God’s Little Hero
This piece was written on October 19th, 2006, and originally published on my LiveJournal. Before you get into it, there’s a fair bit of warning that needs to be said.
I define faith as believing something is true or probably true despite lack of evidence or worse, in contradiction of the evidence. When I discuss faith here I do not mean a belief in the future or trust and confidence in something. My personal, individual beliefs do not include the idea of faith. In fact, I am very critical of the idea of faith. I believe faith, and its institutions of religion, are responsible for a number of ills in our further understanding of reality, morality, and our natures.
I wrote this as a satirical/sarcastic piece to illustrate the follies and dangerous ideas that truly can be found in the Bible, in context, or out of context. Everything presented here is an interpretation of a passage from the Bible (which I provide a link to so you can see for yourself.) I believe engaging in the belief that a book, written by people throughout history with their own biases, is some de facto standard of morality because it’s from God is dangerous and foolish.
It is hubristic to look at reality, and this universe, and think that you know the explanations for its entire existence with absolutely no objective evidence whatsoever. I don’t do that, but people who believe in God do that every time they pray. And before the gun is jumped, I don’t blindly worship science either. What many might consider “facts” I still consider “theories.”
The idea that you can look at a situation, make some stuff up, feel it’s right, and decide that’s true, unquestionable knowledge is incredibly dangerous. That’s the process of faith. If you want to see its effects one only needs to talk to their local conspiracy theorist, or browse Faceobok. When people look at something that can be shown to be true, and decide they know better despite their ignorance because, well, they just know or God told them so, it’s so incredibly arrogant.
If it’s not clear, I don’t claim to respect faith, or religion, in any way whatsoever. Those are my personal beliefs. For some reason, people tend to take this stance as some personal attack against them. It’s really not. If being your best self involves having faith or engaging in religion, as long as you’re not hurting anyone, then good for you. I’ll respect your actions and character, but don’t expect me to pay respects to faith simply because you, or someone, happens to believe in it.
One time I was talking with a woman while waiting for my husband to get out of class. She learned I was an “atheist” right at the end of the conversation, whereupon she took it upon herself to start tearfully proselytizing to me as I was leaving with my husband. She kept pointing and saying, “just so you know, you’ve really got to know, someone up there is watching for you, He’s real you know. I just want you to know.”
I was kinda offended, to be honest. It was awkward, it was weird, I didn’t like it, and really it was kind of condescending. I did nothing and had no reaction because it wasn’t worth it. But how would she like it if I kept saying to her, “God’s not real you know. I just want you to know, God’s dead, he’s not real you know.”
It goes both ways.
I understand if people who read this are offended, and really, that’s a good thing. This piece was written not to cut religion down necessarily, or ridicule it, but to point out all the awful things the Bible contains that God could be interpreted as being implicitly okay with. It’s not all roses, it’s not all fair, nor is it all redemption. Hopefully, this piece will make you think about what you believe.
This work is fifteen (15) years old and, believe me, I’ve heard a range of responses about it. And yes, everyone’s read it, including my mother. If all you have to contribute is a comment declaring your faith, or calling me names, you won’t be the first. It’ll only be for your own satisfaction though, just so you know.
God’s Little Hero
By Asher Wolfstein
Tommy opened his eyes and stared at the radiantly blue ceiling above him. His father had painted clouds on it as a reminder to him to always look to the heavens, and right now the morning light beams spilling from his window made it that much more ecclesiastical. While his father had painted, Mommy held the ladder, just like Daddy told her to. Mommy did everything Daddy told her to, in fact, Daddy told Tommy that’s how he was born. Tommy not only knew that someday he would have a wife who would do the same (Gen 3:16), but that that’s why he had one less rib too! (Gen 2:20-22) Tommy was a very smart little boy.
He knew his father was a hard-working man, as He had intended (Gen 3:17), because every day Daddy would go to work at the railroad. Every night he’d come home SO tired that sometimes he couldn’t even walk straight or say full sentences. One day Tommy asked him if he smelled like the railroad, since Tommy had never been to the railway, and his Daddy told him that he smelled like the poisonous snake there (Proverbs 23:32) and that it was why they had to go to church every Sunday.
Today was Sunday, and it was his favorite day! That’s why Tommy hopped out of bed and started laying out his best clothes to go to church, so God could see how nice he looked. Then he remembered how the Lord could see what Cain had done to Abel in his misguided effort to please Him (Gen 4:8) and he smiled, knowing that God was watching all the time. Tommy wondered if God thought he was cute even when he was naked.
After getting out of his Armor of God PJ’s and into his Classic Boy’s 5 Piece Suit he skipped into the kitchen, where Mommy, as pregnant as ever, was serving coffee to Daddy in her Sunday best. Tommy’s father, Skip, saw his young son and declared, “Didn’t you wear that suit last week Tommy? Dear, I don’t think that suit got washed.”
“Maybe it is, Skip, but I’m going to wear it. It’s that woman’s fault anyway, she should have washed it,” Tommy replied, furrowing his brow. Tommy never called Daddy father, because there was only one father in the world, and that was the Lord. (Matt 23:9)
“That’s Mother to you, young man,” Skip pronounced back.
