Question 2: Whether or not you believe in God, what do you think Christians believe about him?
When I read this question and sat down to right this answer, the very first idea that popped into my head (which I’m going to say some omnipotent figure put there, because apparently it is okay to just make things up and attribute them to a greater entity than yourself) was to make some barbed joke around the paradoxes of Christian Belief, all the hundreds of variations and heresies which, in the past, have culminated in nothing besides constant screams of ‘Heresy’ and the excommunication of people who should have known better than to have their own opinions about the Lord.
I haven’t read the author’s answer yet, and so I will write what I think Christians believe; and here I will go for an average belief, rather than specify the beliefs of anyone particular splinter group within the all-encompassing threat of the Church.
I think that Christian’s believe that God created the Heavens and the Earth; that he is the ultimate judge of all good and all evil and that, without him, humanity would have no compass for morality.
(Incidentally, if God is the reason for the existence of Good and Evil as individual concepts, then that means that all Evil comes from Jehovah, even as all Good does? And yet where does Lucifer come into the equation if God is the ultimate evil? But, anyway, I digress.)
God created man in His own image, and everything known about him is information He, himself, relayed to men and women, or that his son, Jesus Christ, imparted onto the desperate, gullible creatures he called a flock.
I think, if I were the only figure capable of explaining myself, then I’d make myself sound as awesome as possible, wouldn’t you? I’d be all, ‘Hell yeah I invented the oceans and the birds and the trees and the mountains! What’s that? What about jealousy? Err… That was this other guy… Lucifer, yeah, he’s a bad ‘un’.
I think that Christians believe that there is One God, and that he is split into three; the Father (a bad reproduction of Zeus), the Son (the friendly, lovable guy everyone seems to think is looking out for them in particular) and the Holy Ghost (the other one, the one that people seem to think imbued with all of the ‘mystical powers of the Lord’ and all that jargon.) This trinity is one of the most quoted paradoxes of the Christian faith; and it’s a pretty cool one to start with. I’ve heard it described as a clover; one plant with three leaves, but it also struck me as more like a Hydra that someone took too far.
Then we go into the whole ‘God loves everyone’ absent of any real meaning and, in fact, a devaluation of the very concept of love. Any creature that loves everything, loves nothing; it is a bland, dour creature that has no real reason for being alive (if we consider that the rest of us actually do). For a God that ‘loves everyone’, he has certainly had a funny way of showing it over the years. From the Old Testament, he had this image of a vengeful, angry, proud creature, more like I imagine a god would be; check out Deuteronomy – that is some real demonic language He enjoys.
Here is where I began to read the writer’s answer to his own question.
One thing which is obvious is that God likes to blow his own horn. Whilst the bible, the written interpretation of God’s ‘Holy Word’, gives repeated examples of his cruelty in the Old Testament, in the New Testament it attempts to paint him, in the words of the author, as ‘holy, righteous, just and fair, infinitely loving and compassionate to all’.
I do not really understand why Christians believe in that idea at all. If I told someone that I was completely trustworthy, that I loved them, that I only wanted what was best for them, and then set their house on fire; would I be worthy of their worship? God (saying for the sake of argument that He exists, though, of course, all logic screams to the opposite), as far as I have been able to see, is a bully and a thug; He is spiteful and proud and narcissistic and so desperate to convince people that he is a force of Good (ignoring the fact that, according to Christians, He is also the source of all evil) that I simply told them so and demanded that they believe, like a petulant child throwing a tantrum in a supermarket.
But, here, we come to one of the main reasons why I dislike the very idea of a deity, why I think that people who do believe, instead of think, can be said to have lost their humanity. ‘He is God, and we are Humans.’ Those are the words of the author. ‘He is infinite, and we are finite and fickle’. It is an astonishingly clever racket; not being able to follow the ‘logic’ of their beliefs is part of the Christian belief system! Incredible! It is the source of all those ‘God moves in mysterious ways’ platitudes or the ‘It’s all part of God’s plan’ patronising madness.
Any real person would say that ‘We are Humans, and He is only God.’ Any creature that betrays itself, that surrenders its ability to think for the comforts of belief, is not a living thing at all. This is, of course, wholly an opinion, but I can’t count religious people as people; they are things, alien creatures lacking both the personal narcissism necessary (narcissism is not a bad thing, to an extent) for any attempt at understanding the world.
There are no shackles on humanity from a greater creature; we are free from an outside influence and, instead, all the good and evil that we do, we do to ourselves. The bible was written by people, broken people who shared a mass delusion, who had been brainwashed for no other reason than they were intelligent enough to wonder what the human condition was, but not brave enough to accept the reality that we, as people, are just animals with a large enough brain to develop self-loathing.
What a wonderful creature we are! Anything which claims dominion over us, besides ourselves, I think, is a lie and an enemy to be fought with tooth and nail and what technology we can build.
Though I haven’t talked much about the author’s answer in this reply, that is because a good ninety percent of the answer is simply the author stating opinion as fact (in the same way which I might have done in this answer and, if I have done so, I wholeheartedly apologise), claiming that ‘God is Knowable’, ‘The Almighty God came into our world,’ ‘God became a man and made his dwelling with us’ and that ‘Jesus then rose again, demonstrating the power of God, expressed in His self-sacrificing love for us.’
I fear that this book is rapidly devolving into the writer answering questions with opinion, decorated as fact. The simple truth appears to be that Roger Carswell does not seek, necessarily to encourage people to think about God and Christianity, but instead to slowly and blatantly indoctrinate them into sharing his view of religion.
I fear that I will end up the same as him, but from the flipside; that I will display my opinion as fact and demand for a new society, ‘untainted by the delusions of the past’, and other language with racist overtones.
I hope not, but I do not direct that hope at such a vile, aggrandising creature as Jehovah, who demands that I surrender that which I consider to be my humanity in his worship.
Once again, if you disagree, or agree, or think that I’m already starting to slip into a similar tone of self-righteous voice as the writer of ‘Before You Say ‘I Don’t Believe”, be sure to let me know. Remember, I entirely recommend reading such examples of literature yourself and forming your own opinions. If nothing else, I would certainly recommend considering these questions for yourself.
As always, thank you for reading.