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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Is There "Something Greater" Out There?

By Enrique Franco

August 4, 2010

For the past several weeks there has been a question lingering in my mind. It's been rattling off and on, on and off. To me, it doesn't matter if I ever get an answer to this question. It also doesn't matter if I get the correct answer. I just need to hear other people's inputs for the sake of my mind.

The question I impose on you, the readers, is: Is there actually something, or someone greater out there? Is there a gigantic, magical entity pulling the strings on EVERYTHING we, human beings, do and say and meet and act out on? Before you answer this question for yourself, I ask that you listen to what conclusion I have come up with. This answer is solely MY own answer for myself. I am simply taking the time to share it with all of you. So, here it goes.

I believe in a Higher Power. I believe that His name is God. I believe that He is the Grand, Divine Creator of all things large and small. But, I will go further to state that He doesn't give one single iota in how we, His creation, live our lives. For me, God is simply a clerk. Every day, He gets up and turns the world on. He creates certain entities and then places them wherever He sees fit. That's it. This is as far as He will ever go. He watches EVERYTHING we do. He takes no action to intervene, no matter what situation and circumstances we fall into. At the end of the day, He makes sure that the machine continues to run on its own power while He rests ad prepares for the next day. He is the clerk that makes sure everything is running according to design. Nothing more, nothing less.

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You may be asking: How can you say this about God? Again, this is solely MY opinion. But from what I have seen, what issues I have been in, and what I have seen happen to others around me in my short lifetime, this is my answer. Now, I'm not saying that He doesn't care a thing about us. He does. He does so much, that He will not interfere with the gift He gave us: free will.

I tell myself this whenever I overhear someone say: Well, it's God's fault for what happened. Or: It's His Will that has come upon us. Wrong answer. You will never hear me say anything of that nature. God didn't force the Holocaust on the Jews during WWII. He didn't throw down His gauntlet at Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina. And, most important, He did not create HIV/AIDS to punish homosexuals.

People and nature are the prime culprits for everything that happens to other people. People created hate and racism and bigotry. People kill other people. People use cruel words and unspeakable violence on other people because of being gay, or Black, or Latino, or Jewish, or whatever that bigot group is into. People hurt people. God has absolutely no input in any of these things.

So, you can then ask: Well then, why does God permit it to happen?

God is not your babysitter. He is not a watchdog. He is not an entity with an agenda. He could care less about what the hell we are doing to ourselves down here. He allows this because He gave us free will. He is sitting back and watching all of this unfold. Now, unfortunately some people use their free will in bad taste.

Now, unfortunately some people use their free will in bad taste. These "human beings" go around and spread hate and condone violent acts on other regular human beings. They walk around with picket signs that read GOD CREATED AIDS TO KILL FAGS DEAD. They march in protests against homosexual marriages. They practice intolerance and bigotry. They write literature and spread this hate throughout all parts of the globe. It is a pathetic, immoral, and wrong road to take, but some decide to take it. I am on the other side of that fence.

I walk with my brothers and sisters who advocate love and hope. I choose to accept people for who they are and appreciate what they do. I, like so many others, march for peace and prosperity. I fight to live to see the day when I can get married to my spouse, Devin, WHEREVER and WHATEVER state or country I please. I choose to walk with these people. These beautiful human beings that advocate acceptance, tolerance, and love.

These are the good people. They care for one another. They look out for each other's best interests. They stand up to those who would dare to destroy them with hate and bigotry. They are the peacemakers of this fine world. They make the world beautiful through what they stand for, and, in some cases, have died for. I am so proud and appreciative of being able to live on this side. So, that is my message for this entry. People do things to other people. God has no equations in the formula. Does He love us though?

OF COURSE He loves all of us. He has to sit this one out until the end though. He is like the dad that only wants the best for his kids but must not interfere with their lives because it is THEIR lives. But, know that He will be there for us in the end. Even for those who preach hate, He will be there for you too. He loves all of us, as equals. And, that IS what we all are. Equal.

I hope and pray that some of you out there that have lived your lives on "that side" of the fence take a closer look and join our side. Embrace the theme of equality, solidarity, friendship, and love. Do good things to other people. You may not see any rewards or actions from God now. But, when it's all said and done, you will experience and hopefully walk in His light.

