Thursday, 3 December 2009

What People Want Their God to See in Them?

People from different religions have their own concepts of divinity and the ‘afterlife’. The stricter their faith, the stronger their belief in a special and exclusive arrangement with this divinity. 

Many strongly religious people believe that upon dying there is some kind of ‘judgement’ ritual with their version of God presiding. Many also expect a cataclysmic event, where the chosen few are selected and others damned to nasty places like hell, Gehenna, the Outer Darkness, etc.

The believers, however, must do certain things to pacify divinity into selecting them and not the others. This business of excluding others is very important because many believe that heaven has a limited space for e.g., 144 000 as in some Christian denominations.


Christians of different denominations often talk about an invisible sign marking that you are one of the chosen 144 000. For many, the sign of the cross is the identifying factor.

Many are convinced that it is a “Are you wearing a cross? Come in and walk to the left!” scenario on Judgement day!

Some Catholics practice bodily flagellation, so that their bodies are full of gaping wounds and blood. And God will surely not refuse them entry into heaven out of pity!

Photo source:


Hindu ascetics like to show that they are not a part of everyday society though many of them might feed off society. They can use sandalwood paste and ochre marks,
matted hair, orange clothes etc.

Often they go colour and effect full blast.

If there’s a lot to choose from, you never know which one will work.

Hinduism does not have any Hollywood style ‘judgement day’. Krishna’s advice to Arjuna (chapter 8 of the Bhagavad Gita) is very behaviorist and cognitive science savvy!

Remembering whatever object one leaves the body 
At the end of life, one attains that object, O Arjuna, 
because of the constant thought of that object.

The path of light and the path of darkness 
Are thought to be the world's two eternal paths. 
The former leads to nirvana and the latter leads to rebirth.


Buddhists probably would want good character and non-violence to be their hallmark. Bodhidharma, the 5th century Indian monk said to have transmitted Zen Buddhism to China, warns about tricksters.
"Many people have the Great Vehicle Root Nature, but there are also many people who lie. Having cultivated without success, such people claim to have the way. Though they have not certified the fruit, they claim to be certified sages."
Buddhists believe that Buddhas have the 32 major marks, and the 80 minor marks of a superior being. Buddhists, especially Western converts, sometimes have visible ‘Buddhist’ signs on their body.


Many Jewish authorities stress that living a good life based on the Torah guarantees good afterlife.

The Yarmulke or Kippah caps are visible signs for some. A circumcised willie is a must for Jewish males. 

Amidst the general bustle of the ‘End of the World’, do Jewish and Muslim men expect that God or angels have the time or desire to take a peek between their legs to check if they are circumcised? 

And how would they distinguish between Jewish, Muslim and other circumcised willies?


Preaching Islam or letting non-believers understand Islam or Dawah is the act most loved by Allah. This implies that behaviour and not clothes is the decisive factor.

But clothes seem to play a role too.


Shinto men would like to be seen wearing clean, starched, well-ironed clothes and lots of them too.

Ku Klux Klan

KKK members would probably hope that God or heavenly agents have the kind of vision modern airport screening machines have, to see through all the layers of clothes, past the flames and find the hidden good qualities in them.


Gay men would probably like to be seen as sexy, slim and always desirable. Body image is very important.

One could rightly argue that Gay is not a religion, but a sexual orientation and thus shouldn't be in this list. However, since the emphasis in the gay issue is on sexuality, and as there is a common ground with the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) who are typically very vociferous in condemning sexuality, so maybe the expectations that God is extremely interested in matters sexual (in a judgement senses!) are somewhat in the same area. 

However, it does make me wonder, often, why among all the other sins (lots and lots of them mentioned in the Abrahamic religions) does God choose to focus so much on one particular sin.

Photo source:

Native American

Perhaps this is one religious tradition we people of the 21st century should really look to for a genuinely elevated stance on the issue of sexuality and how to define it and especially how 'tolerant' people should be. Most importantly, the reason why people should be tolerant needs to be understood from a wider perspective than just moralising and following laws.

Photo source:

Most Native American religions considered interest, androgynous people, feminine males, masculine females to be two-spirit people. Instead of being obsessed about the physical expression of people's sexuality, they focussed on their spiritual gifts. As a person's character is a reflection of that person's spirit and as everything comes from the domain of the spiritual, these two-spirited people are doubly blessed and thus valued by others. The French term for two-spirit is berdache, which originated from the Persian bardaj (an intimate male friend) just doesn't get the point here.

Here is a very interesting article on this Native American theme on the excellent First People website.


Norman said...

Cool. The Shinto God seems attractive for me. The gay god, whatever it is, seems a bit silly.

Anonymous said...

God helps those who help themselves........................................

Rochefort-U.S.A. Friendship said...

I think we are all equal on this Earth and if you're nice with people, they'll be nice with you too. We have no right to judge.
God bless!

Balu said...

The people want god to see in them their their bad deeds so that they wil refrain from doing bad things because of the fear of observation by God.

Cheap Pharmacy Online said...

Hurt no one, live without malice.. I think this is what matters most.

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tegbir s said...

ur article is very good.
u missed sikh religion... so I thought of sharing with u...

-One Universal Creator God
-The Supreme Unchangeable Truth
-The Creative Being
-Without Fear
-Without Hate
-Timeless whose spirit is throughout the universe
-Beyond the cycle of death and rebirth
-By the grace of the guru
-God is made known to humanity.
-Chant and meditate on His name
-True in the beginning, true now, and says Nanak, will be true forever.