THE REV. JUSTIN HOYE, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Kansas City, North: It is important to remember that anger, albeit a powerfully aggressive feeling, is not always an inappropriate one. There are moments when we should be angry.
When we perceive an injustice in our midst, anger can be an appropriate way of noting a boundary violation or a right denied. In matters when we believe an injustice has occurred, anger signals recognition of a wrong and a refusal to be apathetic.
There are injustices in our world and moments when anger is healthy. God, though, is perfectly just. Often we can be caught in the midst of a real injustice and face a God who is infinitely just and whose permissive will allows some transgression to occur. We can feel angry at God for allowing such an event.
In these moments a person is called to rejoice in the gift of Jesus Christ. In Christ, God has demonstrated both his solidarity with those who suffer the injustices of our world and also his ability to heal those injustices. In the divine person of Jesus, God has responded to our anger — even when directed at him — with the gift of his son, whose life, death and resurrection are corrective and healing.
This should provide us with great solace, even in moments when we are consumed with anger. God alone has the ability to heal the causes of anger and restore us into right relationship with one another. His response to our anger has been, and always will be, just and restorative.
THE REV. DUKE TUFTY, Unity Temple on the Plaza: There is a myth that describes God as an old man with long white hair and beard, sitting on a throne in the far reaches of the universe.
This myth has God looking down on all creation with a harshly judgmental eye ready to exact punishment on anyone who does wrong. The only thing missing in this image is a hickory switch for the whipping.
There is not an element of truth to this myth. It is a fabrication created by man for the purpose of instilling fear in people and keeping them subservient to the church and its religious leaders. What better way to keep people in line than to threaten them with the wrath of a jealous, revengeful super human deity?
I don’t believe in an all-powerful God of individual and human form. I do believe God is an everywhere present spirit that provides for us everything we need to live a comfortable and fulfilling life.
God is the creative energy of the universe; the life force within us; the always-providing, always-loving essence of our being.
God won’t punish you for being angry but through that act you will punish yourself.
Being mad at God hurts, saddens and brings on a sense of despair, and it is all for naught. I would encourage you to rethink whatever it is that made you angry at God and see that God is not to blame but your help in every need.
To ask questions or comment on the Voices of Faith column, email firstname.lastname@example.org.