by Bil Aulenbach

Invented Gods: Damn It

This is the fourth part of a six-part series about the many different invented gods that Christians worship. Personally, I prefer to worship Creation. You can find Part 1 here, and Part 2 here, and Part 3 here.

I suspect Damn It is one of the more popular gods because I hear lots of folks invoking him daily.

I sometimes call this god the Zapper or the Great Destroyer or the Mean Old Judge.”

I confess that I pray to Damn It occasionally, especially when I’m using electronic technology. He usually doesn’t answer my prayer, for which I am grateful—otherwise I’d be buying lots of new computers, printers, and cellular phones.

But I do remember one occasion when I vehemently damned my computer, and guess what? Damn It fixed the computer—or maybe I just pressed the right key. I’ll never know.

I used to think Damn It was a male god, but these days, I’m hearing more and more women and young girls praying to her.

Sick people, especially the terminally ill, often ask the Zapper to zap whatever ails them. If the Zapper doesn’t respond positively, then Damn It is often invoked. If Damn It doesn’t act, then some move on to the Mean Old Judge because they are certain that they’ll have to face him soon, and because we’re all such rotten sinners (according to the church), they fear Old Meanie will send them down to hell.

During times of war, we often call on the Great Destroyer to level the enemy. I once heard a prayer that went something like this: “O Lord our God, help us tear the enemy soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells.” Yikes! It got worse.

The Old Testament has plenty of stories about a god whose main job seemed to be destroying any and all enemies of Israel.

I think the phrase “God bless America” implies that God should not bless other countries. For instance, Iran is currently on the White House’s naughty list. I sense war drums. In short, Iran is on top of the Great Destroyer’s list, and the USA is on top of the Bless list.

The most feared god is probably the Mean Old Judge. Have you ever heard anyone say “I know I’m going straight to Heaven”? Of course not, because we have all been trained to believe we’re going straight to hell. Roman Catholics invented purgatory in the hope that they could buy their way out of hell.

Of course, the God Damn It is humanity’s invention. We want a god to blame for our stupidity, ignorance, and laziness. My faith demands that I take responsibility for myself.

After I published Cramming for the Finals in 2017, an Anglican priest who gave me permission to include his poem “Leaving Home” wrote another poem entitled “NoOneUpThere.” The poem asked NoOneUpThere why he didn’t prevent my friend Brad’s death, the author’s mother’s cancer, child deaths, tsunamis, or the Holocaust.

The answer is that no one is up there. Do you agree?


Image courtesy of John Fowler (CC BY 2.0)

2 Responses to Invented Gods: Damn It

  • Of course. Anyone who has had modern science knows how far scientists are able to see in today’s world. The universe and possibly others like it go on and on. There is no “up there” just like there is no “down there” either unless we are thinking about the lava in the center of the earth. Primitive people dreamed up these places. They had no idea where “up there” or “down there” were. They just knew they had never been there so it probably seemed logical to them. And they believed in a god or a series of gods just like them only with more authority. They believed in punishment for bad deeds and rewards for good ones so they attributed those same attributes to the god/gods they chose to believe in.

  • Thanks Bil, the whole concept of a human look alike “somewhere over the rainbow” playing master puppeteer has seen it’s day.Prayer is a great way to remind yourself (and others in a prayer group) of your wishes, your hopes, your needs, etc. and then to act responsibly in response, guided by the agape way of life Jesus constantly proclaimed: love for neighbour and all for all creation. Genesis wisdom of having “dominion over,” is another way of saying “take responsibility for!”

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