The Greek Gods: Bringing them Back

By: Jacob Lewis

A few days ago I stepped outside to get some food and it immediately started raining hard. Of course it didn’t stop until roughly three second after I returned; my suit drenched and my lunch soggy. This happens to everyone from time to time, but as I was heading back to my office I realized that, we as a society, could be better equipped to handle random events, such as this, on a higher level.  Our day to day lives are mostly filled by the the Judeo-Christian God (who I will call JCG). Even if you don’t believe in him, it effects how you respond to uncontrollable situations. I say things like, “god damn it” “why god” and “oh heavenly father please let there be no raisins in this” on a daily basis more than I even think the name of my own daughters. However, these silent pleas, even if I never expected them to have a real tangible effect, have not made me feel better about the universe deciding to shit on me.

This is why I feel that we need to go back to the birth of Western civilization and begin worshiping the Greek Gods. Why is this a great idea ? I’ll give you some examples:

THE GREEK GODS ARE ASSHOLES, AND THEY ADMIT IT

We have all secretly suspected that JCG is an asshole, but never rarely say that out loud. A hurricane destroyed my home? All part of JCG’s plan. Dogs ate my wife? JCG works in mysterious ways. Maybe God got it wrong when my house and family burned to the ground? BLASPHEMER!!!! Now, the Greek Gods, you can call them assholes without any sort of problem…because they’re assholes. Not just assholes, admitted assholes. Zeus rapes anything and everything. Aphrodite cheats on her husband Hephaestus every chance she gets. Athena bullied a weaver until she killed herself. These Gods are not good people and they will gladly fuck with your lives. With these immortal guys and gals, if something bad happens, you don’t need to reconcile it with the belief that they are benevolent and loving creators.  You just shake your fist in the air and say, “enough already cocksuckers!!!” Compare these two headlines:

God Turns Lot’s Wife into Salt, when asked to comment God says “I love everyone but my hands were tied because she looked behind her.”

Hades Banishes Orpheus’ wife, Eurydice, to the Underworld, when asked to comment Hades says, “Fuck that Woman – Dude Orpheus shouldn’t have Looked Behind Him.”

I’d rather be at the mercy of a deity who admits they are being an asshole, than one who does something asshole-ish and then turns to me and goes, “what’s with that face…love you”

THE GREEK GODS LISTEN TO YOUR STUPID PPROBLEMS

Here is a test. Below are two versions of three silent prayers:

  1. My hangover is terrible, fuck you God OR My hangover is terrible, fuck you Dionysus.
  2. That guy ate the last Pizza Bagel! God I demand satisfaction OR That guy ate the last pizza bagel! Nemesis I demand satisfaction.
  3. God, please don’t let my marshmallow catch on fire OR Hestia, please don’t let my Marshmallow catch on fire.

Now, in the above scenarios, which one sounds like you are going to get a result and which ones sounds like you are going to get shamed for whining about your petty bullshit. JCG expects us to leave him out of these small first world problems. It’s not important enough. There are starving children in the world, and despite being omnipotent, JCG can’t solve that problem while also getting your Snickers bar unstuck from the vending machine. However, when the Greek Gods feel they are above a certain problem, they outsource it to a minor god and all that minor god does is deal with that problem.

Losing that Call of Duty match? Pray to Nike. Is that going to take time away from the starving children? Nope, Nike is the god of victory, and he doesn’t care about those little shits, he just wants to see you plant that explosive and win the game.

Want your photo shopped picture of Ryan Gosling with Dicks for ears to go viral. Pray to Momus, god of mockery, blame and criticism. He only cares about Starving children if you photo shop them with forks in their hands chasing after Mayor McCheese.

THE GREEK GODS DON’T NEED A REASON TO LOVE YOU OR HATE YOU

We’ve all heard this before, “look, both sports teams are praying to god for the strength to win their sporting game, what fools they are. Now let us laugh at them as we try to stave off for a few minutes contemplating the eternal abyss of unbeing that awaits all of us int he end.” In the concept of JCG, it’s a silly concept. He loves everyone equally, even if they’re bad. The Greek Gods, not so much, and the above sarcastic remark about the teams could very well be true in their context.

First off, the Greek Gods don’t constantly love everyone, and sometimes they aren’t even thinking about you. They might not even remember your name. Then, when you do finally come to their attention, they may choose to love you or hate you based on whatever personal criteria they see fit at the time; and most of the time it’s unabashedly unfair. They could hate you just because you haven’t offered anything to them or you haven’t offered the right thing. They could hate you because of what you are wearing that day or just because people seem to like you too much. Or, they could hate you just because its Hate o’clock on a Tuesday and the Hate Train is leaving the station and needs to go somewhere. Conversely, they could like you for really shallow reasons, like you’ve decided to suck up to them or you just look really sexy in those jeans.

Essentially, there are no rules in this area and the Greek Gods do not promise to play fair. Poseidon caused hundreds of Ithacan soldiers to be drowned, eaten by a cyclops, eaten by a six headed dragon, eaten by a bunch of cannibal giants, eaten by their own crew after being turned into pigs and destroyed by the son god, all because he didn’t like their boss, Odysseus. Medusa was raped by Poseidon in one of Athena’s temples, and when she called for the goddess’ help, Athena said, “pphhhhhhggg, she think she cute, well we’ll see about that” and turned her into a deformed snake creature with a face that turned people into stone. Must have been a Tuesday.

