As someone who grew up in a typical religious home, I understand what the religious community is like and the many different values they chose to live by. For many reasons, I don’t feel that the Gods Gardeners is a truly religious group.I don’t even believe that most of Gods Gardeners even believe in God. It seems like a cult where people who are in need of shelter can join whether they are religious or not. “Toby didn’t believe Zeb was a true Gardener, any more than she was.” (102)
I’m not saying that it’s wrong, but I’m only making a point that many of them do not actually believe in the groups values. They simply chose to accept them and follow the rituals to have a place to belong and live.
The rituals also seem to be made up by Adam One. I believe that the Gardeners follow what ever they are told. They do not follow what God wants but what Adam One wants.
The commandments are the 10 ultimate rules that God wants us to follow. However, the rule the Gods Gardeners seem to be the most strict about is not eating meat which isn’t even part of the 10 commandments. In many passages they contradict the commandments just because they feel like it, because it is more convenient.
There are many times where Adam One allows himself to bend Gods word and it seems as though he is making up his own rules. As the leader, he must set the example for everyone. Lying is a sin to God and Adam One allows himself to lie. “‘Forgive me, dear toby,’ he said when the rest had gone. I apologize for my excursion into fiction. I must sometimes say things that are not transparently honest. But it is for the greater good.’”(184)
He allows himself to lie to all the gardeners about pillars death and does not even feel as horribly as he would if he ate meat, which is not even a sin according to the bible. Many of the rules he sets for the gardeners are a twisted version of those of the bible.
Another example is marriage. In the bible, marriage is an important ceremony. “Gardeners didn’t bother with marriage certificates.”(115) they would just say they love each other in front of everyone and for divorces was the same thing in reverse. It is no big deal either to have sex before marriage. We notice it with Zeb and Lucerne, Nuela, Amanda, Shackie… Many of the rules don’t add up to me. Why do the Adams and Eves are allowed technology? (laptop) Not having technology is not even related to religion, so why do these rules apply in the group?
For me, the fact that they allow their selves deliberately to do things against the bible, proves that they are not fully engaged and just follow what Adam One says is right or wrong. They even make things up when they don’t have answers about their made up rules. For example not eating meat. At one point the children get suspicious about having canine teeth. The Adam and eves try to find reasons they could use to justify that. “If Adam was created as a vegetarian, as he surely was – human teeth should show such mixed characteristics” (240). To me their cult doesn’t seem like they aren’t truly following Gods will but are simply trying to live a good life by using God as an excuse. What do you think? Do you agree that many rules seem unstable?