Image via WikipediaThis is the story of Joe B., a ten-year-old boy. Joe B. lived with his mother, Mrs. Smith, in an upper-middle class neighborhood. He got decent grades in school, and he was remarkably obedient to his mother. He was diligent in all of his chores, especially feeding his cat Skittles and his dog Fluffy. He would often create artwork and presents for his mother, which she enjoyed very much. For Joe B., loving his mother was second nature.
One day, Joe's aunt Lucy came to visit. Lucy watched Joe's diligence and love for his mother. Lucy pulled Mrs. Smith aside.
"The only reason Joe B. loves you so much is because you spoil him rotten and give him everything he wants," Lucy opined.
"Nonsense! Joe B. is a wonderful boy and he loves me no matter what happens. He is the sweetest boy a mother could ever hope for", Mrs. Smith retorted.
"Oh, really?" Lucy shot back. "I bet if I took all his toys away, he would hate you!"
"No, he wouldn't"
"Prove it, then"
"OK, Lucy. I will go away from this house, and you take care of Joe. Nothing you can do to him will lessen his love for me. All I ask is that you do not kill him."
"It's a deal". Lucy and Mrs. Smith shook hands, and Mrs. Smith spirited away without so much as a goodbye to Joe B.
Lucy poured herself a martini and surveyed Joe's little world, his toys and games, his sports equipment, his computer and the game console.
Joe came through the door, puzzled. "Aunt Lucy, what are you doing here?"
"Oh, I've come to take care of you for a while. I plan on making your life utterly miserable until you tell me that you hate your mother."
"Why would I say that? I love Mom!"
"Very well, then..."
Lucy went to the garage and returned with a claw hammer. She began smashing the TV to bits. She dug the claw into his game console until wires were hanging out of it. She found his laptop computer and smashed the screen and keyboard.
"What are you doing?" Joe cried in fear.
"Do you hate your mother?"
"No! Stop wrecking my stuff!"
"Not any time soon, little boy", she snickered.
Lucy grabbed Joe and tied his hands behind his back and put a piece of duct tape over his mouth. She tied his feet together, then dragged him out to the backyard. She drove a stake into the ground and chained him to it so he would not escape.
Lucy went back into the house and returned an hour later with several boxes containing all of Joe's belongings. His board games and sports equipment were in one box. His clothes were in two other boxes, and books were in other boxes. She placed the boxes within his view, and squirted lighter fluid all over them, and set his belongings aflame in a towering blaze. While he watched his belongings burn up with a foul smoke, Lucy took it upon herself to run over his bicycle with her car. She came back to where he was tied.
"Do you hate your mother, NOW?", Lucy interrogated.
Joe shook his head no, with tear-glazed eyes. Lucy gave a harrumph and walked back into the house.
The black smoke rising got the attention of his neighborhood friends, Billy and Tommy, who ran over to see what was the matter.
"Oh no!", cried Billy. "Look what's happened to Joe!" Billy removed the tape from his mouth. "Joe! Are you all right?"
"I don't know what's going on! Aunt Lucy broke my Xbox and my computer and she burned all my stuff! I'm so scared, I don't know what she's going to do next!"
"Where is your Mom?", asked Tommy.
"I don't know. But I know she'll be back soon and it will be all right", Joe fumbled.
"Wow, you must have really gotten your Mom really mad to let this happen!", said Billy.
"I don't know what I did! I wish she were here to tell me, so I could apologize and make this all go away"
"Maybe you didn't do your chores right. I sometimes get yelled at when I screw something up", Billy added.
"Here, let me try to get you out of these ropes and chains, dude", said Tommy.
As he said that, Lucy emerged from the house wielding a shotgun. "Just what do you boys think you're doing?"
"Dude! We'll get you some help!" Billy shouted as he and Tommy ran away.
"Do you hate your mother?" Lucy demanded.
"No way! You're a witch! Leave me alone!", Joe screamed.
"Have it your way", she giggled. "By the way, these shells are merely bird shot. They won't kill you, but I can guarantee you will be in a lot of pain." She pumped the shotgun and aimed right for Joe. The first shot burned with heat and a rain of pellets that buried into his chest and torso. She fired another shot at his legs. She kicked him over with her foot and fired another round into his back, then another into his buttocks. She rolled him over one more time and shouted "Close your eyes!", and delivered the final shot to his face. Blood trickled out the numerous wounds that covered his smooth skin.
"Do you hate your mother?" Lucy demanded again.
Barely able to speak, Joe mumbled, "I want my Mom. Bring me my Mom".
Lucy then pulled out a gallon of vinegar and a cloth. She began swabbing his wounds with the vinegar-dampened cloth. Joe howled in agony as his lesions burned with intensity.
"Do you hate your mother?" she roared.
"Nooooooo!", Joe howled in pain.
"OK, then, say goodbye to Mr. Skittles". Lucy took the cat under her arm, and with a Bowie knife slit the cat's throat. Skittle ran for a minute before falling over dead. Lucy placed the cat's carcass next to Joe's face.
"Tell me that you hate your mother!" she demanded.
"No no no no!" Joe could see his dog Fluffy running in the yard in bewilderment, and he anticipated what would happen next. Meanwhile, Lucy chambered a few rounds of buckshot into her weapon. "Run, Fluffy!" Joe shouted, but to no avail. Lucy took aim and dropped his favorite pet with a single round. Then, inexplicably, Lucy departed.
Joe lay on the ground, bleeding in agony, angry and sad at the death of his beloved pets, bewildered by the awful events. Joe cried out "Mommy! Mommy!" but no one answered. He stared up at the empty sky, and thought how much better it must be to die than endure this torture.
After what seems an eternity, Joe heard footsteps coming toward him. It was his mother.
"Mommy! I'm so glad to see you! Help me, please!", Joe stammered.
"I am here" she replied, releasing him from his bondage.
"Why did you let this happen? Didn't I do my chores right? Didn't you like my artwork?", Joe wondered.
Mrs. Smith stood up straight with indignation. "How dare you criticize me, you insolent little brat! Don't you know that I birthed you, and without me, you are NOTHING! You are worthless! Everything in your life comes from ME! Don't you ever let me hear you take that ungrateful tone of voice again!"
"Mother, I am so sorry. I am so worthless. You are the only thing that matters in my life", Joe apologized.
Mrs. Smith did take Joe to the hospital and they removed the birdshot pellets from his skin. His skin did heal, though numerous scars remained to remind him of his ordeal. Mrs. Smith was able to replace the toys that were destroyed, and she bought him an XBox AND a Wii system. She even went to the pet store and got two cats and two dogs for Joe to keep as pets.
And Joe lived the rest of his life wondering what the moral of this story is and why his mother had allowed him to endure such agony.
Religious apologists continue to employ contorted thinking to justify what a great mother Mrs. Smith is, and how much we can learn about dealing with pain and suffering from the events of this story. When you take the Book of Job out of the bible and put it in a modern-day context, it is very easy to see how despicable and utterly depraved this story is, and just how stupid people are who claim to derive some sort of "wisdom" from it.