My life is a strange teeter-totter between lamenting so much rank and unrepentant stupidity in the world and being happy to have job security.
Collin Garbarino at First Thoughts is displeased with the Smurfs 2 trailer. At one point Papa Smurf says, “It doesn’t matter where you came from; what matters is who you choose to be.” Sounds pretty great to me. Whether you’re from Arkansas, California, China; it doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor…if you’re an asshole, you suck, and if you’re kind, you rule. Our empathy, not the circumstances of our birth, is what determines our worth as a person. It’s the kind of sentiment that could’ve gone in the bible in place of one of the numerous directives to kill your neighbor.
This notion is apparently too much atheism for Garbarino. Hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wife.
How inspiring! If only it were true.
It does matter where we come from. If God really is our creator, then we really do owe him something. Papa Smurf’s words of pseudo-wisdom only make sense if our existence is the product of meaningless forces. If we are the products of evolution, then we have to manufacture meaning for our lives. We have to choose to be someone. If we have a creator, chances are that he intended for us to be a certain someone, and maybe we should ask him about it if we’re confused.
Yes, if humanity is all we’ve got to work with down here, then we do have to decide what’s important to us. And we have decided it: love is better for a harmonious society than hate. Compassion is something we value over cruelty. Why is that so bad? It speaks to the nobility of our species. It’s how we read the barbarities of the old testament (such as the punishments for breaking most of the ten commandments) and say “Even though the bible says this, no human being should ever act in such a callous fashion.” Go us!
And maybe we should ask god about it? Where is he to ask? I’ve been asking questions ever since I became a Christian at 15, more than half my life ago, up until now, long after I’ve abandoned any optimism that god will answer. The only people who ever answer are other Christians claiming to speak for god and their answers suck. We don’t hear from god, we hear from people like Gabarino saying baffling, silly things in god’s stead.
God is nowhere to be found, and the mass disagreements between Christians confirms that god has never given any concrete answers even to his flock.