The Dawkins Meme


“I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.” — Richard Dawkins

Well, there’s one statement I don’t understand, unless Mr Dawkins means every religion except Christianity. Modern science was born of a distinctly Christian worldview. This next quote is one I understand to a point, but only because Mr Dawkins has a broken worldview.

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” — Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion.

I can understand this coming from someone raised in a Christian culture, where humanism has become secular. The values of the Law of Moses are still recognizable (compared to, say, certain tribes where young females’ teeth are knocked out so they don’t look like pigs, or Asian cultures where graveyards are guarded by malevolent ancestral spirits.) The problem with a humanism that is secular is its failure to take the existence and nature of sin into account, and to comprehend that a cultural awareness that sin needed to be dealt with was what made our great culture possible. Secular humanism requires superhumans, and the only truly super humans are Christians, those governed internally by the Law of God.

Jealous and proud of it
God is jealous as a husband is jealous for his wife and his children. This is not a difficult concept to understand, unless of course you intend to slander God, and hope none of your sycophants reads Bible passages in context.

The Old Testament Laws are very detailed, and the details mattered. However, the Law included a “when you sin” clause. The sins that were punished severely were the “high-handed” ones, where the sinners had not been led astray but openly, deliberately, repeatedly rebelled against what they knew.

God is entirely just in the Old Testament. Certainly, Israel in the wilderness (and later, but particularly in the wilderness) was an object lesson to the nations, and to nations for all time. As a “childish” nation, when they sinned, they were spanked immediately. This is not the case once they were in the Land. But in no case is God ever unjust.

Unforgiving control-freak
Neither is God unforgiving. Israel knew what they signed up for. They said, “Amen” to the blessings and the curses of the Covenant. Then they directly went and sinned. The Jews who crucified Jesus made a similar Covenant with Pilate: “Let His blood be upon us and upon our children.” Jesus forgave them, but those who hardened their hearts like Pharaoh bore the curses. Josephus tells us what happened to their children. They were free to obey the gospel or disobey, as Israel was in the wilderness. Now, one might say, “What about the other nations?” Judgment begins at the house of God. The light exposes the darkness in God’s people first of all. We are given “sacramental doses of death” to keep us alive and able to minister. But the cup given to the godless nations is not a dose, it is a tsunami. Where are the Canaanites today? The Babylonians? All the great nations, and the up-and-coming ones, since Christ, have had this purifying yeast of God’s people within them.

God takes vengeance on the unrighteous. He waits for people — usually corrupt leaders — to fill up their sins, then moves in to rescue the oppressed. Yes, this is vindictive. God avenges the shedding of innocent blood. The reason Dawkins and his ilk can think of God as vindictive is because He is currently working in the nations like yeast, behind the scenes, as prefigured in the books of Esther. But we all know how Esther ended, don’t we?

A bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser
This one is laughable. Abraham proclaimed the Lord to the Canaanites, then God gave them 400 years to fill up their sins. Their execution under Israel’s sword was no different to the retribution in Egypt for the slaughter of Hebrew infants. It was judicial. And atheists who parrot “controversial” Bible verses like these seem to overlook the fact that God used Babylon to wipe out old Israel for their own bloodthirsty decadence. Only, Israel rose again.

Dawkins — and moderns — don’t understand the different liturgical stations of men and women and what they image. Science can tell us what things are made of, but it cannot tell us what they are for. Nature is a feast, and moderns think a knife and a fork are the same thing. On top of this, which nations are the ones which do not mistreat women? Christian ones. Which people in Christian nations show a contempt for women (though often disguised)? Those who hate the Bible, hate God and despise His Christ.

I don’t think God fears gays any more than He fears liars, adulterers, murderers, shoplifters and the rest of us lawless bunch. He tells us that these things are destructive. Certain sins carried the death penalty in Israel because it was a church-state. The Jews did not have this power after the exile. The church only has the power to excommunicate. But the testimony remains that these sins are the serious ones because they are the most destructive, and they bring a culture to an end.

God split humanity in two when He called Abraham. In a sense, Adam was torn into church and state, to be united, married, by the Spirit of Christ. The bloodline was important only until the Christ, the promised Seed. Race was not the issue. Covenant was the issue. And the New Covenant multicultural people of God was promised and prefigured many times in the Old Testament — that is, if we are not so blinded by our hatred for God that we don’t understand what He was doing.

Alright, the Lord asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. But He also stopped him from doing it. He was testing Abraham’s faith in God’s promise that all nations (there it is again) would be blessed through Isaac. Abraham obviously believed God would raise Isaac from the dead if He had to. He was, at one level, probably excited to see what God would do next. By this time, he had plenty of experiences with God to bolster his faith. He trusted him implicitly.
In Egypt, God’s “murder” of the firstborn was judicial, a payback for the Hebrew infants. And the Lord gave Pharaoh plenty of warning, didn’t He?

I suppose this is the Canaanites again. If we could send Mr Dawkins back in time to live with the Canaanites, he might understand why they were being cut out of history like a cancer. And we know the cancer spread to Israel. In Judges, God allows Israel to suffer under the nations whose gods they had worshipped, to get a better understanding of why this was prohibited. The God of the Bible is not anything like these false gods.

See Homophobic and Genocidal above.

The results of obedience or disobedience are “multitudes.” The choice is plunder or plagues. God plagued Egypt and Israel plundered Egypt. God plagued Satan’s house at the cross and Jesus is plundering his house. Atheism is thus a temporary pestilence.

Megalomania: A psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence. Richard Dawkins vs. God. What can I say?

It please Abraham to circumcise his household. It was a “sacramental dose of death.” It chased the Covenant curses away. It pleased the Father to bruise the Son. It pleased Him because it was a purchase. Most people could understand this even if they chose not to believe it. Only someone who was seriously deluded could misunderstand it.

Yes, God changes His mind. He fully intended to destroy Nineveh, but then they repented. Some of these issues are purely historical-Covenantal. God forbade Israel’s eating of certain foods, but then He changed His mind. Childhood object lessons were over. Dad says you can’t travel on the train to the city on your own, but when you turn 16 he changes his mind. This is not caprice. It is parenting.

God has a long fuse, but He has a fuse nonetheless. The reason Jesus is my Saviour is because I needed saving from something called God’s just wrath. As someone wise put it, the real wonder is not that God sometimes lashes out and kills people, it’s that He doesn’t do it all the time.

How is this bad? Oh, wait.

Because he has believed the modern fiction, Mr Dawkins has God all wrong. Anyone actually familiar with God knows this very well. He claims to be a humanist, but he has misclassified humanity. By advocating the removal of the curses of God, he removes the blessings. Ours is a culture without hope, focussed on the short term, and unable to understand the Covenantal nature of reality.

Dawkins’ rage against God has inspired many people to be more vocal about their atheism, but he and they will all discover that the longevity of his ideas is a fantasy. The Dawkins meme has the logic of the darkened Adamic mind. It pontificates about God’s behaviour, and ends up as bones spread under the sun, moon and stars. The Jesus meme has the quickening Spirit of resurrection. It aligns our behaviour with God’s, whose followers become the sun, moon and stars.

God doesn’t fear atheism. Neither should we.

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2 Responses to “The Dawkins Meme”

  • jared Says:

    Why even bother responding to Dawkins? I should think this is one of those “Don’t answer a fool…” situations.

  • Mike Bull Says:

    I thought that initially, but this post got a lot of hits anyway. Many Christians I know couldn’t answer these charges (not that I did that great a job of it myself). So, it wasn’t for Dawkins’ benefit. Consider him unanswered.