Wednesday, July 16, 2008

If God Did Not Exist, We Would Have To Invent Him

How cute,'s contrarian blogger Jack Marx wants to ban Jesus.

Okay, lets say society had expunged everything to do with Christendom.

What might that society look like? In some respects not a lot different to secular society today. The pagans are gaining the lions share of publicity (like AGW believers) along with Islam which has spread aggressively to the four corners of the world.

There's widespread slavery across all of the world because there was no William Wilberforce.

There would be no hospitals because they were developed by the Hospitaliers of the Crusades. There are no orphanages, no social welfare.

Many of the finest works of art by the likes of Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Mozart, Handel, Tolkein, Dostoevsky do not exist. Lamentably there is no champagne because there is no Dom Perignon.

The world of science is all the poorer for the non-existence of Christians: the research of Bede the Venerable, Roger Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Blaise Pascal, Charles Babbage, Gregor Mendel, Sir Robert Boyd and Michal Heller.

In Australia, because there are no 'God botherers', you can say goodbye to the Salvation Army, Lifeline, The RFDS, Blue Nurses, World Vision.

How's the world looking now?

-- Nora

UPDATE: One might have left the subject above alone, however Jack Marx writes an extracurricular column on Friday to rather ham-fistedly explain that he likes Christians - just not Christ and one of Jack's acolytes writes in comments on this post.

Ya see, Jack likes all the good stuff that Christians do - like the charity and stuff - but he doesn't like the reason why they do it.

He'd rather religious people and Christians in particular keep their trap shut and not disturb his self-indulgent and self-righteous cocoon, so you can see why the joyous public celebration World Youth Day offends him no end.

Jack, having to grudgingly acknowledge the benefit Christians have brought to society, tries a different tack and fares no better.

He picks up on the Michael Newton/Christopher Hitchens/Richard Dawkins meme - the Bible is horrible because it's full of violence. Well, yes, unredeemed human history has been ever thus.

As Sam Shamoun, the Christian apologist points out: "First, the wars and violence found within the OT are descriptive, not prescriptive. They are describing events as they occurred, commandments God had given a specific people for a specific purpose."

In other words, they're historical not instructive.

Jack fires up his Google and goes hunting, picking the oft cited command to kill the Amalekites decribed in the book of Joshua.

The mindless slaughter continues verse after verse, chapter after chapter, book after revolting book, with God’s blessing when not his help.

For me, the only historical text that comes close to it for sheer murderous outrage is William Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, a book we read today as something of a warning, a parable on how humanity must always be on guard against organised fanaticism.
Well, I'm glad Jack brought up the Third Reich because there is a parallel, but one he is obviously unaware.

The problem with cherrypicking is you tend to miss some of the facts.

The Amalekites were savage, violent and opportunistic. Like others during that time, they engaged in child sacrifice. They also attacked Israel first.

It is the equivalent to hating the Allies for bombing Dresden and marching through Germany without acknowledging that Nazi Germany invaded Czechoslovakia and Poland or loathing the United States for dropping the bomb on Nagasake and Hiroshima without acknowledging that the Imperial forces bombed Pearl Harbour.

To describe the act of the Israelites (and by extension the command by God) as immoral, hateful, irrational and genocidal is as emotive as it is inaccurate.

Jack, having done this intellectually dishonest exercise about the Old Testament, turns his attention to Jesus:

Of course, Jesus Christ was a “new improved” God, the Christian New Testament considerably more mellow than its prequel. Christ was no warlord – he spoke of love and turning the other cheek. Nevertheless, he walked in the name of his father, the occasional fit of punchy conceit loitering in his blood

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:34-37).
Subtlety is not Jack's strong suit, so it's no surprise that he fails to understand the meaning of this passage. But ask anyone who has left Islam for Christianity, whether Jesus' words hold truth.

Indeed, what if one of Jack's children turned around one day to say they had become a Christian? What would venom-filled invective would dear ole dad spew?

Whether I believe in God or not I won’t say, but I will say that I despise him. I call him “Super***t”
Ah yes, that would be right.

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