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See Also
Ten Things You Can Do to Enhance Your Emotional Well-Being
More on Getting Support From Religion / Spirituality

Reader Comments:

Comment by: MG (New York, NY) Sat., Oct. 9, 2010 at 4:11 pm EDT
Bravo for thinking about this stuff and trying to come up with your own conclusions about how the universe is set up. I have been doing the same thing. I don't believe in God, and if he exists, he should be fired. I work in a hospital and if he is in charge of things he is doing a very lousy job, there is no way to rationalize the suffering I see in terms of any compassionate super-being. Free will, I believe is a faulty concept too. I do not believe it is anybody's freewill to get some virulent cancer that takes him out in midlife, younglife, or any time of life. I used to have trouble with God being thought of as a male, but now I have a problem with the whole notion of a hierarchy. I don't think anyone is in charge of me, and I don't find the idea of a "higher power" empowering. Many religions and philosophies touch on the idea of us being God, having God in us, etc. But I don't think they focus on it enough. I believe we are more powerful than we think. I believe we are divine. Help people who are suffering and help yourself. If you don't no one will. Don't wait for that big clerk in the sky.
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Comment by: James S. (Goldsboro, NC) Sun., Aug. 22, 2010 at 9:26 am EDT
God being the greater power is correct. I on the other hand believe that there are forces (people) on this earth that can make or break you. As in people who knowingly expose someone to HIV in a drug induced state might not inherit great rewards (that others are able to provide)despite their own limitations due to HIV. Had it not been for being drug induced, that person would have made a wiser choice. The forces that be also see all. As with all sickness, HIV is also monitored and steps are taken to erradicate it. In my case I was smoking meth and popping x pills. Having sex was great and if ever asked if I was HIV the answer was always NO. What a stupid answer!!! Why would I put a person at risk like this??? The drugs!!! Many doors were open and shut in my face due to this. I can only hope that the doors of opportunities are opened again. Now that I am drug-free. I hope everyone who reads this will take note and realize. Think before you act. And Always play safe.. Don't let this disease continue to ruin lives or families. Prevention is the only way and PLEASE don't let drugs affect your common sense!!!
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Comment by: David (Upstate New York) Thu., Aug. 12, 2010 at 5:53 pm EDT
Enrique,
10 years ago, I had a good job,my children were small and still found wonder in everything. Over the course of a year I started getting sick, left work one day and went to the hospital..ended up in a coma, losing 60+ lbs and spending a month in ICU only to end back in the hospital 3 months later and finding out I had AIDS. CD4 of 0, and VL off the charts.. to make a long story short, I am single and my children only want me for the $$. I have done alot of soul searching since then and can only tell you that the search for meaning keeps me going. With all that I survived, I know that I am still here for a reason. I am currently finishing up my degree, and will hopefully be able to help others deal with this diagnosis. It is my belief that you have to take each day as an opportunity to make improvements, whether they be in the world around you or within yourself and others. I have survived through a great deal of pain, misery, and heartache and am still here! I am nearing completion of my degree, I am asymptomatic and my numbers are very good compared to 10 years ago! When asked, "How are you doing?" my favorite response is, "Still above the dirt, and breathing!" Learn to enjoy the little things in life.. there are too many in this world that are much worse off than we are. It is my belief that there is balance in the world, and although there is much suffering, there is also much joy and beauty. The key is learning to see the good! The power of a positive attitude goes a long way!! Even quantum physics is proving that.
I have had 3 major surgeries, and have days where I don't want to move.. but I have to take my Akita for her walk and it always makes me feel better to see and hear life going on around! Who are we mortals to question the reason "Why?" all we can do is continue to move forward until we take our last breath! Blessed Be and Be Blessed and always try and understand that there are always others that are worse off than you!
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Comment by: Michael M. (Portland, OR) Mon., Aug. 9, 2010 at 4:15 pm EDT
We once believed that the cosmos revolved around the Earth. Then we discovered we weren't in the central position. We once believed, for a few hundred years, that what we now call the Milky Way (our galactic home) was the whole of the universe. Then we discovered that the universe is far bigger, and that our galaxy is one of millions, and not an especially large one by comparison. Now we theorize that our entire, unimaginably large universe may, in fact, be just one of an unknown number of universes. All of this, I think, has served to rub our faces in the idea that we just aren't that important. Our species, our planet, our entire solar system could disappear tomorrow and it wouldn't make a bit of difference even to shape or progress of our galaxy, let alone to any other galaxy in the our universe. Some people react to the sense of powerlessness and futility that fills them with by clinging to the idea that some kind of mystical intelligence is not only responsible for us being here, but cares about how we fare here, even if it doesn't intervene in our affairs. For myself, I don't see the point. I can not, and never would, claim that such an intelligence can't exist, but I don't believe in it. I think we have ourselves and each other, our non-human companions, and our home in the cosmos. I hope we learn to care about ourselves and each other, here and now, because no one else will. We are as important as we have the will to be, we are as valued as we value ourselves and our communities. We are biological creatures, made from the materials forged in stars like the one that lights our planet. We're born, we live, we die. What we make of that is up to us.
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Comment by: Mike (Toronto) Mon., Aug. 9, 2010 at 1:51 pm EDT
These are questions I also have been grappling with the last few days. I think this God being does exist... by simply looking at nature, our creation and how our solar system works, there seems to be an intelligent force directing it- scientists just mark this as just as too many randomness, which is really silly. I have no idea as to why this being allows bad things to happen-maybe it does have to do with free will- but whatever the case, all we can do is live our lifes and help those that need help. Am I fine with the fact that positive? No! Am I fine with the fact that I have faced certain life situations that would make a lot of people have a nervous break down? No! But at the end of the day we just have rest, get up, and keep on marching like a soldier. Right, solider?;)
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Comment by: Ron (Dallas, TX) Mon., Aug. 9, 2010 at 12:33 pm EDT
God is not a clerk.
God has set rules and boundaries.
His Rule book / Love Letter / Warnings are all contained in the Bible.

