If you ever visit the historical sites of Boston or Philadelphia, you’ll notice t-shirts and buttons for sale at just about every available souvenir stand, referencing Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Made by historically-minded Guatemalan and Chinese sweatshop workers, these pieces of swag offer a comforting thought: that if human beings consume something, it reflects God’s desires for us.
But wait a minute: does Beer prove that before 7000 BC God did not love us and want us to be happy? Does Beer prove that nowadays God wants us to frequently urinate and hit one another with large motor vehicles? And if the existence of Beer proves what God wants, doesn’t the existence of other foods and beverages also indicate the nature of God’s wishes? Is Cabbage proof that God wants us to be flatulent? Is Pizza proof that God hates Pigs (pepperoni doesn’t come from the pepper plant) and wants us to suffer from late night indigestion? Are Brussels sprouts proof that God wants kids to refuse to eat their dinner?
Are those squiggly lines with dots underneath them proof that God has a tough hide and wants us to ask questions?