One of the most quoted lines in Richard Dawkins‘ The God Delusion is the passage that opens up Chapter 2:
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
Dawkins point was that, despite all those qualities, a lot of people had become immune to God’s awfulness, preferring to worship a loving, caring deity instead. But critics were no doubt furious that he had blasphemed God in such a way.
Who knew that Dawkins was being too kind in his assessment?
Dan Barker, the co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and a former Christian preacher himself, says that the God of the Bible is much, much worse than Dawkins gave Him credit for. And in his new book, Barker explains why that is.
It’s called, appropriately, God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction (Sterling, 2016):
The book goes into detail for each quality Dawkins listed, quoting chapter and verse from the Bible to justify the description. And then it continues, rattling off even more unpleasant traits for God that Dawkins left out.
In the excerpt below, Barker explains why God is indeed “jealous and proud of it”: