The HyperTexts

Is God a Bigot? The Embarrassing Intolerance of God

by Michael R. Burch

Let’s assume, for the sake of avoiding argument, that Jesus Christ is God, as Christians claim, and that Jesus is the unique Son of God and therefore his appointed Heir and Representative.

Can someone be his own Son, Heir and Representative? Of course it’s confusing to think of God as having multiple distinct minds and personalities. If a man had three distinct personalities, we’d question his sanity. When Jesus was God in the flesh and presumably knew everything (this is, after all, why Christians cling to every word he said), it seems he really didn’t know everything because he prayed to God (?) saying, "Not my will, but Thine!" and he freely confessed that he didn’t know the day and hour of his own return. Verses in the New Testament make it clear that Jesus and his disciples expected his return to take place quickly. It is less than confidence-inspiring that Jesus and Paul were convinced that Jesus was going to return within Paul’s lifetime; what if they were wrong about other things too? One of the most confidence-shattering verses in the New Testament can be found in Revelation's letters to the churches, where John of Patmos confidently quoted Jesus as saying he would personally murder the children of a specific adulteress living at that time. Now, it seems strange for the Prince of Peace to assassinate children for being related to their mother, but who am I to question the Bible when it’s been certified "infallible"? Rather than quibbling over such trifles as whether Jesus is compassionate and just, or a child-killing monster, let’s take a look at something that’s indisputably a problem for God and his PR people, the Christians . . .

We simply must consider the embarrassing intolerance of God. While Christians are determined to profess their infinite inferiority to God, it’s quite obvious that the reverse is actually true: the average modern "sinner" is much more tolerant than his God. After all, the biblical God was obviously racist (he preferred Jews to non-Jews), intolerant (he preferred Christians to non-Christians), and sexist (he said fathers could sell their daughters as sex slaves, with the option — but not the obligation — to buy them back if they weren’t "pleasing" to their new masters). If Yahweh showed up here on earth, we’d have to cart him off to the slammer or send him to the electric chair, in order to protect our minorities, women and children. Yahweh was also homophobic, as are so many of his more fervent followers today.

The first five books of the Bible were allegedly written by Moses, the great Hebrew prophet and lawgiver. But according to the Bible, Moses was a mass murderer and hardly an authority on matters of justice. In Numbers chapter 31, Moses commanded his warriors to slaughter defenseless woman and male children, keeping only the virgin girls alive, obviously as sex slaves. In Deuteronomy chapter 22, Moses commanded that Hebrew girls who had been raped should be murdered or sold to their rapists (meaning they could be raped "legally" the rest of their lives). How can anyone believe the "infallible" wisdom of men who treated raped girls like criminals? The Hebrew Bible allowed murderers to obtain mercy by clinging to the horns of an altar. But it had no such provision for girls who had been raped, or for boys who were to be stoned to death for being "stubborn" or "rebellious." All the boys I knew growing up were stubborn and rebellious, and we all talked back to our parents at times. According to the "wisdom" of Moses, our parents should have murdered us on the spot! Would that be loving, compassionate, merciful, wise or just?

If God is good, why does the Bible command infanticide, matricide and genocide (the "slaying of everything that breathes")? If King David was the man after God’s own heart, why does the Bible say he slew every woman when he "smote the land"? Why does the Bible say David ordered the slaughter of the lame and blind because he "hated" them? Jesus had compassion on the handicapped; David had them murdered when Jerusalem was taken from the Jebusites. If Jesus was a man after God’s own heart, then clearly David was not. The Bible is full of such inexplicable contradictions, which cannot be resolved until we admit that its Satanic verses could not have originated with a loving, compassionate, merciful, wise, just God. Clearly, the Bible's palpably evil verses originated with barbaric men. Surely no one can imagine Jesus dictating such cruel, evil, barbaric commandments to Moses!

Anyone who considers slavery to be an abomination cannot honestly believe the Bible is "infallible." After all, there is not a single Bible verse in which God, Jesus or any prophet or apostle clearly calls slavery an abomination. Today modern human beings know that slavery is an abomination. And yet no one who participated in the writing of the Bible knew it. If the Bible is the "word of God," how is it possible that it commands and condones slavery and never prohibits it?

Today many Christians continue to believe that racism, religious intolerance, sexism and homophobia are the "will of God." But not so very long ago their ancestors believed that slavery was "the will of God" and that nonconformist women should be hunted down and murdered as "witches" because the Bible says not to let "witches" live. Why do so many Christians insist that they know the "truth" in such matters, considering the history of their religion? Isn’t it clear that the Bible is a very human book, full of human errors? If the Bible is wrong about slavery and witches, why believe its prehistoric teachings that cause so many Christians to be racist, intolerant, sexist and homophobic?

Furthermore, as terrible as the Bible was in matters of earthly justice, there was never a single mention of a place called "hell" in Biblical chronologies covering thousands of years. The possibility of suffering after death was never mentioned to Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob/Israel, Moses, or a long line of Hebrew prophets. If God was speaking to the men who wrote the Bible, how could they know absolutely nothing about a place called "hell" or any possibility of suffering after death, if hell actually exists? Isn't it obvious that either there never was a hell, or the Bible was written entirely by human beings since it was never mentioned? And yet today enormous numbers of Christians claim to "know" that a place called "hell" exists, and they terrorize their own children with the evil nonsense.

Isn’t it time for Christians to admit the truth about the Bible, if for no other reason than the mental and emotional health of their children? Here is a simple, logical proof that there never was a "hell" according to the Bible itself: No Hell in the Bible.

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