The Devil by the Pond

Imagine you are hiking in the woods. As you pass by a pond, you get a glancing view of some scavenging birds as they fly off some ways away from you. You make nothing of it. You keep walking. Then you spot it in the distance—the reason the birds flew away. A deer comes ripping through the bushes as he’s being chased by a grizzly. You hide quickly as best you can. With any luck, you’ll go unnoticed and that deer will be the thing’s lunch instead of you.

As you've seen, not only is he big, but boy does he move! He's strong too. One good swat from him is equal in force to a small piano (about 450 pounds) being swung from the height of a second story window. You know that if caught, he could literally knock your head off! You’d need a good gun to fend him off if he had his mind set on rending your flesh like the skin off a thigh from Church’s Chicken. But thankfully, you don’t have to go up against him. He’s gone now and so you can forget about him just like humans do all the things on planet earth that God creates which are deadly.

So forget about the bear.

Now imagine you are at the same pond, seeing the same birds fly away. This time, you are startled to see a red beast with big red eyes, with scales instead of fur, and fangs and canines just like the bear. If you will, he has a pointed tale and horns. Hiding, you are hoping that this deer-chasing demon is no smarter or more observant than that bear.

The demon is so different from the bear, but strangely, he’s no more or less terrifying than the bear. Let’s switch them; let’s say the bear was the mythical beast and the demon was the evolved creature. Would the raging bear not be exactly as terrifying or more than the demon? Would not someone who was sheltered from nature’s harsh realities feel the same fear as if that someone saw a traditionally described demon? Of course that person would.

So, let’s say you did see that bear. And let’s say you happen to be a Christian, but then it dawns on you (if you’re a halfway thinking Christian) that all this time you’ve been afraid of the Devil when you should have been afraid of (and prepared to face) things like bears—of things that are real and that you have a much higher chance of encountering, of things that are deadly and everywhere, just waiting to bring your life to an end.

And then, for the first time, it starts to occur to you that you’ve been praising a God for building a world for his people that is full of unspeakable horrors. You are now starting to realize that anything you ever saw on Friday the 13th or Halloween or The Outer Limits is no more horrifying than what God has exposed his people to and that we take for granted on this planet.

Maybe God hasn’t created boogiemen or monsters in closets, just like we tell our children, but he did create bears and alligators, creatures that do the same things that mystical “boogiemen” do. What’s the difference? And what does your church have to say about that? They rattle on about curses and snakes and the fall of man being the cause of poisonous plants and carnivorous creatures. But you start to see a problem with that because that means bears were once herb-eaters and God modified them just to make us live in fear! Fuck you, God!

Finally, you de-convert because you keep thinking back to that devil by the pond and realize that he’s not scary anymore. He’s really stupid to oppose a deity who is all-powerful when he knows that he is outmatched infinitely and has a short time left to reign (Revelation 12:12). But he’s also not scary anymore for another reason; your heretical mind now has the blinders off and sees that the Devil and demons were just a regurgitation of man’s living in fear of clawed, powerful, fanged creatures like bears. Man, living in a world of unspeakable nightmares, sleeps and then awakes to create…what else but…“daymares”! Superstitious man lives in fear—of this world and the next.

Having joined the ranks of the godless, you now choose to be afraid only of what has claws and fangs and can smack your head clean off your shoulders. The next time you walk near the pond, you’ll only be looking out for the bear (and all the other billions and billions of things great and small that can harm you), but hopefully next time, you’ll just be pondering how stupid you were to have traipsed into God’s woods without the gun you now have!

(JH)

11 comments:

feeno said...

W'sup Joe

When God created lions, tigers and bears or even alligators they didn't look scary. To Adam and Eve they probably looked like your family pet.
It wasn't 'til the fall that things started to die, people, animals and even plants. You are right that before the fall that Bears would have been happy with a diet of berry's. But why be mad that God allowed them to become meat eaters?

If I was walking along side your "pond" I'd be thinking: this looks like a nice place to drop a line and catch some Bluegill, nice birds and damn, check out that Bear chasing a deer. That night I eat me some fresh pan fried fish wash it back with a cold Bud light and thank God nature is so beautiful.

