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DeFilippis: God is love for everyone with no limitations or qualifications

By Robert DeFilippis
Contributing columnist
updated: 8/5/2022 9:23 PM

The current brand of what calls itself Christianity in America, White Christian Nationalism, is infecting our nation's politics. Given that fact, I think the issue of a Supreme Being is fair game for newspaper columns. You know what I'm talking about: those people who display signs that say, God, Guns, Babies, and Trump.

A caveat here: I'm not an ordained minister, but some of the folks I've heard screeching "their renditions of the Gospel" don't sound too qualified themselves. So, I'm going to take a shot at it. Let's talk about God.

I like this quote by Rev. Giulio Cirignano, Scripture scholar at the Theological Faculty of Central Italy: "God doesn't tolerate being enclosed in rigid schemes typical of the human mind. Instead, God is love, and that's all, love as a gift of itself. Thus [God] corrects, in a plain way, the million involutions (entanglements) we're used to putting in the way of love."

What the heck is he writing about? In simpler terms, God is love of everyone, always, with no qualifications. People add the qualifications. Human beings are trying to impose "rigid schemes typical of the human mind."

What are those rigid schemes? Categories like religions, races, sexual orientation, nationalities, social status, winners and losers, saints and sinners. All created and sustained by human minds.

What a world this could be if we could experience God's love as intended without the limitations and qualifications we create. Pope Francis seems to be trying to tell us this since he took office.

Sadly, I think that the popular American perversion of Christianity I mentioned above is far afield from this kind of love. Instead, it is filled with qualifications one must meet to be deserving of God's love -- that is, according to "rigid schemes typical of their human minds."

This is one place where simplistic thinking can serve us well. What I mean is we need to quit trying to classify those who deserve from those who don't and just let God's love be as it's intended. Simple as that. No entanglements. No assessments. No judgments. No intermediary with an agenda. None of us need to worry about who deserves God's love. God has already decided, and it's everyone.

I was raised and educated in Roman Catholicism, but I don't believe God is a person. So, I don't think God has a gender. That's why I don't refer to God as he or she. I don't believe the human mind can even imagine the power of absolute unconditional love. It is so transcendent that we cannot describe it in human terms. And that's what I believe is God.

When we claim that God rewards and blesses those who deserve either, we describe feeble human attributes based on human judgments. On the contrary, I believe in the idea of a God of all-encompassing love that includes every sentient being in the universe.

When we seriously consider Rev. Giulio Cirignano's claim, "Human beings are trying to impose rigid schemes typical of the human mind on God," we can see the human limitations present in many religions. When we do, we begin to see the origins of many of our social inequities.

I'll finish with a thought from Catholic Bishop Robert Barron. The solution to those inequities is reasonably straightforward. Make a sincere effort to purposely will the good of others as others and not as it might benefit you. That's probably about as good as humans will get in practicing unconditional love.

• Robert De Filippis has been a frequent contributor to the Carbondale Times. Email him at, or visit Also, tune in to his radio show on WDBX 91.1 FM at 8 a.m. Wednesdays.

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