Saturday, August 22, 2009

A passed test of loyalty? Or a failed test of ethics?

     Genesis 22 tells of a story about the biblical god commanding Abraham to offer up his son as a sacrifice. Now, I have heard many people point to this as a demonstration of admirable qualities of loyalty and obedience. But it has never sat well with me. This seems exactly the sort of order that one should never obey.
     Among human rulers, only the pettiest want such devotion. If there is a god and there is any truth to the story, it seems much more likely that the god would be testing to see if Abraham would have the courage to say "no" to a blatently wicked command. Perhaps we need to learn to be able to refuse even an "ultimate authority" when we know the command is no good. If that is the case, Abraham was simply not ready. I look at the world and see that many people are not ready.

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