Friday, August 17, 2012

Random Bible Verse of the Day: Romans 8:28

Remember, I gave you cancer because I love you :)
Cross-posted at AtheistHobos.com

As we continue our journey through the most popular bible verses on biblegateway.com, we come to Romans 8:28, which once again presents a superficially positive message.  But, as is often the case with the bible, once you start to think about the implications of the verse, while assuming god's benevolence and omnipotence, you realize that either a) god doesn't exist or b) god is a capricious asshole that doesn't deserve a flaming bag of cat shit on a hot day.

But let's take a look before we get too far ahead of ourselves:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Those first three words really chap my ass; of course none of the preceding or subsequent verses give any indication on how this purported truth was discovered. ...But I can guess at what a Good Christian might say: "We know God works for the good of those who love him because he gave his only son to the world", which is basically just a re-phrasing of John 3:16.  Besides the silliness of that verse, the logic is patently stupid.  Once you strip the bible-babble from it, it would sound like this "Good things will happen to me because a guy died two thousand years ago."  Absurd, unless you're willing to accept fantasy as reality.

And what about the glaring contradictions that are evident in the news so frequently?

Joplin, Missouri.  May 22, 2011.  158 dead, 1000 injured.  Estimated $2 billion in damages.

Joplin is right in the heart of the bible belt of America.  I count over 20 churches within a 1-mile radius of downtown.  The 7th Congressional District of Missouri, which includes Joplin, MO elected Tea Party upstart Jimmy Long in 2010, who has been a busy little bastard in his efforts to curtail eliminate women's rights, which as we all know is a signal to constituents that you're a bible-thumping moron (just like them).

I think it is safe to say that if any town loves gawd, its Joplin.  Certainly, no one could accuse it of being infested with atheists.

So then, as I said before, we are presented with a dilemma where the reality in Joplin seems to contradict Romans 8:28.  Either a) god doesn't work for the good of those who love him (in which case, what is the point in "loving" him) or b) the people of Joplin didn't really love god the right way (maybe they should have tried the reverse cow-god).

But let us not fall for the false dichotomy.  Perhaps a third option exists.  Perhaps god's love is manifested by his near-total destruction of this god-fearing town.  Perhaps the tornado that caused so much pain and suffering should actually be celebrated!  Praise the lawd-ah!


There must be some way we can exploit this woman's tragedy
 for our own gain, while giving her something utterly useless!
The woman pictured here is a survivor of the Joplin tornado.  Her house was destroyed, yet she seems to embody this third interpretation of Romans 8:28: “I am living proof of God’s love because he saved and protected me from an EF-5 tornado.”

How arrogant and un-compasisonate to your fellow Joplin citizens that were killed or injured by your god's love.  But that's not what's going through her mind.  She's apparently more focused on signaling her own faith, which as I've discussed before is widely received as a proxy for one's morality.

“It just has kind of opened my eyes more to realizing that God is there for me and has always been there.”

The picture above is actually a radio (K-LOVE) contest entry for a trip to Lubbock, TX to hear Christian author Beth Moore speak.  The contest judges apparently loved her message and she was named a winner and receiving a trip for four to the speaking engagement.

This reeks of exploitation of disaster survivors in an effort to gin up a good PR story that benefits the radio station and author but provides no tangible assistance to a woman whose life has undoubtedly been turned upside-down. 

These kinds of people dominate American culture and society, but hopefully by continually pointing out the obvious contradictions and ridiculous implications we can bring this realization to people that may have latent doubts about religion.  

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