“Well, we’ll talk about this more later, we have to go to church,” Skip looked at his watch.
In the car on the way to church, Tommy reflected on his admiration for Jesus Christ, and everything that He had given him and taught him. He knew that his heart was in the right place now that he had let go of the more childish things in his life, like his love for his family. (Luke 14:26) He honored his mother and father like the Lord had instructed, but he knew it was all part of Jesus’ plan. He was just a lowly pawn within slowly bringing about his hero’s vengeance upon the world. (Matt 10:34-36, Luke 12:51-53) He hoped it would happen soon, so he wouldn’t have to be bothered by his younger brother’s arrival (Luke 21:22-23), and he thought Daddy would enjoy the show Jesus had promised. (Isaiah 13:9-16)
They passed an African-American hitchhiker on the side of the road who looked very poor. Tommy asked his father, “Shouldn’t we pick up that poor man?”
Skip smiled and chuckled, “Oh no, son, the Lord didn’t put us here to help dogs. We have to safeguard our pearls so that we may help those who are chosen.” (Matt 7:6, Matt 10:5-6, Matt 15:24, Matt 15:26, Mark 7:26-27)
That reminded Tommy of two days ago when he was at St. Mary’s Elitist’s Private School during lunch hour. He had $6 that Mommy had given him, because Daddy had told her to of course, and school lunch cost $3. He knew that if he saved his other $3 he could trade it with the boy down the street who didn’t have any underwear for a neat hand-held video game he always wanted called Bible Trek. This other kid kept annoying him though and asking for his $3 because he didn’t have any money for lunch and was hungry. Tommy remembered how he had replied so smartly, “I know you’re trying to emulate Jesus by annoying me until I give in (Luke 11:5-10), but that’s not going to work because I know more about Christ than you do so I know to just keep my money for myself. (Mark 14:3-7) If you were smart, like me, you could be even MORE like Jesus and go and just take a school lunch for yourself. After all, God provides you with all that you need, and that’s what the disciples did.” (Matt 6:25-34, Matt 12:1-2, Mark 2:23, Luke 6:1-2) He wasn’t sure if that was totally right or not, but he knew that even if it was dishonest, he’d still be just like his hero. (Luke 16:1-9)
“You know son, it’s too bad that this country booted God out. With prayer out of the school, the ten commandments being hauled away from courthouses, and the bible’s… well… the bible’s, it’s no surprise that this heathen country outlawed slavery. I tell you what, if this was God’s country, I’d be selling that pack mule Abdul and his whole family into slavery to get my money back. (Matt 18:23-35) He owes me big time,” Skip looked annoyed.
“That’s right honey,” Skip’s wife chimed in.
“Was I talking to you?” Skip frowned turning to his pregnant honey. Tommy smiled.
They finally arrived at the church where the community members and the pastor greeted Tommy’s parents. Tommy ran into the bible study classroom with the other kids. Today they were going to learn about animals and plants, and what they had to do with the church. The teacher came in with some photographs, “Now boys and girls, I want you to pass these around while I tell you a story about Jesus.”
Tommy knew he was going to like this because he loved all stories that had anything to do with Jesus. That’s why he loved the whole bible and didn’t just pick and choose like those terrible Sunday-Christians that gave all the true Christians bad names. The pictures were great. There was a picture of a burned dog carcass, a withering tree, a beautiful red rose, and a pasture under a sunset.
“God created the heavens and the earth, and everything on it. He loves animal sacrifices as opposed to fruit sacrifices (Gen 4:3-5), and Jesus said it was okay to burn our animals and offer them up as sacrifices to this day (Matt 5:18-20). That picture is of my daughter’s pet dog, Ruth. Isn’t she sweet?” The teacher smiled and looked at her daughter, who was nodding with a pasted-on smile. Tommy knew this had been a really great opportunity for her relationship with Jesus to grow, and that made him feel so good inside it hurt.
“Do you see the withered tree? That’s just like the tree Jesus cursed when it did not bear him fruit out of season to show the disciples the power of faith in the Lord. (Matt 21:18-20, Mark 11:12-14) Those other pictures are the beauty that we are given as a gift from the Lord since he created everything our eyes can see.” (Gen 1:1)
Tommy came out of the classroom with his faith completely renewed and strengthened. Now the kids got to have cookies, and the parents drank wine. Tommy was proud of his father because he admitted that he had problems, just like Jesus. (Matt 11:19, Luke 7:34) He overheard a few of the adults discussing that day’s sermon, which was about Matthew 8:21-22 and Luke 9:59-62. Overhearing them he knew he was correct in his own faith that he had reflected upon in the car ride here.
Tommy returned to Sunday School where the teacher taught the children how Jesus said that anyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment. (Matt 5:22) “He will be judged worthy children, for even Jesus himself was a very angry son, particularly when accused of being possessed of demons, rather than our omnibenevolent God. (Mark 3:21, John 7:5) In fact, Christ cursed several cities and all their inhabitants for not being sufficiently impressed with God’s almighty powers. (Matt 11:22-24, Luke 10:13) In order to ensure that only the right people get into heaven, Jesus spoke in cryptic riddles that the gentiles would not understand.” (Mark 4:11-12) The teacher was a very nice and beautiful Godly woman.
