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In December I had the great privilege to spend a few days with the Babanzele pygmies in the Central African Republic. Louis Sarno, a transplanted and reinvented New Jerseyite who has been living with the Babanzele since l990, told me that pygmies believe in a supreme deity called Kumba or Komba, who created the world– he created the forest and gave it to the pygmies to use–  but has withdrawn and left us to our own affairs.” He no longer has a hand in the world,” Sarno explained. “It’s a very practical world view, and then the Christians come with their three gods in one god and the fourth dimension, the Virgin Mary. Virginity has no doctrinally no value in their culture.”

If there’s got to be a supreme deity, this one makes sense. We need to take responsibility and agency for what we are doing to the world. If there’s going to be an Apocalypse, which seems increasingly likely, with all these Apocalypse rehearsals we’re having– Haiti, the Gulf oil spill, and now Japan– it isn’t going to be caused by any God. It will be caused by our own lack of stewardship and compassion for our fellow creatures and our own kind. God, if he exists, has nothing to do with it.

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