God is Up to His Old Tricks.

Today there was a Christian blog which asked why God would give Christians two candidates, neither of whom is a genuine Christian.

He gave two possible explanations.  One is that somehow, Romney or Obama will surprise us and lead the world to Christ.  The second possible explanation is more like what we see in the Bible.

It is that God is angry at our sinful ways and has given us these two candidates in order to punish us.  We will be punished because either one of them will lead us and our country to a painful end.

There is so much not to like about Christianity’s god character.  It is supposed to ”love” us, but is all about punishment.  It’s not the kind of punishment included in good parenting manuals.

Instead, the god character tempts us, then punishes.  If we wrote up the god’s principles of parenting and applied them to our small children,  instructions would go like this: To teach children to follow orders, bake fresh cookies and place them all about your house.  Count them carefully.  Then, tell your children you are going out and they are to eat no cookies, even though you will  be unable to notice if any are gone.  When you return, count the cookies.  If any are missing, whip your children.

This type of “love” and parenting if used today might result in children being removed from parents.  But, the god is still does this and, so we are led to believe, we are the better for it.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/why-would-god-give-us-obama-or-romney-pt-3-final-82503/

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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51 Responses to God is Up to His Old Tricks.

  1. entech says:

    I am starting to think you are not a true believer. It wasn’t the kids it was —– The Cookie Monster. :twisted:

  2. Stan says:

    Yes of course Jon and Entech because murder and theft and adultery are such pitiful crimes there should never be a punishment for them. I hope you two will find your paradise where you can do what ever, to who ever you want, and never have to worry about any consequences.

    • entech says:

      Lead us not into temptation.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Stan 12:38 “punishment for them.”

      Punishment-sin-punishment. Spoken like a true Christian.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Aside from adultery, (which has a way of catching up with the active parties; see Cold Case Files, or some other similar series on TV). Murder and theft crimes, with the capture, and punishment are civil cases and the church has no juristiction in such matters. I believe you are intimating more authority to Christianity than what is there. All the laws concerning these are civil laws, as are the guidelines for punishment, and administered by civil authorities. In civil institutions. As it should be.

  3. Henry says:

    Jon: “If any are missing, whip your children.”

    The law is strong with Jon in his hyperliteralism. That must have been frustrating for Jon when he was a practicing Christian. Work, work, work, and perfection still could not be achieved. Then eventually this result.

    • entech says:

      Funny that you should say that, I thought it was a metaphor for the fall of Adam, which is itself a metaphor.
      You have said you believe in an actual and literal Adam and Eve. Your chastising of Jon seems to be more than a little hypocritical. Hypocritical but consistent.

      • Henry says:

        You do not follow.

        Adam did not become a professed atheist with his own blog.

        • entech says:

          I was thinking of the temptation, crime and punishment as in whip your children.
          It is strange that ‘you all’ chastise people like Jon (and me) for not accepting the truth of your scriptures, then when we refer to them in what can only be described as (a fine old Aussie expression, a bit vulgar but quite descriptive) taking the piss, you start taking it seriously with “hyperliteral” and similar such things which are obviously not possible. You must believe something before you can take it seriously, let alone literally.

          Incidentally how can I log in to Adam’s blog, love to hear what he has to say :)

      • Henry says:

        “Your chastising of Jon seems to be more than a little hypocritical.”

        My works won’t get me very far in donning my incorruptible body. I can’t really rely on them at all. Fortunately, all the work was done for me.

        • entech says:

          In Roman Catholicism, if a body remains incorruptible after death, this is generally seen as a sign that the individual is a saint, although not every saint is expected to have an incorruptible corpse.

          I have known for a while that your opinion of yourself was more than a little high, but a saint?
          As for the rest I still don’t follow:
          What can’t you rely on?
          What work are you talking about?

