TDW: What inspired the title of the book?
DCD: Since I was a child, I wondered why much of the grief
and suffering in the world seemed to be unconquerable. And in my small mind, I
asked the question why God couldn’t just take care of it. Why did God seem so
silent? Yes, I know that God works through people and sends his word through
people, but I just didn’t understand what the complications were.
TDW: Did you write the book to make a statement or provoke
DCD: Yes, I have always felt strongly about God. I was
taught, as many children are, from a very early age that there is one God and
that he sent his son, Jesus. It wasn’t until much later that I found out that
there were other religions. But the book If God Could Talk… is a simple
premise, if God did choose to speak to us directly, would he speak to all of
us at once, or would he use TV to present his views.
TDW: In your book, God decides to go on a Cable TV talk show
to directly communicate to the world. Doesn’t that seem a bit un-godly?
DCD: I don’t know; it’s just a story. It’s about a fictional
character who is asked by a friend to suspend disbelief and be open to the possibility
that God would go on his show. Don’t you find it rather funny how he is asked
to suspend disbelief in order to believe?
TDW: What do you say to the people who truly believe that
Jesus is God?
it's a fictional work but please consider that the fear many thinking people
have is that their private conversation with God has to be filtered through the
rules and laws of the church. Some of the psychological problems people
experience, comes from the guilt and fears that were programmed in them by the
this book just a way to take it out on the past sins of some of the clergy?
there are easier ways of doing that. But the major question that motivated
writing the book was, how did Jesus seem to upstage God? How did he grab
the spotlight from the One? Remember the reason Jesus broke away from the Jewish
Temple was that the high priests said you couldn’t have a conversation with God
directly. Why can’t God have a chance to say what he thinks? Much of the
Christian religion focuses on Jesus.
critic said, “How can he write what God thinks or would say? Who does he think
he is?” And why do you have this problem
with buying into that Jesus is God, part of the holy trinity?
DCD: What my
book is saying is that everything that has been written about God is the
product of someone’s subjective story. If God Could Talk… is another subjective
fantasy, but the storyline does talk about what has been written. Maybe an
historical novel would have been a better way to show it, but I’m a better
story teller than writer. The story is the key to the book.
would you say to a historian or theologian who says, your facts are all wrong?
I would expect them to question what God says in the book. I would think that
they would be a bit rattled by it all. Some would say that the writer will go
to hell for writing such a book, but I would still ask, what would God say to
us today? What would he say about those who have built a terrorist organization
on the basic tenet that in a religion where suicide is a sin, the exception is
if you are defending your religion? And what would God say to those who believe
that it is a sin to kill another human being, but it’s okay to kill when you
fear your way of life is threatened? How would God handle that dilemma?
TDW: The devout will say they have ample proof
that their deity is real and talks to them every day. What do you say to them?
Don’t you believe that God exists?
DCD: I am
a realist. I am waiting for more proof. I always ask people to prove to me that
God exists with using the Bible, or Quran, or Book of Mormon or Dianetics...
tell me what God said? Take those sources away and what did he say? Yes, I
know we have codified those works as the word of God. I understand that, but
you have to wonder if God is so ever-present, why can’t we have more text from
him. Why hasn’t he been speaking to all of us? We need him now.
are your sources for such outrageous claims in the book If God Could Talk…?
whole history of God starts with one book. No one book can be an authority on anything
as important as God. Why is the scholarly work of God’s word locked in time?
there are many books about Jesus, God, Muhammad and Buddha by modern authors,
why not quote them?
DCD: What I am saying through this story is that no man is God.
Mohammed, Jesus and every Saint were just people. The book is saying that our
main character, Jonas Bronck, wants to find God. The book never says that God
doesn't exist. It tries to motivate a discussion about God.
TDW: Many people who have been touched by God will want to read
the book. They talk to God every day and they will know the truth.
DCD: Consider this: George Bush told us that God told him to run
for president, just as credible as claiming God instructed Joan of Arc. If you
like George Bush, you believe what he said. I have no reason to think God didn’t
talk to George W., but would God really pick a president. Well, according to
Mr. Bush, God picked him. Can we use this as a proof of the existence of God?
TDW: You really beat up on
the Catholic Church in this book. What do you have against such a great
DCD: I would be careful
calling any institution “great.” In this case, the jury is still out on that
one. Pun intended. If you really read
the book, you will hear times, when our lead character attempts to defend the
Catholic Church. And the God Head – which is an agnostic term - is equally
negative toward heroes of the protestant movement. He calls John Calvin an evil
I truly believe that as
humankind learns more and more, we need to adjust what we believe in. I think Pope
Francis is doing a great job adjusting and moving in the more logical
TDW: What do you expect to
happen when this book becomes popular?
DCD: I am saying that
people of the world need to start to think about what their original scriptures
mean. Forget about those frozen in the small compartments of 8,000 or 2,000
years ago and figure out how to apply the basic human trust and goodness to the
world. If this book gets young people to talk about what they believe in, how
is that bad? Why do I have to defend this story? This book might be a
total flop, but I would rather start one conversation about God than to just
assume we are supposed follow everything to the letter of what was written. If
we did that, we would have to start stoning people for ridiculous reasons.
TDW: Is there one central
question you are asking in If God Could Talk…
DCD: Yes, there is. If Muslims,
Jews and Christians all have the same God, then are Mohammed, Jesus and history
seem to be getting in the way of what God is? Are those human filters clouding
what God really means? If you cannot depict prophets in cartoons or paintings,
then the followers have been placed the messengers above God. Yes, the central
question is simple: If God could talk what would he say to us? And when I say “talk”
I mean, to all of us, not just those who are in the trance.