Saturday, February 28, 2009

Would You Confuse Your Children...If You Were God?

Well you might, if the interplay between Immortal Parent and mortal children were a great chess game to you. If you were like Zeus, King of the Greek gods, watching the human anthill below Olympus, it just might be interesting to confuse those two-legged ants now and again, see what might happen, teach them a lesson or two.

But would you, as a loving Almighty God, confuse an already confused race?

See, once upon a time - the Book of Genesis claims - humans had only one language. Then, in an area we now call Iraq, a collection of these humans got real proud and architecturally clever and they decided to build a great city with a tower that would reach to the heavens. This remarkable and grand human endeavor seemed to threaten the Bible God though. So here's what that God did to all humans because of the actions of a few very good builders:

"If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other." So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel — because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world.

So the ability to communicate, to understand each other, was bad?

This is another prime example of how the Bible reduces God to a petty, insecure, not-too-bright deity: so inscient that he thinks nothing will be impossible to humans, and that confusing their language will prevent them from such haughty endeavors; so insecure that he feels challenged by these two-legged ants trying to raise their anthill a few feet...

Genesis minimizes God to the level of Zeus, just an average ant diety.

Now, if going to the trouble of confusing language, why did the omniscient God of the Old Testament do such a half-assed job? He seems not to have realized that scattering people would still leave them with remnants of a common core language -- which is why it's easy to trace the English word "God" to the German "Gott" which came from way-back Proto-European "ghut" and so on. He also seems not to have forseen that it would take about half a minute for, say, Genghis Khan, Ramses II, Geronimo and Abe Lincoln meeting and pointing at a rock, and saying their respective words for the object, to understand and start translating their confused languages.

Get it? Verstehen sie? Usted entiende? Okay, enough of the Tower of Babel. Where else does God confuse things?

He gave Moses two conflicting versions of The Ten Commandments; that's confusing.

One commandment says, Thou Shalt Not Kill, yet God repeatedly sanctions killing; that's confusing.

Instead of one ultimate pristine beyond-question true version of The Bible there have been hundreds, often contradicting each other. To this day, the Catholic and Orthodox Bibles have at least a dozen more books than any Protestant bibles; that's confusing

Jesus taught to honor your parents, and to hate them; that's confusing.

Et cetera and so on. This is getting tedious, kids.

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