The (Im)Moral Christian
Calm down, Christians. I am not picking on you. I merely want to bring to light a paradox, or, conundrum, if you will. It has come to my attention, after recently writing several articles on the immorality of the bible, that Christians, who claim to practice love, mercy, forgiveness, and kindness, will quickly defend the vile acts that their god perpetrated in the bible. Now, you have to agree that this does defy logic, if, that is, one is willing to grant that these Christians do indeed practice love, mercy, forgiveness and kindness. I'll get to that part later.
So how can a person that claims to be a gentle soul, a lover of all his fellow humans, one with impeccable morals, turn around and defend things like slavery, genocide, rape, and incest in the bible? Blind hero worship might be one answer, but then one has to ask oneself, what exactly did they see in their "hero" that made them want to worship him in the first place? Another answer would be that they were brainwashed or indoctrinated from a very young age into a way of thinking that seems natural to them. One would hope, however, that with time and maturity, just like one grows out of the old Santa Clause lie, one can recognize force fed lies for what they are and grow out of them, as well. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to happen so much with Christians. If anything, they grow even more defensive of their beliefs.
Well, I hope to analyze this weird phenomenon and hopefully supply some answers.
I think the crux of this paradox is the circular reasoning that Christians tend to engage in on a regular basis. Example: God is good because he says he is good in the bible, a book that he wrote/divinely inspired. Yes. And every politician is the best man for the job because their campaign add says they are. Is it just me, or does anyone else see the problem here?
Well, Christians can easily avoid justifying their god's behavior in the bible because most Christians will say that it is Jesus, not god that they follow and worship. Correct me if I am wrong here, but, isn't Jesus god? I mean, with over 35,000 different Christian denominations I'm sure it's hard to agree on, but for the most part, don't Christians agree that Jesus the son is also god the father? I know Emperor Constantine tried to nip this little dilemma in the butt, but there are so many references in the bible where Jesus, himself, claims that he is god, that it seems kind of pointless to quibble about this anymore.
1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
8:58 I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am!
10:30 I and the Father are one.
10:33 ...you, a mere man, claim to be God.
There are several other passages where Jesus is referred to or addressed as god, and he does not correct them. You can argue all you want, Christians, but you are worshiping the same god from the Old Testament--maybe a new and improved version, but still the same god.
Another point on circular reasoning is, how much of a blind sheep do you have to be to reason that your god is allowed to break rules that you cannot? There is no distinction, then, between the god in the bible and a tyrant like Sadam Hussein or Kim Jong Il. You are worshiping a monster. Perhaps because you feel like you have no choice, just like the people of Iraq or North Korea felt. The difference is, Sadam and Kim were real. They could definitely expect punishment in the form of death. You don't have to worship the god in the bible. You do so because you chose to, and that, in many ways, seems so much worse.
Christianity, a New Invention
The fact is that the Christianity that most Americans practice now-a-days is not a religion that requires the bible. Most Christians do not stone their children to death for talking back. Most Christians are okay with eating pork. Things like getting a tattoo are not considered a sin anymore by most. And I know everyone wears or has worn a poly-cotton blend before, and that is clearly considered a sin in the bible. Even more serious things like divorce, which were condemned in the past, are now excused by modern Christians. So, what exactly is the basis for your beliefs?
Well, most Christians will say Jesus. They want to follow in his foot steps and feed the poor, give to the needy, heal the sick, and so on. But that, too, is a conundrum, because it has been my experience that while most Christians do like to tout their "good deeds" they will be quick to scoff at the poor, call people without health insurance lazy or parasites for wanting universal health care, and blame the people that have lost their houses because of greedy banks instead of blaming the greedy, rich corporations. So, I am at a loss. I must not have read the part where Jesus condemned the poor, threw them out of their houses, told the sick to suck it up, and told the greedy tax collectors to keep at it because they will surely be the first to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Do Christians Really Practice What They Preach?
Well, I think I've already established that they do not follow what either the bible or Jesus says. Let's define what it is that they do preach, first. For the most part, Christians will preach about loving their brother and living an honest, moral life. It's pretty vague until you get to a specific issue where the Christian in question feels strongly about, like gay marriage or abortion. Then loving your brother and honesty and ethics go out the window. Okay, maybe I am lumping all Christians into the same boat, and I apologize for that, because I do know that there are those Christians that are pro gay and pro choice. But they also might be the Christians that will condemn me to hell for being an atheist.
Maybe Christians need to get together and decide among themselves what it is they believe and why. You really can't base it on the bible anymore, and thank goodness for that, but it seems that now this religion is so vague that anything goes. And there is always the bible to fall back on, so I guess that's why Christians hold on to that immoral nonsense. It's quite convenient for Christians to ignore just about every rule, law and suggestion in the bible when it applies to them, but when it serves some purpose, to drag out an ancient little gem like Leviticus 20:13.
Christians are out of touch with reality. If one can condemn someone because of some obscure verse in the bible, yet live their life ignoring the rest of it in its entirety, I think that pretty much makes you an unreliable source on morality. In that same context, if you as a Christian can claim that you practice love and kindness, but can justify the genocide and slavery in the bible at the hands of your god, you are also an unreliable source for morality. You clearly have no idea what it is.
Good Moral Guides
More on the Bible and Morality
- All Beliefs are NOT Created Equal
Not all beliefs deserve respect, so suggesting that a person's beliefs are untouchable and sacred is a fallacy.
- The Bible: A Solid Foundation for Atheistic Belief
The bible is far from a moral guide. If anything, it is a guide on how not to live your life.
- Genocide in the Bible: When has it Ever Been Okay?
Like slavery, genocide is another hot topic in the bible that Christians rush to defend. This article will take a closer look at genocide and the Apologists' excuses for it.
- Slavery in the Bible: No, it's not Voluntary and it Certainly is not Indentured Servitude
There is no end to justifications for slavery in the bible from Christians and Apologists. This article will put an end to that silly notion once and for all.