Why so green and lonely? Everything's going to be alright, just you wait and see.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Righteous Judgements

Hannity and Colmes actually interviewed a member of Westboro Baptist Church. You've probably seen this tiny group of crazies on TV before, but usually they stick to harassing homosexuals. If you've never heard of this Christian Cult then I think reading about their leader, Fred Phelps, would be entertaining.
You can watch the 5 minute interview here:

Woo-woo lady: There are no innocent people. Thank God for 9/11. Thank God for dead soldiers. Thank God for IEDs. There are no innocent people.
I thank God for every single one of his richeous judgements that he executes upon a rebellious nation and on people who will not obey.

Colmes: What's the matter with you?

Woo-woo lady: What's the matter with YOU? Why won't you just obey? The scripture says that if you will obey the Lord, your God, bless you. If you do not obey the commandments of the Lord, your God, curse you. We're talking now about the curses of God.
The reason I posted this is because, even though this is a tiny cult and their statements don't represent anyone who matters, I think their views on suffering and innocence are, in a general sense, entirely consistent with huge swaths of Christianity. Somebody set me straight if I'm wrong there, but that's the impression I get.

Believers are right in saying that, if the old-school God exists (now with bonus wrath inside!) then saying “I don't like God” is not a sensible reason to reject Him. Even if you believe in God's wrath, our history is filled with evidence that we can spare ourselves unnecessary suffering if we actively try to defend ourselves using our brains and hands instead of praying, for example. I guess you can try to do both, but evidence for the former is rock-solid while evidence for the latter is pretty fishy.

If you're strictly worried about adhering to God's will, then of course you can just shrug your shoulders at worldly suffering. After all, “there are no innocent people.” It's obvious why humanists find this attitude frustrating. It's as if religious fundamentalists think we're God's little Sea-Monkeys. It all comes down to this: do you care about suffering in this life, or the next? Moderate people find a way to care about both and I think that's great.

Of course, nothing guarantees that an atheist cares about suffering in this world, either. After all you don't see me running off to the parts of Africa where people really need help—I sit around making software. Making myself upset has been a hobby.


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