Over the weekend, Comedian Patton Oswalt caused a twitter storm by posting:
“Dear people citing The Bible, It’s a cool book with some wonderful passages but it also has ghost sex & giants & super babies & demons. It’s why we don’t make laws based on Game of Thrones, My Little Pony or Legend of Zelda.”
He starts with a false analogy by comparing Bible with the Game of Thrones, My Little Pony and the Legend of Zelda. The Game of Thrones is a fantasy television series based on fictional novels, My Little Pony is a toy series and the Legend of Zelda is a video game series. Even the creators of these three works acknowledge their work is fiction, born out of their minds for entertainment. The Bible is not for entertainment. For our generation that thinks every thing should be for stand up comedy, Bible appears to be a cool book. It is not. It is a serious book. So serious that where you spend your eternity, heaven or hell, depends on what you do with the message of the Bible.
The Bible is a collection of 66 books. Some of these books are clearly fictional, for example Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs etc. But much of the Bible is non-fictional, historical account of real world events like Creation of the universe, creation of life, creation of man, creation of animals etc.
Mr. Oswalt then mocks the “ghost sex & giants & super babies & demons”. He starts with ghost sex. I think it is the Freudian slip. The bitterest complaint our generation has against the Bible is it prescribes such rigid sexual norms which proscribes many of its sexual promiscuities.
There is also a false equivalence here. Unlike the miracles and bad guys in the Legend of Zelda, the miracles and demons of the Bible are real historical events and figures.
The divine creation of the universe, creation of Adam and Eve, dividing the Red Sea, manna as food from heaven, donkey talking to a prophet, fall of Jericho’s walls, Daniel interpreting dreams, virgin birth of Jesus, his resurrection etc, are not fictional stories. They are as historical as the assassination of Lincoln. They are miracles, supernatural events of God. God created the universe. For him making a donkey talk with a human voice is as easy as my typing these words. Its much easier for God giving a human voice to a donkey than Jeff Bezos giving a female voice to Alexa in Amazon Echo devices. Nothing in this world is impossible for God, who created the universe itself.
Mr. Oswalt lumped demons of the Bible with the bad guys in fiction like the Xaros and Pyats of the Game of Thrones, and Ganons of the Legend of Zelda. This is false equivalence and oversimplification. Satan and demons are as real as Vladimir Putin. One of the wickedest geniuses of Satan is he convinced our generation that he is a fictional being having no real existence.
Mr. Oswalt then states, “It’s why we don’t make laws based on Game of Thrones, My Little Pony or Legend of Zelda.” But we do make the laws based the Bible. In fact, great legal documents like Magna Carta and US Constitution were created based on Biblical morality. William Wilberforce fought for legal abolition of slavery based on his Biblical morality; Lincoln wrote Emancipation Proclamation based on Biblical morality; William Booth started Salvation Army based on Biblical morality; Mother Teresa cared for the poor of India based on Biblical morality; Martin Luther King Jr fought against segregation based on Biblical morality; Gandhi questioned English conscience and promoted non-violence using Biblical morality.
In fact, the erosion of Biblical morality in our culture is the reason behind many depravities ravaging our young men and women. Mr. Oswalt’s wife Michelle Mcnamara died of drug overdose, an epidemic now claiming thousands of lives every day. STDs are at all time high in UK, Germany and USA. The school shootings are at all time high. People can’t wait for the next season of the Game of Thrones with all its blood cuddling violence. Their eyes are not satisfied with the goriness on the screen. It was Christianity and Biblical morality which closed the Roman Colosseums, where human barbarity and cruelty were celebrated.
Mr. Oswalt falsely blames the Bible and Christians for the immigration crisis and stranded children at the border. In fact, Christian organizations like World Vision, Samaritan Purse, Red Cross, Salvation Army are at the fore fronts in helping these unfortunate children. No secular or religious organization can even come close to the Catholic Church in terms of charitable work it does.
In fact, the sacredness of a child, the battle between good and evil (the central theme of most fantasies), care for the needy are rationally rooted in God and Bible. Mr. Oswalt could care a lot about poor children. But atheism has no rational basis for caring for the weak.
Mr. Oswalt should take a few hours drive from his home in Virginia and visit the Bible Museum in Washington DC to understand the great and unique role the Bible played and continues to play in framing the moral basis for most of our just laws.
Have a nice day!