“If you wanna be a dummy, write about God.” That’s what my journalism 101 professor said. He was a short squatty man who smoked too many cigars, and smelled like cats.
“A journalist’s job” he went on, “is to REPORT, not speculate.”
Thank God I ain’t no journalist.
Thomas, age 5: “I think God’s really, like, nice, and makes people, do stuff to each others. And he gives you stuff. Lots and lots!”
Joey, 10: “I don’t know, God’s maybe, a big thing, who just kinda, makes everything happen. Like the world turning and stuff.”
Lisa, 39: “My dad’s a Latin teacher. The word God comes from the same Latin word meaning, ‘good.’ So, I think God’s, basically, kind of, goodness.”
Phillip, 20: “I don’t know if I believe in God or not. I mean, look at all the bad in the world. It’s nuts. I don’t know, man. I’m sorry.”
Catherine, 48: “I see all the $#!& in the news, it makes me sick to my stomach. If there’s a God, where is he? And what’s he doing while all this is happening?”
Chuck, 85: “Men my age say, ‘there ain’t no such thing as atheists in foxholes.’ But really, war will make a lotta young men quit believing in God.”
Mariah, 32: “I don’t believe in God. Sorry. I just think it’s kinda fairy-tailish.”
John, 41: “God? I dunno. Maybe something’s up there. But, I mean, if there isn’t, then, I dunno, that’d be pretty sad. But I wouldn’t cry about it.”
Pete, 6: “See me smiling? See how BIG I can make my SMILE? This is as BIG AS I CAN SMILE with my face!”
If you have enough guts, you can visit a crowded place and ask people how they feel about the idea of supreme beings. Your old journalism professor will hate you. You’ll get odd looks, too.
But eventually, you’ll meet a boy whose birth mother was a crack-addict and prostitute. Two years ago, he was adopted by parents in East Atlanta. Courteous people, who’re taking their new six-year-old son to see a movie.
They nicknamed him, Cootie, in hopes he’d forget his old name, his old life, and a mother who burnt him with cigarettes as a baby.
I gave Cootie a high five. I saw the burn scars on his neck. He told me he loved movies. Especially the cartoon ones.
And then he said: “I think God is just a lotta love. So much love that his heart can even glow in the dark!”
Well, I’m no expert.
But I’m with Cootie.