A young man and his father sit at a table over breakfast. The young man is on break from college and holding forth enthusiastically about his ideas. The old man listens thoughtfully.
“People always say that God put us here and God can take us away. I say that we put God up there and we can take him way.”
The old man peels a banana.
“Think about it. Think of all the wars that could be avoided, if we just got rid of the God idea.”
“People’ll always find something to fight over,” the old man says slowly.
“Yeah. But it’d be one less thing. One less thing that people would kill for. One less thing that people would take a bullet for. When did God ever take a bullet for anybody?”
“I seem to recall a little something about him giving his only son.”
“Yeah? Well, how many people have given their only son for him? Do you think Mrs. Jones down the street wanted to give God her only son’s leg? Do you think these Iraqi women on TV, wailing at funerals, want to give their only sons to Allah? No. They feel compelled. Call it fighting for honor, or freedom, or whatever. It’s all draped in God, and without that moral certainty, no one would fight. I say God needs to fight his own battles. Smite the infidels, or whatever. God should take his own bullets.”
The old man sits for a moment and ponders what his son has said. Then he takes a long drink of orange juice and clears his throat.
“Well son, it sounds to me that what you want is a god who bleeds.”