Deconstructing angels

A traditional depiction of an angel, from Angels in America.

The traditional image of an angel is quite recognizable, and quite cliched. They are also depicted as very caring, merciful, compassionate, and innocent beings. We even call very saintly and innocent people, especially children and young girls, “angels”. I’m here to deconstruct two things about angels.

  1. Their common depiction in coventional media.
  2. Their image as such saintly beings.

As you probably know, the image you see above is a conventional depiction of an angel. This depiction originates not from the Bible, or Judeo-Christian sources, but rather the work of Renaissance artists. This was probably done to distinguish them from regular human figures, or to make them more humanlike, and thus more appealing to human eyes than what they actually look like. Though to be fair, regular angels in the Bible did look humanlike, but some of the angels look like things that would make you scream “AHHH! KILL IT! KILL IT!”

A depiction of the Biblical cherubim.

Other than the Cherubim depicted above, we have Seraphim, which are six-winged burning angels with faces hidden behind the wings, and Ophanim, which are fiery wheels with eyes.

Now, the image of angels being nice and saintly. In Abrahamic lore, they are merely servants of the Abrahamic god. Their benevolent image probably cames from the idea that the Abrahamic god is omni-benevolent. Except that, really he’s not.

Benevolent? All-loving? Really?

We already know that the god of the Bible is quite far from his benevolent image. A god whose plan for humanity endorses genocide, rape, and persecuting those who don’t believe him, and who poses as a highly moral character but is actually a hypocrite. And for some of things he didn’t do in the Bible, he would most likely have had his angels do it for him. And that’s just what they do: serving the god of the Bible, ergo helping him carry out his plans, all of them, including the many less than savory aspects. Therefore I submit that angels are thus nothing more than the heartless enforcers of the will of the god of the Bible, who are for the most part completely subservient (Lucifer being the obvious exception), and unworthy of being compared to the innocence of children.