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Don’t really want to butt in as to defend Henry, but I do think there is a problem here in intentionally taking him out of context. A convenient method of argument.
            see..
            corruptable———–1 Cor 15:5-3
            Saints——————Phil 4:22- – Romans 16:15- Heb 13:24

          • Henry says:

            entech: “What can’t you rely on?”

            My works helping me in donning my incorruptible body. Doesn’t work.

            entech: “What work are you talking about?”

            All my works.

          • entech says:

            Wanna. 12:07
            I think context is the important point here. The background is that we are often called to task for refusing to accept the bible as a valid source of information, of rejecting, what to you and Henry is truth to us is ancient writing/hearsay/unlikely to be completely true. to then be accused of errors in interpretation is as you say ‘a convenient method of argument.
            Taking the context of Jon’s post in particular the part that Henry picked on Instead, the god character tempts us, then punishes. a reference to the Genesis story of “The Fall” and the fact that Jon does not believe the story is true it is not possible to be hyperliteral – you cannot use the same argument to attack from two opposite sides, from being guilty of rejecting something and at the same time taking it more than literally.

            I am aware that in parts of the gospel all true believers are sometimes referred to as saints, but the concept of the “incorruptible body’ comes much later in history, although I believe there is some mention of it in the psalms. I would allow that I am exaggerating for the sake of argument, but at the risk of Henry calling me tu quoque I do think he was. himself, being a little dishonest for the sake of argumentation.

            Henry 12:31
            You were right the first time, I do not follow. Your words and works are completely incomprehensible to me.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Entech; My only two points were the one’s I stated. Nothing more. You’re acknowlegement of the “Saints” (living) in the Gospels, and you’re “exagerations” are appreciated. The rest of the arguments are between you and Henry.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Entech; Re; “corruption; also consider Job 19:26

          • Henry says:

            entech:“but the concept of the “incorruptible body’ comes much later in history,”

            I indeed was referring to Paul’s words in Corinthians. No dishonesty.

          • entech says:

            OK, whatever.
            I thought Jon was, in this topic, suggesting that the God of Genesis was a less than good role model. We have a couple of innocents – apparently created to tend the garden – no knowledge of very much, especially not of what it is to be good or bad. Instructions are given, which, given god’s omnipotence and omniscience , were clearly beyond the understanding of the garden tenders. Now a new character is introduced into the garden, more subtile than any other, taking advantage of the naive young humans he tempts them and they succumb.

            Now, no longer innocent the children hide in embarrassment, the omnipotent, omniscient creator of the garden and everything else, presumably including the tempter – this being whom nothing is contingent and who foresees, purposes and does all things according to his immutable, eternal, and infallible will, apparently knows nothing of all this and asks, “where are you, why are you hiding”? Having thus discovered the wickedness of his creation he chastises them, the children, who have acquired a knowledge of god and evil but not of wisdom, start a circular game of passing the blame and getting severely punished for doing so. Personally I think the punishment was not particularly just, the serpent, the tempter gets to crawl on his belly, which is normal behaviour for serpents, the innocents who were led astray get hellfire and damnation for themselves and all their offspring, forever.
            If they had had enough time to learn a few things they would have learned that god was open to discussion and argument, as shown in the Sodom and Gomorrah story.

            Jon, clearly, does not believe this story, does not believe in the existence of the god character using the Christian Post article about the god character who offers a choice between two unacceptable candidates either of whom will be catastrophic, he tells a little story about children and cookies demonstrating that the god character is flawed.

            Now we get a post saying he is taking something, something that he clearly as a professed atheist does not believe, as excessively literal. This is something I clearly do not follow, describing the use of an analogy, something metaphorical, as “hyperliteralism” is too, too subtile for me.

            The continuing discussion then moves from the nature of god in the Jewish story, to something about eternal bodies in the Christian story. I am constantly told that the new supersedes the old, except, apparently when it is convenient, or not according to the required argument. If you think I was a little extreme in saying a little dishonest then I apologise, but, ( a phony apology always has a let out) I do think you were purposely taking a position based on a desire to be contrary rather than straight forward disagreement.

