Trickster God

David Hayward shared the above cartoon, depicting a deity that sets a trap that leads to the downfall of the one who falls into it. There is a lot of Christian theology that mirrors what is depicted. And it deserves to be highlighted, talked about, and challenged by those who find it seriously problematic.

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Mistaking Fear for Faith

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  • dangjin

    It just sounds like you are trying to make God responsible for your sinful choices.

    • James F. McGrath

      I think you might want to look more closely at the cartoon, and then try giving Genesis 2-3 a read.

      • Lothar Lorraine

        Actually, Genesis 2-3 does neither teach the fall nor eternal punishment as a consequence of having eaten the false fruit.

        These is are read into the texts by a delusion called conservative systematic theology.

    • Dan Ortiz

      ALERT…. LOGICAL FALLACY… Ad hominem

  • Gary

    Adam and Eve should have called CPS (Child Protective Services), reporting Yahweh for abusing His children. Death for picking some frigging fruit? No wonder the Gnostics didn’t like Yahweh. But then, there’s always Noah’s story. CPS alert!

    • Dan Ortiz

      you are aware Adam and Eve are mythological right?

      • Gary

        As mythical as Yaldabaoth. I find it ironic that Adam and Eve are punished for seeking knowledge. The author of the story didn’t have his priorities right.

        • Donaving

          I dunno, kiddo–the way I read the story, Adam and Eve aren’t punished for seeking knowledge. They seek knowledge, and they find it, They’re not punished–punishment would be simply to deny that knowledge–to take that fruit and put it on a high shelf where they could never reach it. Instead, they are rewarded with exactly what they wanted: The knowledge of Good and Evil.

          • Gary

            That’s why the Gnostics thought that the snake was the good guy.

        • Dan Ortiz

          It is funny how an atheist reads the bible like a fundamentalist. Don’t you think the author was attributing the expulsion of Adam and Ee to something else?/….. say, the exile?

          • Ian

            Is Gary reading it like a fundie? He’s not saying it is true, he’s merely saying what it says.

            Adam and Eve took and ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. They are then punished by God.

            It clearly isn’t ‘attributed’ to the exile. It may be in the canon because it chimed with the religious concerns of the exilic period. It may have been edited into its current form by exilic redactors wanting to emphasize the correspondence between the story and their predicament.

            But it clearly isn’t a fundamentalist reading to actually state what the story is, nor to find the story morally reprehensible as a result.

          • Dan Ortiz

            “It clearly isn’t ‘attributed’ to the exile. It may be in the canon because it chimed with the religious concerns of the exilic period. It may have been edited into its current form by exilic redactors wanting to emphasize the correspondence between the story and their predicament.” Well in the format is written in Gen it is a mythical re-enactment of the exile. If not all other mythological elements of the adam story would be there, like his marriage to lilith.

          • Ian

            But notice that wasn’t what you said. You said it was attributing the expulsion of Adam and Eve to the exile, not that you could make an argument for why it is a mythical re-enactment of the exile.

            Its a common enough temptation to find correspondences, and then treat the correspondence as if it was the sum total of the intent of the passage. Much as mythicists do with the Mosaic analogies at the start of Matthew – all they hear is Moses, and they ignore any feature that doesn’t fit. You’re in danger of doing the same here if you wave away Adam and Eve as a recapitulation of the exile. In particular you wave away the point that you were accusing of being fundamentalist: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

            Now you’ve a choice – do what the mythicists do and try to shoehorn the tree into your previous metaphor, so it becomes just an obvious part of your overwhelming thesis. Or consider the story of Adam and Eve as an origin myth in its own right, informed and inspired by other events, but not determined by it. To do the latter is not to read it as a fundamentalist.

          • Dan Ortiz

            Fair enough comment Ian. I meant that the myths of Adam and Eve were used to re-create the exile experience. Which of course doesn’t mean that they didn’t exist (the myths) before the exile.
            I should have nuanced my comment better.

          • Gary

            Actually, not an atheist. Just accepting stories as stories, not fact. However, in the same context, I have met a few talking snakes in my time. They just happened to be Homo sapiens. I just find Gnostics more fun. Everyone takes these things way-too seriously. But I still find seeking knowledge a better goal than accepting believing what you are told. Especially if it has a “or else” attached to it, which seems to be the fundamentalist’s approach.

          • Dan Ortiz

            “However, in the same context, I have met a few talking snakes in my time.” havent we all

  • newenglandsun

    Goodness, no! Hell is God surrendering to man and giving to man what he wants. It’s not punishment at all. I don’t know if there is literal fire there but there is pain physical and spiritual. And I think people have Hell now as well. I also don’t think that those in Hell are as black and white as this. I think that there are “Christians” like Fred Phelps who have Hell right now. I know some Christians in my family that are experiencing Hell right now. This is the living, emotional state because of their willingness to push their own agenda. I think Hell is a great way to describe that. I think that a lot of people experience Hell right now and it is their own undoing. As to who is actually in Hell, the afterlife spot, right now, can’t speculate on that, sorry.

  • Lothar Lorraine

    This is what many modern Calvinist preachers keep saying, often without perceiving any problem or tension.

  • Savanna

    I’m not super Christian, and I’m not particularly offended by your cartoon, but maybe you should read the bible before you make dumb pictures about sin and Hell. Sin is a temptation from Satan, not God. Furthermore, God doesn’t send your ass plummeting into the flames of Hell because of it. According to the Bible, which you should be at least moderately knowledgeable of if you want to make poorly drawn propaganda cartoons of it, there’s a judgement call. Like I said, I’m not super into the Bible or Christianity, and so what I’m about to say probably has no reference to the Bible, but I like to think that this “Divine Judgement” looks at a lot more than how much you sin. I’d like to believe it looks at what kind of person you are, the reasoning behind your sin, and whether or not you’re sorry you did it. Of course, now that I say that, all the Atheists of the world are going to dwell on the last part of my speech and say “Maybe you should read up, because there isn’t anything about that in the Bible. And that’s coming from an Atheist!”, therefore, I’m going to put in ANOTHER reminder, that I fully acknowledge that it is not in the Bible, and is largely opinion and false hope.