The book of Exodus gives God’s demand that the Jews avoid foreign religions when they returned to Canaan (“You shall have no other gods before me,” etc.). God had to make sure that they weren’t corrupted.
[SFX: Record scratch]
Wait a minute! How could they have been corrupted?
The Jews enter a land full of foreign gods—invented gods—but God had made plain the correct religion. How would those made-up gods look next to the real deal? Judaism would be a stunning and brilliant jewel compared to the other religions’ tawdry plastic beads.
Imagine the Hollywood set of a Western town, built with plywood facades, compared to a real building—Neuschwanstein castle, say. Who’d be tempted to stray to the cutout imposter if you could have the real thing?
Another example: imagine that God provided Disney World for the Jews but warned against moving into the filthy trailer park across the street. Why bother with the warning? How could anyone possibly be tempted?Similarly, with the Jews given the correct religion, how could God have ever been worried that another religion would be the least bit compelling?
… or maybe Judaism didn’t look special. Perhaps the prohibitions—remember that these were imposed by priests—made a lot of sense because in fact early Judaism looked similar to all the other Canaanite religions.
The very existence of these prohibitions argues that Judaism was made up, just like the rest.
Photo credit: Wikipedia
- See all the arguments in favor of atheism at the first post in the series, God Doesn’t Exist: Historians Reject the Bible Story