Still reading Richard Dawkins’ book…
Well chapter two sure starts off with a bang (I couldn’t resist the pun). Dawkins violently dishes out a string of adjectives describing who God (supposedly) is. The rant, several lines in length, is all one sentence. Are you ready?…
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriously malevolent bully. -Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (p. 31)
I have read the entire Bible cover to cover. Dawkins’ assesment seriously discredits him as a researcher and author. His attempt to rip verses severely out of context, pervert their meaning and piece them together for his own cause, may only be obvious to some. Unfortunately, many of his target readers have probably not read much of the Bible and they just eat up what Dawkins spoons out.
I have to wonder how Dawkins would describe humans? I imagine he’d be considerably gracious.
If the above quote by Dawkins were attributed to humans, than I would whole heartedly subscribe to it. If our parents disciplined us, then we hopefully have learned some manners. But who of us ever needed to learn how to do wrong? Seriously, how many children do you know readily admit their fault? Children know when they are in trouble, and they’ll do what they can to get away with it and escape discipline. And what child isn’t familiar with justice? From a very young age they know too well when they have been “stiffed”. They know it almost instinctively and scream, “THAT’S NOT FAIR!” We still scream that slogan. This isn’t learned behavior, it’s in us from the very beginning. We are selfish and proud beings dead in our sin. Doing right, however, is something we constantly battle. It goes against our nature.
If you don’t believe me just watch how people drive on the road! If THAT isn’t enough…listen to the verbal lashings we give each other when we lose control of our tongue. Notice how horribly we mistreat those we love after a bad day at work. Observe the madness on black Friday when shoppers trample each other for a hot item. See how we fight our pride when we know we are wrong and need to apologize. Look how easily we lose our patience when we’ve been wronged, or EVEN just merely inconvenienced!–a telemarketer calls, a retailer loses our order, we get stuck behind a slow bus, my burger is missing the fixings, someone cuts in line, the world doesn’t bow to ME!
To think we can live moral lives on our own is like the blind leading the blind. It is not our nature to love, serve or do what is right. If it was our nature, it would come easy for us. Forgiveness would be our first impulse and we’d have to count to ten to get mad!
All of us ponder the question “why does God allow bad things to happen?” We do it ourselves! We deserve to be damned. If left alone we’d destroy ourselves completely. God is not oblidged to redeem us. The question ought to be, why (WHY!) would God restrain evil? WHY does He allow good to happen to us? WHY does He, in His great mercy, spare us from what we justly deserve?