Guest Post: Yahweh: A Father’s Day Shout Out to A Terrible Parent

Father's DayHappy Father’s Day to all the great Dads out there today, godless and otherwise. Get out there and enjoy your babies, today!

This is a guest post from Matt Berger. Matt is from Ohio, and works in the maintenance department of a factory. He’s the father of a very beautiful two year old girl, and not married (yet) to a wonderful woman, whom he adores. He began blogging a year ago, but writing has always been a passion of his. You can check out his blog at bluecollaratheism.com and follow him on Twitter here: @NWOhioAtheist. If you want to be a guest blogger on godlessmom.com, click here.

The past two years as a father have been monumentally beneficial to me. Having my daughter is the greatest thing I’ve managed to achieve in my short time on this Earth, and she may be the greatest thing I ever will accomplish. As I write this, she keeps walking up to me, as if to remind me of this, and of how cute she is of course. (she looks like her father, what can I say?).

I enjoy Father’s Day immensely, but not for the reasons you may think. I don’t consider it “my day”, nor do I expect gifts and special treatment. Father’s Day makes me reflect on the fact that: “Holy shit, I’m a father”. I get a very profound sense of purpose and direction thinking about the beautiful, innocent (albeit heathen-born) child that depends on me, and it makes me realize how important my role is as a father.

Which brings me to the topic of this post: God/Yahweh/The Father/Big Daddy In The Sky. Basically every Christian I know has referred to their god as “father” at one point or another, and it made me think: “Damn, this guy has got to be the shittiest father in the history of fathers”. And yes, that includes Lot (Genesis 19:30), and Noah(Genesis 9:20-27, what a dick, right?).

So, I may be reaching a bit, but the evidence is kind of damning. Let’s start in the Garden of Eden, where God placed his first two children. Anyone with a child knows if you put them in a room, tell them that a specific toy in that room is amazing, tell them not to ever ever touch it, then put someone in there who encourages them to play with said toy, the outcome should be obvious.

Yet this is what God did, and they were punished for it, severely. Supposedly this is where death came into the world, pain of childbirth and tilling of soil as well. If we are all God’s children, why would we be punished for something our older sibling did? Seems like some shitty parenting if you ask me.

Let’s also explore the fact that he never comes around. He’s like the deadbeat dad that bails, but shows up once every couple of years to check in when his kids do something good. While countless Christians suffer and die from disease, natural disasters, among other things, he’s nowhere to be found. Someone survives a horrible scenario however, and there’s God, taking credit and pretending to be father of the year.

It goes back to something Michael Shermer brings up quite often where the religious “count the hits, ignore the misses”. Imagine somebody trying to tell you that their dad is the greatest dad in the world. You know this statement is not true, he’s absent and when he is around, is abusive, demeaning, and insulting. But the person insists their father is the greatest, because two years ago, he bought them a birthday present. Doesn’t make much sense right?

This is the God Christians pray to. He’s a violent, abusive, jealous, angry, and absent father that gets credit for all the good things that happen, but none of the blame for the bad. (This is to say, the character depicted in the Bible, whom I highly doubt exists. It should go without saying, but I don’t want you mistaking my critique as a hatred for your god, as I don’t think he’s real. I hate him much like I hate Lord Voldemort.) As Christopher Hitchens brilliantly said:

“Once you assume a Creator and a plan, it makes us objects in a cruel experiment whereby we are created sick and then commanded to be well. And over us to supervise this is installed a celestial dictatorship, a kind of divine North Korea: greedy for uncritical praise from dawn till dusk, and swift to punish the original sins with which it so tenderly gifted us in the very first place.”

What sort of loving parent would act in such a way? A child born with some sort of birth defect, especially one caused by a choice the parent made during the pregnancy, should not be punished for having that defect should they?

Let’s visit the story of Job, one of the best (or is it worst?) examples of God’s horrible parenting. If you’re unfamiliar, this is where God systematically destroys everything in Job’s life, his cattle, his farm, his servants, his children, and even his own health are taken away from him just to prove a point (to Satan, of all people) that Job will still love him, no matter what he does.

Imagine that for a second. Someone has a child, and his child grows up to become successful in every aspect of their life. They start a successful business, have a beautiful family of their own, and respect and adore their father. Their father then, to prove to some person he doesn’t even like that his child will always love him, starts to tear apart what his child has created. He ruins the business, destroys his son’s product and staff, murders his children, yet the son still refuses to condemn his actions. He then poisons his child, and makes him ill.

Sick, right? Yet there are examples like this littered throughout the Bible, where the supposedly loving father brutally punishes people to make an example. It begs the question, “If it so happens that this God actually exists, is he really worth your admiration?“.

The God of the Bible is, as Richard Dawkins has said:

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

This is not a deity to admire or look up to. To ignore the negative aspects of this god’s character is to turn a blind eye to the truth. The Bible was written during times of barbaric, murderous, uneducated, and violent people, and the god they invented reflects those qualities quite accurately. For some reason, people think these are qualities that deserve worship and praise, whereas I feel they are worthy of condemnation and disgust.

This was a guest post from Matt Berger. Matt is from Ohio, and works in the maintenance department of a factory. He’s the father of a very beautiful two year old girl, and not married (yet) to a wonderful woman, whom he adores. He began blogging a year ago, but writing has always been a passion of his. You can check out his blog at bluecollaratheism.com and follow him on Twitter here: @NWOhioAtheist. If you want to be a guest blogger on godlessmom.com, click here.

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  • Colin Fairweather

    Since this article focuses mostly on the Old Testament, it might be worth pointing out that OT references to God as Father are actually very rare. God is called the Father of the nation of Israel, or the Father of certain individuals only fifteen times. There’s certainly nothing in the Genesis and Job passages cited. The Father metaphor for God may have been avoided in the Old Testament due to its frequent use in the ancient Near East, where it was used in various fertility rites. So, I think you are mispunching somewhat.