One of the tools of manipulation that the religiously mean people I’ve known enjoy using is the proclaiming of the supposive “Will of God”. For them, what they claim to be the ‘Will of God’ is law. Doing anything other than what they said was the ‘Will of God’ was against god and abominable. For instance, they claimed that it was the ‘Will of God’ for people only to listen to religious and gospel music; doing anything other than that was considered a terrible, horrible act (which is why I’m so behind in the world of music).
They were the interperters of the ‘Will of God’, they claimed; therefore, their word was law. Going against what they said meant going against god. The image of god that they had made was not a god of love and kindess, but rather of hate, anger, and rage. Truly terrerifying. So with the religious leaders’ will being ‘God’s Will’ and going against them meant going against this god, doing anything but what they said was a very scary thing to do.
One of their rules was it was absolutely forbidden to go to a movie theater. Just going into one and not seeing a movie was a horrible crime. When the movie Monsters Inc came out my family had decided to go and see it because it came out near a family member’s brithday who loved Pixar movies. What should have been a fun experience was a horrible one for me. I spent the whole movie ducked down and hiding between the seats shaking and crying because I thought god was going to strike me dead and torture me for being in the theater.
I don’t neccassarily bash the idea of there being a “Will of God”. If one feels lead by their diety or a higher calling to do something then it should be their choice on whether they choose to act upon it or not. But I also think it should be that: their choice.
The people that supposively interupted and enforced the “Will of God” had it as sort of a checklist of the things one was supposed to do in life. They had my life planned out to the last detail. They said it was the “Will of God” that I follow this plan. They said the same thing about all their weird rules too. Their “Will of God” wasn’t divine revulation; it was a trap to keep you in that lifestyle.
I think if there were such thing as a “Will of God” it would be something like to be happy or don’t hurt each other, not weird rules and having a group of people control your life in the name of religion.