I’ll bet almost everyone has experienced the family where one child is blamed for everything, or winds up being punished for what isn’t his fault. Maybe even a relative, like in my family… a cousin… he has an older brother who was treated as if he “can do no wrong.” Usually the older brother winds up a nit who does a lot of bad things and borders on evil in a very sadistic way. The younger brother winds up a mirror reflection of his older brother, though underneath it all; somewhere, exists the little kid who only wanted to do what was right, be loved and be treated fairly.
Maybe the parents are having problems and they take it out on the child, or there are outside influences that destroy the couple… sometimes, but not always, “influences” within the family. There’s quite a bit of truth to the son or daughter who goes out and has a wildly successful life but when they come home: nothing they can do is right. The old, sick, demented family dynamics reassert themselves. That’s often why it’s best for some people to move away so they can have a bloody life instead of always being the “failed son,” “wayward daughter, “the one not worth listening to,” the _______. (Fill in the blank with whatever asinine, convenient accusations, or conveniently misapplied label, you wish.)
That’s why, if the person sticks around, and sometimes even if they leave, they eventually become the very person they never had to be. That’s why moving away as soon as possible… sometimes; not always, is the best solution.
But we can’t move away from God.
I believe this is one of the reasons a few atheists become as strident and as obnoxious as their overly dogmatic theist counterparts. Even if you’re an atheist you can’t move away because you will always be viewed with disdain: as the wayward daughter; the failed son, when living in an overwhelmingly theistic society.
So, since I am a rather odd mix of theist with agnostic tendencies, that makes me a good candidate to offer a few standard Christian concepts of the more fundamental type; and ask a few questions like…
A. Why should I be punished for what some super-great mom and Dad; “Adam and Eve,” supposedly did eons ago?
B. Or, shouldn’t a son who is old enough to be allowed “free will,” like any adult should have, be allowed to have an opinion different from his father, even if it’s about the very nature of his father?
C. If a father insists on punishing his son who has grown in the way I just mentioned, or allows him to be punished, isn’t it the father who is out of line: who is refusing to let go and let grow?
D. If we are to believe the fundamentalists concept of God’s nature: is “God the father” really a “good” father?
Once again, I’m sure most of us know the result of parents who insist on being too controlling; even into late adulthood with adult children who, in part for that reason, are still children and exhibit the very behavior parents would want the least.
Now imagine there is a father of all fathers and mothers. This father’s sons and daughters have been a big disappointment from time to time. They live in sin. They covet. They… well you know the list. In response, if you believe some standard versions of God, you stop talking to your children and send another son to talk to them instead. After all these years it’s horrible, but understandable, that some might be so angry they would consider Cain-ing this Abel.
Much of this started when God had an in-family squabble and Satan left in a huff after being heavenly booted with a deity-size set of Tony Lamas; presumably after a fight regarding who rides a better mechanical bull at some celestial cowboy bar. Levity aside, isn’t this a little analogous to divorce? “You better behave yourself or you’ll have to go live with your horn sprouting; torment loving, Daddy…” Daddy, of course, has been painted as pure evil; the monster under the bed… true or not.
Trillions of children over the ages have suffered under this dynamic.
I am not Cain.
I am not Abel.
I know little of the place and the events that led God to turn someone who just happened to look back into a pillar of salt. Was that with iodine, or not? Intrigued theistic nutritionists really want to know.
To paraphrase a now departed; linguistically limited, president, “Are our father learning yet?” After billions of years; thousands… if you believe some, could it be that God still needs to work on his parenting skills?
I want to know.
Why does God blame me?
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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