I am not a particularly religious person. I fall squarely into the classic New York City mold of “cultural Jew”. In other words, I’ve spun the dreidel, lit the candles, reclined while I ate, and have seen everything Woody Allen ever committed to film. I didn’t really stand a chance when you think about it, because my parents sent me exclusively to super WASPy Episcopal schools where my friends were named Muffy, Dini, Maggie…..you get the picture. And they made the weird decision of offering me the following choice: “Would you like Hebrew school and a Bat Mitzvah, or a Sweet 16 party?” What kid chooses more school? When 16 finally rolled around, it was the mid ’80’s, I was wearing Doc Martens, and a Sweet 16 would have been tragically uncool. So my refusal to be observant saved my parents a mint. Which was good, because they wound up having to pay for years of therapy. See what I did there? Cultural Jew.
The upshot of all this is that I have a major live and let live attitude about religion. As long as no one is doing any harm to anyone else, you can worship however and whomever you like. Jesus, Hashem, Ryan Gosling…take your pick. So it’s safe to say I’m not your go-to girl for a major theological discussion. Consequently, I was alarmed when one of my absolutely favorite and bestest girlfriends on the planet called me up and engaged me in conversation with, “No man is God.”
Well, duh. Unless you count several major religions that DO equate a single man with all things divine (Jesus, the Buddha…you fill in the rest). I desperately tried to recall anything from the one semester of theology I paid a little attention to sophomore year for a response beyond the aforementioned “duh.” No dice. But then she saved me by continuing what turned out to be a mini-rant.
“No man is God. Fuck that shit. They don’t have the power to make or break anybody other than themselves. WE have the power to make or break OURselves. All the crying and drama is our choice to be victimized by our own conviction that our happiness rests in SOME MAN’S hands. Fuck that shit. Stupid idiot moron asshole guitar-player.”
I had to agree. In this context, indeed, no man is God. Whatever you believe in, no matter where you think you go when you die (I’m assuming it’s Paris but I’m feeling glass-is-half-full at the moment), whether you believe in heaven and hell, it is a true fact that no man is God. When we’re in love, it’s easy to lose ourselves completely in someone else, devoting the same feverish energy and adoration to our beloved that someone else might point toward the deity of his or her choice. The intensity is pretty much the same. But from what I hear, if you’re a true believer, God is always your co-pilot. He, she or it will always be faithful and by your side.
I can guarantee, without a moment’s hesitation, no one has EVER said that about a guitar player.