Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

Scripture Says…What? for the Week of October 2nd

open bibleIn this week’s look at the funny, the scary and just plain weird passages in humanity’s holy text, is a return to Islam and its weird notion of gratitude. This passage this week comes from Jørgen from Trondheim, Norway. Qur’an Chapter 2, Verse 243, Sahih International Version:

Have you (O Muhammad) not considered those who left their homes in many thousands, fearing death? Allah said to them, “Die”; then He restored them to life. And Allah is full of bounty to the people, but most of the people do not show gratitude.

Those ingrates! They should be thanking Allah, Most Gracious, for giving their lives back after…uh…killing them in the first place? This is one of those gargantuan leaps of logic that only Abrahamic faiths can come up: A god with Münchausen by proxy syndrome. In case you didn’t see the relevant episode of “Law & Order” on the topic, this is a disease where a caregiver actually induces symptoms on their patient for the express purpose of justifying their continued care, and seeking attention for how wonderful and compassionate they are.

It’s remarkably similar to its Christian apologetic counterpart of “aren’t you grateful that Our Lord is saving you from eternal punishment in the Hell he created himself?” It doesn’t paint a picture of  a kind or loving deity, but a cruel, self-absorbed, and sociopathic one.

Allah murdered you, sure, but he brought you back! Why wouldn’t you thank him?!

This is one of the reasons I’ve always hated the ending to ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” After the title character has spent all night burglarizing an entire village, he comes down off the mountain and returns all of the toys that he stole himself and is greeted as a hero? What the hell.

Not even the awesome narration of Boris Karloff can cover for that sort of nonsense.

If you have a passage of holy scripture that you find funny, scary or just plain weird, send it our way. Whether it’s from the Bible, the Qur’an, the Bhagavad Gita, the Book of Mormon, or even Dianetics, click on the big, red, shiny button at the top of the page and we may even read it on the show!

About the Author: Mike Gillis

Mike Gillis is co-creator, and co-host of Ask an Atheist. He hosts the Radio vs. the Martians! and Mike and Pól Save the Universe! podcasts. He also enjoys comic books, the Planet of the Apes, and the band Queen.

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Rich Lane

I disagree with your interpretation of The Grinch. I don’t see him as greeted as a hero, but as a person who has recognized his empathy and humanism at last.

That Allah, HE’S an asshole though.

Henry (from San Jose)

I sent a scripture suggestion via “Ask a Question” but when the confirmation screen popped up, the Koran citation was cut off halfway. So, just in case that’s all you received, please note that I sent 2:67 through 2:71.

Mike (from Cleveland)

I have to agree with Rich. Whoville doesn’t celebrate the Grinch because he rescued Christmas. The village celebrates him because he has changed and become a better person.

God, on the other hand, seems incapable of changing or becoming a better person.

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