In 1986 Randa Haines directed the acclaimed movie, Children of a Lesser God, a story of a young deaf woman. This title was invoked by in a podcast I heard recently where the speaker suggested that Christianity has produced “children of a lesser god”.
By that comment, he suggested that people who develop under the God concept of Christian Orthodoxy are diminished by association with the Orthodox depiction of God. This contention is based on the observation that that the God of Christianity is too much aligned in terms of qualities and modes of operation with the gods of the ancients who appeared to be super human in capabilities but very flawed and human like in disposition and motivation.
Christianity proposes that its narrative, as given in the Bible, describes an extraordinary deity who nobly distinguishes itself from those of paganism and other world religions today. They stress a god of love and personal sacrifice but then insist on a future divine judgment which consigns the vast majority of humanity to eternal torment. This conflicted deity is extraordinary only in its dissonance, its ability to combine the totally incompatible in a supposedly omniscient being.
The fruit of this Orthodox God concept are written large on the pages of human history. Wherever Christian Orthodoxy has grown, serious conflict has resulted. In various subtle and none too subtle ways, the Orthodox Christian theology has fostered violence and oppression against outsiders while fomenting arrogance and self righteousness on the inside.
Even when the more benevolent aspects of church doctrine worked to better society, the church has consistently pulled its membership back from any expression of love toward outsiders and insisted on segregation and ostracism as the more important responsibilities of God’s children. The children of a lesser god can never rise above the example of that god.