Or ever seen an atheist who doesn't hate the bible God?
I will see ya all tomorrow.
Sorry to be late to the party, (haven't been here for a while) but I thought I would try and answer the OP.
John, I must say that your Jesus does seem to be a very nice guy. He cares about the underdogs, heals the sick when he can, feeds the hungry when he can, and advocates empathy as a guiding principal. This is all very admirable. And maybe, just maybe, if you had worded your question to focus on Jesus rather than Bible God, you might have gotten a somewhat different set of answers.
You see, the problem is, your Jesus does not seem to have much in common with your Bible God. Your OT god, as others have pointed out, was not a very nice guy. I mean, lots of toddlers and kittens, who had done no one any harm, died painful deaths when your god decided to flood the planet or burn Sodom and Gomorrah. And although Jesus was less angry about the Roman occupation than I would have been had I been there in that time and place, your OT god really, really hated the Canaanites. No empathy from OT god.
But here is the thing. There is just so much STUFF in your holy scriptures, that you get to pick and choose the parts that you like. You get to shape your god into what YOU want him to be. And then it is really easy to love him.
And please understand, that I am not just talking about you. I'm talking about all Christians.Joel Osteen loves god.
And he is a really nice, empathetic guy, full of optimism and joy and whatnot. But he didn't get the memo about giving away his worldly possessions to the needy. In fact, he really believes that the god that he loves, rewards the faithful with material wealth. The Liberation Theologists and the Quakers love god too
. And I'm awfully fond of folks from both of those groups. Unlike Preacher Osteen, they believe in social justice, in living a simple life. Very into the whole empathy thing.
The Duggar family love god too
. They love god so much, that they know it is their daughters' fault when their son decides to molest them. Their god really wants their daughters to wear long skirts and so that temptation does not creep into the thoughts of their sons. Who are, of course, closer to god than their daughters.
On the topic of temptation, Ted Haggard really loves god too.
Preacher Haggard loves a god who knows we are all sinners, but who is willing to forgive us. No matter what we do. So long as we feel really bad about it.
Pope Francis loves god.
His god thinks we should be concerned about climate change. And I am delighted that his god thinks it is ok to take care of our planet, because lots of Christians (in the US at least) think that climate change is an atheist plot. But you know, I'm still mad at the pope for his role in Argentina's Dirty War. His god had a really different set of priorities, compared to the Liberation Theologists.My Aunt Joannie loves god.
And her god is really nice, too. A few days after my (atheist) father died, my father visited my Aunt Joannie in a dream, to tell her that he had been wrong, and that he was in heaven with the rest of the deceased members of the extended family. My Aunt Joannie was so excited, that she called my grieving mother at 2 AM and woke her up to share the good news. My agnostic mother was not as pleased as my aunt hoped she would be. But my aunt assured me that they are all up in heaven together now, and that the women are cooking and the men are sitting around the table, just like Sunday dinners so many years ago.
But the "Jesus is the Way" folks who love god, are absolutely certain that no matter how good of a person you are, you don't get to go to heavenly Sunday dinners unless you accept the lord as your savior.
So here is the thing John. We genuinely don't have any idea which Bible God to love.
If all of the Christians in the world could get together, come to a consensus, and present us with a viable, lovable model of God that you guys all agree is the real thing, then maybe we would be better equipped to see if we felt that love too.
Oh. And if God could do something to confirm that the consensus model is right, you know, like writing it in the sky for everyone in the world to see, or taking over every TV and computer on planet earth at the same time and speaking to each individual in his/her native language, just to confirm, that would be even better. Or even just re-writing every Bible in clear, precise language, with no ambiguity.
I have a lot of love in my heart. But until I get some clarity here, I don't see any way to direct any of it towards Bible God.