If bees believed

If bees had religion, wouldn’t it be reasonable to expect them to talk to an all-powerful and all loving Queen Bee and imagine her heaven as hive and flower?

Our Mother who art in hiven, . . .

It would not prove that there is no Supreme Queen Bee in the Hive of Heaven, or that there is no Eternal Flower, but if bees arranged their lives around such a religion it would nevertheless make us suspicious that it was bee-made, and did not come to them by divine revelation.

So it is reasonable to suspect that the Father in heaven has been manufactured out of the imaginations of human beings.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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3 Responses to If bees believed

  1. jonolan says:

    The alternative is to believe that once there was absolutely nothing, not time, space, energy or matter – and then it exploded…

    Yeah, that’s makes so much sense that even Hawkings’ math fell apart at the moment of the “Big Bang.”

  2. santitafarella says:


    It’s the metaphors and conceptions of God produced by humans that I’m questioning, not the ontological mystery.

    The ontological mystery may be a real mystery or just a problem we haven’t solved yet. But our ways of talking and projecting our own experiences onto the mystery are where we diminish the mystery (I think). It turns God—if God exists—into an idol: a human image of the divine.

    People imagine the Bible to be a book against idolatry, but it is, in fact, full of metaphorical idolatry, and makes places on the planet (like Jerusalem) privileged, where God inhabits a special place. God may not be visible in these places, but by imagining his presence in these places it is a form of idolatrous reduction. And making God especially concerned (for example) with human sex is akin to bees making God especially concerned about the proper ways to make honey. Again, it is an idolatrous projection onto the ontological mystery.


  3. jonolan says:

    Fair enough, Santi.

    People do have a tendency to project their desires – especially the base ones – upon their Gods.

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