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PUTTING THE CHRISTIAN GOD ON TRIAL

By Ben Love ~


Stretch your imagination with me. Let us suppose that somehow the Christian God (Yahweh, the God of the Bible, the “Father” of the Jesus Christ) has not only been located but that he has been charged with “atrocities” and “crimes against humanity.” Imagine the courtroom atmosphere of such an event; the jury, the judge, the witnesses, and the lawyers… Imagine God sitting on the witness stand (just for fun, let us assume he looks a bit like Morgan Freeman, who played God in two films). So yeah, imagine a Morgan Freeman dude who represents the Christian God sitting in the witness stand.

Let us enter that courtroom as a fly on the wall and take the scene from there…

-------------------------------

PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: “State your name for the record, please?”

DEFENDANT: “Uh, God. Well, Yahweh.”

PA: “And where is your place of residence?”

DEFENDANT: “Heaven.”

PA: “And where is that, exactly?”

DEFENDANT: “It’s sort of everywhere, but it also exists in a different dimension.”

PA: (holding the Bible up) “Do you claim to be the author of this document?”

DEFENDANT: “I do.”

PA: (to the judge) “Your Honor, the state submits Item A as evidence. This document, written by the defendant by his own admission will be used later to build a case against his actions.

JUDGE: “So noted.”

PA: “Now, uh, ‘God,’ you were recently located after having been in hiding for several millennia. Could you give us a report of your whereabouts and actions during that time?”

DEFENDANT: “I was in heaven, keeping an eye on things.”

PA: “What does that mean, ‘keeping an eye on things’?”

DEFENDANT: “I have been monitoring the situation.”

PA: “Can you specify what situation you’re referring to?”

DEFENDANT: “Well, the Earth situation. The human situation.”

PA: “What exactly is the nature of this situation?”

DEFENDANT: “Well… I… uh…”

PA: “Do you profess to be the creator of these humans?”

DEFENDANT: “Yes, I do.”

PA: “Why did you create them?”

DEFENDANT: “Well, I was lonely.”

PA: “Lonely?”

DEFENDANT: “Yes.”

PA: “But you call yourself ‘God.’ Are you really a god, and, in fact, The God?”

DEFENDANT: “Yes, I am.”

PA: “How can God be lonely? Doesn’t that imply ‘need?’ How can God have any needs?”

DEFENDANT: “Well, you know… it’s just me up there. The angels are there too, but, they’re kind of like my slaves, so, you know, they don’t make for the best company.”

PA: “Ah, so you created humanity as a distraction? As a diversion? As a means of whiling away the lonely hours, is that it?”

DEFENDANT: “I’m not sure I would put it like that.”

PA: “Let’s assume your reasons for creating humanity were sound, even though I’m not sure that they were, doesn’t this make you responsible for them and their actions?”

DEFENDANT: “I’m not responsible. I gave them free will.”

PA: “Tell us about this ‘free will.’”

DEFENDANT: “I created them with the ability to either choose me or reject me.”

PA: “What happens if they choose you?”

DEFENDANT: “They get to live with me forever.”

PA: “What happens if they reject you?”

DEFENDANT: “I punish them forever.”

(Courtroom gasps)

PA: (to the jury) “The defendant has admitted that he is responsible for giving humanity a free choice, but has also admitted that if they don’t choose correctly, he punishes them for eternity. Ladies and gentleman, what is this if not wanton insanity?

DEFENDANT: “No! It’s not like that! I give them all kinds of opportunities to choose me!”

PA: “Oh? Enlighten us. Such as?”

DEFENDANT: “I… try to lead them, and I sometimes give them the stuff they ask for. And I use the book I wrote to try and draw them to me.”

PA: “You honestly couldn’t have thought of a better way to reveal yourself to these people? If, according to you, their eternal destination is at stake, couldn’t you have been a bit more provocative and intentional in revealing yourself? Especially when we have records of millions of humans desperately seeking you and calling out to you? If you really are an all-powerful God, couldn’t you have been a bit more effective in letting them actually find you?”
  
DEFENDANT: “No, I want them to have faith. Nothing really pleases me like faith.”

PA: “Ah, so you created humanity for your pleasure?”

DEFENDING ATTORNEY (standing up) “Objection, your Honor. My defendant’s motives for creating humanity are not on trial here.”

