To Those Who Worship the Bible-Idol
Dave E. Matson
So you think that those antediluvian children may have been unduly
influenced by their parents, part of the _cancer_ that had
to be cut out? Poor, limited God had no choice, I suppose. He
had to get all those boys and girls lest their evil ways corrupt
the purity of his postflood generations. Such purity, as exhibited
by Noah's drunkenness and debauched state right after the flood,
had to be preserved, no doubt, from the evil influence of those
antediluvian children. No doubt the pure morals of all those idol
worshipers and butchers of the postflood generations, not to mention
the pure-minded citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah, were in danger
of being contaminated by pre-flood thinking. Thus, in order to
insure the purity of mankind, all those antediluvian kids absolutely
had to be drowned. That's why everyone is so pure of heart today!
How horrible it would have been if a few of those antediluvian
boys and girls had been allowed to live, to contaminate us all!
Were the animals and the newborn babies also part of that treacherous
cancer? When the Nazis gassed six million Jews did they lean on
a rationalization any more absurd than the one you're leaning
on? I doubt it! When we start _justifying_ evil to preserve
our worship of biblical inerrancy, or any doctrine, then we debase
our whole system of values. Our hearts and minds become warped,
numb to atrocity, blind to evil, and we become the perfect cannon
fodder for the next Hitler. The man or woman who can view the
children of any age as evil, who can discover no solution other
than killing them all, is not to be trusted with anything more
dangerous than a squirt-gun... or any office higher than dogcatcher.
A Stone Age deity, of course, can get away with such things, being
little more than a stand-in for the random, fearful forces of
nature. Thus, the gods of primitive peoples, including the storm-god
of the Old Testament, were potential killers to be feared and
placated with sacrifices. When a village was wiped out by volcano
or flood, everyone assumed that their god had been angered or
provoked in some manner. What else could they believe? Scientific
enlightenment had yet to overtake superstition. When they lost
a battle, everyone assumed that they were being punished by their
god for some indiscretion. The job of their priests was to identify
the provocation, correct it, and thus humor their god. Keeping
their gods in good humor or sustaining them in symbolic ways (as
did the Aztecs) was the all-important job of the ancient priesthood.
Happy gods meant happy times; angry gods sent disaster. If you
read between the lines of the Old Testament, you can see this
type of rationalization constantly at work.
It never occurred to the ancients, therefore, to question the
morality exhibited by their gods. The fearful forces of nature
spoke powerfully... and man listened. Who could question the power
of lightning or the thumping of giant hailstones or the strength
of floods? It never occurred to the ancients that a truly powerful
god would not have to act in such clumsy ways, for nature was
the only god they knew. It never occurred to the ancients that
a truly wise and powerful god would communicate face to face with
each man or woman rather than through nebulous dreams, divinations,
or (later) scriptures. The gods of nature never spoke openly but
rather in whispers and dreams and omens, or so the ancients perceived.
It never occurred to them that their god should be concerned with
the well being of all peoples, includ in those days were tribal
gods, including Yahweh. They concerned themselves only with their
Thus nature was the only god the ancients knew, and their gods
spoke in terms of earthquakes, floods, epidemics, volcanic eruptions,
droughts, fertility, good crops and bad crops, victory and defeat.
Thus, the gods acted in strange and powerful ways for good and
evil, and it was of the utmost importance to divine their will
and placate them. The Hebrews had their magic "dice,"
the Urim and Thummim, and the study of animal livers was practically
an industry in that part of the world. God's strange methods were
not to be questioned, but they might be divined with profit.
Today, of course, the better educated among us know better. Once
we have separated the concept of God from the random acts of nature,
once we have decided that God must be good and moral to the highest
degree, then such Stone Age nonsense as Noah's flood, the divine
destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the divinely sanctioned
rape of Canaan cannot be taken seriously. If a god created this
universe, then I imagine that he is too good, too wise, and too
powerful to be limited to Stone Age solutions! Reduce the concept
of God to the random amorality and violence of nature, if you
must, but don't sell me the final product as the highest agent
of love, wisdom, and power!