Monday October 26th, 2009

Does God Have OCD?

crumb-portraitAt Vanity Fair, R. Crumb discusses his illustration of the Book of Genesis. (You probably don’t need to be told, but the interview is not for the sensitively devout.) A relatively tame excerpt:

Mark Twain once speculated that the God of Genesis was obsessive-compulsive. Do you think God might have some psychological problems?

Probably, yeah. There’s lot of evidence to suggest that he does. Look at something like the story of Noah and the Flood. God creates this rainbow and says it’s a sign to himself that he’ll never again destroy the human race by flooding. When I read that, I thought, “Wow, God is actually crazy.” He has to find a way to remind himself not to kill everybody again. That’s crazy behavior.

The divine creator shouldn’t be saying: “Note to self: Don’t wipe out all of humanity on a whim.”

But then again, if God wants to be irrational, that’s his business. Rationality is a human concept. Consistency and being reasonable, those are all human concepts, and we can’t impose those on the creator. He can be as irrational and inconsistent and whimsical as he damn well pleases. He wants to destroy us in a moment with a snap of his fingers, that’s his business. We can’t say, “God, you shouldn’t do that.” We’ve broken his heart. It’s like having a kid and the kid turns out bad. What are you going to do?