Do not force beliefs on others

This is in response to Dan Kessinger’s letter of Feb. 17, attributing the creation of the world to a magic invisible god and railing against the morals of atheists. So here’s a few of the reasons why we don’t believe as he does and see the central story as implausible.

Since he is a Church of Christ preacher, here is what he has to believe:

God created Adam and Eve and Evil, he then populated the world through incest (Adam and Eve only had sons), he was surprised that evil existed and was clueless about how to deal with it so he later drowned the entire planet saving one small family of very skilled shipbuilders, then he populated the world through incest again, then he sent diseases, starvation, plagues, tsunamis and still bewildered by the existence of evil, he blamed the Devil … that he created, then he magically impregnates a virgin girl so she’ll give birth to himself as his own son so that we can torture and kill him (his son) so that he can forgive us for being so evil, then say “just joking” three days later and brings his son (himself) back to life … because he’s lonely (?), claims omniscience and omnipotence and expects to be worshipped for his wisdom?

Here’s another way to put your belief:

A celestial Jewish baby who is also his own father, born from a virgin mother, died for three days so that he could ascend to heaven on a cloud and then make you live forever only if you symbolically eat his flesh, drink his blood and telepathically tell him you accept him as your lord and master so he can remove an evil force from your spiritual being that is present in all humanity because an immoral woman made from a man’s rib was hoodwinked by a talking snake possessed by a malicious angel to secretly eat forbidden fruit from a magical tree … sounds perfectly plausible, right?

Jesus, if you believe in him, was a radical non-violent, revolutionary who hung around with lepers, hookers and crooks; wasn’t American and never spoke English, was anti-wealth, anti-death penalty, anti-public prayer (Mark 6:5), but was never anti-gay, NEVER mentioned abortion or birth control, never called the poor lazy, never justified torture, never fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest Nazarenes, never asked a leper for a co-pay and was a long-haired, brown-skinned, homeless community-organizing anti-slut-shaming middle eastern Jew.

Kessinger obviously believes that his god was omnipotent and divinely inspired the old and new testaments. He didn’t say at the end of these books that you could cherry-pick out the parts you like, give them your own interpretation and forget all the cruel, evil and stupid parts.

It’s all either the divine words of an omnipotent god or was penned by Bronze Age sheepherders who didn’t know where the sun went at night.

Along those lines, I wonder if Kessinger or someone in his church stands at the door every Sunday and checks for the physical defects commanded in Deut. 23:1. I’m guessing not!

Isn’t that such a wonderfully inspired godly law? I’ll save some time for the excuses he might have. Here they are:

It’s a translation issue; we only go by the New Testament (the one that condones slavery and misogyny), that’s how things were then; it makes sense if you have faith; you are quoting out of context; it is not for us to know, you are reading it wrong; it’s a metaphor … and the big one … I feel it in my heart and you can’t prove it didn’t happen.

How about this: You can’t prove Elvis didn’t create the Universe!

See how pointless that argument is? This is not written to change anyone’s mind as everyone can believe what they want, but they need to keep it in their homes and churches and not try to create laws to force everyone to believe and act as they do. This is to let people with similar beliefs as I to know that they are not alone.

Jim Wilt