When church was over there was a strange man outside holding a flyer. The flyer read, “Homosexuals are God’s creatures too.” Skip laughed and pointed saying to his wife, “Doesn’t that man know that homosexual acts are an abomination to God?” (Lev 18:22)
“That’s right Tommy!” Skip chuckled, ruffling his son’s hair, “In fact, doesn’t Romans 1:31-32 instruct on how to properly deal with such a man?”
“It sure does Skip!” Tommy held out his hand as his father unsheathed his 9 MM. Skip placed the beautiful piece of God-made machinery into the hand of the Lord’s beautiful creation and knelt down, “Now, Tommy, the world will tell you that this is a hate crime, but you must understand that God’s love commands you to do his bidding. After all, virtue is giving to those who deserve.”
Tommy nodded and pulled the trigger, splattering the homosexual abomination’s heart and other lung tissue across the sidewalk. Tommy’s mother jumped and clapped smiling, “Oh, our little Tommy is becoming such a Christian man. Soon the girls will be all over him.”
“Aww, woman, I won’t be risking my eyeballs and hands just yet.” (Matt 5:28-30, Matt 18:8-9, Mark 9:47) Tommy frowned, “Besides, that man was just a fool!” Tommy smiled, he felt just like Jesus, who accused many of being fools despite his teachings. (Matt 5:22, Matt 23:17, Luke 24:25) He knew it wasn’t really a problem because he knew that Jesus lied sometimes and that if something didn’t make sense, that Jesus didn’t really mean it. (John 7:2-10, John 18:20, John 10:34) All the evidence was in the Bible to show little Tommy everything he needed to know about preaching, courage, and self-sacrifice. (Matt 13:34-35, Mark 4:11-12, Luke 8:10) (Luke 12:4, Matt 12:14-16, Mark 9:30, John 7:1, John 8:59, John 10:39, John 11:53-54) (Matt 26:39, Mark 14:36) He knew that all he had to do was have faith when it was convenient. (Matt 27:46, Mark 15:34)
On the drive home Skip told his son, “Now son, I’ve been meaning to have a talk with you about sex. It’s time you start learning something about it.”
“Oh dear, I don’t know if he’s ready yet,” Skip’s wife interjected.
“Honey! I’m talking?” Skip continued, “The bible is very clear about sex. You understand that if you die while you are married, your brother-to-be will have to have sex with your wife until she has a child to take your place. (Deut 25:5-6) But if he doesn’t do it right he will be smote (Gen 38:9). If your wife-to-be has had sex outside of marriage you must burn her alive. (Lev 21:9) You can have as many wives as you can support (Exodus 21:20), laws permitting, just like King Solomon (I Kings 11:3).”
“Cool!” Tommy grinned, “Just like a guy in the Holy Bible!”
“There’s more though son, there’s parenthood and marriage. If you have daughters you have to know that if a man rapes your girl and she’s not engaged then all you have to do is accept a fee and she’ll have to get married to him. (Deut 22:28-29) If you’re ever in the army and want to try out this whole marriage thing, you can get a trial wife if you capture a foreign woman, hold her captive for thirty days, shave her head, cut her nails, and strip her naked. (Deut 21:10-14) If you ever need to protect yourself from a mob in a foreign town, just offer your wife up to the mob. The next morning, if she’s dead, cut her up into twelve pieces and mail her body parts around the world. (Judges 19:24-29) Now, if the Lord ever mentions eating your children, take his word for it, and do it, the same thing goes for sacrifices. (Deut 28:53, 2 Kings 6:28-29, Lev 26:29, Jer 19:9, Lam 2:20, Ezek 5:10, Gen 22:2, Lev 27:28-29, Judges 11:31-39) Be careful about those daughters though, because if you offer them up to rape mobs, they might get back at you by getting you drunk and raping you until pregnancy.” (Gen 19:8, Gen 19:31-36)
“Ooh, sounds icky.” Tommy nodded his head, and then put his finger up to his ear, staring out the window at the passing scenery. He started thinking back to the revival his church had put on during Halloween. He had tricked all his friends into coming by telling them it was a cool scary play where he played a demon, but he was just being like his hero Jesus. The play consisted of a whole bunch of skits illustrating how the all-important Book of Life worked (Rev 20:15), and where people who weren’t in it were sent to that lake of fire his hero had made just for them. Afterward, a bunch of his friends came up to the front all scared and accepted Jesus into their hearts. One even gave away all his video games. Since he knew he was never going to have any riches because there was no need to make a living, God would provide, of course, Tommy was assured a place in heaven. (Matt 6:25-34)
That night Tommy rested his little head on his little pillow and stared at his own personal clouds, complete with sparkly glow in the dark stars. He thought about how beautiful it was going to be in heaven, and how he knew he was going to heaven because his name was always in the book, as opposed to all those kids in all those other third-world communist over-populated countries who had never heard Jesus’ name spoken aloud. I mean, heaven would be no fun if it was overcrowded, right?