Tuesday, October 22, 2019

"Sorry Guys, It's Still Immoral" - A Response To CMI (part 6)

This blog post is part 6 in a series responding to the Creation Ministries International article, "Is The Bible Immoral?", where I take a rational look at the claims made by one of the more prominent Christian apologetics organisations in its defence that the Bible is not an immoral book.

Previous posts here:
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5.

The next section of "
Is The Bible An Immoral Book?" is headed "
What about Jesus?"

(Note: CMI have a plethora of articles available to peruse over at https://creation.com/qa, including some which may already answer points I have made in this series. Head on over, have a read, compare both sides of the argument!)

-----
The narrator claims that Jesus is evil for endorsing the law for killing the person who curses his father and mother...

While I don't personally believe the character of Jesus to be outright evil, it doesn't make sense that someone who is known for love and mercy to endorse religious laws that command execution of people who curse their mother or father. 
Or to endorse slavery.
Or to endorse torture.
Or to encourage men to leave their family members behind, which actually meant condemning the rest of the family to poverty and hardship.

To the apologists who try to say that Jesus meant "leave your family and follow me" metaphorically, answer this: did Jesus command the disciples to follow him literally, or merely metaphorically?

But considering Jesus is quoted as saying that he came not to bring peace, but a sword, and that he came to turn family members against each other, how many hits can the 'shield of context' sustain before you realise that maybe Jesus could indeed have been a bit of a dick? 

---
First, we must understand the law that Jesus is citing. It’s not talking about someone who says in a fit of rage “I wish you were dead!” but someone who undertakes a more serious rejection of their parents, saying in effect, “I am no longer your child, I deny any obligation to support you in your old age, and I wish you nothing but harm.” 

Firstly, that is but one interpretation of the scriptures. How do you know you have the correct interpretation, and that everyone else is wrong, considering the amount of different interpretations possible?

Second, fact check! If someone says to their parents "I am no longer your child and I deny obligation to support you", refuses to support them, and then the law of God says to have that person killed, aren't you then ensuring that the parents have no support in their old age by killing the very person who is best-placed to support them?

But thirdly, I think the bigger problem is this: what punishment is there on parents who abuse their children, be it physically, emotionally, psychologically, monetarily or otherwise? The Bible-thumpers want to scare you with the fear of God for not respecting your parents, but there is no onus on the parents to ensure that their children grow up emotionally healthy. Heck, God even condemns parents to eat their children when he feels pernicious enough.

(Now, before you have a go at me, I do know that the epistles say things like "Fathers, do not embitter your children", or "Fathers, do not exasperate your children". But God himself never said those things - it was the apostle Paul!
Also, there are no threats of death as a consequence - Paul apparently feels so strongly about consensual adult sexual activity in 1 Corinthians 5 that he wants a guy handed to Satan no less, but for someone who abuses their children, he has nothing to say, except a meek and weak "guys, pretty please don't make your children angry"!)

---
In an era before widespread charity (brought about by a Christian worldview), or government welfare...

The first known examples of government welfare was one instituted by the pagan Roman empire, and then we have examples of welfare in the ancient Chinese culture.
So the fact that the Christian West also came up with welfare programs clearly demonstrates the fact that because many cultures independently came up with state-sponsored welfare programs, state-sponsored welfare programs don't need a God to inspire them.

You can't say that because the Christian West came up with government welfare, government welfare was instituted because of the Christian West.

But the author's assertion that it was the Christian worldview that created widespread charity is clearly knocked on the head that it wasn't God who instituted widespread charity - it was the culture that created the charity, not the religion.

And even if you did want to credit the concept of welfare systems as broad as what we see in the western world to Christianity, why has it taken almost 2000 years for this to happen?

---
...it would be tantamount to the death penalty for the parents in their old age, so the death penalty is applied to the person who, in effect, wishes it on their parents.

Which then makes it completely ridiculous to kill the very person who was in the best position to help the parents.

