A cosmic Jewish zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.
This little ditty has been making the rounds of the internet. It’s quite popular among militant atheists. However, it unwittingly illustrates the fact that infidels would rather feel clever than be clever. It’s all about image. Projecting a pose of intellectual superiority.
The manifest purpose of the ditty is to make Christian theology look as ridiculous as possible. However, the ditty is systematically inaccurate. As such, it fails to show the absurdity of the Christian faith.
Even if the ditty is meant to be satirical, a good satire must have an element of truth. It may exaggerate, but it has to be analogous to the thing it satirizes. A satire is only successful if, in fact, the thing it satirizes is actually like that in key respects.
So let’s parse the ditty.
What does that correspond to in Christian theology? What’s a cosmic zombie? Is that a zombie from outer space? Is this a way of saying Jesus came from somewhere else? But, strictly speaking, God isn’t in another place. God exists outside of time.
In pop culture, or Hollywood depictions, a zombie is a decaying corpse with minimal brain function.
But that’s disanalogous to the risen Christ. He has a youthful, ageless body. And his mental faculties are fully intact.
Yes, he came back from the dead, but what’s absurd about the notion that God can restore someone to life?
Perhaps the zombie motif is a riff on the eucharistic imagery (see below).
“His own father”
In what sense was Jesus his own father? In terms of Trinitarian theology, the Father is not the Son. In terms of incarnational theology, the divine nature is not the human nature.
So this is either unitarian or equivocal. In any case, it doesn’t correspond to Christian theology.
“Symbolically eat his flesh”
And why is that absurd? After all, metaphors were never meant to make literal sense.
To symbolically eat his flesh is a metaphor for faith in his sacrificial death. So that’s not analogous to man-eating zombies.
Moreover, even if you were going to woodenly press the cannibalistic imagery, Jesus would be the object rather than the subject of that imagery. That wouldn’t make Jesus a “zombie,” but his followers.
The reason Jn 6 uses this imagery is because the narrative comes on the heels of a communal meal (the feeding of the five thousand), and also refers to the manna in the wilderness.
Mind you, I don’t think Jn 6 is eucharistic. In context, this foreshadows the Crucifixion, not the Last Supper. Perhaps the ditty takes Roman Catholic theology as its launchpad.
“Telepathically tell him”
We’re not saved by telling Jesus what we think of him. Believing in Jesus isn’t the same thing as telling him what we believe.
Since, moreover, Jesus is divinely omniscient, he doesn’t need us to tell him what we think of him. So telepathy is irrelevant.
This tries to make Christian faith seem ridiculous on the assumption that telepathy is ridiculous, and saving faith is comparable to telepathy.
But that’s inaccurate. And even if it were accurate, why assume telepathy is absurd? That’s a well-attested phenomenon. Maybe the evidence is defective, but it’s not something you can reasonably dismiss in advance. That’s something to investigate.
“An evil force from your soul”
Actually, there are two basic aspects to sin: culpability and moral corruption.
People often do evil things. Do things which are detrimental to their self-interest. Why is that?
What, exactly, is absurd about that? If we recast Gen 2 in scientific terms, the creation of Eve is a type of molecular cloning (or recombinant DNA).
Likewise, if you were starting from scratch, why not make a prototypal human couple?
“A talking snake”
Actually, I don’t think the tempter was a snake. Rather, that’s an angelophany, which is trading on ophiomantic connotations. Ophiolatry and ophiomancy were commonplace in the ANE. That wasn’t limited to literal snakes–but what they stood for.
“A magical tree”
There’s nothing magical about the tree of knowledge. It’s no more magical than the curses in Gen 3:14-19. The tree of knowledge is an emblematic object. It symbolizes illicit knowledge.
God assigns certain consequences to certain actions. That’s not the same thing as cause and effect.
The “cosmic Jewish zombie” tries to be witty and clever, but it winds up being ignorant and stupid.