Finally remembered the exact reason I don't like religion. Namely the one I was raised in.
Let's all go back in time to 1986. You're six years old, and you're dying to color something...anything preferably a wall of some sort. Your mother, bless her heart, buys you a Judeo/Christian themed coloring book.
And you color Noah Ark first because when you're a kid, and animals are cool. Fun times.
Then you color the nativity because of Baby Jesus.
Then you get to a picture of Abraham getting ready to sacrifice his son Isaac because God (capital G) asked him to. A quick recap:
Abraham was a man with lots of faith. His family had lots of faith. Everything was good. He had a son named Isaac, who he loved very much. One day, God asks in his big booming voice, "Hey Abraham, prove your faith in me by sacrificing your beloved son Isaac."
To which Abraham said, "Do what, Lord?"
To which the Lord replied, "Don't pretend you didn't hear me, it demeans us both."
"But, couldn't I sacrifice some sheep?" asked Abraham (at least I assume Abraham would have tried to bargain. At least I hope did.)
"Ummm...No," said the Lord.
"Okay!" replied Abraham since he had faith in God.
So he somehow manages to convince his son this is a good idea. Ties him up, puts him on top of a bunch of sticks to burn him on, and gets ready to give his soon a fatal case of death.
But right before Abraham can deliver on his promise, God stops him. "Psych!" God says, "Oh Me, you were really gonna do it! You have proven your faith to me. Untie your son, and here, take some money for his therapy bills." And everyone lived happily ever after.
Now in the coloring book. Abraham held the knife up in the air with a goofy-looking smile on his face. Same with Isaac, tied up to a pile of wood about to be stabbed by daddy, but what does he have on his face? A great, big goofy smile, cause being sacrificed is the bee's knees daddy-o.
It's the smiles that bothered me the most. Those vacant, cartoon grimaces haunt me still.
Let's go through better version of this story...
Abraham & Isaac: really cool great people who love everyone and have faith in God. You know? Real assets to the community.
God comes to Abraham and says, "Go sacrifice your son in my name."
Abraham cocks his head to the side and says, "Yeah...no."
God points his immaculately manicured finger at Abraham, "That's an order mister. Don't make me resort to smiting you."
Abraham turns and walks off, "Piss off, loony."
God blocks Abraham's path, "Listen you...I'm God. I say jump and you say, 'Is that all, I can juggle for you as well, maybe sing.'"
Abraham digs his heels into the ground, looks God in the eye and says, "NO!"
God stands aghast, but then chuckles to himself. "Right on, man. Good job. I asked you to do something completely stupid and you stood your ground. I'm so proud of you for not being a f****** robot. Come here!" And God high fived Abraham who knew in his heart of hearts that God wouldn't be so petty as to seriously ask him to kill his favorite son for no reason other than to teach him a lesson on the value of obeying blindly and without question." The end.
That's much better.