Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Billy G. R.I.P.

The late Billy Graham, pastor to presidents, failed to use his influence. He believed in a fundamentalist personal piety of prayer and counsel. He did not influence presidents on religious and moral issues of race, LGBT, women’s rights, the environment or world peace. His Southern Baptist denomination was anti-abortion and LGBT rights. Those were Graham’s beliefs too.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Where do we get words like, gook, rag heads, japs, krauts, nigger, spics, and nips? The United States military teaches young men and women to use those words about enemies they may fight. Those words are meant to teach young people to dehumanize any enemy they might have to fight. Enemies, are not human beings. They are objects not people. Yes, the enemies are to be destroyed, killed, murdered and mutilated by bombs, bullets and bayonets.

Basic military training dehumanizes enemies. They become easier to kill if they are seen as not human, not flesh and blood, not fathers, sons, wives, daughters or loving people. They are objects.

I had a high school teacher who had been a navy airplane pilot in WW2. He strafed Japanese sailors helpless in the water, who were swimming from their sinking ship. He was following orders.

Military training dehumanizes American young people too. They become blind followers of their leaders. They must do as they are told. In the army, they are called grunts. They must run, jump, crawl through mud, climb walls, wade in mud. They must become strong, fit, muscular, not as human beings but as fodder to be sent anywhere at the command of their superiors. The military knows how to train killers.

As a Christian and a follower of Jesus, I want to love my enemies and forgive. That is why I am against war. It like military training, dehumanizes people. I know human beings will probably always find reasons and ways to go to war. I, however, with some others, am against war.


Saturday, February 17, 2018


God as Metaphor

I define God as the “ground of all being” as stated by Paul Tillich. I also like the idea that God is “being itself.” To me this means that the “sun and moon and the vast expanse of interstellar space” are all created by God but is God itself.

I have been taught that God created the creation. I believe that God is the created order itself.

I and believers through the ages need to have some personal connection to God. The definition of God I have just written about is amorphous and impersonal. It is impossible to pray to the ground of all being or being itself.

People have created God in their own image. We use a metaphor for God. A metaphor is “a thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, especially something abstract.”

The word father is the usual metaphor for God. Mother can easily be the metaphor. I will use father as it is the one I am most familiar with.

Father is the loving creator. When I give thanks to God, the father, it feels personal and close. I know, when I think about it, I am thankful to being itself and the ground of all being. But it more personal and human to thank God for the gifts I have been given

I pray for God to help me when I break my leg. I am helpless and in pain. Only the doctor, nurse of someone else can set the break and put me on the path to healing. But I still pray to God the father as he is personal and close. I don’t expect metaphor God to fix my leg. I need the help of my brothers and sisters to do that.

I pray to metaphor God when I pray that my plane does not crash. However, I do not expect any notion of God to spare my plane and not all planes. I do not expect God to halt gravity to save my plane.

If I am in a crowd and someone shoots at us, I pray to be spared. But God does not let others die while I live. God is not going to let others die and spare me.

That reminds me of the question, “Why doesn’t God answer my prayers?” The answer is that God does answer prayers. He gives us two possible answers, yes or no.

This view of God holds no moral qualities. God is not good, evil, loving, forgiving or saving. God has no morality. God just is.

We give metaphor God morality. He is good, evil, loving, forgiving and saving. We ascribe to metaphor God all the human qualities we experience as humans and ascribe them to God.

Most people are baffled by the question, how can a loving God allow evil – murder, torture, genocide, holocausts, babies born blind. God in either sense, God as being or God as metaphor allows evil. People choose to be evil. Mental and emotional illness, greed and rage, in human being cause the pain and suffering of the world. God is not responsible for evil, human beings are.

Monday, February 12, 2018


Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12th. During his presidency, he preserved the union of the United States and freed the slaves. Slavery is the root cause of today’s racism. Many Americans still do not know that slavery purposely broke up African American families, regarded black human beings as animals and treated them with no dignity, respect or compassion. Lincoln is called the Great Emancipator. But racism continued and remains.