Religion for Fun and Amusement
Taunting those born-again bible-bashers who infest out town centres and High Streets by firing awkward questions at them is probably not as anti-social as bear-baiting or cock-fighting and, if you have the time to spare, can provide hours of harmless fun. Supporters of fox-hunting claim that the fox actually enjoys being tortured, and the same is probably true of those who devote their lives to telling us about Jesus; at least they come back every week for more.
One of the problems the amateur evangelists have is that they tend to make it up as they go along and often end up arguing amongst themselves as they attempt to answer questions such as – why, if this all-knowing god who, we assume, had at least a rough idea of what he was doing wanted us to be good, did he insist that we are all born in sin? Why did he go to the trouble of creating Lucifer, a fallen angel, when he knew perfectly well that he was going to turn into the devil and lead us astray? Why, when he knew that Eve was going to be tempted by that bloody serpent, didn’t he create her with a bit more will-power? And why, if he’s all-knowing and therefore fully aware of just how wicked we were all going to be, didn’t he make us as he wanted us?
‘Ah’ the bible-thumper smirks triumphantly, ‘He didn’t want us to be like robots, so he gave us free will, and one day he is going to judge us’.
A slight lack of logic there surely. If this god, who is all-knowing, knows that I am going to be evil next Wednesday, for example, can I, then, exercise my free will and be good instead – and thereby prove him wrong? Watch the bible-thumpers faces as they wrestle with that one. As I said, hours of fun and amusement and unlike other blood sports, there are no laws against it.
It’s not just the amateur Holy Joes who struggle with the idea of an all-knowing and unchanging god though. After centuries of institutionalised sexism and homophobia it’s just beginning to dawn on the Roman Catholic Church that these ideas are no longer acceptable in the modern world, and God’s previous views, therefore, need to be drastically amended.
‘If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him’ asked Pope Francis recently, trying to get to grips with this about-turn in God’s thinking, and conveniently forgetting the Church’s previous position. Not wishing to alienate those who prefer God’s original plan though, he then insisted that homosexual acts are still sinful, but homosexual orientation was not.
Desmond Tutu, the former Archbishop of Cape Town and anti-apartheid and gay rights supporter, had no such difficulties with God’s new politically correct image.
‘I would not worship a god who is homophobic’ he insisted. ‘I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place’.
He’s certainly sticking his neck out there. See you in hell, Desmond.