Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Heavenly fatherliness #25 - Encouraging family members

According to popular belief, a good father encourages family members.

Does Heavenly Father do this? Does he encourage us? If you're like me, you were told that God is always pleading with us to live a righteous and holy life, and doesn't that sound a hell of a lot like encouragement? And think about all of his prophets who talk to us all the time at General Conference. They encourage the shit out of us!

The thing is that God's encouragement comes via a long list of appeals that any logical person would throw out as irrelevant to righteousness and holiness. He appeals to his authority (he's The Great I Am), to bad consequences (you'll be miserable if you think and do differently), to force (he will destroy us if we disobey or are found unclean), and appeals to wealth (you'll have treasures untold in Heaven, maybe even a harem!). Even should any of these appeals prove true, they do not make God an especially good motivator, just more of a manipulator.

Then again, God's not interested in teaching his children to think. God wants obedience above all - above service and kindness and tolerance. Ignorant faith and blind obedience are worth more than thoughtful disillusionment and disaffection. That sounds like an Asshole Father to me.

*These attributes represent the popular thoughts of Ask Men’s Jullian Marcus, examiner.com’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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