I just finished reading "American Gods". A friend recommended it, saying he thought I would like it. He definitely knows my taste- because I absolutely loved it.
It reminded me a lot of Stephen King's The Stand. Good vs. Evil. God vs. Satan. Faith vs. Reality. Red pill vs. Blue pill. People taking sides and being called to fight their "holy war".
(For those who may wish to read it in the future... you may want to skip this entry. I will be talking about the ending!)
I devoured the last 100 or so pages on my flight home from NY. Mostly on the second leg of the trip, enjoying the atmosphere of an occasional bump from turbulence, the dark, and my little overhead light as I read. The ending was not quite what I was thinking, actually a great spin on Good and Evil. Making up a war because deaths will make both sides stronger. Interesting concept.
When I finished, I didn't feel like reading anything else. I couldn't sleep. So I sifted through my iPod looking for something to distract me for the remaining hour or so of the flight. Being the good little fan that I am, I have several Shadowlands plays in my iPod. I decided to listen to "Pride". I guess I wanted to stick with the God theme.
Now, this play really doesn't have anything to do with God. It really has more to do with the arrogance of man than anything else. It takes place during the Inquisitions, and a young priest is charged to investigate a witch trial. While traveling he meets a Friar, and they banter back and forth a bit about God and Satan.
Now I have listened to this story before. I read the book. But having just read the other book, I mused about what was being said. Lucifer, God's most loyal angel, went against him to try and take control of the universe. There was a battle of Good and Evil, and Good won.
But did it? Perhaps we as mortals are just pawns in a game. Perhaps they are working together, pinning man against man in a battle that doesn't even exist. A battle that doesn't need to be there at all. Because our sacrifices, our beliefs as well as our non-beliefs, only make these Gods stronger. Look at our world today. Thousands of different religions, most of them condemning others that do not believe their way. Then there are the "unofficial" religions; Wiccan, Paganism, Satanism... we have religions that believe in God, and some who don't believe in God at all. The entire middle east conflict is one big holy war.
I see God and Satan hidden in the background, Satan laughing joyously. God? Well, I would think that he would feel some remorse in the game he is playing. Yet reluctantly playing the game because he knows this is exactly what keeps him alive. And we all have to make sacrifices, don't we?
Perhaps what we need is a Shadow to come along and tell us that there is no war. To tell us that there is no reason to fight. There is nothing to fight for. To expose our Gods for who they really are.