by Jay Johansen | May 19, 2018
There's a statement I've seen repeated on a lot of forums lately. It goes like this: "Christians believe in a three-headed sky god and worship a Jewish zombie." The words are almost identical every time, so I wonder if this was published somewhere as a great talking point to use against Christians. Or maybe it's just caught on among atheists.
Apparently atheists think that when they say this, Christians will be reduced to mumbling, "yeah, I guess our beliefs are pretty foolish".
Except ... almost every part of this statement is simply ignorant.
I presume the part about three heads is a reference to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. But I have never heard any Christian, even the most unsophisticated, say that he understands the Trinity to mean that God has three heads. I've never even heard a small child say that. Rather, we understand it to mean that God is more complex than human beings, that he is a single being but at the same time he has three aspects or personalities.
Christians do not say that God is a God of the sky. We say that he is the God of the whole universe. We do not say that he lives in the sky. We say that he is present everywhere.
It is true that Jesus was Jewish. They have that part right.
Christians believe that Jesus came back from the dead, but we do not suppose that he was anything like a Hollywood zombie. He did not shamble or have rotting flesh or speak only in incoherent moans or kill people or eat brains.
So atheists make gross mis-statements about what Christians believe, and then make fun of the foolishness of these mis-statements ... and Christians are supposed to be embarassed by this? Why? If you can't understand the idea of a composite being, but can only dimly comprehend this as some kind of monster with three heads, is it the Christian who has limited intelligence? Or you? It's like someone who doesn't understand geometry looking at a complex graph and laughing, "Har! Har! Har! Is that supposed to look like a cow? You draw terrible!" Should the mathematician be embarassed by this? Or the scoffer?
Suppose a Christian made some absurd mis-statement about an atheist belief. Like suppose a foolish Christian said, "Atheists believe that if you lock a monkey in a room and wait a few days, it will turn into a person!" Would atheists be embarrassed by this? Surely not. Atheists would be laughing at Christians for making such a foolish statement. And Christians with more intelligence would be cringing about how this makes them look foolish, and hastily explaining how most Christians don't have such serious misunderstandings of what atheists actually say.
Likewise, when an atheist makes this foolish "three-headed sky god" statement, Christians should laugh at him and point out his ignorance. They should pointedly ask if all atheists are this stupid. Make atheists either cringe and apologize for their ignorant associate, or better yet, defend him and make all atheists look stupid.
© 2018 by Jay Johansen
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