PA: “Quite the contrary, your Honor. I submit that the defendant’s motives for creating humanity can and should have a relevant bearing on his subsequent interactions with his creations.”

JUDGE: “Overruled. The defendant will answer the question.”

DEFENDANT: “Well, as I said… I was lonely.”

PA: “Yes, you did say that, didn’t you? Well, just so that we can all understand. You were sitting in heaven and one day decided that you needed a planet full of people. So you created the planet, created the people, and then let them do whatever they wanted to do through what you call free will. Is this correct?”

DEFENDANT: “Yes.”

PA: “But you are God, as you have said, yes? Doesn’t this mean that you know everything?”

DEFENDANT: “Yes.”

PA: “So, when you were creating all this, you already knew that most of your creations would not choose you.”

DEFENDANT: “I… yes. The road to heaven… is a narrow one.”

PA: “If it is a narrow one, couldn’t it be said that you, as the creator of all things, made it narrow?”

DEFENDANT: “I… yes… I prefer people to have faith.”

PA: “As you have indicated. So, knowing ahead of time that most of your creations would not choose you, and knowing ahead of time that you were going to refrain from proving yourself to them so that choosing you would be easy for them, you continue to submit that punishing these people for eternity falls under the category of justice?”

DEFENDANT: “YES! YES! How dare they not choose me! I am their Creator!! I am their God!”

PA: (slamming his fist on the table) “Then that makes you responsible! That makes you responsible! If you knew that most humans would end up suffering this punishment, and you didn’t reveal yourself to them when they asked you to, then it is you who should be suffering this eternal punishment, not they! You are their Creator!”

DEFENDANT: “I did suffer punishment! I sent my own son to die for them, after all. He spent three days in hell! I spent three days in hell! I and Jesus are one, after all!”

PA: “Three days?”

DEFENDANT: “Yes.”

PA: “And you assert that this atones for their sinfulness, thus satisfying the punishment?”

DEFENDANT: “Yes.”

PA: “But you have said that their punishment was eternity in hell. You only served three days.”

DEFENDANT: “I…yes, that is…that is correct.”

PA: “Seems to me you gave yourself a slap on the wrist.”

DEFENDANT: “I couldn’t stay in hell, I was needed in heaven.”

PA: “To monitor the situation, correct?”

DEFENDANT: “Yes.”

PA: “Woe to your creations.”

DEFENDANT: “I created them out of love!”

PA: “And with this same love you are carting billions of them off to the fires of hell when it was in your power to convince them.”

DEFENDANT: “I… no! No! I’m a good God! I’m a good God!”

PA: “Then where were you? Where were you? WHERE WERE YOU?”

DA: “Objection, your Honor. The prosecution is badgering my client.”

JUDGE: “Sustained.”

PA: (oblivious) “Where were you? When they called out to you, when they begged you, when they pleaded with tears… WHERE WERE YOU?”

DEFENDANT: “I HAVE ALREADY TOLD YOU! I was in heaven, keeping an eye on the situation. I was watching things unfold.

PA: “And that… is your definition… of good?”

DEFENDANT: “As I said, only faith pleases me. I couldn’t reveal too much to those people. I couldn’t. If I did, they would just know about me rather than believe in me. I don’t like that.”

PA: “So, to satisfy your own pleasure, you’re okay with billions of people roasting in hell so long as it separates those few who did believe in you.”

DEFENDANT: “Yes.”

PA: “You truly are a wasteful God.”

DEFENDANT: “I’m God. I can be anything I want to be.”

PA: “Spoken like a true tyrant. No further questions at this time.”

JUDGE: “Will the defense cross-examine?”

DA: “Not at this time, your Honor.”

JUDGE: (to the defendant): “You may step down.”

PA: “Your Honor, the state would like to call Naheb Rasheek to the witness stand.”
(A middle-aged man of Arabic descent walks through the courtroom, takes his seat, and is sworn in)

PA: “Will you please state your identity?”

RASHEEK: “I am…I mean…I was a farmer.”

PA: “Were, as in past tense?”

RASHEEK: “Yes. I was an Amalekite, living in the land of Canaan in 1406 BC.”

PA: “So you are in fact dead right now.”

RASHEEK: “That is correct. I was returned to my former body to make this appearance.”

PA: “How did you die?”

RASHEEK: “I was murdered.”

PA: “By whom?”

RASHEEK: “A hoard of foreigners who broke in and slit my throat as I sat at my dinner table with my wife and infant son.”

