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The True Meaning of Christmas involves dead children, anyway

You’ve all been wondering, I’m sure, how William Lane Craig rationalizes the Newtown massacre with his faith in a benevolent god. Here he explains what came to his mind when he heard about the murders of little children, and asked himself how to reconcile the joyous season with the heartbreaking deaths. No problem, he says, this is what Christmas is supposed to be like.

You see, it’s just like the Bible, with it’s mythical murder of all the children Jesus’ age by King Herod. See? It’s supposed to be a vivid reminder that we live in an evil, fallen world, and that Jesus is the phantasm in the shadows waiting to scoop up our souls when we die and carry us to paradise.

OK, I’ll accept the parallels to the Herod fable (which is almost certainly not true, however), but now I want to ask a follow up. So, Dr Craig: were the Newtown killings ordained by your god? Was he sending us a message about the nature of the world and doing his best to extort us into believing in Jesus? (Will he murder more children every year to compel our belief?)

Or are you just into empty literary parallels? Because, you know, saying it reminds you of a passage in your bible doesn’t really explain anything.

Comments

  1. osmosis says

    WLC really is a contemptible excuse for a human being. He actually believes that rape, torture, muder and genocide are beautiful things when commanded by yahweh. It’s no wonder that no self-respecting person will share a podium with him.

  2. raven says

    This is standard fundie xian theology.

    God is in charge and everything happens for a reason.

    Most of them really believe that and say it in those words.

    Therefore, god caused or allowed to happen the massacre in Newtown, according to the fundies.

    It’s just xian fatalism.

  3. Nepenthe says

    Sadly, I can’t hear Lane Craig’s point because my brain automatically substitutes everything he says with “I am an asshole” repeated over and over and over.

  4. Lofty says

    When your religion exists only to get souls into your version of heaven, you envy the children who short circuit the whole earthly lifetime bit and don’t have to face all that temptation. So long as you baptise all the kiddies, it’s all good.

  5. raven says

    Randomness and Assurance: Does Everything Happen for a Reason?
    by Gregory A. Boyd on Monday, February 27, 2012 · 29 Comments

    The Blueprint Worldview

    On August 1, 2007, a highway bridge several miles from my house collapsed during rush hour, killing 13 people and wounding 144 others. That night, a well-known local pastor blogged about a discussion he had with his eleven-year-old daughter as he put her to bed. He asked her what purpose God might have had for not “holding up that bridge,” even though he could have done so with “his pinky.” He affirmed her when she responded that God “wanted all the people of Minneapolis to fear him.”[1]

    The assumption behind this young lady’s answer is that everything happens for a reason—it’s all part of a grand divine plan. This assumption has dominated Christian theology since Augustine in the fifth century, and I have elsewhere labeled it the “blueprint worldview” because it holds that every detail in history happens in strict accordance with an eternal blueprint that resides in the mind of God.[2]
    continues

    One example of common fundie reasoning. This minister however, rejects it as do a lot of other xians.

  6. dianne says

    So long as you baptise all the kiddies, it’s all good.

    But at least one of the children who was murdered was Jewish and therefore not baptized. Don’t know about the rest. Fortunately, it’s no longer socially acceptable for people to go around saying that non-Christian children who die go straight to hell, but isn’t that their belief still?

  7. mary says

    That is one of the most sick, distastful, horribly warped, dispicable, inexcusable, offensive, etc, etc, things I have ever heard.
    What an arrogant, horrid man. I thought his–we should feel sorry for the soldiers who had to carry out the biblical masacres–was absurd and twisted.
    WLC has reached a whole new and unparelled level of depravity with this. How can anyone possibly think he knows anything about morality?

  8. Rodney Nelson says

    raven #5 (quoting Gregory A. Boyd)

    …it’s all part of a grand divine plan. This assumption has dominated Christian theology since Augustine in the fifth century, and I have elsewhere labeled it the “blueprint worldview” because it holds that every detail in history happens in strict accordance with an eternal blueprint that resides in the mind of God.

    The same people who hold the “blueprint worldview” also believe that praying to their god causes him to change his mind. So their god strictly follows a divine plan except when he doesn’t.

  9. reynoldhall says

    What makes it worse? What guarantee is there that ANY of those kids went to heaven? Unless they were all sixns, they do to hell instead. Craig’s point is shot down right there.

  10. raven says

    The same people who hold the “blueprint worldview” also believe that praying to their god causes him to change his mind. So their god strictly follows a divine plan except when he doesn’t.

    LOL. Well, they’ve never been known for making a whole lot of sense. Xianity and the bible are often an incoherent muddle.

    The fundies have never produced a theologian or thinker of any note.

    The best was probably Rushdooney, the inventor of xian Dominionism with his plan to murder 297 million Americans on the way to the xian theocratic paradise.

    WLC is considered one of their finest thinkers. Which tells you how low the fundie bar is set.

