Verdict: In THE GOD PRESUMPTION, author Caroline S. Fairless delivers a well-argued premise that is both timely and profound.
THE GOD PRESUMPTION is an in-depth analysis of how the god described in Scripture has been used by Western civilization to insure political and economic power is secured in the hands of a mainly white, male, political system. It traces the harm that has come to the world through generational indoctrination in a religion that insists it is the only truth; therefore, giving a legitimacy to the claim of superiority that lead to the Western world’s subjugation and exploitation of non-Christian cultures.
Caroline S. Fairless, a retired Episcopal priest, presents a well-argued case that the patriarchal god presented in the Bible has inevitably led to a societal structure in which the powerful and ruthless feel ordained to bring the world under their control. Using examples such as the historical European model of colonization and exploitation of other nations and the American doctrine of Manifest Destiny, both of which lead to the taking of land from aboriginal peoples and the indiscriminate use of that land’s natural resources, she examines the devastating consequences of an egocentric view of the world. Fairless connects the stories we learn as children of a god that commands his people to worship only him, to conquer other lands, and who banishes those who don’t obey him to the volatile and polarized political atmosphere present in America and Europe today.
Fairless, however, doesn’t just point out the extent of the damage to the earth and its population by governments controlled by money and business over concern for its citizenry, she also offers ways in which citizens may overcome the results wrought by religion which has lead to a way of governing that destroys compassion. She calls for a realization of the sacredness and connectiveness of all people and things of the earth. Her discussion on how to achieve this acknowledges that it won’t be easy, yet proposes that individuals must accept responsibility to seek the sacred connection between all things. It is clear the author writes from a heartfelt concern for all of humankind and with a desire to both understand and offer a solution for those whose views are destructive to the world.
THE GOD PRESUMPTION is a thought-provoking read. Its premise is both disturbing and promising. One can’t solve a problem unless it’s fully understood, and Fairless offers a valuable addition to the discussion of political and economical problems that have left many in the uncomfortable position of being part of a citizenry that is becoming more polarized. It is a timely read for anyone concerned about the state of the world, seeks to understand how it got in that state, and searches for a way to make it better.
~Kat Kennedy for IndieReader