Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Further Conversations In The Ineffable

"What if God was a gigantic chicken?"

Yep. Younger Son has taken flight. I'm not even gonna pause in my driving. I've gotta get down the hill to Neighbour Anna's place, pick up two of her boys, then drive into Launceston so her kids and mine can take in a morning of gymnastics at the PCYC. "As I understand it," I says, cool as St Frigidaire the Theologian, "God can be whatever he wants to be. So, you know - he could be a gigantic chicken. Yeah."

From the back seat, thoughtfully: "But... what if he was only a gigantic chicken?"

"Nope. He can be whatever he wants. By definition. Or he's not God, right?"

"Yes, but it would explain a lot, wouldn't it?"

I wrestle the Mighty Earth King around the corner into the dirt road that runs up to Neighbour Anna's place. The winds -- the equinoctial gales of Spring -- have arrived a little early. We lost a gigantic limb from the big old blackwood last night. It's fallen to earth, propped on its secondary branches, big enough to be a decent-sized tree in its own right. I'll have to find someone to help me cut the main log so we can season it for timber; blackwood is a beautiful, valuable wood, and there's a lot of it on the ground right now. And the same winds that knocked it down are bellowing around the car, pushing it back and forth while I ponder Younger Son's last gnomic prognostication.

"I don't get it," I admit finally. "Explain what?"

"Well, if God was a gigantic chicken, it would explain why he's not doing a very good job of looking after the world, wouldn't it?"

Out of the mouths of babes, as they say. We've had this discussion, the boys and I: on the plausibility of a God, and an all-seeing, all-loving Creator who looks after his patch. And no matter how often I present the idea that we simply aren't equipped to comprehend the awesomeness of Godly plans, both boys seem to think that wars, starvation, disease, pollution, privation, natural disasters and man-made fuckups on a global scale speak very, very poorly of the record of any self-respecting God. And... Cthulhu help me... I can't find it in me to argue with them on that point. So: Younger Son's suggestion that perhaps God is a gigantic chicken does, perhaps, have some merit, viewed through the peculiarly skewed lens of Younger Son logic.

I mean. How else do you explain things like Rush Limbaugh and Stephen Conroy?

"Yeah, but if God is only a gigantic chicken, then by definition he's not really God," I insist. Theology to the fore! I can argue imaginary stuff as well as any medieval pole-sitter, surely?

It doesn't matter. Younger Son is on a roll. "And imagine all the people who have been worshipping him," he says. "If they found out he was a gigantic chicken. Aaaah! they'd scream. We've been worshipping a chicken! A great, big, stupid chicken! Aaaah!" And then, completely bamboozled by his own imagery, he breaks into uproarious giggles.

And, Cthulhu help me, I'm right behind him. Heh. Imagine if God was a gigantic chicken, eh? Wouldn't the Pope look like a right tosser? And all those rabbis, all those imams... imagine the look on all those beardy faces, confronted with the Holiest of Holy Fowl. Oh! Oh! And just think of the inheritors of Colonel Sanders! Ha!

Just another day in the Realm of Flinthart the Lesser...