  11. says

    WLC probably fails the test for otherness applied to his theory.

    If he really believes what he’s saying, if he were on the receiving end of any genocide – or were staring down the barrel of a gun, about to be shot – or whatever he’d be OK with it because it’s all god’s command. “Here, dig a 6 foot long 4 foot deep hole and kneel in it. It’s god’s will.” would provoke no complaint or resistance, I’m sure. Right? WLC’d just grab a shovel and cheerfully dig. After all, that seems to be his rhetorical response, as well.

  12. Lofty says

    Their God’s Grand Plan is an incoherent muddle that resembles their thought patterns. Coincidence or Divine Inspiration? (I can’t help being incoherent, God made me that way. /duh.)

  13. vaiyt says

    “Die! Death! Death! Oh yes! Death! Ohh!!!”

    That’s what I hear when these filth open their mouths. Creepy snuff fetishists, the lot of them.

  14. frankb says

    There was a discusion on one of these blobs or slacktivist recently about the effort to prevent such tragedies in the future. Would such efforts be following God’s will or thwarting it? Is modern medicine good or bad? The conclusion by the blogger was that such efforts were a humanist decision that has to ignore the idea that events are preordained. Religion can get in the way of doing good works here on Earth.

  15. Larry says

    If everything in the world that happens (or doesn’t happen) is God’s will, then humanity has no free will. How can these fundamentalists be so quick to give up their free will?

    It’s also a dangerous line of thinking. Next time I go to work, I could just not bother stopping at red lights and stop signs. If I make it work early, God wanted me to. And if I get into a car accident, God wanted me, or the other people, to be hurt or killed as part of his cosmic plan. How could people truly believe in this blueprint view?

  16. hypatiasdaughter says

    #9 Rodney Nelson
    Now that explains a lot. God has a blueprint and HAS to change it because people pray to him. Farmers have droughts because brides pray for no rain on their wedding days. People die in car accidents when someone prays not to be late for work and the lights turn green when they should be red. Tsunamis happen because surfer dudes pray for big waves…..
    I think the one miracle that might prove god’s existence and convert me back to religion would be seeing these lying self serving dirtbags drop dead at the altar every time they lie or a piece of shit theology likes this comes out of their mouths. It certainly would be easier to tell who the false prophets are.

  17. No One says

    Perhaps Craig should go to Newtown and comfort the parents with this story. (deep breaths, wait till the red goes away).

  18. cm's changeable moniker says

    Next time I go to work, I could just not bother stopping at red lights and stop signs. If I make it work early, God wanted me to. And if I get into a car accident, God wanted me, or the other people, to be hurt or killed as part of his cosmic plan.

    A friend worked in Cairo for a while, and apparently that’s their taxi drivers’ general approach.

    In šāʾ Allāh!

    (WLC is, also, despicable.)

  19. grumpyoldfart says

    Rule (1) God is all powerful and all good.

    Rule (2) If the evidence suggests otherwise, rule (1) applies.

  20. Dick the Damned says

    WLC has a bug in his compassion circuits. I quote him,

    “By setting such strong, harsh dichotomies God taught Israel that any assimilation to pagan idolatry is intolerable. It was His way of preserving Israel’s spiritual health and posterity. God knew that if these Canaanite children were allowed to live, they would spell the undoing of Israel. The killing of the Canaanite children not only served to prevent assimilation to Canaanite identity but also served as a shattering, tangible illustration of Israel’s being set exclusively apart for God.

    “Moreover, if we believe, as I do, that God’s grace is extended to those who die in infancy or as small children, the death of these children was actually their salvation. We are so wedded to an earthly, naturalistic perspective that we forget that those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven’s incomparable joy. Therefore, God does these children no wrong in taking their lives.”

    Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/slaughter-of-the-canaanites#ixzz2GDPkPkCL

    What a reptile. (Is it okay to use insults dissing a whole Class of the Animal Kingdom here?)

  21. footface says

    See, those weren’t actual children who died, children with families who will mourn them forever. They were just object lessons. Symbols. Ciphers.

    Christians sure can be cruel nitwits, can’t they?

    And they love bowing and scraping before one hell of a cosmic bully.

  22. Tyrant al-Kalām says

    There is something eerie about this guy… One should Voight-Kampff him some time. Does anyone have a tortoise handy?

  23. Azuma Hazuki says

    I have said in previous threads that I’d like to see Craig suffering horribly for a (relatively) short while, say a couple of hours of that strange, burns-but-doesn’t-consume Hellfire he seems so fond of.

    I was also roundly shouted down for the sentiment, and it’s understandable; torture is NEVER right, and it would put me on his level if I truly endorsed it beyond the rhetorical.

    But the thought occurs, this man really doesn’t understand pain. I think he’s a clinical sociopath. And I just wonder what a taste of his own medicine would do for his worldview. Sauce for the goose etc., after all.

