Who Is God?
Some people go to church every week.
A church is a place where people go to learn how to live. People need to learn how to live.
But the church doesn't really teach you that. Instead, it teaches you how to keep God happy—to do what he likes.
Who is God, and why do people want to keep him happy? It's strange, but God is an extra-strong, pretend person that someone made up long ago. People want to keep him happy because they want a strong friend.
Children sometimes have imaginary friends, but give them up after a while. God, though, is an imaginary friend that lots of people don't ever give up. Instead, they forget he isn't real.
How can people forget they are pretending? It's sad. It happens when they become afraid of not pretending.
People like God because he is big and strong. But God isn't always nice. People say that sometimes when God gets angry, he hurts lots of people, even if only some of them have made him angry. God, the imaginary friend, is also a bully.
Why doesn't someone fight this bully? Because God is unbeatable. He is invisible! And he's stronger than anything! And he's everywhere at once! It's crazy, but you just can't fight God—and you can't run away from him, either.
No, God isn't real. But if he were, it would be terribly important to keep him happy. People who forget he's not real are worried about God's happiness.
God is very picky about what people do—it's hard to do only what he wants. Sooner or later, most people, even those who worry about God, do something God wouldn't like. For the worriers, this is scary. They wonder: "Will God hurt me? Will he hurt my friends?"
Some people don't worry about God. This scares the worriers—they want everyone to worry about keeping God happy. Some worriers get so scared that they hurt people who don't worry about God.
Little children don't worry about God—they haven't even heard about him, or what he wants. This really frightens some worriers. Sometimes these worriers hurt their own children until they do what God wants.
It's terrible, but it really happens: some worriers scare their children into pretending God is real!
Imaginary friends can be fun, but who wants an imaginary friend that could make you hurt people?
It may be hard to remember that God is made up since so many people talk about him. But people talk about Spiderman, James Bond, and Darth Vader, and they are made up too.
God is special, though. He is the biggest, scariest thing that anyone has ever made up. He is so scary that lots of people are afraid of remembering he isn't even real. They keep on pretending, so they can feel safe.
It's sad. The pretenders are stuck. If you try to help them stop pretending, they just get scared, and angry at you. God, their imaginary friend, scares them into being nasty. Some friend!