Penn Jillette starts his book God No! with a litmus test to find out if you might be an atheist. It is in the form of a simple question: “If god (however you perceive him/her/it) told you to kill your child — would you?” He goes on to state that if your answer is no, you are an atheist. If your answer is yes, please reconsider, he requests.
If I were to take this simple litmus test I would preface it with three conditions. One, I would make it clear that the question is not a question for god to answer. Other than the commandment, he is not involved. Two, I would insist that the person who is asked knows clearly that the question is not for his/her pastor or other church leader to delve over. The question is solely for the person asked, to answer. Finally, three, the individual is absolutely sure that god is the one making the commandment. The last one is to insure that the person being tested does not say it is satan asking or some other demon. If the person states that god would not give such an order, that avoids the question being asked and answers the question of whether god would order such a killing, instead.
If the person answers no then it is obvious they do not believe. After all, god is omnipotent and cannot be trifled with. It could be a ticket straight to hell. The person who actually believes would not take such a risk. Most likely such a person is simply giving “lip-service” to belief anyway.
If the answer is yes, and if they are sincere then they are a true believer. Unfortunately, this also makes them a monster. This person would be someone you would want to avoid. The reason for this is clear… if they would kill their child for god, then they would kill a non-relation without hesitation. They might even gleefully kill a non-related person, thanking god they did not have to kill kinfolk. These are the kind of people who would force a plane full of innocent people fly into a building.
Now let’s carry this a little further, remembering the aforementioned conditions. What if a pregnant mother, totally opposed to abortion, was told by god that the unborn child must not be born. Would she obey god? Would she, being totally opposed to abortion for any reason, seek an abortion? Would she take a carving knife to her abdomen in a gesture of faith and slice herself open, spilling the contents of her womb on the floor?
The United States may be said to be 70 percent christian, but I think in light of how those people behave it is more than likely less than 10 percent in reality. Yes, I think 60 percent of the population are cherry pickers. These people give god lip-service only. This is a good thing.