(Joshua Paladino, Headline USA) The New York Times published a guest essay on Good Friday, the second-holiest day of the Christian calendar, that advocated for “killing gods” to end “war and violence” and “oppression and suffering.”
In the article, “In This Time of War, I Propose We Give Up God,” Shalom Auslander condemned Passover, a Jewish remembrance that coincides with Easter, for celebrating a cruel act committed by God against innocent Egyptians.
Instead of celebrating Passover, he proposed that the world “pass over” the idea of God.
Auslander lamented the plagues that God and Moses called upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians, which hit the “young and old, innocent and guilty.”
In seeking their freedom from slavery, God and Moses could have used more humane tactics, but God prevented this because “he ‘hardened Pharaoh’s heart.'”
“And so God, in his mercy, started killing babies,” Auslander wrote.
God exacted punishment on all Egypt for the crimes of some Egyptians, an injustice that Auslander found intolerable.
“Surely, I wondered, there were some Egyptians who didn’t whip Jews, who didn’t have anything against Jews at all?,” he asked. “Surely there were Egyptians horrified by slavery, Egyptians who disagreed with Pharaoh as often as we do with our own leaders?”
He described the God that delivered the Jews from oppression as a “hateful God” who bears blame for the “brutality” in Ukraine. Rather than “emulating” God, humans should become “as unlike him as possible.”
“If he were mortal, the God of Jews, Christians and Muslims would be dragged to The Hague,” Auslander wrote. “And yet we praise him. We emulate him. We implore our children to be like him.”
If Christians, Jews, and Muslims abandon God during Easter, Passover, and Ramadan, then the world may achieve “peace.”
The world’s three Abrahamic religions, whose adherents make up more than half of the world’s population, all celebrate these holidays in April.