Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The Richard Dawkins Commentary: the Child Jesus in the Temple

When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[Luke 2:41-49] 

Yet another young boy getting credit for his so-called "intelligence" and "originality". And what exactly was he doing, this prodigy? "Listening" to the teachers and "asking them questions". Is there anything so remarkable about that? Had he invented a new language? No. He was just using the same Aramaic words everybody else used, and re-arranging them. I hardly call that "understanding". If he were so "understanding", he would have created a new  language of his own and asked questions in that - not just copied the same old language.

And what questions was he asking? Were they important ones such as what kind of genius would popularise a meme, or had the teachers of the Law heard the terribly witty thing that Sir David Attenborough once said to him? No. Again, he was almost certainly asking questions about God. And who would be in the best position to ask searching questions about God? His Son, obviously. So in astonishing everyone with his supposed understanding of God when in fact - let us face it - he had already got all the information he needed from the Godhead Himself, Jesus was frankly cheating. His Father had already given him all the answers.

Jesus lived in the Land of Milk and Honey. Yet at no point in any of his journeys across the borders of Judea, Samaria and Phoenicia was his honey confiscated. Which is yet another blatant example of religion receiving privileges.

Somebody else said something terribly apposite about religion to me once. But she wasn't very famous, so I can't remember what it was.

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