          • Henry says:

            entech, you are very, very longwinded.

          • entech says:

            Sometimes.

          • Henry says:

            Jon started with the hypothetical of a Christian parent placing cookies everywhere in the house, and then whipping their child if any are missing.

            My response concerned Jon dwelling on the biblical law and his past record of hyperliteralism in interpreting and applying the law to the point of it being taken out of context. (I did fail to mention his propensity to swing to the other extreme and exempt the NT law for certain behavior.)

            I then reflected on how difficult it must have been for Jon with his worldview to operate as a formerly practicing Christian. The way he went about it must have been frustrating for him.

            That is all.

          • entech says:

            If we wrote up the god’s principles of parenting and applied them to our small children

            You can read into things as you like, after all you read into old books what you want from them. But in my world this opening sentence does not speak to me of a hypothetical case, this screams analogy. You could even say it is metaphorical, but I don’t like if in metaphor so I will stick to analogy.

            The rotten parenting in the cooky story is a direct analogy for the treatment of the innocents in Genesis.

            I still do not see any relationship between something you don’t believe as in any way being treated literally hyper, hypo or any other hype you might like to introduce. You ignore his propensity to treat old and new with disdain, swinging from mild to extreme, the overall context is that none of it is true, some of it may have a connection to history but none to reality.

            On the why and wherefore of the transition from practising Christian to atheist blogging all you have is idle speculation. Why frustrating? Again idle speculation.

            I know (at least that is my impression) that you find it impossible to think that anyone can deny the obvious truth of what you believe to be absolute and infallible truth, you feel the need to use “the atheist” as an insult to somehow reinforce this opinion. That is all.

            Love your neighbour (start your own list of exceptions here)

          • Henry says:

            “Love your neighbour (start your own list of exceptions here)”

            False premise with speculation by entech.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Henry 1:14 “False premise with speculation by entech.”

            Entech provided all of you with the creed of all of us secularists. It is more heartfelt and sincere than that of believers. He said, “Hate the belief, love the believer.” He didn’t provide any exceptions. I think the other side makes exceptions.

          • Henry says:

            entech:“But in my world this opening sentence does not speak to me of a hypothetical case, this screams analogy.”

            As an analogy, it would be incomplete. In Jon’s “analogy”, he left out the part of the parent’s redemption and blotting out the sin of the child through the personal sacrifice of the parent. Rather, Jon gleefully focuses on the whipping of the child to fulfill the law.

          • Henry says:

            Jon: “Entech provided all of you with the creed of all of us secularists.”

            Thank you for the confession that secularism is a religion.

          • entech says:

            Henry 1:26 You may like to rephrase your post here. “parents redemption” would indicate that the parent was guilty of something from which he/she needed redeeming. I would agree with this because what you describe as Jon gleefully focusing on the whipping aspect actually describes the unjust act of an unjust parent. Apart from that you had to invent a whole new testament/covenant to introduce the immoral concept of vicarious redemption, forgiveness for something I had no part in, and once again which neither Jon nor I nor many others believe is true.

            The term “creed” can be used to refer to a set of non-religious beliefs, like political or social beliefs. Some examples are the American’s Creed and the Social Creed adopted by the Methodist Church (which contains both religious and social beliefs).

          • Henry says:

            entech:“You may like to rephrase your post here.”

            (rephrased just for entech. same meaning.)

            As an analogy, it would be incomplete. In Jon’s “analogy”, he left out the part of the parent’s redemption of the child and blotting out the sin of the child through the personal sacrifice of the parent.

          • Henry says:

            entech: “The term “creed” can be used to refer to a set of non-religious beliefs, like political or social beliefs.”

            Fair enough. However, I do know people whose political and social beliefs are their religion.

          • entech says:

            Too true, does this, then, imply, that as communist leaders, like Mao and Stalin, made a religion of their political and social(ist) beliefs? By extension all the millions killed by these states were killed in the name of religion?

