Archive for February, 2011

Once upon a time I was a public school teacher. When you are a public school teacher, you are generally also what’s known as a “mandatory reporter”. This means that if you suspect child abuse, you are legally obliged to report any evidence to the appropriate authorities.

During this close re-reading of the Old Testament, I am pretty well convinced that if God were the father of one of my public school students, I would be reporting his omnipotent ass to the DCFS ASAP.

Here are some choice nuggets from Genesis:

  • He places his children in a garden, naked and unsupervised. They are to work for Him, tending the garden (2:15)
  • He then leaves a tree in the middle of the garden that they’re not meant to touch; if they do, “[they] shall surely die” (3:4)
  • When they actually eat the fruit, it contains a mind-altering substance (“and the eyes of them both were opened”- 3:7)
  • In return for eating the fruit which He left out in the open, He curses them and evicts them from the only home they’ve ever known (3:16-24).
  • When He gets bored by/angry with his children, He drowns all but a few of them (Chapter 7), who have to build a boat from scratch in order to survive his wrath.
  • To Abram/Abraham, He gives riches, land, and Isaac, a cherished son– whom He then asks Abraham to sacrifice like a sheep. Just before Abraham goes through with it, God says “Psych! I just wanted to see if you’d obey me.” This is sociopathic.

We won’t even get in to Exodus– dicking Moses around for hitting the rock instead of speaking to it is kind of OT God’s “I TOLD YOU NO WIRE HANGERS, EVER!!1!!” moment. And we won’t touch the Book of Job here, either, because I’ll be covering it in more detail later.

It’s manifest to me thatĀ Old Testament God is not a loving father. He’s a nasty, petty, capricious tribal deity. I’m glad we don’t see much of Him anymore.


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