Ray appears to be a little bit confused about the way real-world judicial systems work. Yeah, I know. What a massive fucking surprise, huh?
In his latest post (which has only five comments, incidentally – way to go, Raytractor Strike Team!), our favorite mustachioed fundie makes the following statement: “If a criminal is shown mercy by a good judge and his case is dismissed, it wasn’t dismissed on the basis of the criminal’s goodness or his standard of ethics. It was entirely on the basis of the goodness of the judge.” Ray goes on to painstakingly decode his little analogy, but anyone who isn’t clinically brain-dead should be able to see where this is going. Obviously, God is the judge, and we – you, me, the entire human race – are the criminals. Why? Because we’ve all lied, or stolen, or looked at naughty pictures on the internet, or lied about looking at naughty pictures on the internet, or stolen naughty pictures from the internet, or even (sensitive readers are advised to skip this next clause) lied about stealing naughty pictures from the internet.
The whole we-are-all-criminals schtick doesn’t warrant so much as a batted eyelid; we’ve all heard this tune from Ray a dozen times over. What gets me here is Ray’s complete failure to grasp what actually qualifies a “good judge” as such by reality-based standards. First of all, a good judge doesn’t begin from the assumption that everyone who comes before her bench is a criminal deserving of the harshest possible sentence (which may or may not be waived according to her whim). If a judge does find a criminal guilty, she doesn’t let him off to prove what a nice person she is; she imposes a punishment commensurate with the severity of his crime. A teenage shoplifter will receive a lighter sentence than a career burglar, who in turn will receive a lighter sentence than a mass murderer. Only the most inept and undeserving of judges would assign equal moral gravity to these three acts. Finally, when a good judge hands down a sentence, her primary motive is not to exact revenge; rather, she is concerned with protecting society from further criminal acts and rehabilitating the criminal himself.
God (or, at any rate, Ray’s God) fails on all these counts, and fails hard. Ray’s God takes guilt to be axiomatic and absolute. Ray’s God punishes cruelly and unusually, and with no thought for protecting the innocent - after all, no one’s innocent - or correcting the guilty. Ray’s God is a needy tyrant; He does not ask did you commit a crime (the answer is inevitably “yes”) or or what manner of punishment does that crime deserve (the answer is inevitably “the worst”), but only did you love Me, how much did you love Me, did you love Me more than you loved anyone else?
. . . Sorry, Ray’s God, but I’m going to have to go with “no” on that one. Things ended on a not-so-great note with my last imaginary friend, and I'm just not ready for that kind of commitment yet, y'know?