            Sorry, couldn’t resist the distortion, I really have learned a lot from you ;)

          • Henry says:

            entech: “Too true, does this, then, imply, that as communist leaders, like Mao and Stalin, made a religion of their political and social(ist) beliefs?”

            Yes, their idolatry with themselves was a religion.

  4. johnson says:

    the bible today is hardly explained the way it was suppose to be taught….y’all should probably study the matter more. like the fact that the only reason the old testament is included is because of the now famous boy who became properly educated on it by his mom and then he learned from other people outside of the standard arena he was in. The man simply tried to show people their sh+ttyness, make peace, and keep that strength of mindset thoroughly into their passing…have a nice day

  5. Michael Ross says:

    “Punishment-sin-punishment. Spoken like a true Christian.”

    You mock and condemn Christians for proclaiming God as the righteous judge of the whole earth while you advocate the most base human behaviors of sodomy and child sacrifice in the form of abortion. And we are supposed to be the hypocrites.

  6. pk says:

    Hey Jon, sorry to go off topic, but i’m really interested to know what you think about that cashless society story i posted on the other thread. ANZ, looking at its corporate ownership is definitely owned by the elite, is going to invest $1.5 billion dollars into the initial biometric infrastructure Down Under. There’s also that other clip from CNBC where Jonathan Lipow pushes a cashless society like it’s no big deal and actually good. Lipow has an interesting background. He served in the Israel Defense Forces, and as Bank of America’s Israel country representative. I thought nobody has ever talked about this except radical religious conspiracy theorists on the internet.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      pk 9:10 re: cashless society.

      Certainly, I did not like the example down under where someone was suspious of a customer offering cash for a purchase. Cash, it would seem, is a lower cost transaction and should be the preferred medium. Though, there must be some cost to handling cash, I don’t see how it could be as expensive as card transction fees.

      As to a “cashless society”, that’s a complex subject. First, we could say there is nothing new here. All kinds of things have been used as a medium of exchange or “cash”, certain stones, bird skins, buttons and several dozen others I used to mention in my economics classes. The rule of life is, anything someone offers as “cash” can be used as long as the party accepting it accepts it.

      Thus, bank notes began to replace coins in early U. S. history. Soon, people started printing bank notes and the lost their acceptability. Eventually, the stroke of a pen on paper became 85% of our money, bank deposits which moved around be checks.

      On the face of it, I don’t see any difference between moving money between parties by electronic card transactions and moving them by strokes of a pen. Currency has not been used much for decades, so if it is used less not much would change.

      I don’t see more electronic transactions as something business, or even many banks, would prefer. It is the public, not including myself, who likes the card system. Some banks, like Citi own a lot of this, but other banks do not.

      I don’t see how it would change the role of the Federal Reserve.

      • pk says:

        What if a biometric, or any kind of digital means, was the only way you could legally make a transaction? Would the private banks control this system and have the governments enforce it? The reason people like using cards at the store or McDonalds is because it’s fast and you don’t have to deal with gallons of change every year, but everyone knows there’s still cash. We all know we are still free to use cash and not have to show an ID or get permission to use it. Could you imagine if you couldn’t sell anything without running it through an external digital system? It’s a major liberty issue and the banks want it worldwide. It’s obvious they do because that survey only had a couple thousand people take part and ANZ Bank was tickled at the results and are going ahead with Phase 1.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          pk 11:27 I agree identity theft, by government or private crooks, is the downside of digital. If people just used currency, or checks, more often we would all be safer in many ways. Carrying around a boatload of coins and currency is a small price to pay.

