I often hear religious people describe the God they worship as a Father. This imagery comes up especially often in my conversations with Christian friends, family members and acquaintances. I have always found the implication of so many grown adults feeling the need to have an all-powerful father figure watching over them to be unsettling to say the least. The term “daddy issues” hardly begins to cover it. That said I reject the notion that the Christian God exists, but if he did exist he would certainly be anything but a good father. Here are my reasons for holding this view:
1. A good father eventually let’s his offspring get on with their lives.
My father, early on recognized that I needed to be free to make some of my own mistakes, and to often find things out for myself. He also recognized the need in me to be my own independent person, and to think for myself, rather than exist for his gratification or amusement. He was not the type to pressure me to follow in his footsteps, take up the family business or some career path he had predetermined for me. The Christian God, on the other hand, demands complete and utter submission to his authority. He demands we live entirely for him. He insists that everything has to be about him, and that we exist only for his self-glorification. This is the height of authoritarianism.
2. A God father, enjoys an occasional compliment, and some appreciation, but does not need his children to be his personal sycophants.
My father was always happy when I showed appreciation for everything he did for me and my siblings, but he never demanded it and it certainly never felt imposed upon us. He would certainly have never demand we worship him, and if he did we would have suspected a horrific change had occurred in the state of his mental health. The Christian God of course demands complete sycophancy, and continuous worship and praise. What a fragile ego this being must have! Demanding others constantly tell you how great you are or demanding they constantly submit to your power or authority is a sign of tyranny poor mental health.
3. A good father knows love is to be earned.
Nothing could cheapen love more than making it compulsory. Nothing cheapens anything more than making it compulsory. The Christian God requires his followers to love him and threatens to have them tortured forever if they don’t. This is not love, it is insanity!! To make matters worse the Christian God hides himself, to the extent that there is strong reason to doubt his existence. What would we think of a father who moves away from his children at a young age and never has direct contact with them, but still expects them to love him? What if his only communication with them was in the form of folkloric stories, written in other people’s handwriting? The parallels between this situation and the God Christians worship should be obvious.
4. A good father does not use rewards or punishment, as his primary means interaction with his children.
Instead he leads by example and illustrates the benefits of making wise decisions and being good to other people. Ruling through fear teaches that things are only wrong if you get caught, and rewarding good behavior is little more than a form of bribery. Of course the Christian god operates imposes his rule on his subjects largely through threats of eternal torture or the bribe of a heavenly blissful existence after we die. Indeed these are the primary reasons most Christians I talk to give for why I should share their beliefs.
5. A good father does not subject his children to torture.
If any earthly father subjected his son or daughter to torture, for not loving him or doubting his existence, he would be arrested and viewed as some sort of deranged maniac. This, of course is exactly what the Christian God does, only worse because the torture the Christian God imposes on his subjects is eternal.
I could go on, but most of our readers should get the idea. Unlike the largely positive and rather libertarian upbringing I had, the Christian God is a heinous totalitarian, who demands complete and utter submission, sycophancy and compulsory love at the threat of eternal torture. His household would be considered abusive and highly dysfunctional by any sane standards. I’m happy that there is no evidence that such a being exists.