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Angels? Where?

By Carl S ~

Well, I don't know how accurate the polls are, but a large percentage of the U.S. population is supposed to believe in angels. (And it looks like the more science and medicine advance, the more credit will be given to angels, and “God,” and “Divine intervention,” whenever someone is cured or saved from a disaster.) Judging by the responses to Animal Planet's program on mermaids, this makes sense. You might wonder, then: if there are mermaids, there must be mermen and merchildren, right?

And why should angels be feminine, except to soften up the rigid God's image? After all, the Catholic Church has spent centuries creating saints to take the place of those ancient gods - those specialists invoked to answer specific prayers for particular needs. Angels were fabricated for the same purposes. (And considering the potions, alcoholic and otherwise, imbibed by ancient seers, it’s no wonder they hallucinated angels. Naturally, syphilis, STD's, putrid food, and lead-laced wine helped, too.)

When you were being raised Christian, as a child, you thought as a child, and maybe accepted invisible beings easily. You were no doubt taught about angels being guardians. Children are often taught to pray to their personal guardian angel, whose presence will console them in times of trouble and in unfamiliar or threatening places and situations. They‘re told their angel will be there, looking out for them when no one else is. This image must be the one people think of when they mention believing in angels. How did angels get to being regarded as ”guardians,” anyhow? This image is contradicted by reality.

Reality for all children is very much this: Without adult protection, the child is vulnerable, and this is true whether for an animal child in the wild or a human one in society. There are no angels guarding animal or human children, protecting them from predators and other natural dangers. All the protections, both for humans and animals are: the parents, herd, tribe, village, etc., necessary for their safety. Angels are redundant. Animal vigilance is mirrored in human behavior.

What distinguishes angels from hallucinations, or just plain fantasies found in children’s’ books? Nothing. Christian angels are said to be directly answerable to their creator, who also created their arch-enemies. Angels are supposed to be endowed with special powers not possessed by mortals, according to the faith, and readily available.

One would expect, therefore, that protection by angels would be especially strong within houses of worship dedicated to their master and the indoctrination of his children. Contrariwise, the protectors are absent when children are physically and psychologically harmed within them. One might even say that the “guardians” have become willing participants in child rapes and beatings in religious institutions; that even if children pray for deliverance, the angels have merely looked on or departed.

Catholic church policies directed that if a child reported abuse, the child was denigrated, called a liar, or threatened by the clergy with eternal torture for reporting such things as done by a man of God. Where is the angel to defend the child? Obviously, those who preach the existence of angels don’t really believe their own propaganda; if there really were angels, clergy would not be successful pedophiles.

In this world, one is exposed almost daily to stories of children who are kidnapped, some of them found slain rather than saved. (And how soon the world forgets those who carried their rag dolls into the gas chambers.) Those angels, typically white, romantic figures with rosy complexions and huge polished wings, are only to be found in religion's fantasy land, along with all the other mythological beings. One will not find them protecting the children in Africa, where nearly eight million children die each year from preventable diseases, starvation, witch hunts, civil wars - nor their parents either. So, this is the believer's answer to the suffering and mourning? Angels? Isn't it cruel enough not to help, without adding angelic assistance nonsense?

The absence of angels is partially compensated for by humanity; much as animals help each other without angels, so do we. We mourn, witnessing that the bodies of animal and human children, mutilated, murdered, maimed, have an eerie similarity, which is not ignored by other humans, but by those theological supernatural abstractions such as gods and angels. And yet, despite reports of missing children, their abuse, their lives damaged sometimes to the point of their eventual suicides, there persists this unshakable belief in the existence of angels protecting humans, despite the powerful evidence to the contrary.

The media sometimes refer to a person who is a special protector as a “guardian angel.” Sometimes, someone will tell you, “You're an angel.” They really mean well, but, no thank you. I really think they haven't thought about what they're saying. They're talking about what an angel should be in their theology.

No - I'm no angel. I'm a, “You shouldn't have” person. I get fun from doing things for others when I don’t have to. Usually, it makes for a better relationship with them, and it's unexpected in a nice surprise way. That's an uplifting feeling for mankind to nurture and protect. And it beats hanging around for nonexistent angels to show up.