Godless, she calls us.
Some of us are.
Most of us aren't.
What we aren't is God-ed in the way they are God-ed.
They are God-ed this way.
They tell God what they want to do---get rich, buy a house, score a touchdown, become President---and God says, Ok, go ahead.
They've told God they want to fight wars, hate dark skinned people, deny rights to various sorts and shapes of people, and God has said, Sure, why not?
There's an argument that an ethical system that doesn't include God, or a God, is flawed because it has no rock bottom. There is no absolute authority to say, stop, do not go beyond this point, and without that people can reason their way to all kinds of unspeakable crimes.
God, the argument goes, is there to say, stop quibbling. You can't do this because I say it's wrong.
The trouble with that argument, besides how it shows that the person making it hasn't studied their philosophy lately, is that God rarely tells anybody to stop.
He has a bad habit of telling the faithful to go right ahead. Do it. Take it. Own it. Kill it. Hate it.
The history of this country is the history of God-ed people doing whatever they want, mostly in pursuit of money or power or land or self-importance, all of them assured in their own minds and loudly assuring anyone who questioned them, that God told them it's ok.
God-ed people nearly wiped the Indians off the face of the continent.
God-ed people turned "godless" Africans into slaves, into two-footed livestock and organic machines.
God-ed people started two wars to expand slavery and one to save to it.
God-ed people stole land and mineral rights, they built factories and mines to make money off the land they stole, and they worked men and women and children to death in those factories and mines.
They treated men and women and children like lovestock and machines and whenever the men and women and children complained and tried to do something to insist on their being treated like human beings, the God-ed bosses sent cops and goons to beat them up and shoot them and otherwise terrorize them into accepting their condition as livestock and machines.
And when Godless liberals came along and told the God-ed they couldn't treat human beings like livestock and machines anymore, they stopped for a while...until they figured out they could move their factories to countries where treating human beings like livestock and machines was allowed.
God-ed people poisoned the air and the water and land and the lungs and tissues of every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth, including the creepers that were supposedly made in God's image. They did it to get rich and powerful and comfortable and satisifed and self-satisifed. They did it with God's blessing. They didn't stop doing it, although they had to do it less often, and less openly, even after Godless liberals told them they couldn't do it anymore, at least not so much.
Now that the God-ed people are running the show in Washington, other God-ed people are poisoning the air and the water and the land with impunity again.
God-ed people are telling everybody that God won't permit what God is obviously permitting, the disasterous warming of the entire planet thanks to the burning of coal and oil, and furthermore they are telling everybody that God wants people to continue to burn the coal and the oil so that some God-ed people can continue to grow richer and richer and the rest of the God-ed people can continue to be comfortable and satisfied and self-satisfied in ther ownwership of large, shiny gas guzzling machines.
It's all ok, because God told them they're special.
God-ed people have done almost all of the evil that has been done here and in other countries in our name.
This is probably just a demographic fluke.
There have always been far many more God-ed people than Godless ones here.
But looking at the record of the God-ed people should make you wonder how much worse the Godless people could have done.
The evidence is clear that being God-ed makes you no more likely to be a good person than being Godless.
This is not an argument for or against religion or a belief in God. I think I've made it clear I'm not on one side or the other in that debate. It's just a statement of fact. History shows that whenever someone starts talking about what God wants him to do, the prudent response is to hold onto your wallet and head for the hills.
I've said it before. Going by the evidence, I'd say that being God-ed makes a person more likely to be rotten.
Going by the evidence, all talk of God and Godlessness in this country has always been a bamboozlement. Either God-ed people are fooling themselves into believing that God wants them to do what they were going to do anyway because it was in their self-interest or God-ed people are fooling other God-ed people into letting them get away with what they're planning to do in their own selfish interest, no matter what opinion God might actually have on the matter.
A Godless person, contemplating a crime of self-aggrandizement against his fellow human beings---crimes of self-aggrandizement are those committed in pursuit of things we often celebrate in story, song, and magazines and TV news: wealth, celebrity, power, personal glory---can't turn to God and say, Is it ok if I do this, if I aggrandize myself at the expense of people around me, if I use them to make myself rich, powerful, famous, secure, comfortable, satisfied? And they have no God to say, sure, go right ahead, you're special.
Our individual and collective specialness in the eyes of God permits us everything and absolves of everything.
God-ed people lied us into a war in Iraq. God-ed people have been torturing prisoners and excusing torture and celebrating torture. God-ed people want to nuke Iran. God-ed people are telling Michael Berg that he's less than human because he refuses to hate the now dead man who had his son Nick killed.
But it's the Godless Americans are supposed to fear and despise.
Because the Godless are a threat.
Godless people don't believe that there's a God who exists just to tell the God-ed, it's ok, do whatever you want.