irene: On the other hand, Im sure you have a huge following from people saying things like its about time something like this was written. How much support do you have?

George: "Huge" is an overstatement. On the other hand, we've just started to seek out responses and sales have barely begun. It takes a while to build a marketing effort. I have had positive responses so far. One friend told me that he wished that he had had this book years ago to give to his son. I really appreciated that. Beyond this, I tried to make it clear in my book that I'm not interested in starting, or leading, a movement, or
A new kind of "church". Religion is too personal to me. I think that religion is a personal and very individual responsibility, best savored largely alone, or with immediate

Irene: Thank you George for taking time from your busy schedule to chat with us. Controversy always creates a wave, and Im sure that once your book hits the crest it will create a flood. Is there anything else that you would like our reading audience to know about you or your book?

George: When I was in the early stages of writing this book, before it became a book, I was first writing for myself. Later I was writing for my children and grandchildren. A lot of me is in the book. It needs to examined as a whole. Think of reading the book as a very thorough interview process of and for a prospective major employee. Most people charged with that responsibility, choosing a high level administrator for their business,
or school, spend more time at that job than they spend thinking about and choosing their religion. Than choosing their belief system. That seems to me to be an misapplication of effort.

Irene Watson is Managing Editor of Reader Views

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