The other night, I listened to a Golden Age radio
program that featured a phony news interview. Since I didn’t record the
program, I am necessarily paraphrasing what I heard, but essentially the sketch
had a radio news reporter interview the owner of a company that manufactures
ventriloquist dummies. In the vignette, the reporter asked the owner to show
him how the ventriloquist dummies work, and the owner responded that he was “not
a very good ventriloquist” but that he would give it a try. He apparently
picked up one of the dummies and used his inadequate skills to have the dummy
say something like, “Hello, I am happy to be here today.”
The reporter responded, “I saw your lips move.” The owner countered, “I told you I’m not very good at this.” The reporter then contended, “There’s something wrong with the dummy.” The owner objects that the dummy is fine, but the reporter insists that the dummy didn’t work because he could see the owner’s lips move.
This small vignette actually illustrates what I believe to be the problem with many of the anti-Christian blogs and websites that litter the Internet and relates to the question of whether Christianity makes sense. Even though it has a different name, this is part IV of the series that I have been writing arguing against the position that “Christianity Doesn’t Make Sense.” Part I, Part II and Part III, can be found by clicking the links in the names. In the third part, I began a review of the number one link in response to the Google search “Christianity Doesn’t Make Sense” which turned out to be a blogpost entitled “Ten Reasons Christianity Doesn’t Make Sense.” In reviewing the blogpost in part III, I stopped before I arrived at the end because I think that the author’s arguments, like so many similar atheist arguments on the Internet, illustrates a point about how knowledgeable Christians that escapes the authors.
In the “Ten Reasons” blogpost, the author starts off strong (at least in the sense that the author makes an effort to use logic), but as he/she continues to write the argument devolves into the usual mischaracterizations about Christian teaching that one comes to expect from Internet atheists. While the author makes some attacks in the first few paragraphs, (e.g., erroneously contending that Jesus effectively teaches that as long as you are a Christian, go rape, murder, commit genocide, enslave and commit every manner of atrocity), his seventh and eighth points abandon all pretense at explaining that Christianity doesn’t make sense and are little more than Christian smears. The seventh point reads:
The bible doesn’t set the moral bar very high.
Let’s face it: Don’t rape people, don’t own people, don’t hate people, and don’t hurt children are kind of no-brainers when it comes to morality. Our friend Jesus and his old man not only failed to make these things clear, but in many instances they encouraged, condoned, or commanded them. Sure, Jesus said a few things about loving your neighbor and being kind to strangers, but he also said that not believing in him was the worst offense a person could commit and that anyone who didn’t believe would burn in Hell for all eternity. And seriously, the Ten Commandments as a basis for all morality? Checking out your neighbor’s wife is worse than raping his daughter? Taking the lord’s name in vain is worse than owning slaves? Nice priorities. Add to this the fact that god himself does not follow his own rules, to which Christians respond that mere mortals cannot understand or judge the morality of god. But if the bible defines morality, and god has a different set of rules for himself than for humans, and we are not allowed to know or understand his rules except that we are expected to do as he says but not as he does, then how exactly does that provide any kind of moral baseline whatsoever?
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”