Savage: God is not dead, man is dead to God
New book invites skeptics into talk-radio host’s ‘spiritual odyssey’
Amid the cultural and political upheaval of the mid-1960s, Time magazine famously asked in a cover story “Is God dead?”
Now, a talk-radio host known to defy conventional commercial broadcast wisdom by reading portions of Leviticus on the air is turning the Nietzschean declaration behind that question on its head in a new book.
After seven New York Times bestsellers, including his latest, “Trump’s War: His Battle for America,” Michael Savage is posing the most fundamental questions of life in “God, Faith, and Reason,” which is scheduled for release Tuesday.
“God is not dead,” said the host of “The Savage Nation” in an interview for MichaelSavage.com. “Man is dead to God.”
ORDER YOUR COPY NOW OF MICHAEL SAVAGE’S “GOD, FAITH, AND REASON”
With chapter titles such as “Room with a View to Eternity” and “Lonesome Boy on Cold Sand” — a touching, self-revealing, first-person account — “God, Faith and Reason” is a collection of intriguing short stories and commentary that invite the reader inside Savage’s lifelong spiritual quest.
Like the mystery of God itself, it’s filled with paradoxes and apparent contradictions punctuated by poignant moments and unexpected turns that lead to life-transforming revelation.
“I’m not a holy guy, I’m not a holy roller, I’m not an evangelist. I’m not better than the next man, I’m just really talking about my odyssey,”Savage said.
“I’m still questioning myself and my existence. What’s it all about? I believe God wants us to question.”
Savage’s questioning, in fact, has company in the great Jewish king, David, who in many of his biblical Psalms boldly expresses his perplexity and even unhappiness with God’s ways.
The creator of the universe apparently isn’t intimidated or offended by doubters, but He does reward those who earnestly seek him, Savage has found.
In fact, he is convinced that the search for God himself “is the finding.”
“The looking for God is the finding of God,” he said.
“God wants to remain mysterious so we will constantly look for him,” said Savage. “If we could touch him, see him or feel him, we would dismiss him like yesterday’s newspaper.”
He reasons that “if we didn’t think there must be something to explain it all, we wouldn’t be asking this question.”
“Even the atheist who dismissed God is saying there must be something,” he said. It’s all an accident? How is that even possible?”
A recent caller to “The Savage Nation” named Michelle, who identified herself as a Roman Catholic, challenged Savage on his contention that the “search is the finding.”
“By making the search the goal, you’re using a Jewish mysticism of some sort,” Michelle said, arguing that it’s that kind of thinking that has moved many Christian churches from orthodoxy to concluding “we each have our individual gods.”
“I didn’t say we all have our own god,” Savage replied.
“What I’m saying,” he continued, “is that in a nation where there are so many atheists who don’t even believe in God anymore — because they’ve been so disappointed by their churches and the synagogues, who have failed to lead them to God — I am saying that the search is the success itself.”
“That’s much different than saying we all have our own god,” Savage insisted.
He emphasized he is trying reach out to skeptics who have completely disengaged from the religion of their family or ancestors.
“I want to bring them back to God, not back to some touchy-feely Hollywood religion,” Savage said.
Dedicated to God
Savage said that when his publisher, Hachette, asked him to do a book after the successful “Trump’s War,” he agreed on one condition.
“I said I want to dedicate my next book to God, who has given me everything,” Savage recalled.
He observed that there aren’t many secular commercial publishers that would take on a book about God, calling it a “very daring and bold gamble.”
The book came about, he said, “because I wanted to say thank you to the creator.”
“And I hope I did. I hope that the book is humble enough for Him, and meaningful enough to the reader to warrant their attention,” Savage said.
In “God, Faith, and Reason” Savage observes a culture that has gone from St. Christopher medals hanging from car mirrors to dream catchers and voodoo beads.
“We’ve lost faith in every institution. We’ve lost faith in Trump. We’ve lost faith in politics in general. We’ve even lost faith in organized religion,” he said in the interview.
In the book, Savage illustrates Western culture’s general deadness to God in a chapter that delves into mankind’s two natures, the flesh and the spirit.
He points out how psychiatrists tend to address the war going on inside each person between those two natures.
Savage writes: “If a person comes to them and says, ‘Oh Doctor, I have two feelings about it, two thoughts about everything,’ their only answer is, ‘All right, here’s medication.’”