Hope you find the True and Living God.

I pray for your homosexuality to leave you.

But first you may have to meet God.
You cannot reason him in or reason him out.
His footprints are all around.
If you close your soul to Him - He allows it - will call you - but will eventually turn you over to a reprobate mind.

No need to hate - anyone - but hate the sin that man commits - including Christians. or so-called Christians.

God Is - Jesus Is - Holy Spirit Is.
Please find them - they are not lost.
You are - without them.
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Comment by: Jill (Birmingham, United Kingdom.) Sat., Aug. 7, 2010 at 6:28 am EDT
Enrique, get yourself a copy of Richard Dawkins' paperback called "The God Delusion". A lot of it is a fairly easy read but some parts require real concentration. Once you've got to the end of it though, there will be no doubt in your mind that there is no reason to believe that there is any kind of special invisible being "out there" anywhere.
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Comment by: Brian Iverson (Lansing, MI) Fri., Aug. 6, 2010 at 7:02 am EDT
You are so close, so close. If 'god' does nothing to interfere, nothing to help, nothing to reduce our free will, then why the belief in god? I feel it is just a social remnant of being brought up in a religious culture. It is grasping at straws and - drum roll please - that maybe there is an afterlife where wrongs are righted, the sick healing and on, and on. Do not waste your time in these endeavors, do not seek comfort in something that is not there. You are almost there. Seek it in the people around you and in making this world better than it is. Because even if the god you describe exists, what is the point of beliving, praying, etc. None. It is wasted time.
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Comment by: Donald Sass (Los Angeles, CA) Thu., Aug. 5, 2010 at 7:17 pm EDT
Enrique, I respect your opinion but don't agree with much of it. I do not believe in a "God," either as a creator or a clerk. I do not think "It" has genitals or hormones which designate It as a "He." Did you ever see Stanley Kubruck's movie, "2001: A Space Odyssey?" I believe it was released in 1969, and though some of its concepts are laughable today, some ideas presented in the movie actually had an effect on my spiritual beliefs. I now consider it more likely that not God Itself supplied the "Free Will" which we humans believe separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom, but that we are evolved creatures, owing our forms to the remarkable variations in DNA, subjected to value-neutral experimental intercession, perhaps by a higher life form traveling the galaxy, the universe, searching for fertile sites to "seed" with diversionary tactics to the natural process of evolution. It seems that the more man learns about physics, astronomy, other scientific disciplines, the more quaint and unlikely becomes the "wisdom" passed down by the ancients, the less relevant their then-necessary prejudices and rules against certain human behaviors. While science revels in open minded exploration of fact, religious, and to a certain extent spiritual people subjugate themselves to a human trait which makes it imperative that all questions have answers, the past and future be neatly boxed up, and that the chaos which defines the universe be rejected in exchange for their own consciousness maintaining its order. I believe, I hope, that the 21st century will see widespread acceptance of new, rational thinking, an entirely new cosmology, a fact-based belief system acceptable to the masses. History demonstrates that such change is usually accompanied by abundant blood shed because of the hunkered-down positions of those dependent upon or with vested interest in adhering to the absurd fantasies developed by our ancestors. This I dread, but see no alternative to human progress.
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The U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy got Enrique Franco kicked out of the Army. It also, oddly, was the reason he found out he was HIV positive.


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