Sunday, 12 August 2012

The Immoral Bible

"The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp." - God
If you are Christian, imagine reading a story in the Qur'an in which Allah orders the killing of a man who was not harming anyone or anything, merely for providing for his family. Would this induce you to convert to Islam because Allah is such a kind and merciful god and a source of such wonderfully humane and just rules for humanity to live by?

And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.

And the Lord said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses.

Numbers 15:32-36

Really? For picking up firewood instead of obeying a god who doesn't even seem sure why we should observe the Sabbath, judging by its change of mind between the different versions of the fourth of the 'Ten Commandments'?

What possible reasons could this man have for collecting firewood? Who exactly is the victim in the 'crime'? Who got hurt or suffered loss?

The only reasons for collecting firewood was for fuel to keep his family warm or to cook food. The man was doing good to others and got killed for the victimless crime of not observing the Sabbath to the letter of the law.

What on earth standard of morality for humanity is that? What does it say of the morals of a god whose ego is so precious that it can't be a little understanding and grant a little mercy to a man who was only trying to provide for his family? In fact, in what way exactly is providing for others not 'remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy'? Isn't that exactly what people should be doing if they are remembering a kind, caring and benevolent god? The god of the Bible doesn't think so. The god of the Bible wants us to remember a petty tyrant.

"I hear you killed another young son, Mr Smith."

"Surely did. Warned him not to run across the road without looking and what did he do? Ran right on across the road. Had to kill him to teach the other kids a lesson!"

"Guess you had no choice, eh? Killing's the only language these kids understand! Probably going to have to kill a daughter or two myself soon. See you in church on Sunday?"

"Certainly will pastor. Praise the Lord!"
"Do it because I say so and I'll kill you if you don't!" Would you respect a father who brought his children up using the tactics of the tyrant and who saw nothing wrong with threatening his unfortunate children with death if they disobeyed him?

How could society work if the only reason for doing anything was the fear of execution? Why is it that we don't allow employers to stone their employees to death if they fail to comply with a management directive? How about if school teachers could kill disobedient children or police officers could execute any petty criminal without trial?

That's the 'morality' this petty mendacious and vindictive little god is ordering in the Bible. Very clearly we are better than that. And yet this god presumes to lecture us on morality.

And, just in case you're tempted to think somehow Jesus changed all that and replaced God's perfect and omniscient laws with some better, more civilised ones, Jesus enthusiastically endorses it too, with:

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:17-19

No wonder people are rejecting this primitive barbarism in droves and are adopting more humane moral and ethical standard.





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