Atheist Michael Aquino is going to be a father soon and he recently delivered a “Godless sermon” of sorts at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines.
What exactly does that entail?
For the past eight months we’ve put our health and happiness in the hands of one person. Our OB GYN. Dr. Lylah Reyes has the power of life and death over us. Our devotion to her is absolute, almost like a cult. Because Dr. Reyes is not an easy master to please.
Every week she demands to know what my wife is eating. How much weight she’s gained. How her blood pressure has been. How her blood sugar is doing. If we’ve been good, her smile makes us glow for the rest of the week. If we’ve been bad, we pay for it with a couple of expensive days at the hospital.
Our obedience to Dr. Reyes bends the odds in our favor just a tiny bit. Once upon a time we might have resorted to prayer, but studies have shown statistically that prayers make no difference at all. It takes people like Dr. Reyes to make all the difference in the world.
I believe we live in an indifferent, uncaring universe. I believe this life is all we have. Some religious people might say this view is nihilistic, that it demeans the significance of our lives. To me that means just the opposite.
It means that goodness, compassion, and mercy are all human attributes, not divine ones. So when I am grateful for my blessings, I am grateful to people like Dr. Reyes, and not to some being out there who takes all the credit for the good things ordinary people do.
It’s amazing that God gets so much of the credit for what regular people actually do.
And if more sermons were like this, you might even see some atheists in the pews…