Throughout my younger years, I became quite familiar with the Bible. Well, let me correct myself, the fuzzy, lovely parts my teachers wished me to be familiar with. As a child, I wasn’t as eager to read as I am today, so as a result, I read the required texts. More times than not, these texts reflected the poetry, parables, and the life of Jesus – you know, all the “Christiany” stuff. Luckily for me, I often questioned God’s existence, which went much deeper than what’s written in the Bible. I was a skeptical child, and even at 13 I knew I needed evidence to justify any belief. But before I veer too far off course, let me bring this back.
I recently had a private, two-hour debate with a local nondenominational New Testament pastor. The topic of discussion: God’s existence. So, it was only a matter of time before the subject of morality would come up; although, it wasn’t until I brought up the final Egyptian plague.
“Many atheists find it incredibly hard to believe in a moral God,” I said. “He’s all knowing. Let’s use the Passover as an example. The best way to finally convince the Pharaoh to release the Israelites was to kill innocent people, including children? That was the best an all-knowing god could conceive?”
Of course, instead of answering the question directly, he referred me to a weekly bible study that would explain some of the seemingly immoral actions of Yahweh. He then reverted back to the usual apologetic rhetoric, “How do you even possess a moral compass without God?”
This troubled me. Of course, their justifications are dependent on the validity of the story. No evidence suggests the Exodus to be historically accurate in any way, but that’s another blog post. What I really wanted to address was what I think most Christians often fail to consider. Is it even worth justifying these actions?
Of course, but only if you wish to believe in a good god, you’ll need to do this. Most atheists fail in this department because their moral compasses often surpass anything displayed by the God of the Old Testament. Why must we cast aside our own moral conviction in order to carry on believing in a god that doesn’t deserve it? Is God worth it?
I say no. No one is truly deserving of worship. Particularly one whom asks his people to believe against their will or face eternal punishment.
We have the ability to rise above any tyrannical figure. Christians sit and listen to their pulpit-leaders each and every Sunday, absorbing their words without hesitation; no forethought and no afterthought required. It becomes incredibly hard for them to see through the blank of “love” they’ve been spoon fed. They may never see the horror in Genesis.
“And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” Genesis 6:7 (Noah and the flood)
“And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” Genesis 6:13 (Noah and the flood)
“And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.” Genesis 6:17 (Noah and the flood)
“Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.” Genesis 19:8 (Lot / Sodom and Gomorrah)
“And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.” Genesis 22:2-10 (Abraham and Isaac)
Or the barbarism and stupidity in Leviticus.
“For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.
And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.
And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.
And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
And if a man shall take his sister, his father’s daughter, or his mother’s daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister’s nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.
And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.
And thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister, nor of thy father’s sister: for he uncovereth his near kin: they shall bear their iniquity.
And if a man shall lie with his uncle’s wife, he hath uncovered his uncle’s nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless.
And if a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.
Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out.
And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.
But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people.
Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean.
And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.
A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.” Leviticus 20:9-27
I could go on forever. (I suggest the Skeptics Annotated Bible) Christians may call me out for picking on the Old Testament as if it reflects Jesus, whom “initiated a new covenant.” Well, did he?
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest part or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.” Matthew 5:17
No, he didn’t. The God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament. Besides, can God change? That would do away with his omnipotence, wouldn’t it?
So I ask you, if you’re a Christian, please do your own research. Begin with a clean slate. Read the book as it was written. Take note of the things you find immoral, then reflect on those findings.
Is God a monster in disguise?
Then remember that you believe he made you the way are.
Does your own perspective surpass God’s displayed nature? Is it wrong to justify atrocity, barbarity, and cruelty no matter the context?
Yes, I think so.
And if you agree, you’re already better than your god.