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The Problem With God

Jo Parker- no more shame! ~

There are many questions about god I have been asking since I was a child. I have yet to find any acceptable answers to these questions. There are many problems with the christian concept of god. If god can do anything, can he be bad? If he can’t be bad, he is limited and not all-powerful. If he can be bad, we can not trust him. What is Free Will? Biblical Free will is not “free”. If someone holds a gun to your head, but tells you that you are free to go, do you really feel free in that choice? What is the biblical definition of unconditional love? Telling someone to love you “or else” is not unconditional love. It is, in fact, the very definition of conditional love. Threatening someone with eternal torture if they will not stay with you and worship you is maniacal and abusive.

If we study the bible, how can we walk away from it trusting god? We know from Genesis that god’s word cannot be trusted. God breaks promises from the start. Remember that he gave humans Free Will in The Beginning. Before the first chapter in the bible is complete, he wipes out the entire planet in a fit of rage because these same humans exercised their free will. I think it should be renamed “expensive will”. Also, according to Genesis, this rage-induced genocide was precipitated by the fact that God’s own angels (the sons of god) went down to earth from heaven to have sex with women they found irresistible (the daughters of men). From the way it is written, we have no way to know if this sex was even consensual, or if the daughters of men were aware that they were fornicating with angels. Like in the garden, when God cursed all of man and womankind for a sin that was committed before Adam and Eve had the knowledge to discern between good and evil, this appears to be another case of humans being punished by God for wrongs they could not comprehend. We are to believe this god is just?

It is also important to note that God directly orders the capture and rape of virgins in the Old Testament, and it is also OT law that rape victims must marry their rapists. God readily condones the buying and trading of human beings as slaves, while implicitly stating that the Israelites should treat ‘their own’ people better. This is a God who: goes back on his word, commits acts of genocide, orders the murder and rapes of tens of thousands in the OT, and is wholly unjust in his condemnation of those who did not understand their so-called crimes. How can we even believe that if we repent and follow him, he will spare us eternal suffering? We know from Job that he has no qualms whatsoever with allowing his adversary to torture his most devoted follower, simply so he could show off how devoted Job is to him. I know I have witnessed men mistreat their girlfriends and wives in public, doing so to boost their ego and show off how their property obeys them at their disrespectful beck and call. This God is an ego-maniacal megalomaniac with extra mania and maniac on the side. He is jealous, vindictive, petty, and cruel. The bible says we were created in the image of God. No wonder we have so many problems.

Many Christians wish to downplay the Old Testament. They point out that God sent his son to die for our sins so that we may have eternal life. God did this as an act of incredible love, they say. There are too many problems with this to fully describe in one sitting. I know there are books on the subject. Here are a few of the problems. First, Jesus is the son of God, but he is also God. So, God sent himself to die for our “sin”, which is a concept he created. There would be no such thing as sin, except he decided to make us defective and unworthy of him, calling this defect our ‘sinful nature’. Coincidentally, the only cure for it is to grovel to him. Again, we have the Free Will to be cured of our problem (he can make us whole and forgiven), but we must repent and follow him… OR ELSE. He could have absolved our alleged sin that he gave us in any way he wanted. Why did he choose human sacrifice? And what is up with all the animal sacrifice in the OT? Why is this God so bloodthirsty, and why do more people not question it? Whatever, he chose human sacrifice because he wanted it that way.

Moving on…

Christians want to downplay the Old Testament, primarily because the OT God is so malicious and evil. But you can’t discount it and be a true Christian. Jesus himself said that he came not to abolish the law of the OT, but to fulfill it! I’m going to skip past many other things that could be said here in order to cut to the chase. Christians like to ignore God and focus on Jesus. When protestant sects attempt to recruit new members (save souls, whatever), they highlight the loving, forgiving, peaceful nature of Jesus. While I could pull out quite a few problems with Jesus to show you, it is true that Jesus is much kinder, gentler, and softer than his dad. What is too often glossed over or completely ignored is that the point of Jesus is to get us to be with God, his father. Yes, that same evil, cackling, untrustworthy lunatic I was talking about earlier is THE reason for Jesus. If you are going to tell me that I should accept Jesus as my savior so that I might be forgiven and one day spend all of eternity with that God up there, YOU are crazy. I’d rather not. While the bible has plenty of unflattering things to say about the devil, he doesn’t seem to do much beyond tempt people. If I thought I had to make a choice between the two, I would definitely choose eternal life in hell to escape that God. I don’t make such a statement lightly. In fact, I made this choice at age 15, before I was able to fully discard this belief system. It was an important step in my journey to enlightenment.

