I’m always impressed with the ability many Christians have to hold two opposing concepts in their head at the same time. Like “God is Love” which is why a place a horrible as Hell exists where he tosses all the undesirable people who don’t accept his love. The fact that so many seem to be able to do this without any apparent signs of the cognitive dissonance that most normal folks would experience is even more impressive.
Ken Ham, for example, has this skill down pat:
Yesterday, Answers in Genesis patriarch Ken Ham took to his website to reassure his readers that Maher will get his in the end. It was Ham who debated Bill Nye the Science Guy last month, playing to a friendly local audience in Kentucky who, like Ham, reads the Bible literally.
“So why does God allow Bill Maher to continue his increasing God-hating comments? He really is tempting God. It’s as if he’s saying, “Come on God, I’m saying more and more outrageous things about You — come on — come and get me!” Bill Maher is blaming God for death because he does not want to accept that he is a sinner in need of salvation. He wants to be his own god — he shakes his fist at the God who created man and also provides the gift of salvation for those who will receive it.”
But Ham pointed out that Maher is just living on borrowed time, and sooner or later he’ll have to answer for his shenanigans. “I’m reminded that God is a God of grace and mercy,” Ham says, and God will have the last word. Then, as the Bible says, “all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
One of the (many) reasons I left my belief in the Christian religion behind was because of the difficulty in accepting that a truly loving God would condemn anyone to an eternity of such unimaginable suffering as Hell is supposed to provide for any reason at all. I can’t think of a single crime that is so terrible as to justify a punishment like Hell for forever. It’s hard enough to wrap one’s head around the idea of infinity alone let alone an infinity of endless torment.
Apparently Ham thinks the recent rant by Bill Maher — wherein Bill said that if the Biblical story of the flood was true then God would be a “psychotic mass murderer” – would be enough to justify such an experience. You’d think a truly omnipotent God would be above such criticisms. You’d think a truly loving God could come up with a better method of reforming souls than abandoning them to endless suffering.
What’s really impressive, though, isn’t the fact that Ken Ham and others like him have no problem with this rather barbaric method of punishment. It’s that they so often seem to delight in the idea that people they don’t like will suffer it. The glee with which some Christians have told me I’ll burn in Hell one day is almost frightening and shows that it’s not just God who may be psychotic.