According to Christians, the story of Abraham and Isaac (from Genesis chapter 22) is a testament to Abraham's great love for God.
Basically, God ordered Abraham to kill his son, Isaac, and present him as a "Burnt Offering." So Abraham ties Isaac to a wooden alter (as instructed) and, knife in hand, gets ready to kill his son. Then, an angel stops him just in time and God let's him kill a ram instead.
What a horrible story!
What kind of "loving" god would order such a thing? It sounds more like something a gang member might have to do to prove his loyalty.
And what kind of father was Abraham? He was willing to kill his son in cold blood and burn him, without protest or even questioning God.
The real answer lies in verse 12. The angel says, "now I know that thou fearest God." The story is not about love, but fear! Like most of the Old Testamentt, the story is designed to scare people into submission to "Almighty God."
And what about poor Isaac? How fucked up would that kid be after his father tied him to an alter and raised a knife to kill him? I'm sure God kicked in for the therapy bills...
Here are the key passages:
Genesis 22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
22:2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
22:6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
22:9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
22:10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
22:11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
22:12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
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)