Monday, July 7, 2014

Heavenly fatherliness #7 - Got your back

According to popular wisdom, a good father stands up for his children when needed.

Supposedly God's the Ultimate Sky Warrior and he can decimate anyone or anything he wants like, say, Egyptians or the Red Sea. He's the Ultimate Backup. Even if God isn't killing all your Egyptians with the most horrific tortures imaginable (like turning all water into blood, plaguing your enemies with boils, or killing their first born), believers will tell you that you had better side with God because in the end God will prevail against Satan and his evil hosts.
So run and hide under God's warrior wing. It's your only chance at survival, or eternal life, or something like that. 

It will be so awesome and gratifying to see God destroy everyone who disagreed with you (and didn't repent), and you'll totally feel important and loved. Not only will you feel vindicated, you'll feel powerful!

Or not. Let's think about how this would play out in real life. How gratifying could it possibly be to have your dad stomp on over to that one person's house who, when you were in third grade and he was in fifth, called you and your friends insulting names, beat the crap out of you, and pissed in your lunchbox? What good is it going to do anyone at this point? After all these years, the only thing your dad should probably do about that injustice is sincerely apologize to you for not having gone to have a talk with the bully's parents the same day you came home with a black eye. What's the point in God waiting until the very end to exact justice? Is that a good disciplining tactic?

I sincerely hope that when we get to Heaven God takes some quality time with each of us to apologize for not being there when we needed Him. "Hey, um, remember that time you totally felt like shit and you had no one to turn to at all so you prayed to me and I didn't answer or anything? I'm sorry about that. And you know that time you prayed that I would protect you as you walked home late at night and you ended up getting mugged? That was my bad. I'm sorry."

"Now hang on," you might be thinking, "this is about God helping us keep the stuff we have, not protect our feelings or even our bones." That would be less appreciated by most, in my opinion, but at least it would be something. Unfortunately God's not so great at watching over our stuff either, not even the stuff we think he has explicitly given us.

Essentially every Sky Father religion out there has its persecution sob story. Why is that? Why hasn't God protected His children?

Heavenly Father is probably the worse dad in the universe when it comes to getting our backs, especially because he could turn on you at any moment either because you did something that offends him (e.g. wearing a cotton-poly blend) or because he just feels like you need a good old fashioned test (think of poor Job). Instead of getting your back, he might stab you in the back. It's pretty fucked up of Him.

*These attributes represent the popularized and popularizing 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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