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Not Perfect, Just Unforgiving

By Astreja

Somewhere in the squirrels-on-crack illogic of Christian lay apologetics can be found a concept most bizarre: Biblegod as a "perfect" being.

After listening to various believers prattle on about their imaginary friend, I came to the conclusion that a lot of Christians have a frightfully low standard for "perfection."

Let's start with Genesis, Chapter 2 and the Garden of Eden fable. Somehow Mr. Perfect thought it would be a good idea to put two magic trees in the Garden but specifically prohibit the tenants from enjoying the fruit of Tree #2. As any sane parent knows, it's a bad idea to bake cookies and leave them on a plate on the coffee table, then tell the kids "Ah-ah-ah! Don't touch!"

And after the kids have been caught with chocolate smears on their faces and cookie crumbs all over the living room rug, no sane parent would toss the kids out on the street and hire an armed security guard to keep the kids from coming back in.

Don't even start with that Talking Snake™ business -- If there was a Talking Snake™ in Your house, exhorting toddlers to eat cookies, play with the pretty bottles under the kitchen sink or order Babylonian porn videos on Your credit card, You'd be phoning every pest control place in town to get Yourself a good snake trap.

The logical conclusion we can draw from the Eden myth:
  • Biblegod let things get totally out-of-hand (in which case it has flawed omniscience and/or flawed power); or
  • Biblegod deliberately let things go to hell in a handbasket to "test" Adam and Eve, knowing full well that they would fail the test (in which case its morality is flawed).
Either way, this is not a coherent or useful representation of a "perfect" being.

Now, let's talk about forgiveness... Or rather, the lack of forgiveness exhibited by the god of the Bible. Let's start with Eden: Instead of expelling Adam and Eve for an action that they could not take back, why didn't Biblegod use the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil as a teachable moment?

Specifically in the Christian reinterpretation of Genesis, which spawned the absurd and unconscionable concept of Original Sin: Why didn't Biblegod start fresh with the new generation, or wipe out Adam and Eve and start again without magic trees and Talking Snakes™?

Why the emphasis on blood sacrifice? Why the incessant wars against unbelieving nations? Why the winner-takes-all brawl in the book of Revelation?

No, Biblegod is not "perfect" in any meaningful sense. He also seems to carry grudges for an unreasonably long period of time.

My question to our Christian visitors is this: If you wouldn't put up with this kind of behaviour from your next-door-neighbour, why do you tolerate it as part of your religious beliefs? Surely you can do better than this.