Scarecrow Apocalypse: Attack of the Fictional, Malevolent God
A single drop of blood stains the soil underfoot of a churchgoing family of four. From miles away, a scarecrow detects a faint waft of iron; his eyes roll back in his brainless head. He rips his burlap sack through the rusty spikes fastening him to his post above the corn. He starts through the field with a limp, snarling and salivating at the thought of mangling women and children.
First one scarecrow, then three form a posse of angry psychopaths devoid of conscience and soul. The saunter becomes a sprint; it’s a race to reach the masses where the winner conducts genocide on the people of his choosing. Hate and injustice befriend the scarecrow, and reason is his enemy.
SuperDawk: Fighting for Brights and Freedumb
Just as the galloping bales of undead straw approach the targeted family huddled in prayer, a masked avenger flies in riding a northerly wind and lands in front of the family, arms bent with fists to hips and sporting a cape embroidered with “SD.”
“Fear not, silly family. I’m SuperDawk, and I’m here to save you from your dangerous god who stalks you like a roaring lion, murders indiscriminately, and makes the world a terrible place to live,” he announces. Then he unstraps a flamethrower from his back and showers the scarecrow coven with napalm. The reflection in his eye glows with immolation and echoes a growing, sinister laugh–he cannot release the trigger.
“Fine,” the father replies, “you can do your best if he decides to show up. I’m just glad you destroyed those horrible scarecrows.”
A befuddled SuperDawk gives his best expression of annoyance and then flies away.
A Stale Tactic
The point of the story is that for the last decade, the favorite tactic of the New Atheists has not changed:
“Prop up a straw man and set him ablaze with emotional rhetoric”
This tactic will be more thoroughly exposed with the release of a new book edited by Carson Weitnauer and Tom Gilson titled True Reason: Confronting the Irrationality of the New Atheism.
The most powerful arguments used by the New Atheists against the Christian God have nothing to do with Christianity. A common theme among anti-theists involves characterizing God as a malevolent bully. In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins offers a scathing critique of theism:
“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.”1
This technique of persuasion is known as poisoning the well and is used when substantive arguments based on reason and logic are either absent or unable to be conjured by frustrated superheroes.
The Flying Spaghetti Monster
Christians have nothing to fear from the spear-chucking New Atheists. You might feel some trepidation during your reconnaissance of hostile territory (reading books like The God Delusion, and The End of Faith); however, you should be somewhat relieved after learning what these biologists and neuroscientists (to be read: not philosophers, theologians, or historians) are arguing against:
“The Flying Spaghetti Monster”
If you’re not familiar with Dawkinsian lore, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a fictional monster thought up by Dawkins to illustrate the ridiculousness of believing in something which cannot be verified by science. For the purpose of this example, it’s just something he made up.
The god the New Atheists argue against is made up, too.
It in no way resembles the Christian God. Besides, the Christian God has been speared before, and after three days he made a full recovery. A spanking may be in order, but hiding a hardcover of The God Delusion in the seat of your pants will do little to lessen the sting.
Are you ready to defend your god as something more than straw and burlap?
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1 Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (New York: Houghton Miffilin, 2006), 51.
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Photo credit: Tabsinthe / Foter / CC BY scared girl
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About Jason B. Ladd
Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.