If the aim of this law is to get children to help their parents, killing the children isn't the way to ensure the parents get the help they need from their children in their old age.

---
This explanation makes perfect sense in the context of Jesus’ citation of the law (which is further support that He believed in the divine inspiration of the Old Testament)...

Jesus believed in the divine inspiration of the Old Testament? Great!

This means Jesus had no problem with the multiple genocides his dad commanded.

This Jesus had no problem with his dad commanding slavery.

This also means Jesus had no problem with the temple of his dad (which really means his temple as well, because Jesus was God, remember!) being built by slaves.

As I've asked many Fundamentalists:

Why does Jesus saying a few profound things make you so willing to forget how horrible his dad was?

---
The narrator also accuses Jesus of immorality in his statement in Luke 9:61–62, where he seemingly refuses to let someone say goodbye to his parents before he follows Jesus. In fact, this is not so much a refusal as a warning that once someone follows Him, his loyalties can’t be divided between Jesus and his family.

This confirms the fact that Jesus did indeed command men to leave behind their families. The context of this is key - Christianity was a Jewish messianic apocalypse cult, and the Christians of the time were clearly expecting the world to end in their lifetimes - so when Jesus says 'leave your families', he's saying this not to Christians reading the work of an Australian Creationist organisation in the year 2020 - he was saying that to a group of people who were expecting the world to imminently.

But even if we do play the cute game that the author wants us to, we can interpret Jesus' instruction to leave families behind either physically, or leave families behind emotionally.

If Jesus meant physically leave families behind, then this indeed was condemnding the rest of the family to poverty and hardship.
In those times, especially as rampantly misogynist as what Christian apologists want you to believe, women couldn't just walk in to an office or jump on Seek.com.au to get a job - the failure of men being present to do the bulk of the physical work that agrarian societies of the time required indeed condemned the rest of the family to poverty.

Or if Jesus meant it only emotionally, then this is just as bad - we all know the damage that children suffer when their fathers are distant, not to mention broken marriage bonds.

So on one hand, Jesus endorses the law that says you must support your parents, but then on the other hand, directs men to leave their wives and children in poverty.

Either way - Jesus doesn't want you to have a happy family.

-----

So when the author asks, "What about Jesus", I indeed ask, what about him?

Yes, Jesus (is reported as having) said some wise and profound things.
But by the same token, Jesus (is reported as having) said some pretty horrible things as well.

To highlight, I will recount a debate I got in to on Facebook with a Christian regarding the story of the Canaanite woman coming to Jesus for healing and how wonderful Jesus was for healing this woman.

The debate started because I pointed out that Jesus initially refused to heal her because Jesus was frankly being a bit of a racist - the gospel of Matthew explicitly records Jesus as having ignored her.

I then gave an analogy of a black man, having being bitten by a poisonous snake and stumbling to a white doctor to save his life, only for the white doctor to ignore the man specifically because he was black and say to the nursing staff (in earshot of the black man) "It is not right for me to apply my knowledge and expertise on those who are clearly inferior" (and trust me, racist views like this are still present in Christian America), and it is only when the black man says something that the white doctor is happy hearing that the doctor bothers to treat him.

If the white doctor in this hypothetical is racist, so was Jesus.

Another bad apologetic I have heard Christians say is "If you've seen me, you've seen the Father!".

This has two unfortunate consequences:

1. Either Jesus is just as racist, genocidal, totalitarian, egotistical and violent as his dad; or:

2. Christians pin their hopes on Jesus in order to white-wash the violence and human rights abuses of God in the Old Testament.

What about Jesus! What about him?

-----

Stay happy, warm and look after yourself!

-Damien (quiterationaldad@gmail.com)



No comments:

Post a Comment

Accepting One Theory, Rejecting Another, Hitting A Brick Wall

When a Christian says they accept the big bang as the best explanation for the origin of the universe, but then reject the theory of evoluti...