I picked up the paper today and read an article by Kathleen Parker that got me to thinking. Ms. Parker is a conservative columnist, and I agree with much she has to say. Today was no exception has I read her insights on the recent Michael Jackson fiasco over in Germany this week.
For those of you who may be out of touch, or read this article in the future, Mr. Jackson dangled his young infant over the guard rail of his fourth floor hotel balcony. He held the squirming kid by one arm showing the child off to the crowd in the street.
Now what is so interesting about this event is that there is no moral outcry about child endangerment for this display.
When I was stationed in Japan about 10 years ago, my wife and I went shopping at the base exchange taking our 2 year old daughter with us. She was the proverbial terrible two child at the time and wanted to touch this and grab that. When she was told no, she would go into a royal screaming fit of anger. Typical really for a child that age, but she excelled at making her displeasure known, so when that happened my wife retreated to the ladies bathroom with my daughter until such time as the fit subsided. This particular day my wife had to take her to the bathroom 3 times in order to rescue the other shoppers from premature deafness. My wife neither scolded the child, or used any sort of corporal punishment on her, just sat with her until she quieted down enough to re-enter polite society. On the third trip into the laboratory, a woman who had been observing this ritual decided she needed to become involved with what was going on. She entered the ladies room while my wife was in there and said, “ You need to stop beating your child right now!” My wife was offended and told the woman that she obviously did not have any children of her own, or she would not be so hasty as to make a remark like that. The woman stormed out of the room.
We left soon after that but were told by friends who worked there that the police showed up about 10 minutes after we left. They had received a report that some lady was abusing her infant son in the ladies bathroom. Fortunately we had left, but if we had still been there, we would have been subjected to a military investigation which may have resulted in mandatory parenting classes at the very least, just on one woman’s allegation. The military plays it safe in these matters, especially when within the borders of other countries.
In the local news here, a woman was brought up on charges, and had to appear in court for smacking her child in public. During the trial it was revealed that the child had used some very profane and disrespectful language on her mother and her mother had smacked her mouth. This was considered child abuse.
Now, Michael Jackson really endangers his child before the whole world and not one cry of foul to be heard.
This brings me back to Ms. Parker’s commentary on the subject. She points out that while the average person is held to a strict code of ethics in our society, if you are a star or hero, your odd behavior is simply accepted, perhaps even applauded. Excuses are made for the icons of our time as if being eccentric is not only expected but even required. Jackson’s children are name Prince Michael 1, (boy age five), Paris Michael (girl age 4) and the baby in the picture is Prince Michael 2. What’s more, when seen in public all the children’s faces are covered with veils. Then Jackson holds his kid with one arm over a ledge! “If anyone other than an extraordinarily wealthy, eccentric superstar celebrity had done what Jackson did, the child protection workers would have taken his children and started and investigation faster than you can say “thrillah.” to quote Ms. Parker.
Now here is where I make my point.
Christians use the same strange hero worship mentality when justifying the behavior and actions of their favorite god. Here is a verse often overlooked: “Luke 3:38 Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.”
When I was a Christian I believed that only those in Christ were privileged to be called the children of god. Here in plain language it is clear that Adam is the son of GOD. Since everyone can claim his heritage to Adam, according to the bible anyway, then all people in all times and places are technically children of GOD. Let’s think about how GOD treats his children for a minute.
Psalms 2:4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
Psalms 37:13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
Psalms 59:8 But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.
Proverbs 1:26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
Exodus 32:27 Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side ... and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.--
Lev 26:29 And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.--
DT 7:16 And thou shalt consume all the people which the LORD thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them.
Joshua 10:11 the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them ... and they died.
1 Sam 15:2-3 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, ... Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
Jer 16:4 They shall die of grievous deaths; they shall not be lamented; neither shall they be buried; but they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth: and they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine; and their carcasses shall be meat for the fowls of heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.
Hosea 13:16 Their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.
Rev 9:15 The four angels were loosed to slay the third part of men.
Rev 19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
This is only a brief smattering of verses set to make a point. The bible is filled with horrible descriptions of death, torture, bloodshed, and cruel and unusual punishment all in the name of a loving and forgiving god.
Just having my baby cry in a store is interpreted as possible child abuse, but when the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, sovereign, superstar of the universe does the most heinous acts of violence against his own children, Christians simply retreat into the tired euphemism of “His ways are higher than our ways and our ways are not his ways.” In other words by way of allegory, we all know Michael Jackson is weird, so whatever he does is not a big problem in our minds. So likewise, we know that GOD is incomprehensible, so when he does incomprehensibly wicked things, well we shouldn’t question it, but just accept that somehow this too is love, mercy and justice.
Also see this fine article: Biblegod The War Criminal
Original Kathleen Parker article is posted HERE
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)