As the days go by, I see more excuses from Christians on why their god do is hands-off when awful things happen. It’s easy for me as an atheist; there is no evidence for a god so I am not surprised when no gods show up in response to a violent event or in response to prayers of any kind. But without this acceptance of reality, for the theist, it’s a problem. They must come up with excuses so they may preserve their belief in such a being. They’ve invested a lot of time and self-worth in religion. I did the same when I was a Christian. If they’re wrong about this, what else might they be wrong about? If you have never considered yourself wrong, it’s a very scary thing to contemplate. Especially if that “wrongness” has supposedly eternal implications that involve eternal torture.
(To the Christians that follow my blog, if you follow it looking for a way out of your religion by seeing what an atheist has as arguments against that religion, pay attention to the following. I encourage you to ask me questions too. Challenge me if you don’t think i’m right. If you are following my blog to see if you can pray the Christian back into an atheist, well, at this point hundreds of Christians have claimed to be praying for me for decades now and they’ve failed.)
It seems that in the wake of the Newtown murders, the favorite excuse is that God is somehow teaching someone a lesson by not interfering. I see lovely little quotes like “When you ask questions of god, remember the teacher is quiet during a test”. This was a supposedly anonymous quote and I can see why with its ignorant vapidity, a perfect excuse for a non-existent god. We have vermin like William Lane Craig deciding that he’s so special his god found it acceptable to allow children to be killed just to remind WLC about Christmas. I guess nativity scenes at every church and many secular buildings aren’t enough. Fischer from the poorly named American Family Association is sure that his god is a “gentleman” and that’s why it doesn’t do anything. Alas, for Fischer, he portrays his god as less gentleman and more whiny jealous brat.
Let’s see what the bible has about this god and its interactions with humanity. We see that claiming this god is “hands off” is rather silly.
God hanging out with A&E and making clothes for them. But god can’t be bothered to keep the “snake” out of the garden.
God playing favorites and inciting the first murder.
God deciding to kill everyone on earth because they were “evil”. He lets 8 live; one is a drunkard and this drunkard curses (by the power of this god) the son of Ham, his son who “saw him naked”, a common euphemism for having sex with his wife.
The tower of Babel that God needs to tear down because humans might, hmmm get to him on a tall building? He has to make everyone speak a different language (no matter that a chapter before, the bible says people already spoke different languages).
God forces a man to oppose God’s will so he can show off (see the Pharoah Exodus 9:12, Exodus 10, verses 1, 20, 27, 11:10, 14:8 and other people Joshua 11:10. Also see the murdering of the first born who had no choices at all.). God also forces the Egyptians to give all of their gold and silver to the Israelites and forces them to like these supposed “slaves”.
God directly kills Uzzah for daring to touch his magical box when it was about to fall off a cart.
God interferes with battle after battle all through the OT.
God gambles with his supposed archenemy and sets up the murder of Job’s family, doing nothing to stop it. He finally does admit that he was wrong and tries to pay off Job like a mafia don.
Now, we can cue the Christians who claim “But, but, that was the Old Testament.”
Let’s go to the New Testament too.
God decides that rather than all of his other attempts from before, setting up a covenant, telling people to keep the law, etc, now one must accept this new rule for being counted as the “chosen people”. Nothing like changing the rules mid-stream and setting up another whole line of direct interference.
God decides to directly impregnate a human.
Jesus/God heals/raises various people from the dead, choosing who lives and dies, but not bothering telling humanity about, oh, germ theory.
Jesus/God gathers people in the thousands and feeds them by a miracle. He also evidently hides them from the Roman occupiers when gathering what amounts to a legion just outside of Jerusalem.
Jesus/God makes that famous wine. Rather hard on the wine sellers, you know 🙂
Jesus/God intentionally makes people unable to understand and accept them (Matt 13, Mark 4, Luke 8, such a careless sower is this god). Followed up in Romans where it says that some people really are just objects to be destroyed for a “lesson” and too bad for them. Yep, this god can be exactly like Huckabee et al claim he is, right in the bible. My Christian audience, if you are horrified by what Huck said, take a look for yourself.
The apostles do miracles, healing and raising the dead in Acts. It does bring up that people can do just like them but without god. No way given on how one tells.
Acts also says that Paul did miracles just like the apostles (even blinding a man with magical god powers) but funny how Paul never mentions those supposed detailed miracles *once*, only claiming “signs and powers” vaguely.
And now we’ll hear, “But, but, that was a special time, so it doesn’t happen now.”
That would make all of the claims of their brethren about how this god does miracles constantly in the here and now false.
We hear “but but, God answers prayers for only TrueChristians.”
Who shall we believe? Care to pray to this god like Elijah did for a concrete example of how this god answers prayers?
And how about in the supposed future “End times”, where God takes a hand and kills everyone “evil” in a final battle in Revelation? Jesus rules over the believers for some time. Then, God releases his archenemy from captivity in the pit to corrupt people who believe in this god for one more showdown. God does like to keep his hand in and make sure some people never have a choice. Poor puny humans.
So much for a god that remains separate to allow its children to learn for themselves and make their own decisions.
It seems that the corner that many Christians are backing into is coming up fast
I’ve seen a lot of Christians ask why atheists bother to attack their myths, their glurgy little poems insisting that everyone who is murdered is up in heaven and their pious pratings that their god used this horror to teach or that this god “works in mysterious ways”. The claim is usually “But it makes us feel better, so you just don’t mention how ridiculous it is.” From my perspective, a good reason to attack such things is because they are all pretty but poisonous lies, dependent solely on making up your own version of an imaginary friend that you can cope with. Along with contradicting what theists have already claimed about their gods, it removes responsibility for such awful actions from us simple humans. If we don’t accept that it is us that can be the enemy, we’ll never learn and we’ll never fix it. “It’s God’s will” has never fixed a problem and has caused many.
As a finale, Cardinal Tim Dolan (you know the fellow who has no trouble with paying off priests who were pedophiles?), has said that one of the teachers who was murdered at Newtown was “like Jesus” and that the “world” was awed by Jesus and her. No, Dolan, a good part of the world is not impressed by your Jesus and as for Ms. Murphy, she was better. She was a caring human being, not an imaginary character that does all of the stupid things mentioned above. She did something real and valuable. She had no miracles to call upon to change reality and not make a real sacrifice. It’s a pity that you think your imaginary friend, that you use to be hateful, is anything like one decent human being. Your god will damn children per your ever-so-special “church fathers” and has no problem working with evil and selfishness and death. (Oh yes, I know your church subsequently made up Limbo and then decided to ignore that and claim that Augustine was conveniently wrong in certain bits in 2007. Just more retroactive cherry picking or hmm, your god must mumble like Pat Robertson’s.) I doubt that this woman would have been so petty.
Postscript – the above list of divine interference is obviously not complete. A couple more: God kills David’s son to “punish” David (david just shrugs once the child is dead) Sodom and Gomorrah where God has to take a direct hand yet again.