There are thousands of deities floating around the world. Well, some float. Others walk. Some talk, some dance; others throw thunderbolts and wreak all manner of havoc on hapless humankind. But one thing they all have in common is that somewhere, somehow, and at some time, people have believed in them – and possibly still do to this day.
I googled the term "creation myths" recently, and was presented with a panoply of gods and goddesses, both ancient and modern. I had not even heard of a fraction of these deities before. Some are really cool.
Joseph Campbell was a famous storyteller. He loved recounting myths and legends, both well-known and obscure. In fact, he could go on and on. I was watching him not long ago on the Public Broadcasting Station, with a collection of Fundamentalist friends. I know this sounds unlikely, but, for some reason, I think there was some mention of the real creation story coming up sometime after the fund-raiser.
"How could anybody believe that crap?" roared a heavyset guy of at least twenty.
"Yeah, when are we going to get to the Bible?" the others insisted in unison. They had put up with enough of all this ridiculous blabber about tribal African gods, Native American gods, Eskimo gods, and ancient Greco-Roman gods, to boot. "Let's get to the one true God, and forget all this pagan nonsense," they chanted, growing increasingly weary of stories about all these other "false gods."
Well, we finally got to their own personal god, Yahweh, and his only begotten son, Jesus. Boy, were they disappointed, and mad! He got no more airtime from Campbell than Amaterasu and her magic sword that had dipped into the Pacific Ocean and created Japan; or Zoroaster, who apparently didn't create anything, but did cause a lot of trouble by upsetting the establishment in ancient Iran.
Well, they slammed the TV off in a huff, and all began cursing PBS. Somehow in their collective Christian minds, intoxicated as always by their American Christian privilege, they were all spitting mad that their tax dollars were going to support public television, giving a forum to a quack like Joseph Campbell.
"Why don't we turn on FOX, and maybe we can catch the last of Hannity and Rush?" I recommended. Nobody got the dig, of course, but they finally settled down and decided on Monday Night Football instead. I made my exit at that point.