When I see prominent figures in the media such as Pat Robertson or Glenn Beck spouting about God and his intentions, or the intentions of people based on what God “would have wanted” I start to get a bit frustrated.

Here is a video of Pat Robertson talking about how the earthquake in Haiti was due to a pact they made with the devil and that they need to turn to God for help.

There is also a story about how Robertson explained the recent blizzard as God’s way of stopping homosexual activity. You can read it here at the Huffington Post. Basically he says that God wanted to make road conditions bad so people wouldn’t go out and do gay things.

Glenn Beck won’t stop raving about…well…anything. Socialist, fascist, communist, Islam, you name it he can play 6 Degrees of Conspiracy Theory to get you to why you should hate everything to do with whatever his topic is. You can be sure though that Christianity (more specifically Mormon) is always at the heart of it. Listen to this clip from his radio show (if you can stomach it) that aired right after his “Copy Martin Luther King Jr March” in August of 2010.

Perhaps the best example is a clip from The Colbert Report of Sean Hannity sticking his head up God’s ass in an attempt to show how thankful he is that He made America the bestest, most fabulous nation ever given to man on this Earth. Seriously, skip to the two minute mark in the clip and listen. God was so smart that he made us the best, never mind that we aren’t the best anymore and haven’t been for awhile. But if you say the same thing over and over it becomes true, right Fox News?

I digress. The point I am working towards in this post is that God, if there is a God, probably doesn’t enjoy being twisted to suit our personal vendettas. So Robertson doesn’t like Teh Gays, so God must not like them either (plus it says so in the Bible, and so it must be true right?). Beck has enough conspiracy theories to knit together and make a comforter to keep him warm at night and seems to be talking his way towards what he sees as the imminent apocalypse (see this post by Ed for some cool analysis and comments) so God must be planning to do the things he wants to happen so he can be right in his predictions. Hannity just wants to look like he loves America a whole bunch, and so to be a true American you have to believe that God meant for us to have it right? Never mind those pesky Native Americans. God probably doesn’t like people using his name for their own purposes, not to mention in vain.

Some people use God to serve their own purposes, and others use Him, Her, or an all-encompassing spirit to find “peace” in this crazy ass world we’re living in. People have a hard time dealing with death and so they “believe” in a God and heaven/afterlife. People have a hard time understanding why bad things happen, especially to good people, so they believe that there is a God who balances that all out later. People without internal guidance systems like to “give it up to God” and believe that “God has a plan” for their lives. At what cost does this peace come? A lack of personal responsibility, placing blame on others or on “God’s plan,” refusing to deal with the inevitable or learning to deal with loss and grief. Religion essentially gives people a way to avoid running their own lives emotionally and spiritually and teaches them to make excuses for certain events instead of attempting to understand them.

When these two types of God users get together it’s like the most amazing symbiotic relationship. It is easy for Beck or Hannity to shout God’s name and expect the sheep to fawn over whatever they are saying. He believes in God, he’s on tv and I’m not, he says this is God’s plan so it must be so! Without taking the time and effort to run our own lives, we are susceptible to the hateful and unintelligent talk coming from the boob tube. People find a false peace in having everything “explained” for them, having God take their sins, waiting for his plan to unfold, and once this process is in full motion, convincing someone to take control is next to impossible. They might as well be in a cult. But wait…

I find peace in knowing that I did all I could do to make my day the best it could be. To make my relationship the best it can be. To make my own body the best it can be (and there is a long way to go there). If there is a God, and I doubt there is, I think (s)he would want us to relish in the gift of free will and use it. (S)he knows it is a hard gift and some will give it away and ask others to take control and others will use it to the fullest. It takes hard work. Life seriously sucks sometimes, and often for no reason other than that it’s often hard to find a reason to get up in the morning. You have to have morals, integrity, and a sense of self-worth. You have to care about what happens to the people around you because what is happening to them might happen to you. Take control of your own life, of your own decisions, and I think any god or goddess or thing or spirit would be as proud as a parent watching their child walk, talk, and grow, because you are doing it all by yourself. You’re doing it! Don’t let others take your right to live your own life away from you. We have little enough time as it is.