God Told Me To
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I recently watched the 1976 cult classic film, God Told Me To. Murders are committed, and one after another the killers say God told me to do it. In real life, we see such God-directed killings occur too - there seems to be one in the news about every six months or so. But unlike the movie where the idea actually gets some credence, in real life believers and non-believers reject the claim. We either view the murderer as insane or faking insanity. We don't believe that God actually told them to do it.
And yet, believers let God told me to go unchallenged almost all the rest of the time it is used. Four out of the current eight Republican challengers for the Presidency have publicly stated they are running because God told them to. No-one challenges this, individually or collectively. Do believers really think God told all four of them to run? Apparently so.
Preachers preach against homosexuality. God tells them to do so. Now if someone kills a gay for God - No, God could not possibly have given that order. God just tells preachers to preach against gays with reference to the bible verses calling for their death. Why is the one behaviour accepted, and the other rejected?
It was apparently quite reasonable to kill on God's orders in biblical days, but not in the present. But it is accepted that God today might order anything short of actual bodily harm.
Going back to the movie, a police interview with one of the killers really does expose the thinking that goes into following God's orders.
"He wouldn't ask me to do something that wasn't right"
and in response to the investigator's God doesn't talk to me...
"You don't love God like I do."
What we have in the first statement is the whole "God can do nothing wrong" concept. This is what happens when you really do get your morality from the Bible. And yet, believers almost unanimously reject this when murder is involved. I suggest, when they do this, they are bringing a moral view from outside the Bible into their judgement. And they need to do that for all such claims.
As far as the second statement is involved, here we have the idea of specially selected individuals - it is what allows people to claim God told them to run for political office; it is what allows people to preach reprehensible religious doctrine; it allows them to preach hate and bigotry. And they can do this because they supposedly love God more than the rest of us. And until they cross a line, believers don't hold them to account.
It shouldn't matter whether it the claim is trivial or involves the taking of human lives - all claims of God Told Me To should be challenged. Such claims should not be accepted on the unsupported word of of a fallible person.