It’s all God’s fault.

That is, if you take the Garden of Eden story literally — which I don’t. But I know many do, so I am willing to suspend my disbelief for this post and play along because it’s nice to be able to pin the blame for all of man’s woes on an imaginary supernatural being that allegedly created us.

So, let’s start with climate change. If God hadn’t reportedly kicked Adam and Eve out of the garden, humans wouldn’t have spread like cockroaches around the planet and burned up natural resources to survive. We wouldn’t have ever needed clothes or fire to keep warm. We could have happily hung about naked in the garden, eating the fruit allotted to us.

So, the current climate crisis is on God. Humans were forced to live in hostile environments and survived the best way they could. And in that fight for survival came all the other woes that have beset mankind since God exiled them from the garden.

All this because one woman ate a “forbidden fruit”? You think that might have been an overreaction by God? How many people have suffered through the ages because of it?

Of course, maybe God doesn’t really gave a hoot about the future of mankind or the planet itself. Maybe God sees Earth as just one piece of popcorn in a ginormous bag of the stuff. At the end of the show, Earth with all its lifeforms may be just one piece of squished fluff on the cinema floor. Earth is expendable. It wouldn’t be missed.

OK, I could go on and on. I could pin everything on God’s reported hotheaded decision to kick the first couple out of Eden. Suffice to say, if the Eden story were true, God is to blame for everything that ensued. Why couldn’t he have just forgiven Eve? Why did he allow the forbidden fruit to grow in the first place?

Honestly, I don’t think Bible literalists have thought things through. Surely God and cohort aren’t sitting in some theatre getting perverse thrills watching the suffering of mankind and the rape of Mother Earth?

Or maybe that’s what this is all about. After all, so many of the people who embrace God doctrines delight in making other people suffer. Look at the Taliban in Afghanistan who have enslaved women and murdered so many people. Look at the Roman Catholic clergy who abused and killed so many children, among their many other crimes against humanity. Look at the fundamentalists in so many nations who persecute LGBTQ people and others.

You can trace it all back to that moment in the Garden of Eden, when God could have shown love and forgiveness but instead chose to set in motion the tragedy that is now Planet Earth.

Perhaps we’re just the seasoning on God’s popcorn, and he likes it burnt.

There, dear congregation, may be the real story behind the Garden of Eden tale.

And that concludes our Sunday school lesson for this week.

— Jillian