Sorry Believers, but God Has to Be Evil

Facebook is rather holy today. A friend this morning posted:

I love it when distractions that Satan would want to use to hinder our worship are overcome by the Spirit of God! I am thankful for people willing to be obedient and lead us in worship despite their fears, sadness, grief, or any of the other emotions that I know were at work this morning!

Fear, sadness, and grief aren’t terrible emotions and there are appropriate times for all three. I’m not a psychologist, but I don’t think that’s a healthy way to view one’s feelings. Fear is not an evil spirit or a tool used by one. It’s simply the sanest response from any cognizant person who reads a newspaper.

I’m scared half the time. I have grief. Is this evil at work within me? I have nothing against the person who posted these sentiments — in fact, I consider her a dear friend — but these ideas are ridiculous and frightening.  I scrolled down and saw another posting, this one from a gay man with completely opposite political, religious, and social perspectives as the first friend:

The biggest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing bigots, misogynists, and homophobes that they were patriotic Christians.

The people who wrote these posts are in opposite camps. The first is a minister’s wife and the second is a middle-aged homo. While I value them both, I’m a little bugged that both of them used the silly trick of devil-blaming to simply describe human nature. The devil doesn’t make anyone sad or fearful. The devil doesn’t convince anyone to be anything. Why isn’t this obvious? Humans do things — good and bad. The devil is just an old, antiquated, and mildly amusing idea upon which we dump all our guilt, shame, and responsibility.

I think the devil is great. If Lucifer exists, so must his dogmatic counterpart, a being that created a world and people to live in it — who was omniscient enough to foresee Eve’s little stunt in the garden of Eden know ahead of time that we would fall to sin — destined to suffer. Why did he not create some way to prevent her slip-up? Why did he create his beloved creation with the built-in impulse to sin? God is invariably responsible for sin and therefore must be responsible for evil. To punish us for this trait (which we invariably must have because he deemed it so) is sadistic and cruel. Why do Christians want to believe in such a being? This is not a new idea — the logical fallacy of a benevolent god has been presented by people who can think for literally thousands of years.

lsa 2

God cannot be benevolent. If God is omniscient and omnipotent, he sits in Heaven and watches things like the Holocaust and AIDS and permits them — or worse, brings them into reality. And if he truly made all things and is benevolent, he cannot be a hands-off observer — that would be abandonment. By the assumed logic of those who consider themselves blessed (white, middle-class Christians), God elects to give some the comforts of life and others (starving Black children in Africa dying of AIDS) lives of misery and pain. This is actually a classic conundrum with Biblical precedent — the story of Job and the problem of suffering (sometimes called “the problem of evil”), which leads to one logical conclusion: if God exists, he must be evil.

So far I’ve only written about the Christian god, the god of Abraham, but all of this applies to any being that is considered omniscient and omnipotent. If your god is all-knowing and all-powerful — if he or she created the world, started the world, runs the world, sustains the world, or in some way directs natural events — they are invariably responsible for monstrous cruelty and unimaginable pain.

Compared to such a monstrous being, the Devil should be cheered. If Christian lore is to be believed, he combated such a being — the cosmic underdog. All this is simple logic, so I’m baffled that a well-educated minister’s wife and well-educated Christian gay man haven’t worked it out. I imagine they choose to accept this cognitive dissonance in order to continue believing in a world run by something good rather than a world run by nothing.

If the devil is real, I’m rooting for him. Until that day comes, I encourage everyone to stop blaming the beast down below. Blame the other one.

Love, Beastly

3 Comments

  1. And after reading that, I wonder where you learned all that you learned? I’m sure you’re less than 30 years old. ..? So historically documented events from times way beyond your conception are to be revamped? Well, that’s been done. Scripture Job 38:4 should interest you DEEPLY because you have proven in this article that you are a thinker. But in order to understand it, you’ll have to have a heart. Spoken from a man who struggles and doesn’t judge.
    Sincerely

    Like

    1. Job 38:4 is a beautiful verse – one of my favourites actually. But I most confess, I’m unclear about many things you wrote in your comment. I learned all that I learned (I’m not sure what particular branch of my knowledge you’re referring to) from reading, researching, questioning, cross-examining, and a pretty rigorous education. In other words, I learned the same way many people far smarter and far dumber than me have learned what they learned. Yes, I am less than thirty years old. I’m unsure what historically documented events you’re referring to, since the fall of Lucifer (and really everything else in the Bible) actually has little to no historical or archaeological evidence. You can certainly do your own research on this, but considering who you are, you’ll probably look to biased, Christian-based sources for proof of Bible stories, which as an inquiry is a massive begged question. Virtually all theological sites will affirm to you that everything in the Bible is true, while virtually all academic and archeological sites will tell you otherwise. So if the winner is the one with the bigger pile of evidence (or the loudest blowhards) in their camp, there is a chance that we might find ourselves at a tie, although I should remind you that Christ purportedly lived quite a long time ago, and most of the artifacts from that time have been damaged, do not exist, are fake, or are replicas. History swallows up civilizations, so it should understandably be hard to find evidence of the existence of one man, no matter how divine, beyond a few dusty scrolls. I’m not sure what stories you think I’m revamping, since I haven’t altered any Bible narrative — I have merely responded to them. Yes, I am a thinker, but Job 38:4 does not interest me that much. I’m a writer, so I acknowledge how easy it is to write something down and call it truth. If I can do so, so can others, and so have many others done. There’s a giant book of truth-claims written, selected, edited, discarded, and compiled by a congress of thousands of people throughout history, all with their own bias and skewed viewpoints, which you now seem to accept as absolute truth – the Bible. I’m not sure what about that particular verse is difficult to understand – it makes perfect sense to me, and its poetry isn’t lost on me, nor is the poetry in the books of Psalms or of Solomon – but as far as I’m concerned, these books are filled with beautiful, moralistic, empty verse, and are neither evidence that God exists nor guides to my particular life. I tend to seriously doubt the intelligence of anyone who feels the need to add textual emphasis with ALL CAPS, but thanks for commenting sincerely. Yours in honesty if not in faith, Beastly.

      Liked by 1 person

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