And so the world witnesses another brutal massacre of women and children by people who've come to see themselves as superior to others and so have assumed for themselves the power of life and death over others.
But is this really surprising in a part of the world still dominated by a religious superstition having it's origins in the brutal pre-civilised Bronze Age when massacres of the sort were routine and are still defended as right and proper by people like William Lane Craig and other politically motivated pseudo-religious apologists?
In fact, it's professional theologians who dutifully trot our whatever justification their 'cause' requires of them who encourage, facilitate and permit these indefensible acts of inhuman barbarity. Alex Alvarez in Justifying Genocide: The Role of Professionals in Legitimizing Mass Killing explains how this happens.
It's perhaps worth recalling how leading Christian apologist William Lane Craig defended the Canaanite Genocide described triumphantly in the Christian Bible:
But why take the lives of innocent children? ... if we believe, as I do, that God’s grace is extended to those who die in infancy or as small children, the death of these children was actually their salvation. We are so wedded to an earthly, naturalistic perspective that we forget that those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven’s incomparable joy. Therefore, God does these children no wrong in taking their lives.Killing children is good for them. It makes them happy and we should actually pity the "traumatized" soldiers who have to break into houses and murder them! He actually said that!
So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgement. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalizing effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing.
William Lane Craig, professional Christian apologist
No. I couldn't believe it either until I saw Lane Craig saying it for myself here:
"It's not a pleasant job, but somebody has to do it. It's all to the good in the end!"
I wonder how many guards at Treblinka, Dachau, Belson, Buchenwald and Sobibor said that.
William Lane Craig is highly regarded as a theologian in American right-wing circles and even has a band of loyal devotees in other English-speaking countries.
So, if you want to see what America would be like if Craig and those to whom he provides his repugnant apologetics ever gained the power they seek, look no further than the Syrian village of Taldou near Houla where at least 108 people, including women and children, were dragged from their homes and massacred in something remarkably similar, though on a smaller scale, to the Canaanite Massacre some 3500 years earlier and a little way to the south, by people who believed they had a duty to do it because their priests and authority figures told them they had.
I wonder if those who carried out the crime think they should be pitied for being traumatized in the process of doing their essential work and clearing the world of lesser beings and undesirables. There can be little doubt that William Lane Craig would regard our instinctive human revulsion over these 'faith-based initiatives' as an "emotional outburst" indicative of a character flaw and a lack of intellect, as he chillingly explained here in a reply to one of his devoted right-wing loon followers.
Houla: How a massacre unfolded
Syria Crisis: Counting The Victims
Timeline: Syria's Massacres
Syria unrest: Who are the Shabia?
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