PA: “What can you tell us about these foreigners?”

RASHEEK: “I only saw them for an instant. They killed my son first. They chopped his head off. In the seconds before my throat was slit, I saw one of the foreigners preparing to rape my wife.”

PA: “Can you tell us anything about them?”

RASHEEK: “They  shouted a name as they killed us.”

PA: “Whose name?”

(Rasheek says nothing; he only points to the Morgan-Freeman-God sitting at the defendant table)

PA: “His name? Yahweh?”

RASHEEK: “That’s right.”

PA: “Did you take this to mean they were committing these acts for him?”

RASHEEK: “I did.”

PA: “Where have you been since then?”

RASHEEK: “In hell.”

PA: “What is it like?”

RASHEEK: “It’s too awful to even describe.”

PA: “Do you know why you are serving an eternal sentence there?”

RASHEEK: “I’ve been told it’s because I didn’t believe in him (points to God). But when I was alive, I never even knew he existed.” (a pause). “And even if I had, I wouldn’t have wanted to worship him anyway.”

PA: “Why not?”

(another pause)

RASHEEK: “Because he apparently needed the blood of my son to satisfy his divine plan.”

PA: “No further questions.”

JUDGE:  “Will the defense cross-examine?”

DA: “Not at this time, your Honor.”

JUDGE: (to the witness): “You may step down.”

PA: “Your Honor, the state would like to call Levi Bar-Japeth to the witness stand.”

(a young man of Semitic descent walks through the courtroom, takes his seat on the stand, and is sworn in)

PA: “Will you please state your identity?”

BAR-JAPETH: “I was an Israelite warrior.”

PA: “But you were killed in a battle when you were only nineteen, is that right?”

BAR-JAPETH: “That’s right.”

PA: “On the day of your death, do you recall forcing your way into an Amalekite home in Canaan and chopping the head off of a boy as he sat at dinner with his family?”

BAR-JAPETH: “I do.”

PA: “You seem like a nice guy. Can you tell us why you would do something like that?”

BAR-JAPETH: “We wanted the land.”

PA: “The land?”

BAR-JAPETH: “Yeah, the promised land. He promised it to us. He told us that if we would just do everything he said, we could have it.”

PA: “He?”

BAR-JAPETH: (points to God) “Him.”

PA: “God told you to chop off that boy’s head?”

BAR-JAPETH: “Well, he told us to take the land and slaughter the inhabitants.”

PA: “But surely he didn’t mean the children as well.”

BAR-JAPETH: “He specifically told us to kill the children.”

DA: “Objection, your Honor. That is the witness’s opinion.”

PA: “On the contrary, your Honor.” (holds up the Bible) “The defendant has identified this book as a work of his authorship. It is recorded specifically in the pages of this book that the witness is telling the truth. Allow me to read it to the court?”

JUDGE: “Overruled. You may.”

PA: (flips to the page) “Taken from 1 Samuel 15: ‘“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’” (to Bar-Japeth) “Is this the command you refer to?”

BAR-JAPETH: “It is.”

PA: “No further questions.”

JUDGE: “Will the defense cross-examine?”

DA: “Yes. Mr. Bar-Japeth, you said that my client ordered you and your brethren to commit this alleged act of genocide.”

BAR-JAPETH: “Yes.”

DA: “Did you object to this command?”

BAR-JAPETH: “No.”

DA: “Why not?”

BAR-JAPETH: “He was our God. We trusted that if he told us to do something, that is what needed to happen.”

DA: “So you were just following orders, is that it?”

BAR-JAPETH: “Yes.”

DA: “Isn’t it possible you committed that heinous act because you saw profit for yourself?”

PA: “Objection, your Honor. We have already established the record for the command exists in the very book the defendant claims to be his own work of authorship.”

JUDGE: “Sustained.”

DA: (sigh) No further questions.

PA: (to the jury) “Ladies and gentleman, I submit to you that the defendant is guilty of egregious crimes against humanity. Further, I submit that the evidence stated here implies that this God is not God, nor was he ever God. He is a charlatan. A fake. The state rests, your Honor.”
-------------------------------

Now, what would your verdict be if you were on the jury? Is the defendant guilty of crimes against humanity?


(This has been an excerpt from my published collection of essays, The Absurdity of God, published under my real name: Michael Vito Tosto.)



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