Saturday, May 17, 2008

God the Father: A God of Love?

The following description of the Christian god was sent to me by a faithful believer, but what is stated here is by no means unique to this individual believer. It tells us all we need to know about the Christian worldview in a nutshell:

He allowed His own Son to be tortured, mocked, spit upon and beaten beyond recognition, then crucified on the cross to die for your sin, my sin and the sins of all mankind.

What father allows "his own son to be tortured, mocked, spit upon and beaten beyond recognition, then crucified on the cross to die" for someone else's misdeeds? Answer: the first member of the Christian trinity allows this. And it is apparently proud of doing so.

Christians refer to the god described above as a “Father,” and rejoice in counting themselves among its “children.” They claim that their god is a "God of love," and its greatest act of love is said to be the sacrifice of its own son. Its son was the ideal man, they say, flawless in every possible way, morally, spiritually, intellectually, etc. And this innocent son’s father deliberately sacrificed it for the sake of totally depraved beneficiaries. This god’s greatest act of love, then, was the sacrifice of the ideal for the sake of the non-ideal.

Christian witnesses clearly take delight in telling non-believers about how their god sacrificed its own son, as if we would find this attractive in some way. Believers find it attractive because ultimately they seek the unearned and do not understand the relationship between love and values, and between values and human life. They think love finds its greatest expression not only in sacrifice, but also in death. For in Christianity, the two are wedded in a marriage arranged in heaven. "Greater love hath no man than this," it is written in John 15:13, "that a man lay down his life for his friends."

Who desires that his friend lay down his life for him? Who would want to gain from the sacrifice of someone he calls "friend"? Who in good conscience could live with the knowledge that his friend gave up his life so that he could... do what? And who would want to be the friend of someone who expects such sacrifice as a term of friendship?

As a parent myself, I would never allow what the Christian describes above to happen to my child. In fact, on my understanding of love, it would be an utter contradiction to say that a parent who did allow this to happen to his child, loves his child. To call the destruction of something you value “love” is to destroy the concept of love by obliterating its genetic roots. For values are the genetic root of the concept of love. But clearly Christianity divorces the concept of love from one's values, for the sacrifice of values - i.e., their surrender to something beneath them - is the ideal according to the Christian scheme of things.
Even more, it would be anathema to good parenting to look to someone who willingly allows such things to happen to his own child as a model of good parenting. Good parenting requires one's devotion to values, not the willingness (or, as we find in the Christian gospel formula, the eagerness) to sacrifice values. Indeed, love is devotion to one's values, not indifference, not animosity, not what the Christian gospel formula models.

So the question now comes to, who would want to become a child of a father whose love is expressed by sacrificing his own son? Who would want a "father" who allows such carnage to happen to his own child to become his adopted parent? A Christian would. So who would want to become a Christian? Someone who sees the sacrifice of one’s only son as an act of love.

Carnage is obviously very important to this god, in spite of the religion's emphasis on "the spirit." For without carnage, its "plan" could never be fulfilled. Carnage is integral to the plan. Without carnage, there is no salvation. Believers typically try to justify this by saying that carnage is what gave rise to the need for salvation in the first place. But this only shows how hard they've fallen for the scam. For if you posit a perfect creator, how can you have any imperfection in its creation? If there is any imperfection in the creation, its creator could not, by definition, be perfect. With an omnipotent creator, any flaw is traceable back to the creator. The Christian notion of "perfect" is just another stolen concept.

And notice the implications this has for the Christian view of justice. Justice in Christianity involves sacrificing the ideal for the sake of the non-ideal; and its model of justice enshrines the punishment of the just for the crimes of the unjust. Meanwhile, opportunity (i.e., "grace") is extended to the unjust to escape their rightful penalty, which means those perpetrators of crime who sanction this twisted view of justice, need not pay for their crimes. On the Christian model of justice, the good must be sacrifice for the sake of the evil.

How is any of this just? What father would consider it "just" to turn his own child over to a squad of vicious thugs for the express purpose of being "tortured, mocked, spit upon and beaten beyond recognition, then crucified on the cross to die"? Christianity calls such a father "a God of Love." It calls its god "merciful,"

Now someone who admits to choosing to believe that such a being exists, to choosing to worship a father whose greatest act of love is the sacrifice of his innocent son for the sake of guilty criminals, acknowledges in his admission that it is simply a matter of choice, that his belief is ultimately arbitrary. This “love” that the Christian has for his god who sends its own son to die a convict’s excruciating death, is the ultimate presupposition, the “heart commitment,” of the Christian worldview.

And people wonder why we're concerned about the state of the world...

by Dawson Bethrick