Worst Father Ever! And It Isn’t Me!

I grew up in a home with two teachers for parents. That sucked in a lot of ways, but I also know that what I experienced pales in comparison to the experience of so many others. There are people who grow up in homes where the parents have no jobs. There are people who grow up in homes where the parents choose prayer over medical intervention at the risk of their child’s lives. There are people who grow up in homes with no parents. I could go on and on and on, but the point is I didn’t have it so bad.

You know who did? Isaac. No, not Isaac from the Love Boat. Isaac from the Bible.

Whether it works out that way or not, we are supposed to look up to our parents. Isaac should be the luckiest kid in the whole history of existence in that regard, because his father spurred the three most successful faiths of modern times. Abraham had his shit together, and he (or at least the mythology that sprang up around his life) inspired countless people. But I would hope that Isaac wasn’t one of them.

You are out walking with your dad. You know you’re walking a hell of a long way to a mountain top he dreamed about because you are going to sacrifice an animal. But the whole way, you can’t help but notice you have no animals to sacrifice. When you mention this to your dad, you initially do so out of concern that he might have forgot a rather important aspect of the ritual, and all the walking would be to no good. Dad says not to worry about it, you’ll pick something up along the way.

So you’re fine. And you start seeing perfectly good sacrificial animals as you journey, but your dad keeps telling you it’s cool, you’ll get one later. At first it’s funny, because dad’s not the putting it off type, but eventually it starts to get concerning.

Dad, where’s the sacrifice?

Uh… We’ll worry about that later, son.

Dad, where’s the sacrifice?

Hmm. Must be just around here somewhere, son.

Meanwhile, you’re lugging around all this kindling and firewood. Would the thought cross your mind that you are the sacrifice? Probably not. Abraham was his dad. Dad’s don’t kill their sons. So you keep walking and you keep your eyes peeled, but your dad hasn’t said a word about what you are looking for.

Dad, where’s the sacrifice?

Eventually, you get to the mountain, and you start to build the pyre. Still, there are no animals. Presumably, you’re above the tree line now, because dad made you carry all the fire making gear all over Hell’s half acre rather than picking the wood up when you got there. There are no animals in sight. And suddenly, your dad levels with you.

Son, the sacrifice… It’s you. God has asked that I murder you to show him that I believe in him enough. And I do, son! His love is so wonderful! I hope you understand. Now be a good lad and hop up on the pyre and we’ll be done with this. Oh, no tears boy. Do you think this is easy for me? I’m the one who’s going to have to live with what I did!

What would be going through Isaac’s mind at that moment? How would that affect a person, to know that their father was willing to murder them? Of course, God makes the Big Save and says, “Gee, Abraham, I was just testing your faith! HAH! LOL! It’s cool. I made you take your son on a journey of many days, all the while knowing that you had to murder him, all the while lying to him about what lay ahead, but it was just to make sure you loved me enough. Way to go, buddy!” But where does that leave Isaac?

How do you come back from that?

Now, I’m a firm believer that the stories in the Bible are what we atheists call “bullshit”, and that nothing of the sort ever happened. It is, in my opinion, a story most likely told to emphasize just how pious and faithful Abraham was. But could you imagine what that would have done to Isaac?

A loving God indeed.


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About biguglyjim

Like a caterpillar that spins a coccoon and emerges as a walrus with a mohawk, Big Ugly Jim has become something unexpected. Raised a fine young Christian boy in the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Jim began to question his teachings, first evaluating the wisdom of other religions and eventually realizing that none of them seemed any more accurate than any other, and not a one of them made a lick of sense. Today, Big Ugly Jim is a musician, a Business Analyst with Large Oil Company Whose Name Is Not Important, a music promoter with the Calgary Beer Core, a writer of fiction and non-fiction, a prick, an atheist, a father, an ex-husband, a role model, a horrifying vision in a red speedo (or at least he would be, if ever that happened which IT WOULD NOT), an announcer, and soon to be an officiator of weddings. Also, he's nice and does dishes. Jim continues to live in Calgary, spreading his filthy doctrine of free, critical thinking and appreciation for music.

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