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UK: Hymn Zero

January 31, 2013

Q: As an intelligent twenty-first century Westerner, it has been drawn to your attention that there is no evidence anywhere for the existence of God. Do you:

a) Become an atheist?
b) Turn a bug into a feature, and proudly assert the fundamental significance of an evidence-free — in fact, existence-free — deity?

If you answered b), you may be eligible for entry into the Apophatic Church, a branch of Christianity that prides itself on the consistency of its beliefs with both modern science and ancient lunacy. The Apophatic Church counts among its members such luminaries as Karen Armstrong, Peter Sellick and Anthony Freeman, who wrote:

“I return finally to the questions with which we began: ‘Do you believe in God? Are you not an atheist?’ The answer is, ‘Yes, I do believe in God, and one of the things I believe about God is that he does not exist.’ This is not just my being clever.”

— Anthony Freeman, God in Us, 1993

Ah, the English understatement!

Alert readers of this blog will have immediately spotted the one reason why apophatic faith has not yet caught on among the masses (apart from being megadaft). That’s right — it doesn’t have any hymns! Here is my attempt to rectify that failing.

The tune is here:

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small.
The Lord God didn’t make them
Or anything at all.

He didn’t make the planets,
He didn’t light the sun.
You could quite easily fill a book,
With things he hasn’t done.

All things real and actual,
Each outcome and result,
It wasn’t God who did them,
And nor did He consult.

He doesn’t show at Easter,
At Christmas he’s not here,
He’s not around on Hannukah,
Or any time of year.

All things that are miraculous,
All supernatural acts,
The Lord God didn’t do them,
According to the facts.

He didn’t summon Adam,
He didn’t raise up Eve,
He didn’t lift a finger,
Well, that’s what we believe.

All things proud and positive,
Each trait and property,
The Lord God doesn’t have them,
He’s just vacuity.

Not old, not wise, not jealous,
Not powerful or kind.
He doesn’t feel emotions
He doesn’t have a mind.

All things to do with measurement,
You have to realise,
They don’t apply in any way,
Position, weight or size.

No origin or history,
No angels round to sing,
When Moses saw His backside,
He didn’t see a thing.

God’s terribly important,
We’re careful to insist,
In spite of His refu-u-sal
To actually exist.


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