Sunday, July 8, 2012

An angry response

On our Facebook page, we posted was is admittedly a disturbing picture comparing God to an abusive spouse. We also put it up here. See, right there --->

 A person chose to respond to this picture with the following: (The caps really are hers!) IM OFFENDED BY THIS PICTURE BECAUSE NO WHERE IN THE BIBLE DOES IT SAY THAT GOD SAYS ANY OF THESE NON RELIEABLE QUOTES 

Now, for some reason, either Facebook itself, or one of my compatriots, marked this as spam, and moved on. "ein minuten bitte" said I, for I felt that her words required a response. Now, since the post is several days old now, and Timeline, as you all know, can really suck sometimes, it stood to reason that most of our loyal followers may never go back it time(line) to read my lenghty and researched rebuttal. NO NO NO, this cannot stand, I say! So, I decided to post it here so that we all can share in the fun. And, if you want to follow along and see if [person] ever replies, then just take a look at our REASON Podcast Facebook page.  

What follows is my response:

[Person], In spite of your inability to find that pesky caps lock key, I have decided to address your statement. I shall begin by saying that the quote marks are slightly misleading, but to represent that the above statements do not represent the will of God is a position that could only be held by someone who has not taken a look at this so called holy book that you refer to. I shall now address each statement, which YOU imply is not the intention of your God:

1) 'You're nothing without me' (John 15:5) - I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

2) 'If you even think about leaving me...' (1 Corinthians 5:13) - God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

3) 'You don't deserve me.' (Matthew 10:38-39) - Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

4) ' You'll never find anyone as good as me.' (Exodus 20:3) - You shall have no other gods before me.

5) 'You brought this upon yourself.' (Jeremiah 2:17) - Have you not brought this on yourselves by forsaking the Lord your God when he led you in the way?

6) 'I know best.' (Luke 13:3) - For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

7) 'You're a terrible person, and you need to do better.' (Luke 13:3) - I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.

8) ' You're not worthy of my love.' (Romans 3:23) - for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

9) 'I'm only doing this because I love you.' (Hebrews 12:6) - because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.

10) 'Do not listen to anyone who doesn't understand what we have' (Psalm 14:1) - The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.

So, [person], I hope that straightens out any misunderstandings resulting from the (admittedly improper) quotes. If that does not clear it up, however...let me summarize: Your God is a wicked, horrible monster, and you should be ashamed of yourself for standing behind the words I just quoted above.

-Paul Wittmeyer


  1. Wow, Paul, I'm impressed at how well you defend your position, but honestly, if you actually try to imply that these are the instructions of God, you are mislead by whoever taught you. Looking at single verses of a book written by more than one person, about other people, does not give the complete story. This assault on religious teachings is interesting because the bible teaches to love thy neighbor, and turn the other cheek...notice I didn't use quotation, because I'm not entirely certain of the exact wording used in those phrases. It is the weapon of the ignorant to intentionally misquote anyone or any phrase in a book, in order to suggest that their meaning is other than their original intent. No, I am not a religious zealot, but I am offended that some people try to twist words to make other people feel bad or stupid because they actually have belief in something. I don't really care what your belief is, or isn't, I just try to treat others as I would like to be treated, and If I were treating others the way you do, this is exactly what I would expect in return. Have a good day, and peace be with you...

  2. Cindy,

    I am short on time, so I will quickly try to respond to your comments on this post. I will start at the top: I never implied in any way that these were the instructions of God, the original poster simply denied that these ideas existed in the bible...and I proved her wrong. Secondly, yes, the bible does teach to love thy neighbor...It also instructs to burn whole cities to the ground, and stone women and children to death. And, to stand behind the argument that the bible was written by more than one person when the poster, among other, believes that it was written by the inherent and perfect hand of god, is not a defense to my criticism of her position. Third, It would not be the weapon of the 'ignorant' to misquote, as ignorance is simply a lack of knowledge, which differs from stupidity or malevolence. Fourth, I did not twist anyone's words, or try to imply any meaning to these phrases other that noting that they are, in fact, in the bible. Fifth, I do care what others beliefs are, because those beliefs can sometimes hurt themselves, and can sometimes hurt others. Sixth, this is exactly how I would expect to be treated in return, and therefore Seven: And peace be with you as well, and thank you for commenting.

    1. Well, based on your list of interpretations, you basically proved her right, because I don't see from any of them that those were the same phrases used in The Bible, but rather an intentional misquote to suggest something other than the original intent of the passage. You also claimed that the "poster, among other, believes that it was written by the inherent and perfect hand of god", while nowhere can I see that she ever claimed such a belief. I do appreciate your notation about the difference between ignorance and stupidity, but don't see the relevance. What would you suggest is the reason one would intentionally use phrases or passages that don't match the originals, only to suggest that one's relationship with God is equal to a relationship with an abusive person, where one is repeatedly belittled and told that they are not worthy, undeserving, and don't exist outside their presence? Obviously there are certain situations where one can put themselves in harm's way based on what they believe, and I appreciate that you want to prevent that, but I don't see how this attack would do any such thing. I'm guessing that you aren't the original source of this picture, because you seem to be more intelligent than that. Sorry it took so long to respond, I was kind of expecting an e-mail notice when a post was made, foolish me for believing in the information superhighway to miraculously inform me of such an occurrence.

  3. Oh, and as a quick note, I apologize for referring to you as Cindy. I read it quickly, as I said, I was in a rush. Yep, my brain just filled in that d.

  4. Paul, my husband (an ex-Orthodox Jew) and I (an ex-Catholic) think that your words and your parallels between an abusive spouse and God are BRILLIANT. We are both published authors, with a total of more than 20 books to our credit, and we are in the process of writing a book about our atheism and atheism in general. Do we have your permission to quote this poster as long as we give you full credit for it? - Leonore and David Dvorkin / /

  5. Let a clay pot say those things to me and off goes my red-neck yap. As for the Lord saying I'm worthless and need stood on my entirely another matter. The Lord is sovereign - yeah, people have serious authority issues.

  6. Let a clay pot say those things to me and off goes my red-neck yap. As for the Lord saying I'm worthless and need stood on my entirely another matter. The Lord is sovereign - yeah, people have serious authority issues.