He noted to MichaelSavage.com that “no society on earth has ever been as drugged as this one — ever — both illegal and legal.”
“It’s like a society of drugged zombies, all a manifestation of a spiritual poverty,” he said.
“You cannot fill every hole of the spirit with medicines.”
One of the consequences of the breakdown in religious life in America, he says, noting the nation’s Judeo-Christian roots, is its vulnerability to destructive ideologies.
“So, now, where are we with this polyglot nation of a hundred gods in a hundred languages?” he asked. “No unity, no cohesion. Exactly what the new world order wants, a nation of broken disparate elements that can easily be molded and pushed to a new ideology.”
The “new ideology,” he said, is “once again the old one of Marxism.”
“A giant world state that becomes the new organizing principle, the new community of man that Obama tried to sell us. That is the antithesis of this nation,” he said, noting a recent survey that found about half of millennials are infatuated with communism.
“I’m trying to bring citizens back from worshipping the state to worshipping God,” he said, pointing out that, historically, such movements promising a utopian future have paved a path to hell on earth.
These millennials, he said, “don’t know that communism led to the deaths of 90 million people in the last century.”
In an interview Nov. 4 on the television show “Mike Huckabee Today,” the former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate asked Savage if he saw the sharp divide in America today as mainly a spiritual issue or a political issue.
“You know better than I do that it starts with the spirit and it ends up in the body,” he said.
“I would love to do a poll on how many people on the left believe in God and how many people on the right believe in God,” said Savage.
“That might answer the question better than I can.”
Fatherhood and Rejection
In a chapter titled “Loss,” Savage, writing that many Americans are “in pain right now,” delves into the difficult subject of losing someone or something, including a career, of great value.
In a previous chapter, “Lonesome Boy on Cold Sand,” he gives readers a glimpse into his soul as he recalls his experience of loss as an 11-year-old.
Savage’s Russian Jewish immigrant father didn’t die during Savage’s childhood. But he was virtually absent, laboring seven days a week in his Manhattan antique shop to put bread on the table for his family,
“I was always alone. I had no father in that regard. He had to work, and I understood that,” he writes.
But Savage remembers being at a father-and-son Boy Scout dinner at a hotel on the beach in Rockaway, New York, that his father was unable to attend.
“It suddenly dawned on me that I had no father, at least when I needed him,” he writes. “I still remember almost running out of that room on my own and disappearing onto the sand, the cold sand, and walking by myself.”
He recalls his feeling of aimlessness and loneliness when, out of nowhere, came the scout leader and a few other men who had been looking for him.
“I felt that I had been protected,” he writes. “In many ways, the story is a great metaphor for those of us who are wandering like lost insects, seeking our father or, more important, our Father in Heaven.”
In a chapter titled “Dancing with the Chasids,” he offers insight into his problem with religious institutions.
In the previous chapter he admits his “addiction” to isolation while acknowledging a rabbi who said: “Separate not thyself from the congregation.”
After a lifetime of avoiding organized religion, his family began attending a gathering at the Chabad House in Berkeley, California, on Friday nights.
But after attending for years — enjoying the festive community that gathered around meals, but not becoming a convert — he began to detect a new mood toward him from the congregants that he took as disappointment or perhaps even condemnation.
The turning point, he said, was when he brought a non-kosher Russian vodka to a Passover seder and was publicly reprimanded, first by the rabbi’s son and then by the rabbi himself.
Savage believes America is being offered a chance to turn back to God.
He writes: “As individuals, as a nation, we must decide to seek Him out, to turn our backs on the sins of our past, and to follow through on doing His will. It’s up to each one of us.”
Savage mentions early in “God, Faith and Reason” that he is going through a personal “rebirth.” And he said in the interview that his radio show and his other efforts might look a little different in the near future as he continues what he believes is “a mission to awaken America, before we lose America.”
“This book is the beginning of that,” he said. “I’m going to go down the spiritual road pretty soon. I hope it’s not through dying. I hope I have some years left.
“I really feel I have to move more into the spiritual rather than the political, in a direct manner. And I really don’t know what form that’s going to take.”
ORDER YOUR COPY NOW OF MICHAEL SAVAGE’S “GOD, FAITH, AND REASON”