And on the other end of the Bible, I don't see how anyone could get behind the God as depicted in the Torah. He has the characteristics of our worst human leaders through history (extreme anger, extreme vanity, obsession with glory, indifference to life, ruthless behavior) but since He's "God" we forgiving humans are obliged to cut the guy some slack. Or He'll destroy us.
How much slack? Some people have told me that the golden calf incident showed how merciful God is by not wiping the Israelites out like He wanted. People, read the story! God was persuaded by Moses (who showed tremendous mercy) to spare their lives by saying how much the Egyptians would rejoice at the news that stupid God massacred the people he rescued from Egypt. Yes, God was more concerned about how He would look to the foreign Egyptians than sparing the lives of His own people. Doesn't this sound like certain maniac leaders who have driven their empires into destruction and their people into death and poverty because defeat would make them look bad?
God demonstrated absolutely no mercy in this story. In fact after God sends the Israelites on their way to the Promised Land, He told them He wouldn't follow them. He was still steaming mad at His "stiff-necked people" and said "I might destroy you on the way.” I guess God apologists would say this was another demonstration of God's mercy.
This cannot be the feel-good fatherly god that Christians praise and worship.