Harold Bloom on Belief in God


“And beyond loving one another, do you believe in God?”

“My wife, Jeanne, is an admirable and honest atheist. I’m not an atheist. My attitude toward Yahweh is that I don’t like him and I don’t trust him and I wish he would go away. But I know he won’t, because he’s built into the language, as Nietzsche said. He’s part of the way we think. As soon as you use a verb involving being, you’re in trouble. When he identifies himself to Moses, he says, “ehyeh asher ehyeh,” punning on his own name of Yahweh. It means something close to “I will be what I will be.” Which in effect means “I will be present whenever and wherever I choose to be present,” which has the horrible corollary “And I will be absent wherever and whenever I choose to be absent.” And he–or whatever it is, she–has certainly been absent for a long time.”