Scanning through this thread...since it's been revived a couple of times with nothing essentially new to add.
Anyway, it occurs to me that God is like a child. Or, say, even, an adult, who gets a new puppy, and loves it ever so much, until it chews up his new, shoes, pees on his carpet, and doesn't automatically obey commands the first time it hears them.
This person might get mad at and hit the puppy; get tired of trying to get it to listen and leave it tied to a tree out back, decide they really DO love it once in a while after a random play or snuggle, get the notion to try again, with maybe some obedience classes; lose interest once more when the puppy still doesn't pick everything up on the first try, and, finally, take it to the pound and leave it.
There's no doubt that the person is totally enamored with the puppy when it is a brand new little ball of fluff. But that "love" just goes by the wayside when it doesn't grow up and turn into Lassie.
No matter how many times the Bible mentions god's love of his creation, it just seems very conditional. Is it really "love", when a puppy is left at the pound (cast into hell) for misbehaving when no effort has been made at real bonding or training? It's nothing but a case of getting tired of the novelty and discarding it when it doesn't turn out exactly as the owner envisioned.
It may explain why god is often coddled and treated as if it were a derelict baby (as opposed to, say, The Unquestioned Lord and Master of All RealityTM
). God needs his behavior to be excused
...often in the same way as we excuse the behavior of a 2 year old throwing a tantrum.
"Oh, he's just a 2 year old. He doesn't really 'get' that pulling on the dog's tail irritates her. He doesn't know any better."
"Oh, he's just god. He doesn't really 'get' that drowning everyone on the planet
is a bit of a d*ck move. He doesn't know any better."
"Oh, he's just a 2 year old. He can't really express well that he's really sleepy. His kicking and crying is just his way. He'll grow out of it."
"Oh, he's just god. He can't really express well that being gay isn't bad <or is bad, depending on who you ask>. He was just kind of irritable when he said all that stuff about 'stoning' and 'death'. He'll grow out of hit."
"Oh, you took his name off of the school honor roll! Put his name back
! God's at a special
age right now - his ego and confidence are really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really fragile right now and just needs to have some confidence building. Keep his name on the honor roll; let's make sure that we all
keep publicly praising him so that he can make sure he feels good about himself. Otherwise he might throw a tantrum
...and, since he doesn't know any better
, his tantrum might accidentally hurt other people. So we should prevent that and shower him with praise. I know he can't bother himself to ask us to do it...after all, he doesn't know any better
and can't really express himself well. He'll grow out of it."
Simply put: god - at least, the one of the conservative/fundamentalist stripe - puts conditions on his love because, frankly, he just doesn't know any better