|If it bleeds, we can kill it. The gods bleed, don't they?|
It's nice that so many folks in the OSR came together to discuss D&D's smorgasbord of religious influences, but let's not forget the most important side effect of putting various mythological figures in the Deities & Demigods Cyclopedia: they have AC, and hit points, like every other monster in the game. The gods are for killing. We can't lose sight of Il Male's immortal mantra:
- Gods are for killing;
- Clerics worship gods, therefore are for killing;
- If it's not human is for killing;
- If it's human but a little weird, it's probably for killing;
- Magic-users are for killing 99.9% of times;
- Dinosaurs are either to ride or for killing;
- ...and so on.
You may think Gary (or rather Jim Ward) left out any representation of the monotheistic deity so as not to offend the Christian masses (or other "People of the Book"); I'd rather think it's because he knew an all powerful creator is beyond mere statistics, whereas all the mythical figures of folklore are put there to be toppled by high level power gamers armed with vorpal swords and staves of wizardry.
With that out of the way, I'm going to return to the problem of why priestly Christian clerics in the 17th century would have anything to do with clerical spell scrolls written by Egyptian worshippers of Horus in the 2nd millennium.