Oh God, if there is a god… by John Ostrander

John Ostrander

John Ostrander started his career as a professional writer as a playwright. His best known effort, Bloody Bess, was directed by Stuart Gordon, and starred Dennis Franz, Joe Mantegna, William J. Norris, Meshach Taylor and Joe Mantegna. He has written some of the most important influential comic books of the past 25 years, including Batman, The Spectre, Manhunter, Firestorm, Hawkman, Suicide Squad, Wasteland, X-Men, and The Punisher, as well as Star Wars comics for Dark Horse. New episodes of his creator-owned series, GrimJack, which was first published by First Comics in the 1980s, appear every week on ComicMix.

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10 Responses

  1. mike weber says:

    Unitarian prayer: "To Whom It May Concern…"Mike Kurland's nivel Pluribus (like most of Kurland's books, a fascinating first nvel in a series that never had a second), a post-plague road story, mentions the "Second Reformed Agnostic Church" – they believe in God, but they're not sure the Big Guy believes in them. They proselytise: "Brother, has the Lord found you…?" and they have charismatic services where they listen in tongues…

  2. Rick Oliver says:

    On the "I could be wrong" front, you might want to consider Pascal's wager: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_WagerOf course, it doesn't really hold up to close scrutiny, and I find it just as flawed as most rigidly defined belief systems.While I consider myself an agnostic, I reject all religions that promote the concept of eternal damnation, because it's very short hop from there to holy wars and inquisitions.

    • John Ostrander says:

      All those religions are swiping from Zoroasterism, anyway. (Every time I here the name "Zoroaster", I try adapting it to the theme from Walt Disney's Zorro series. Haven't quite got it yet.)The problem is that Eternal Salvation/Damnation defines everything as a conflict, with unattainable absolutes at either end of the spectrum. It's a conflict that is never resolved not offers any possibility of BEING resolved. By it's nature, it's eternal. Even the cross, as a symbol, is a sign of conflict — horizontal line intersects vertical line. Where they meet is the point of conflict. I like the symbol for the tao — the circle, half dark, half light. Each half has a circle of the opposite color within and the line between the two is no sraight but waved, suggesting the demaracation between the two is not fixed. For me, that is more like life as I've experienced it. There is darkness in the light and vice versa.

      • Rick Oliver says:

        Here's the basic problem with belief in eternal damnation: It not only justifies virtually ANY action on the part of the faithful to convert non-believers, but it almost compels the faithful to forcibly convert or kill all non-believers. If, for example, I can save you by torturing you for a few years or decades, isn't that inconsequential compared to the eternal torment of hell? If I can save your children from that eternal fate by killing you, don't I have a moral obligation to do so?

        • Matt Mako says:

          A moral obligation to kill and eternally condemn? Wow, if you really think about it how can that be anyones obligation? I don't follow, and I am kind of happy about that.

  3. Elayne Riggs says:

    Lovely, John. One of the best columns you've done.

  4. Stephen says:

    Thank you, Mr. Ostrander, for this article. This is the same journey that I began about 13 years ago, and you've described it perfectly…"I miss God. My heart yearns for what my mind cannot accept." I want to believe, but I've been told that's not enough.

  5. Ron Good says:

    John, I think someone's personal relationship with his or her God is more important than any religion. I mean church, or whatever, is great for meeting with others who share similar beliefs. It encourages and fortifies your own faith. But I prefer a personal relationship with my God over "religion". I believe this what most people's hearts yearn for, especially when they get into religion. With that said, I respect your thoughts on this.

  6. Matt Mako says:

    OK Charlie Brown grew up to be Hamlet –Now that is an idea for a story.