I am probably the only person surprised by fact God is on Facebook. Queen Elizabeth II is there, so is Morgan Freeman. Mr. Freeman has 2,788,804 likes, the queen only 124,420. God’s three pages have about 13 million combined likes. It’s probably safe to say that a good portion of those are people covering their bets. Still, it’s an impressive figure, and I am probably the only person surprised by that as well.
Incidentally, when searching for God on Facebook, I noticed GoD of WaR (a Playstation game) has 4.5 million likes. Not surprised at all.
I did not go looking for God, I stumbled across His page(s) purely by accident. It’s not the first time that has happened, by the way. Religion has a way of finding me and I’m not sure why. Maybe, subconsciously, I’m looking for something to believe. Could be a more conscious search, I suppose. Or it could simply be that I’m the curious sort and easily amused.
I can’t remember the last church I stepped inside. I have a vague memory it might have been somewhere hot and I wanted to cool off for a bit. As a way to get people through the door, it’s not a bad strategy. Restaurants like to advertise their air conditioning and ice-cold beer. A cool stone floor and soft wooden bench…right, it’s not quite the same. The peaceful atmosphere is nice, though. I do like churches, as buildings. I like the smell—candle wax, incense and dust—and I’ve seen enough horror movies to have formed a basic belief that nothing bad will happen to me on hallowed ground.
Oh, I’ve seen the other movies as well. Thankfully, desecrating churches isn’t as popular as Evil observing the boundaries of Good.
Religion finds me in other ways too; books, movies, gaming conventions. Yep, apparently Jesus loves gamers. How ‘bout that? Beside my laptop, I have a little book called Jesus, For the Win! It’s an engaging guide to “Jesus, his Guild and his ultimate quest to save a land known as Earth”. A very nice young man handed it to me at PAX East (2013) and I accepted the gift with good humour and more than a little curiosity. It’s actually a cool little book. Set out like a strategy guide, it’s a neat attempt to reach a modern audience, and Game Church, the publisher, has a pretty good message: Church isn’t about the building, the people or the music. It’s about people. Not sure if I agree with the idea Jesus might play Warcraft, though. He’s probably too busy dodging God on Facebook.
I have a collection of what might be termed ‘religious books’. I shelve them with the philosophy in my personal library. God and religion pop up a lot in fiction as well, and I shelve those books with the fiction. The most recent paperback to find itself wedged into overcrowded shelves was What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson. I found it at the library sale and picked it up because I loved the movie I Am Legend. The Will Smith one. The subjects seem hardly related, right? Well, the same guy wrote both books. What Dreams May Come is about a man who dies and goes to Heaven. He is obsessed by the fact his wife is still suffering on Earth, however. They had a very close relationship. When his wife unexpectedly dies, but does not arrive in Heaven, he sets out to save her.
While interested in Matheson’s interpretation of Heaven, or what comes after—purgatory, Hell—I found his vision somewhat depressing and oddly narrow. I think I expected more from a speculative author, something less judgmental. A day or two after finishing the book, though, and brooding over it, I acceded that Matheson’s story might not be his personal interpretation, but simply the one he set this book in. I also had to accept the fact I would prefer a more straightforward afterlife said a lot about me, as a person and as someone who is searching.
I won’t be keeping tabs on God’s Facebook posts. They’re a bit repetitive and whoever He has employed to reply to trolls does not possess the best grammar. It is oddly comforting to note that the haters who hate have just as much to say to God as they do everyone else posting their opinion on the internet. The page has given me a neat story idea, though: while I do not actually believe God is posting encouraging messages on Facebook, the idea he is, or might, makes an interesting premise, doesn’t it? We’ve all heard about the parents who forget to feed their kids while they play Farmville (or whatever the latest and greatest Facebook game is). I wonder what’s happening out there in the world while God debates the colour of Jesus’ skin with his fans?