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Mark Twain’s God

Mark Twain

Mark Twain had a quaint sense of humour. Someone who says things like “Go to heaven for the climate, Hell for the company” and writes stuff like Huckleberry Finn cannot but be freakishly funny. When it came to God, however, he was more incisive than humorous. Much of his writings on God were not published because he knew that even his heirs would be burnt alive if they published if “this side of 2016 AD.” He wrote that in 1906 and those writings were published before the century wore itself out with the kinds of irreverence even a Mark Twain could not imagine.

He believed in God, a heartless one whom he called The Great Criminal. Even an ordinary human being is a far more benign entity than God, according to Twain. If you came across a suffering being and you had the power to cure him of his suffering what would you do? Obviously you would cure him. You will remove all evil from the world if you have the power to do so. God is omnipotent. Then why is there so much evil, so much suffering, depravity and misery in the world which is just a “potato” in the whole vast cosmos?

“To find the one person who has no pity for [the suffering people] you must go to heaven,” wrote Twain. “To find the one person who is able to heal [the sick] and couldn’t be persuaded to do it, you must go to the same place.” God is a father-figure in Christianity which supplied Twain with his God. What kind of a father! “There is only one father cruel enough to afflict his child with horrible diseases – only one,” Twain asserted. Not all the eternities can produce another one, he went on.

Using an analogy Twain argued that the inventor of a machine is responsible for how the machine functions or malfunctions. God is responsible for man’s sins, in other words. But God’s own morality is horrendous. For example, He tells Moses to hang the leaders of both Shittim and Moab because the men of Shittim committed whoredom with the daughters of Moab. “If the people of New York should begin to commit whoredom with the daughters of New Jersey, it would be fair and right to set up a gallows in front of the city hall and hang the mayor and the sheriff and the judges and the archbishop on it,” derides Twain.  

I wonder why Mark Twain believed in a god at all. Maybe he loved to deride Him. It’s good to have someone out there on whom we can cast all the blame. Maybe Twain was not very serious about it. I don’t know. At any rate, there are places where Twain suggests that many of the supernatural things are man’s inventions. What a heaven man invented, for example!

Man invented a heaven from which he kept away the one thing he loves the most: sex. Then he included in it a whole bunch of things he usually avoids: “harp playing, endless group singing, and prayer.”

Funny people, bizarre spirituality and a cruel god. Thank you, Mark, for the concoction.

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  1. Hello, Mark Twain and many others are confused because the true God's calendar is a lot bigger than the human calendar (It's written in 2 Peter 3:8). That's why Jesus said "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near" (It's written in Matthew 4:17). In one of the world cup soccer games, one team scored seven goals within the first twenty five minutes, in reality the game was over because the loosing team had no chance, but the referees could not blow the final whistle until after 90 minutes because they had a different set of rules.
    Even many people who call themselves Christians and many "Christian" leaders have been blinded by satan. Please visit to learn more.

    1. If possible get a copy of "The Case for Christ" and "The Case for Faith" by Lee Strobel. Mr. Strobel was a former atheist. He was also an investigative journalist and a Yale Law School Graduate.


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