Additionally, repeated cycles of violence and reconciliation can result in the following beliefs and attitudes:
- The abused thinks that the violence was his or her fault.
- The abused has an inability to place the responsibility for the violence elsewhere.
- The abused fears for their life and/or the lives of their children (if present).
- The abused has an irrational belief that the abuser is omnipresent and omniscient.
There is a Being. Supposedly. Who has massacred almost the entire population of a planet, more or less on a whim. Who has ordered humans to commit genocide and violence against other humans. Who threatens violence if his demands are not complied with. Who blames humans for what he does to them. Whose followers claim that he knows everything and is everywhere.
Who has put the Jews through abuse that makes the Nazis look like pansies.
And we’ve been… worshiping him?
( Thank you, Commandments of Men, for putting this so succinctly and doing so sooner than me.
I’m including passages instead of references- just to show that I’m not making this up.
Committing genocide/near genocide:
Gen 6:5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.”
Wanna know what was different about humans before and after the flood?
Ordering humans to commit genocide:
Deuteronomy 20:16 However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy[a] them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you.
Threatening violence/near genocide/rejection/abandonment if his demands are not complied with:
Deuteronomy 29:22 Your children who follow you in later generations and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which the Lord has afflicted it.23 The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur—nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim, which the Lord overthrew in fierce anger. 24 All the nations will ask: “Why has the Lord done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?”
25 And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26 They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. 27 Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. 28 In furious anger and in great wrath the Lord uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.”
Deuteronomy 31:16 And the Lord said to Moses: “You are going to rest with your ancestors, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them. 17 And in that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed.
Blaming the victims of his rage/violence for his behavior:
Exodus 33:3 Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.”
4 When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments. 5 For the Lord had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you.’” 6 So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments at Mount Horeb.
Followers believe him to be omnipresent and omniscient:
Psalm 139:1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
(If you think this Psalm is comforting- consider. In the next two sections the Psalmist states that:
5 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
And that he has this deep desire-
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
But God, who views on the slaughter of enemies has been seen to be remarkably consistent with the Psalmist’s, also wove together those enemies in the secret places. He also wrote all the days ordained for them in his book. AKA- God created a certain number of beings for the express purpose of destroying them horribly. You can argue whether he has the right to do that till you’re blue in the face- what kind of sadist exercises such a right? )
This omniscience and omnipresence is believed, despite the fact that God is frequently reduced to sending messengers to investigate things and performing tests to verify facts that he’s not sure of. Babel, Sodom, Abraham+Issac, Job, etc.
Reference section ends now.
So here’s my problem. This God is basically an abuser. He fits the profile.
If there is a God- and the Old Testament stories show just the best image of him that Bronze Age people were able to create, due to their own ignorance-
then presumably, the gods of other religions are the same deal. The best image of God that humans of a particular time and place were able to create, due to their own ignorance.
However, the Old Testament God- YHWH- does not tolerate questions in humans well and often explicitly demands the death of anyone who listens to other gods. If he doesn’t have any minions willing to carry out such demands on hand, he resorts to claiming that they deserve to die. All- all- only- must be for Him. Alone.
Hence shorting out the ability of humans to compare notes on their versions of God. Hence preventing them from moving past him and towards the Infinite- whatever That may be.
If somewhere, out beyond the edge of our knowledge and perception, there is a One True God- isn’t YHWH the Devil?