Fundamentalism is in denial over their God’s immorality.
Have you ever heard a fundamentalist preacher carrying on about the devastating effects of teaching evolution? They say, “If people believe evolution is true then humans will behave like monkeys . . . there will be no right or wrong and immorality will run rampant.”
Such preaching provokes me to ask: why is teaching that humans are created in the image of the Bible’s God more beneficial than teaching that monkeys might in some way be distantly related to humans? Comparing the Bible’s God with monkeys should not be too difficult.
The Bible’s God acknowledges he creates evil and darkness (Is. 45:7; Lam. 3:38; Amos 3:6). He also claims to be justified in condemning all humanity to eternal punishment because of Adam and Eve’s foreknown disobedience (Rom.5:18). His stopgap plan of salvation, improvised before the foundation of the world (I Pet.1:19-20; Rev.13:8) to solve the sin problem of his creation, provided for only a mere fraction of Adam’s descendants. However, the Bible’s God absolves himself of all responsibility (no wonder the White House worships him) and claims that the humans he created in his image are to blame for sin. Excuse me, but I cannot imagine a monkey engaging in premeditated failure, nor condemning other monkeys for a crime that they did not commit, nor demanding a degree of punishment far in excess of the alleged act, especially if the monkey in charge is himself the creator of evil. Would not such egregious actions be beneath the moral standards of monkeys?
God’s further actions expose his character. God sent lying spirits (II Chron. 18:22) and tells his prophet Samuel to lie (I Sam.16.2) even though he commanded Israel not to bear false witness (Ex.20:16). He instigates the gang rape of David’s completely innocent concubine as punishment for David’s sin (II Sam. 12:11) showing God’s standard of justice. God orders Saul to slay “man, woman, infant, and suckling” (I Sam 15:3) showing God’s concern for the sanctity of life.
In over 45 instances in the Old Testament, God either personally kills or orders Israel to kill people, once for an offense as slight as picking up sticks on the Sabbath (Num.15:32-36). This God qualifies as a serial killer. In the New Testament, he tortures people for eternity. Humane parents have a constructive, redemptive purpose in punishment. This inhumane God has no purpose other than punishment for the sake of punishment. He makes Saddam Hussein’s Abu Ghraib torture chambers look like a playpen. To worship this God, one must relish sadomasochism.
Is Jesus different? The Sermon on the Mount and instances of Jesus’ showing mercy and forgiveness offer some hope. However, as we read on, we find Jesus typifies the saying, “like father, like son.” Jesus declares that all who believe in him shall do the same works he did (Jn.14:12), which if true means Christians should turn water into wine, heal the blind, deaf, and sick, plus raise the dead. Jesus tells his disciples they will not taste death before his coming again in glory (Mt.16:28), which means those disciples must still be alive because Jesus’ second coming has yet to happen. At Jesus’ trial, Jesus states that he taught nothing in secret (Jn.18:19) though he taught secrets to his disciples (Mt. 10-17). Jesus, in unstinted Inquisitional form, justifies slaying those who do not submit to him as Lord (Lk.19:27). Though Jesus promised he would return “quickly” (Rev.22:7, 12, & 20), his 2,000 year postponement indicates returning “quickly” was just another ill-informed promise to break. A brief summation is Jesus does not practice what he preaches, Jesus tells some absolute whoppers, and Jesus shows the same authoritarian murderous instinct as his immutable father Jehovah. “I, the Lord, do not change.” (Mal.3:6)
What monkey has such a sordid history as the Bible’s God? If the only alternative in choosing an ancestor were between the Bible’s God and monkeys, any moral person would choose monkeys. Now we have a hint as to why The Treaty of Tripoli negotiated under George Washington, unanimously ratified by the US Senate and signed into law by John Adams states, “The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” Our founding fathers knew the Bible.
Sacrifice for the sake of a good cause is normal, but to be in denial about the glaringly reprehensible actions of the cause’s founder indicates severe psychological dysfunction. Many theists and liberal Christian theologians wrestle with these problems. As a result, they reject fundamentalism’s biblical literalism and instead search for a deeper meaning in the myth of the Genesis creation story.
Whether it concerns Galileo Galilei or Charles Darwin, religion has an established history of fighting science whenever it threatens their belief system. Fundamentalism’s biblical literalism depreciates and distorts rational, evidence-based scientific thinking. Evolution has progressed in the last 150 years from an idea, to a workable hypothesis, to a provable theory. Its supporting evidence is overwhelming, just as it is that the earth is neither flat nor the center of the universe.
Maybe it is time fundamentalists appreciated monkeys a little more!
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