I’m feeling a twinge of remorse (but only a twinge), for making light of a subject here that is obviously a quite serious one for some. I fear that the following remarks may not make it much better (and in fact may make it quite a bit worse), but I’ll nonetheless offer them to hopefully encourage continued discussion where
perceived mockery may have shut it down prematurely.
I think we see a stark division in play. On the one side, there are those whose fundamentalistic habits of reading and understanding oblige them to accept everything not explicitly labeled as parable or poem, as being literal historical truth. They are further obliged then to clean up the mess that this makes of the Bible. And if they wish for a God of justice, they must also layer on extra-biblical speculations to somehow ‘mitigate’ or ‘justify’ God’s wrathful actions to help it meet
our modern [any of our God-given] sensibilities in this regard. They don’t seem to realize the hopelessness of this task - In this case a bit like a judge in a courtroom, upon learning that a defendant has unmercifully dismembered 42 victims, asking him - “well, young man, why did you do this?” And then when the young man says “they were making fun of me! - and mocking you too, by the way, Judge! You should have heard them!” And the judge responds …“Oh well that changes everything! So they were asking for it! You may go. Sorry we detained you here.” And the rest of us in the courtroom (entire world) stare incredulously at the judge - as we should!
This is the bible and the god that fundamentalists offer up to us. They have been willing to sacrifice justice and mercy on what they took to be an altar of Truth. But instead it turns out, the grizzly sacrifice happened on an altar of fundamentalism - which is the real part (not actual scriptures) that gets defended as infallible.
What do they win for these efforts? A god that is both false and unjust. They don’t even get a true and inerrant bible (the very prize for which they had been aiming). [or haven’t won it without considerable theological gymnastics that only a doting parent could see the beauty in]. What they get is a modern fundamentalism that the entire modern world (and as well as most literate ancients) can [or would] see right through. It is in that context that mockery can seem so appropriate. And yet I would repent of it, knowing that some brothers and sisters are agonizing over these very issues because they have been sold a bill of goods and cannot just easily cull away their fundamentalistic reading habits from the real germ of their faith. They say that the bible is inerrant, but it is easy (for everyone else but themselves) to see that what they really mean is that they are inerrant readers of the Bible. So by aiming to win both a just God and inerrant scriptures, they have won neither, and unintentionally (they must at least be granted that!) have made a mockery out of the most precious things they set out to defend.