          • pk says:

            I’m not sure why you brought up identity theft. The identity theft phenomenon is an intelligence operation to make the argument for a biometric identification system sound reasonable. “You can’t forge a thumbprint”, stuff like that. My point was about what if Professor Lipow’s vision comes true. A global cashless society. That would mean any type of medium would be illegal. Only the approved, controlled and monitored system would be the only way to buy or sell. If the reason for this system is due to terrorists and dangerous drug cartels, this system would be enforced through the barrel of a gun. I think it’s something to keep an eye on and say no to it when it’s being forced on us.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            pk 2:33 I so distrustful of the digital world when I travel I take enough cash to buy food, lodging and fuel to get home. Not knowing much about the system, I have a fear it could all fail for a while.

  7. Stan says:

    Even as a Christian I don’t believe we have to have a Christian candidate. Ethical and moral yes, but they do not have to be christian for that, though sometimes it makes it easier.

    • entech says:

      Even in Indonesia, where Islam has a position that the more extreme “Christian Right” could only lust after, it has recently been said that the president does not necessarily have to be a Muslim. (I put Christian Right in quotes because I am not quite sure what it means, probably different things to different people – generally people who think they have perfect knowledge and want the country – yours, mine, any – to be run according to their ideas).

      Stan and I agree, sometimes, and I am sure this is one of them. Ethical, moral, decent, honest with the general good as a guiding principle is what is needed. Religious affiliation is not a criterion, although, even as a non believer I accept that it could, not necessarily, be a help.

      • Stan says:

        There are extremist in both the religious and secular world Entech. I have had people tell me on other forums they can’t wait until modern medicine can “cure” religious thought. Sounds like a lack of free will for believers on the part of non-believers.

        Opps, personal update 27 prisoners come to Christ last weekend, hopefully one or two will actually hang onto it and change their life. Still waiting to find out the results from the atheist group running a retreat weekend.

        • entech says:

          It seems strange to me that you can all religious thought as something that can be cured, I wonder about people that say such things – I often categorise those who proselytise vehemently and denigrate non believers as overcompensating for their own doubts, to say believers are sick could well be the reverse side of the same coin.

          Neither belief nor lack of belief is anything more than the thoughts in your head, they can change from one to the other without affecting whatever is actually true, reality is independent of what people think it is is.

          I would imagine your group would have a better result in offering hope to prisoners. To quote Marx, from his university days, before he became political. From his Crtique of Hegel’s Philosophy
          Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
          (It is important to note that opium or opiate was used in a different sense at that time. Opium was an important medicine. It was used as a painkiller or sedative, but also for a wide range of ailments, including combating cholera.)
          In this sense what you have to offer is more attractive to the prisoner than some abstract philosophising. Of course, what you offer may actually be real, it works both ways because I don’t believe it does not mean it is wrong.

          • Stan says:

            May I take that as support for our mission? Dead eyes on Saturday morning have light and hope Sunday night. We always have people on the team who were inmates at one time who have come to Christ, pardon the expression but the changes in their lives can only be called miraculous.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Stan 4:11 Prisoners “..who have come to Christ, pardon the expression but the changes in their lives can only be called miraculous.”

            I’m glad you are able to raise the morale of those prisoners, even if it involves myths. I’ve spent some time in prisons and the generalization I would make about the folks in there are that they a really down on themselves. They seem to spend a lot of time wishing they were diffenent people–these are not all of them, of course.

            I wish we who are nonbelievers had the mass of people and wherewithall to do a mission like this. I’d like to stand in front of a group of these discouraged people and say, “We believe in you. We want you to believe in yourself. You have within yourself the power to do good things in your life. Whatever your past, your future is in your hands.” And, of course, do a lot of listening.

            The percentage of prisoners in the U. S. who are there for drug offenses is huge. Another set is there because they used alcohol and made mistakes. Others grew up with alcohol and disfunctional families. I can’t begin to tell the sad stories of young lives I heard about in there.

            Maybe that will be a project in my future.

          • entech says:

            If you find you are helping people then, yes, I would support your efforts. Different things give comfort to different people.

            I would still reserve the right to say that although giving hope, solace, comfort and whatever else is a worthwhile end in itself, it does not, however, provide proof of concept or verification.

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