I've actually written a little bit about this subject a while back on my blog, but I would like to expound upon it further here. Many times when discussing religious issues with theists particularly Christians, we come to the conclusion that they are blinded by faith. Usually we arrive at this conclusion after presenting them with damning information present in their own texts about their God. We show them that God is not merciful, just, or loving. We show them the many massacres he supposedly and miraculously carried out, we tell them about the many times that he commanded the Hebrews to murder entire cities including women and children, yet they don't budge.
The typical theistic response to all of these accusations made by atheists on the matter is that all of the victims of God's wrath deserved what they got; because they were sinners! They often like to turn the accusatory finger on us and say with anger "who are you to judge God!" They then skip over all the evil the Lord has done and remind us that he gave his only son to save us from perdition and eternal torment in hell. But what is the real reason for this devotion? What makes a believer overlook the inconsistencies in the bible, their deities misconduct, his crimes against humanity?
I have come to believe that the one emotion that has the power to shut down rational thinking and cripple your ability to logically assess a situation is love. We see the power of love active in our lives in both positive and negative ways every day. When two people love each other and respect each other, love can be a wonderful thing. Your every waking moment has thoughts of the one who you have devoted your life and heart to. You dream of them, and when you are apart for too long you begin to long to be in their presence. Sometimes you share your most intimate thoughts and experiences from each others past and you enjoy each others company.
What people fail to realize is that love also has a dark side. There are those who take love to the extreme. They take it to the point where this love becomes obsessive and dangerous to those involved, and like even the biblical God admits it leads to jealousy.
“You shall have no other gods before me.
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:3-6 (NIV).
What this text describes is not love but obsession. It's a command to love God, and woe unto those who do not heed this command! God suffers from one of mans most harmful and damaging emotions: jealousy!! The fact that he punishes those that do not follow him or devote their love to him demonstrates that God is a control freak. He is a megalomaniac who loves the idea of people crying and groveling at his feet begging for mercy and acknowledging his greatness. Does this sound familiar?
Yeah, I said it! God is a domestic violence abuser! According to the bible we are his "children," Christ referred to the church as his bride and yet we are subject live in fear for not worshiping God. We are told that salvation is a free gift but there is nothing free about this gift unless you acknowledge that you are a sinner, and that you are willing to bend your will to please God. This so called free gift comes with a lot of unwanted baggage. Self sacrifice is the biggest part of this contract which basically states: Do as I say and not as I do! Obey or else!
This is not love this is spousal abuse! But I digress from my original issue here. Why is it that theists no matter how many evil things their God does, do not see the evil in God? It's not just because of faith my friends. It's because of love and devotion to the deity they have chosen to give their lives to. Teens and adults have been known to commit suicide or even murder in response to losing someone they loved obsessively. Love when taken to the extreme clouds the mind and skews your judgement on all other matters.
No one demonstrates this best than women who are subjected to domestic violence. After having the police respond to a domestic dispute, and after having taken a beating at the hands of the one that professes to love them; they still don't want him to get arrested! They blame themselves often for his lack of self control. And when asked by the court "why don't you want to press charges?" the standard answer is..... drum roll please: because I love him!! What these poor deluded women fail to understand is that that is not love, it is obsession. Like Christians, victims of domestic violence become codependent on their partners for financial support, kids, whatever the reason.
Just like victims of domestic violence Christians are told how horrible they are without Jesus. They are so corrupt that God could not even bear to look at them if it were not for the blood of Christ which washes their dirty sinful garments white. They are told how useless and meaningless their lives are without Jesus. They are reminded how they are formed out of the dirt and how God having given them life could easily take it back.
"See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand." Deuteronomy 32:39 (NIV).
Finally, along with love theists are told to fear God.
"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28 (NIV).
It's incredible but when you discuss this fear that the good Lord commands, theists rationalize it by saying he did not mean fear as you would fear a serial killer for instance, but rather he means fear as in respect! These are all Christian rationalizations to keep them clinging to their faith. They don't see the blatant threats made in the "good book," nor do they acknowledge the cruelty in their God simply because they are content to believe that he loves them. When it comes to God and his treatment towards man it is my opinion that his love is not different from that of an obsessive domestic abuser. God is a domestic abuser and Christians are not only blinded by faith but they are also blinded by love!