Redeeming God

Via Chet Raymo’s excellent Science Musings blog, a beautiful and thought-provoking essay by poet and essayist Nancy Mairs.

Letting Go of God

Summer 2006, Notre Dame magazine

If there’s anything the modern mind cannot bear, it’s the suspicion that no one is in charge. Individuals want to control their own destinies, and they expect assistance in the venture from a variety of social institutions. If a smooth course gets disrupted, someone can always be found to blame: the negligent parent, the inept schoolteacher, the corrupt cop, the sleazy manufacturer, the greedy lawyer, the power-hungry politician. Most would not lump God in with this unsavory assembly, but in attributing life’s accidents to Him, unconsciously they make of God a similarly remote and even inimical other (to whom they invariably refer with the masculine pronoun) just for the reassurance that Somebody is in control.


I’m pretty sure that the cosmos is meaning-less in any human sense of the word, without purpose or consequence. It is not for. It is. Yahweh, in Hebrew Scripture: I Am. What God offers is not significance for a chosen few but mystery for whoever chooses to see it, an inexhaustible source of devout astonishment.

4 responses to “Redeeming God

  1. I like what you wrote, well said!

  2. However, for me to let go of my God, which is the foundation of my morals, and principals; would not only be hypocrisy in my part, but also betrayal to the God who created me. Your article is well written and you offer up your honest opinion on the matter, which I respect.

    (I apologize for the double post, I pressed the wrong button )

  3. One last thing, I’ve noticed that you like reading articles on Astronomy, Science and Cosmic Variance. May I suggest you taking a look at I think you’ll find it interesting.

  4. Dear GiMJ,

    I don’t think you thought is something I’d find interesting. I think you are, with the best intentions, trying to expose me to a creationist worldview.

    This link’s for you. I think you’ll find it interesting:

    I thank you for the polite and respectful tone of your comments. If we must disagree, then let us do it civilly.

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