Saturday, July 17, 2010

Yahweh is a Bad Father

Today we look at God from the perspective that he is, as the Lord's prayer says, Our Father who art in Heaven. What if God is a cosmic sky daddy? How would we rate his performance when it comes to raising the human race to be a mature and responsible species?

In the last installment we talked about Adam and Eve and how badly God's parenting skills went over there. In the installment before that we touched upon the Great Flood, where God attempted to kill all his disobedient offspring but save only the righteous children in a giant boat that THEY had to build themselves.

So the first characteristic we can point out, as is obvious from my first blogpost, is that God is infanticidal (if that’s even a word). Is it possible the Lord Almighty was suffering from some Postpartum Depression? Or was Yahweh just performing an after birth abortion? A bit odd considering most of his modern day Christian followers are anti-abortion or pro-life as its called, don't they know their own deity attempted to abort all of them, aside from Noah and his obedient family.

Soon after this Abraham comes along with his son Isaac. Abraham is generally a good guy and he's pretty obedient to the Lord. One day Yahweh decides to test Abe to see just how gullible, I mean obedient, the poor sap - I mean righteous man - is. God tells Abe to get his son Isaac and take him up to an altar and sacrifice him to God. This is one of the first times Yahweh condones/demands human sacrifice (more on that later). Abraham is about to go through with this when God stops him. This is one of the most frightening tales of the Bible and all it does is warn us about religious fanaticism. People who hear the "voice" of God in their heads are likely to do stupid and downright evil things. If we view God as the parent or Grandparent to Isaac in this scenario his conduct is still morally reprehensible and baffling as can be.

Next the Israelites, God's chosen people, are left languishing in the desert for forty some years. Sure God occasionally makes them a meal of mana from Heaven but it hardly makes up for the generations he left them as slaves to Egypt and then the forty years he left them wandering in the desert.

So already we have a very strange trend, God, rather than loving all his children equally, seems to bless only the righteous, but that's a trend that's about to change.

JOB. The Book of Job starts out by telling us there was a man in the land of Uz, which is a bit like Oz I guess except nothing good happens there. The book says that Job is blameless and upright, not like those sinners who spend so much time on their backs. He has ten children but Job worries that they are sinners and is so nice and loving that he sacrifices animals on their behalf just in case (I imagine it gives him an excuse to grill up some more food, as a sweet aroma to the Lord of course).

Job has been, as the Bible says, blessed. He's obedient to the Lord in every way. So Job is the equivalent of a very obedient child to his Father and the Father has thus spoiled the child with good things. Satan comes in, think of him as Job's sinister Uncle, and points out to Job's Father (God) that Job wouldn't be so prone to praising him if he hadn't spoiled the darn kid with so much cool stuff. As soon as Satan utters these words God hands over permission to take away EVERYTHING Job has. Satan, it is worth noting, never actually requests this power, Satan mentions how if Job didn't have all of this blessings he would curse God in verse 11 and in verse 12 God voluntarily hands over permission to take it all away WITHOUT BEING ASKED DIRECTLY.

Satan kills off everything and everyone Job loves. God, the Father, has a bit of a change of heart in Chapter 2:3 saying Satan incited him against Job "for no good reason" even though Satan never directly asked for permission to strike down everything Job owned.

Job eventually gets around to questioning what God has done to him despite his righteousness and only after going on a tirade about how big and powerful he is does God bless Job again.

So we see that God will punish even the most obedient of his children.

The Bible and Human Sacrifice

I was going to save this for the next blog post but seeing as how I already brought it up I figured I'd crucify two birds with one cross here. We've taken a brief look at the Binding of Isaac account featured in Genesis 22 but it would be nearly criminal of me not to mention the story of Jephthah.

Jeph, according to the Bible, was a mighty warrior, his Father's name was Gilead, his Mother was a prostitute and so the Bible doesn't give her a name, because who cares about hookers right? His family drive him out in order to keep him from his inheritance. He spends some time fighting, since he is meant to be a badass. Then in Judges Chapter 11 verse 29-31 the "Spirit" of the Lord comes over him. Jeph swears to the Lord that if God delivers the Ammonites into his hands he will sacrifice the first thing that comes out of his house when he returns in triumph.

The poor sap hasn't thought this through, probably because the Spirit of the Lord came upon him and confused him. Of course he beats the Ammonites and returns home and the first thing out of his door, HIS DAUGHTER. Amazingly his daughter is aware of his promise and agrees to be sacrificed to Yahweh as long as she is given two months to weep for her virginity (Judges 11:36-38). She returns after that time and according the Bible Jephthah "did to her as he had vowed".

The alternative, of course, was for Yahweh to fail Jephthah and let him die or be captured in battle, or tell him to retreat, or warn his daughter, or make sure a goat, ram or sheep came out of the door first, or. You get the idea, Yahweh is omnipotent and all knowing, his possible routes for avoiding this human sacrifice are therefore infinite and yet he allows it to go through and allows this poor woman to die a virgin on a sacrificial altar.

In Deuteronomy 13 an entire village is "put to the torch" as a "burnt offering" to God.

There are a handful of other human sacrifice accounts in the Bible but its not something Yahweh indulges in often. Its not quite as popular with him, as say, commanding that babies be killed or sending people to Hell.

So there you have it, a double whammy of the Bible's pitiful nonsense pointed out.

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