Friday, January 30, 2015

Big Honking Bible Basher

First of all, I have Christians, atheists, Jews, Deists, and Muslims in my family, so "interesting" conversations can take place at any time. My friends are even more diverse. I am an Ignostic Humanist.

Last night I met with my daughter and ex-wife for them to get tattoos. They'd decided on a bible verse for both of them. I said I didn't understand why Christians got bible verses tattooed on them when Jesus said not to pray in public. Both said He didn't say that. I shared the verse with them on facebook when I got home; Matthew 6:5-6: "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men....when thou prayest, enter into thy closet and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret...."

My brother, Mike, another Christian, then commented, "Let's play devils advocate for a second and assume there is no God, Rock. Do you really think you're helping people or being a good friend or good father by bashing Him everyday online?"

I replied, "Define bashing. I said last night that I didn't understand why people get bible verses tattooed on them when Jesus said not to pray publicly. Lisa and Raeny both said he didn't say that. I shared the verse. I didn't bash anyone.

If there is no God wouldn't you want to know? If you wore a big heavy parachute 24/7 for years in case you ever had to jump out of a plane and then one day someone had you open it and look inside and you found out it wasn't a parachute after all, but a backpack full of comic books, wouldn't you be glad you hadn't waited until you jumped out of a plane to find out and be happy to know the truth and stay away from planes as much as possible?"

I believe the truth does set us free and that it demands empirical evidence. How is this bashing?

I have said for many years that I believe a parent's job is to make themselves unnecessary to thier children. Most people would agree with that statement, but if I applied it to the bible then I would be bashing God. According to the bible, God, in His perfection, created man exactly how He wanted him, flawed and capable of sin. Did God take a gamble and hope that even though He gave man Free Will that man would never exercise it? It wasn't a gamble if He is All Knowing. If you believe God is All Knowing, then He created man flawed and then blamed man and gave him a punishment of eternal torment if he didn't remain entirely dependent on Him for everything. How is that good parenting? Social Services would've taken us away long before the bible got to Leviticus.

I love my child. She is now a legal adult and she still makes mistakes. I hope that I have guided her well enough that there won't be too many that are tremendously life altering. When our children are young, we try to protect them from the world. When they become teenagers, we try to protect them from themselves. We don't lock them in a tiny room, turn them into ever obedient slaves, and try to hide them from the world.

I have a dog, Girly, that I love too. I feed her, provide her shelter, take care of her medical needs, walk her numerous times a day, and try to keep the fleas at bay. She is bright, funny, loving, very eager to please, but still a dog. She'll bark at the wrong people, wants to chase squirrels, and gets excited over stuff only dogs understand. I still love her company and accept that she is a dog. However, she is my property and responsibility, not my child. Its a whole different set of expectations, rules, and liabilities.

Which set of  expectations, rules, and liabilities does God DEMAND in the bible, the ones we give our children or the ones we give our property?

These are just aspects of what I see as a morally and intellectually flawed religion due to its doctrine and dogma. It has nothing to do with what I believe about the inerrancy of the bible or the existence of one or many gods. Separate discussion there.

If you are going to argue in favor of the bible, you should read and study it first. Unfortunately when you aren't being instructed as to which parts to read and how to interpret them by people making their living telling you where, when, how, what, and why to believe, it tends to fall apart and create more anti-theists than believers. That's why so many young adults become atheists in college when away from home for the first time. It isn't temptation, its intellectual freedom.

If asking intelligent questions is bible bashing, then I am a big honking bible basher. My intent is to seek the truth, wherever I may find it, no matter how uncomfortable it or the journey might be. Plato said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." I think that has to apply to faith as well as the rest of it.

1 comment:

  1. It's funny how using the Bible in a way consistent with it's intent is considered Bible bashing, but what you've really done is exposed Christians to the words of Jesus.

    I run into that problem a lot too.


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