Common Word, Common Lord

In the Name of God: The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring

I have always admired Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman. I have always enjoyed his performances. Now, with the National Geographic series that he hosts, “The Story of God,” viewers get to accompany him on an amazing journey exploring faith from a variety of perspectives. And I argue that “The Story of God” is the best performance of Mr. Freeman’s storied career.

Thus far, Freeman has explored the Afterlife and Creation, criss-crossing the world in search for answers to many different questions, meeting interesting people along the way and allowing us, the viewers, to learn new things as well. Freeman explores various beliefs about the Apocalypse this coming Sunday, April 17. 

The thing that struck me right away about “The Story of God” was how well-made it was, how good the re-enactments were, and how expert the filming was. What’s more, I truly feel that I am accompanying Freeman along his journey, rather than being lectured to as a viewer, like many documentary films come across.

Although he deals with Islam a good deal in the series, given the negative press about Islam and Muslims today, I wish more was devoted to Islam and proper Islamic belief. That said, I did appreciate his statement that, after dealing with Muslims themselves, he understands that Islam wants people to live together in peace. And I agree with him when he said that, given all the negative media, one could be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

Still, thus far, the series is quite excellent, and it has given me a firsthand look at the practices and beliefs of other faiths, and it has taught me new things about Christianity and Judaism that I previously did not know or appreciate. What’s more, I also enjoy Freeman’s exploring the beliefs of the Mayans and ancient Egyptians, but not making it dry and boring like many previous shows about those civilizations have been. Kudos to both Freeman and National Geographic.

What I like most of all about this series is its showcase of the very many different beliefs of human beings. Yet, as Mr. Freeman himself said at the end of the episode on Creation, those differences should not divide us, but rather, it should unite us.

In a world where too many people, in the name of belief and religion, create havoc and destruction, we need a series like “The Story of God” to teach us about the faith and practices of others. And when we learn more about each other, we will be able to resist to those forces of savagery, in any faith, that seek to tear us apart.

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