Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Heavenly fatherliness #18 - Exemplary behavior

According to popular wisdom, a good father leads by example and stands true to set principles and values he would like his children to follow.

At face value this appears to be God's exact nature and attitude: He's perfect and requires us to try to be perfect like Him.

Then again Heavenly Father turns out to be a very mobile target.

Let's start with God's standard for the family if only because a couple of recent posts mention a husband's attitude and behavior toward his wife. His standards for the family are all over the place. Adam gets it on with his own rib, Abraham sires children through a servant, Lot had children with his daughters, David has a shitload of concubines, Jesus says divorce is adultery, Paul says marriage is for the weak, and Joseph says let me fuck your wife/sister/daughter/mother.... So what's the standard? What are we supposed to do exactly? Whatever it is, you won't figure it out from the scriptures. Or from semi-scripture either.

The easiest example of a broken standard is God's disobedience to the commandment to not kill people. He kills selectively at times and at others indiscriminately, sometimes with natural disasters, other times with is chosen people, like when he ordered the Israelites to kill all the Canaanites - men, women, children, and livestock - and then there was that one time he used bears. Children and livestock? These are beings who cannot think critically and don't know any better (it's not like the Canaanite children had any opportunities to learn about and worship the One True God of Israel), so why should they die? Where is God's understanding and mercy? Who cares? Fuck 'em all! He even orders the killing of unborn babies and their mothers. The only thing more vile would have been if he had ordered his murderers to defecate into the victims' mouths or something like that. Then again he once wanted to make children eat shit pies. Jesus didn't exactly set things straight either. He gave us a pretty weird example to live up to when he cursed that fig tree for not having figs out of season. Are we supposed to be like that?  

When it comes to owning slaves the Bible's pretty clear. You can have them! Hooray!

Marriage, killing, and slavery only make up three examples but they're pretty heavy issues, aren't they? Just think how confusing things get once you get down to the small stuff. 

*These attributes represent the popular thoughts of Ask Men’s Jullian Marcus,’s Tanya Tringali, and Open Talk Magazine’s Glenn Silvestre as per their respective articles on what makes a good father. 

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