So while this might seem like the love of the gods is just a popularity contest, which might actually make JCG blind love a little more appealing, this aspect is also tempered by the following concept,

THE LOVE OF THE GREEK GODS ISNT A ZERO SUM GAME

The Greek gods don’t all share a friends and enemies list. In fact, they are often at cross purposes. Apollo hates you? That sucks, but it does explain why it’s the middle of winter and you’re the only one walking around with a sun burn. But wait, despite receiving the ire of the sun god, Athena has decided she wants to protect you and you suddenly find that your Associates Degree in Badminton Studies has given you the ability to invent a new type of self-regenerating sun screen. Hurrah, balance!!! Now, it could be that Athena doesn’t necessarily like you very much, she just likes the idea of screwing with the plans of her divine sibling, but why should you care.  Its the same for the other gods. You wrong Demeter, all your house plants might die, but Ares might give you a new bicycle. In contrast, you wrong JCG, its hell for eternity.

THE GREEK GODS MAKE THEIR POSITIONS KNOWN

We can never tell where JCG stand on certain issues. A lot of it is up for interpretation. Different people claim to know the true position of god on certain morality issues and there is no objective way to prove if they are correct, lieing or ignorant. With the Greek Gods, its a little easier.

If a televangelist says he’s received the word of Zeus before a commercial break, and it turns out he was lieing, when the break ends the home audience is going to be treated to an uncomfortable extended scene of him getting raped by a Minotaur while some giant guy holding a lightning bolt laughs his ass off in the background. In contrast, if someone is doing something against JCG’s teachings, JCG expects you to get off your ass and stop it. God hate abortions, but not so much that he is actually going to use even a portion of his divine power to put an end to it. Instead, you need to get off your ass each morning, trundle down to Planned Parenthood and scream at a bunch of teenagers.

While I don’t think the Greek God’s are pro life (sure, some of them like Hera might fall on that side, but you also have a bunch of them who would sometimes just plane ol eat a bunch of babies from time to time) but if all or some of them were, they would handle the issue themselves. In that instance, Roe v. Wade would not be a seminal Supreme Court Case. Instead, it would be the argument that just happened to be interrupted on the day that all nine justices were eaten by a Hydra. If someone decides to draw a Swastika on, burn down or explode a church, it’s just a hate crime that can be impossible to solve. You do the same to a temple of Artemis, all you have to do to catch the perpetrators is follow the wolf tracks and the path of chewed up remains. The Greek Gods handle their own shit.

YOU CAN SCREW WITH THE GREEK GODS

People sometimes joke around by saying, “I hope god isn’t looking” when they do something bad. But they know, deep in their dirty swearing, self fornicating, dirty hearts that he is, and always will be, and that they will eventually face punishment for their deeds.

The Greek Gods? Not always looking. No divine punishment for your deed? You might have caught them on an off day and they just weren’t looking when you had sex with that bagel. The Gods have better things to do than be everywhere at once monitoring all of human activity. Also, even if they are looking, you can get away with it. You want to steal that Xbox, put on a fake mustache and you might just avoid divine retribution. Honestly, if everyone said that their name was “Johnny Depp” before they committing a sinful act, we could be treated to a life of no comeuppance ever, and daily reports of Johnny Depp being electrocuted, eaten by eagles and transformed into random abominations.

Moreover, if you don’t get what you want from the Greek Gods, you can just trick them and steal it. If JCG decided not to give you Gears of War 4 for Christmas, you can’t break into his house and take his copy. The Greek Gods? You bet!!!

Cite president you say? Okay, let’s look at the story of Prometheus. Now Prometheus was a Titan and not a Mortal, but his actions show that the Gods are pretty damn gullible. First, Prometheus tricked Zeus into agreeing to accept the shittiest part of each animal sacrifice, leaving the good stuff behind for man to eat, by hiding the good stuff under an animal skin before asking Zeus what part he wanted. When Zeus found out he was tricked he decided humans would never receive the gift of fire. Prometheus said, “nuts to that” and just went and stole fire from Zeus and gave it to man. Zeus. While it didn’t end too well for Prometheus, that’s only because he wasn’t smart enough to wear a fake mustache and talk to everyone about how great he was in the Lone Ranger while he was committing his crime.

Finally, even if you don’t think you are up to the task of pulling one over on an all-powerful immortal being, other gods will gladly lend you a hand. There is absolutely no precedent for that in the JCG context. Jesus never gave someone a magic jet pack and cloak of invisibility so they could fly to the gates of heaven and steal Saint Peter’s shoes for no other reason than the LOLs. For every God who would attempt to rain divine justice down upon you, there’s another God who would rather see them fail. The Greek Gods are just awesome that way. Wouldn’t it be better to deal with a group of deities who you could screw with just as hard as they screw with you.

In closing, and circling back around to the beginning. I ask you to choose what would be a better response to a situation where life throws adversity in your path for no damn reason.

Gazing up at the sky “God had so little concern for my welling being he allowed rain to fall upon me and ruin my lunch. I must recognize that this is all part of his plan and that it would be blasphemy to question his motivations. Praise his name”;

Gazing at nothing in particular, “This happened for no reason. There is nothing and no one to blame. Best to throw away my lunch and remind myself that I will eventually be nothing, and my current existence as something is so  miniscule in comparison, that my natural state of being is non-existence”; or

Gazing directly in the eye of the being responsible, “Fuck you Zeus. I don’t know why you did this, and quite frankly I don’t care! I’m not praying to you anymore, and in fact I’m going to sacrifice this ruined sandwich to Apollo. He’s going to give me a ride on his chariot to Olympus and I’m going to piss in your Coffee. Just you wait!!”

Yeah, me too.

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