  24. Snoof says

    But the thought occurs, this man really doesn’t understand pain. I think he’s a clinical sociopath.

    He might be. Or he might just believe abhorrent things as a consequence of his basic assumptions, rather than challenge them.

    That’s the problem with theology.

  25. Azuma Hazuki says

    @30/Snoof

    I also wonder, doesn’t all apologetics eventually degenerate to presuppositionalism? The death cultists don’t seem to have any strategy any longer except to declare their entire arguments axiomatically (where I come from “presupposition” is a fifty-cent word for “axiom”).

  26. Tyrant al-Kalām says

    He may have become numb empathy wise over the years under the influence of his ideology without being a certifiable sociopath, kind of like the nazis who, being quite ordinary people, convinced themselves that empathy for certain individuals is misguided and should be overcome for the good of the race.

  27. Sili says

    You seem to be missing the point.

    If this was exactly like the slaughter of the holy innocents, that must mean that the Messiah has been born.

    No wonder, then, that William Lane Crack is so overjoyed.

  28. Sastra says

    footface #26 wrote:

    See, those weren’t actual children who died, children with families who will mourn them forever. They were just object lessons. Symbols. Ciphers.

    Yes; sooner or later, this is the consequence of viewing life on earth as if it were an unfolding story — one with a plot line, heroes, villains, main characters, a moral, and a happy ending. You end up treating events as if they were literary creations, and you end up thinking of living human beings as plot devices. Everything has to be made to fit. Bad things not only happen for a reason, they happen for the best of reasons: they work for the salvation for the saved.

    Whatever happens, it better damn well strengthen your faith. You better find a way for it to do so, or you’re letting both yourself and God down. You made a commitment.

    Sure, atheists look at tragedies and try to find mitigating circumstances, lessons, opportunities, hope, and comfort. That’s what humans do. But we don’t need to force what happened into some sort of cosmic storyline where it had a deliberate PURPOSE, a teaching plan set up in advance for us to figure out the good — and draw closer to God or Spirit.

    Being capable of doing so — of discovering God’s meaning (even if the discovery is to trust in God’s love even though you can’t think of a meaning) — is not a useful skill, and it does not enhance character. It’s creepy, and it makes you creepy. Life turns into an abusive parent. That does not heal a broken heart, nor fix a problem.

  29. raven says

    But the thought occurs, this man (WLC) really doesn’t understand pain. I think he’s a clinical sociopath.

    If anyone is a sociopath, it is Craig.

    This seems to be true for many of the fundie xian leaders.

    Same goes for Mitt Romney. That guy had as much empathy and charm as any meat robot.

  30. lpetrich says

    The story of King Herod ordering the killing of the Bethlehem baby boys is found only in Matthew and not referred to anywhere else in the New Testament. However, it’s a version of a common mytheme:

    King Herod vs. Jesus Christ
    Pharaoh vs. Moses
    King Kamsa vs. Krishna
    King Amulius vs. Romulus
    King Laius vs. Oedipus
    King Acrisius vs. Perseus
    Pelias vs. Jason
    Tantalus vs. Pelops
    Hera vs. Hercules
    Hera vs. Dionysus
    Hera vs. Apollo
    Kronos vs. Zeus
    Lord Voldemort vs. Harry Potter

    It has some nonviolent versions:

    The Roman Senate vs. Augustus Caesar
    The Buddha’s father vs. the Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama)

    In the latter, the Buddha’s father tried to raise his son to be his heir instead of a great religious leader by keeping him away from scenes of pain and suffering.

  31. lpetrich says

    Why doesn’t that happen in recent centuries? Imagine:

    Southern plantation owners vs. Abraham Lincoln
    Fundamentalists vs. Charles Darwin
    Rabbis, Jewish bankers, and Jewish Marxists vs. Adolf Hitler
    Psychiatrists vs. L. Ron Hubbard
    Oil-company executives vs. Muammar Gaddafi

  32. reynoldhall says

    Oil-company executives vs. Muammar Gaddafi

    I don’t get that last one, mind you I just woke up about 5 minutes ago and my brain isn’t turned on yet.

  33. reynoldhall says

    Ok, now I got it…I was thinking of Ghandi, not Gaddafi.

    Shit,

    That’ll teach me to wait a damned minute before typing* when I’m tired.

    Will the lesson hold? No.

    *Or speaking either.

  34. eucliwood says

    Wow, what a scummy man. “It’s a reminder of what christmas is fooorrr! what it’s all abouuttt!” “It’s a message that god has not abandoned us”

    Right… people being murdered is a message that god has not abandoned us.

  35. reynoldhall says

    Could you bloody imagine what those people would consider to be a sign that god has abandoned us??

    (probably a Democratic win in 2016 maybe)…or maybe, one could only hope: The next presidential swearing-in ceremony where the recipient doesn’t mention “god” at all, but just references the oath in regards to the Constitution?