Not that you care, but I prayed that God will overlook the F-bomb you dropped on him.

Peace out, feeno

Jason said...

"But you start to see a problem with that because that means bears were once herb-eaters and God modified them just to make us live in fear! Fuck you, God!"

Hilarious, I love that part.

busterggi said...

I've read quite a few of your posts & find it hard to believe you're stupid enough to fall for the whole Adam & Eve story or the bullshit about all animals being herbivores before the 'apple' incident (plants are living things too, somehow god & his less enlightened believers ignore that).

C said...

That was a good essay. Too bad most religious folk are too fearful to even contemplate putting things into perspective like this. I would wager that even most of them, when pressed up against a wall, still hold onto Pascal's Wager and settle for believing in belief, with that tingling of the fear of hell that is programmed into their minds.

On the flip side, it is a good thing we fear bears and the like and we're not trying to give them hugs like Elf.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Feeno,

Can you help me out and rationalize a world where God can create a man who faitfully quotes His scripture while keeping a child kidnapped for his sexual appetite for the past 18 years? I doubt young JayCee found much comfort in the scripture her rapist declared while impregnating her twice. He believed what you believe yet it didn't keep him from escaping his own insanity which created a torturous prison for a young girl.

Joe E. Holman said...

feeno, you're retarded, man.

It takes worlds of gullibility to believe that anything but kill-or-be-killed evolution can account for lions, tigers, and bears and the like.

You go ahead and keep thinking about fried fish (though that means your god is ok with us killing and eating another life form, which is still not in accord with Genesis).

Nevertheless, I suspect that as long as the bear isn't chasing YOU, you have no problem praising God for it.

(JH)

Christian Agnostic said...

I'm sorry, I just found the tone of this piece to be a bit condescending and not particularly funny either. I know it's fun bashing fundies, but sometimes it's like kicking a puppy in the head. Sometimes it's best to let sleeping dogs lie.

feeno said...

Chuck

Are you serious? Would it have made it any better for her had he not quoted scripture? And no,he doesn't believe what I believe. And you said yourself he was crazy.

Joe

It's issues like this that make me tend to think you Atheists are a little more religous than the average Christian. If Christians aren't worried about what they're gonna have for dinner why do you care? And if we can't eat anything that was at one time alive what the hell are we gonna eat, rocks?

Peter had a vision in the book of Acts where God told him to eat whatever he wanted. Why: because it's not what goes into our mouth that corrupts, but what comes out of it.

I have a sudden craving for rock candy and marble cake?

Peace and hair grease, feeno

Chuck O'Connor said...

Feeno,

I didn't make my point clear. Sorry. Gurido prayed to the same God to whom you pray using the same book for guidance yet, his sexual obsessions and insane thoughts were not relieved. Now, either your continued declaration of an available, healing, merciful, loving God if sought is false or, your belief is a delusion.

I do believe this man was crazy and a large piece of evidence to that fact was his delusion there was a reality beyond the natural world which he could tap for guidance.

Joe E. Holman said...

Christian Agnostic said...

"I'm sorry, I just found the tone of this piece to be a bit condescending"


My reply...

Why, whatever do you mean?


Christian Agnostic said...

"and not particularly funny either."


My reply...

Two guys walked into a bar, a Jew and a Rabbi...oh, sorry. You don't like my humor. My bad.


Christian Agnostic said...

"I know it's fun bashing fundies, but sometimes it's like kicking a puppy in the head. Sometimes it's best to let sleeping dogs lie."


My reply...

They've slept too long. Time to wake up.

(JH)

Joe E. Holman said...

feeno said...

Joe

It's issues like this that make me tend to think you Atheists are a little more religous than the average Christian. If Christians aren't worried about what they're gonna have for dinner why do you care? And if we can't eat anything that was at one time alive what the hell are we gonna eat, rocks?


My reply...

Better rocks than other lifeforms, but maybe plants would be a start. Even...hair grease..would be better than having a deity who has creatures killing and consuming other lifeforms for sustainance.

If you can't see it, you need to be eaten! :O

(JH)