How can women willingly follow this doctrine? If you are a christian woman, you are nothing but an afterthought to god and an asset to men. You are responsible for sin and for the cursing of all of mankind. It does not matter what kind of pious life you lead. Nothing can make up for what one woman did before you, thousands of years before you were born. This god holds all of us responsible for acts committed by people we never knew. They are known as generational curses, and modern christians still very much believe in them. According to the Old and New Testaments, you are property. If a man rapes you, you must marry your rapist. If you are married, there is no such thing as rape, because your husband OWNS your ass. It is your duty to lie there and take it. No is not an option. It is true that this verse is followed by I Peter 3:7, which states:

“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” 

Any woman who is not fully insulted by that verse isn’t accessing all of her mental faculties. This verse calls you weak and appeals to your husband to be understanding of that. Who is he accountable to, though? He’s accountable to god- the same god who orders the kidnapping and rape of women by the thousands in the Old Testament- and god alone. Somehow, this accountability system does NOT make me feel more comfortable. Women, you are worth nothing more than cattle; and if you are barren, you aren’t worth anything. You must not teach. You must be silent. Submit to your husband. Shut the fuck up. Your sin got us here! I often wonder how christian women have any self-esteem or self-worth, or if they simply had it beaten out of them in Sunday school.

But how does any christian, male or female, have any self-worth? Without god, you are nothing. Jesus said in John 15:5-6: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” Your life has no meaning or value without him. The bible tells us not to be concerned with things of this world. If the world is so horrible and bad, why did god make it? Why did he put us here? When I still believed, I came to a point that I had to question his motives. Everything seemed like a fucking joke to god, like he put us here for his amusement. If you read the bible, you will find that is exactly the truth, too. Those who don’t comply with his “plan” will burn in hell for all eternity. Sounds great. Where do I sign up?

Of course, the biggest problem with god is that he’s fictional, and human reason can easily defeat the concept. Once you realize that all of god’s attributes, aside from being supposedly capable of smiting us, are petty, human qualities, it’s easy to see that men made him up. Whoever did make him up did not do a very good job. Once Christians stop focusing on small passages and look at the larger themes and narrative, they can’t be unseen. This is why Catholics were not allowed to read the bible for so many centuries. I hear new Christians discouraged from reading the bible alone all the time. They must be taught how to read it. It is for the same reason Islamic clerics do not advocate for literacy.

This book is far too problematic, as is the Koran. Why do so many people blindly follow? I think it’s difficult to break away from what is socially acceptable, popular, and pushed upon us as children. I know that my family is not accepting of me as an unbeliever. Many of us were indoctrinated, lost, lonely, confused, and easily led. But this is no excuse! If you are questioning this garbage, you are not alone. There are others out there. And there are people, like me, who have made it through safely to the other side.

The problem with god is that we need him because we’re broken. How do we know we’re broken? Because god told us we are. How do we become whole? Well, god has the answer for that, too, coincidentally. It’s a house of cards. It looks formidable and impenetrable, but ask a few simple questions, and it all comes crashing down.

It took me a lifetime to finally admit the truth: none of this matters. It’s not true. What happens to me when I die? I don’t know, but I have no control over it. I hope nothing happens. It took me many years to get here because I believed the most damaging message this religion purports, that I am broken and worthless. I needed for this god to be real. I needed something to fix me. I understand today that I am okay. I am valuable. I was not born sinful and ugly and needing redemption. Repent? For what? My heart is not ugly. My heart is beautiful.

Some may ask why I felt the need to throw the baby Jesus out with the bathwater. The answer is simple: the baby Jesus died a long, long time ago, and the bathwater is filthy.