I am God (November 2002)

Did you notice how quiet the media and public were over the chilling message left twice by the sniper terrorizing the Washington, D.C., suburban area?

The sniper left a Tarot card at the scene of his shooting of a 13-year-old schoolboy on Oct. 7 that ominously announced, “I am God.” This was reported, but without comment.

A handwritten letter left at the scene of his Oct. 19 shooting at a restaurant in Ashland, Va., also contained the phrase, “I am God,” dutifully reported, without comment. Doubtless the Oct. 24 arrest of the suspect will yield many more details about his religious mission.

Had a sniper who shot 13 people, killing ten, left a message saying, “There is no god,” you can imagine the uproar. There would be no end to the denigration of atheism and “godless” immorality. But silence greets this religious connection with a mass murderer.

Believers and unbelievers alike were surely equally chilled by the sniper’s avowal, so clearly revealing how dangerous this fanatic is. After all, has there been a greater mass murderer than “God,” at least taking at face value the claims of the Old Testament? The Flood alone takes mass murdering to a new high.

As we are fond of pointing out at our offices at the Freedom From Religion Foundation, it takes a whole chapter of Ruth Hurmence Green’s Born Again Skeptic’s Guide to the Bible just to list the “Mass Killings Ordered, Committed, or Approved by God.”

Consider a partial listing of the biblical god’s cruel record: every inhabitant of Sodom and Gomorrah, those first-born Egyptians, victims of plagues, Canaanites, golden calf worshippers, 12,000 inhabitants of Ai, all the people of Gezer, Eglon and Hebron, riddle-solving Philistines, 50,000 people unfortunate enough to happen to glance into the Ark, 70 children of King Ahab, 200 Philistines killed for their foreskins, 42 kids eaten by bears, babies dashed against the stones, and tens upon tensof thousands of other holy victims. The righteous slaughter continues, so the bible claims, with unending torture in hell for vast numbers of unbelievers, sinners, the unbaptized, and those whose names are simply not writ in that narrow Book of Life.

The abstraction called “God” is even portrayed by his most devout believers as the ultimate death-dealer: arbitrary, incomprehensible, capricious.

As one of our Foundation members, when asked about her views on religion by a TV host, once said: “I wouldn’t want God for a neighbor.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation