Here are thinks to the news items discussed on the show:
And my rant on God's right to judge:
Okay, it’s time to tackle yet another of our “basic assumptions.” The one up for review? The one that assumes that God has the right to judge us. And let me put up for clarity now that I will be working off of the Judeo-Christian god, for reasons of relating to this Christianity saturated culture. The Bible is filled with examples of God’s wrath and his “holy” and “righteous” judgment. God will not let into the gates of his heavenly city “dogs, and socerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” For the Isrealites who did not keep his law as set down in Leviticus he would send down terror; lethal tuberculosis and fevers. If “Man lie with man as with woman” they are to be killed. If one is to break any law, be it eating of swine, commiting adultery, or whatsoever, God will “continue to punish you sevenfold.” That’s right. Now, I’ve heard of “an eye for an eye” but I’ve not heard of “two eyes, a nose, the ears, your tounge, and perhaps an arm for an eye.” No, that would be unjust, especially by today’s standards. But God will rain down “terror” on his own chosen people for betraying the slightest law. Indeed, he prefaces his promise of terror by saying that he will bring the destruction if “you do not observe all these commandments.” The usual argument for all these strict laws is usually that they were for health reasons and to keep an identity as a nation, however, what good is a law to protect your health when the penalty for forgetting that law is death? What good is a national identity if the laws are broken and the nation is destroyed? Many will say that God is our father and therefore has the right to tell you what to do, and to do what he will with you, his creation. I wholeheartedly disagree. The idea that “I made you, I can destroy you” is absolutely wicked. We know that a father here on Earth could not simply do away with his child should that child come to displease him. Why is God given this right? Let me stretch this analogy further, to encompass my frustration and irritation with “final judgment.” I would say that an Earthly father has more right to judge us than God does. A Judge here on Earth has more right, and I’ll say why in a moment. But his is not the “ultimate justice that so many crave. People want to know how I can deal with not thinking that there is some ultimate justice. Well, that’s not something I can decide on how to deal with. Some people get justice, some don’t. It’s a fact of life. But I know that I sure as hell wouldn’t want some holier than thou being judging me, or anyone else. How can an eternal, supposedly all good, all powerful being ever possible decide what is justice for us mere humans with our human whims and human emotions? That’s why here on Earth we have a jury of peers because they are the only ones who have even a remote understanding of our situations in life. It’s why our laws have been developed by men over thousands of years. God has never had to lose a loved one, fear for his life, or support a family; God has never been a homosexual, wondered where he will go when he dies, or wondered if he exists. How could he POSSIBLY know how to judge us? I will be told that it is because God is good. And not only is he good, he is perfect goodness and that we cannot question whether or not he is good, because of course he is good, he is the pinnacle of good; he is above us and his ways are not ours. They say we cannot understand why he does what he does. But I say that’s a bunch of hogwash. We may not understand why one man kills another, or if he had some purpose in mind, we still know that it is inherently wrong to kill another man, even if the murderer decided it was “good.” And if God’s ways are above our reasoning, then who are we to say if his ways are good OR bad to begin with. It’s all absurdities. Of course we can question whether or not God is good. How did our ancestors decide that he was good in the first place? They based it on their own ethical evaluations. Ethical evaluations that have changed! The standards of ethics and morality are changing and improving over most of the world. It’s not okay, in most places, to kill someone for stealing or for consensual sodomy. Humanity’s sense of moral has changed GREATLY from God’s as he set down in the Bible. It has changed for the better. For humankind as it is now our goodness depends on kindness, love, mercy, compassion. These are good and we know it. We don’t need mysticism or a higher power to understand that love is good, that kindness is good, that mercy is good, that helping people is good. God serves his own interests and judges us based on whether or not we fit into his “plan.” I don’t want to be judged by that. I would rather not be judged at all, for who, truly, can ever understand the nuanced lives of any person on Earth and what drives them to righteousness or piety, but should I be judged, I would want to be judged on whether or not I was a good person, and be judged by those who know me and understand me. God coming down as Jesus doesn’t cut it for understanding humans. Jesus knew who he was (GOD) and where he was going (HEAVEN). If we KNEW that God existed and KNEW where we went after death you can be sure that piety and would be much easier. Jesus: thanks, but no thanks. I’ll take oblivion before I spend eternity bowing before you.
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