Ask ten people what “God” is, you’ll get ten different answers. That’s because “God” didn’t invent us, we invented “him”.
Ask ten Evangelicals what “God” is and they’ll draw you a word picture that, if you stripped it of all the larger-than-life puffery would look exactly like them.
For reference-sake, let’s remind ourselves that Jesus preached a simple message: Do Unto Others. It was Paul, selling his version of Jesus and Jesus’ message to the gentiles, who actually invented what we think of as Christianity. If Paul doesn’t do what he does, there is no Christianity.
Jesus, in fact, taught his followers that they didn’t need a “church”. He raged against not only the money changers but the Temple Priests, too, who Jesus believed were corrupt. Speak directly to the father, Jesus preached. Talk to Yahweh (the “god” character’s actual name; “god” is actually his job description) directly, no need for a church or a priest to intercede on your behalf.
Yet lots of American Christians – Evangelicals especially – could ditch Jesus entirely and be completely at peace practicing a religion that couldn’t care less about doing unto others. What matters most to them is maintaining political power and keeping all the money.
The trick every theist plays on themselves – and anyone they then talk to – is believing that they have a direct line to this Yahweh guy. When push comes to shove, they can get Yahweh on the phone and get him thinking straight. The truth, of course, is way more complicated. Cue the Magical Thinking.
Theists imagine a deity clever enough to create the whole cosmos – and everything in it – but too inept to get human beings right. In fact, the Yahweh character, as written, is so inept and incompetent that he (only a male would react like this), faced with the mess he’s made with humans (it never says Yahweh is unhappy with any other creature except the talking snake), is willing to destroy ALL LIVING THINGS – non humans included – out of… what, spite?
What kind of tin pot, third-rate deity is this guy?
Then – when he gets the humans he really wants, Yahweh cranks the incest meter up to a thousand. Think about it. First there’s Adam & Eve. They have two sons – Caan & Abel. It’s written how Caan, after he killed Abel, has a massive family. Okay, fair enough. Where’d his wife – and HER family – come from? Unless she spontaneously sprang into being, she had to be conceived, born and raised. Well – who conceived her? Who was the sperm donor? Whose was the egg?
If other people existed on earth then those people also had to spring from Eve. If this story is “historical” (good thing it isn’t), then every human on earth is the bi-product of incest. Theists happily re-play the incest meme hen they get to Noah. If every other human being is wiped out, every other line of human genetics, then every last human on earth must be related to Noah – and sprang from incestuous origins. There’s no way around it.
Religionistas all insist that they have insight about Yahweh that no one else has. They know what Yahweh means across however many translations from the Aramaic to the Greek to the English. Religionistas all claim to know what lurks in a fictional creature’s fictional heart. What could possibly go wrong? History is littered with the victims of religious people who spoke for god using violent means. Religionistas destroyed whole cultures because “God” wanted it. That would be their “god”. Their white man’s “god”. Them.