Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Unholy Word: Slaughter the Infidels, Rape the Girls

The God of the Old Testament is extremely bloodthirsty.  All over the bible, we can find stories of tribe murdering tribe in the name (or usually by the direct command) of God.  Here's just one example and this one makes a great bedtime story.

Bathe Her, And Bring Her To Me
Read over Numbers 31.  In it, Moses is instructed by God to have the Israilites kill all of the Midianite children, any child still in the womb, all of the men, and every woman who as slept with a man.

Let's ignore all the problems involved with an all-loving God ordering these "hits" and look at how the story plays out.  After the Israilites kill all the Midianite men, they take the women, children, livestock, and plunder back to the camp. But Moses is furious with them. "Kill all the male children! And kill all the women who have had sex with a man!' Moses orders.

And the best part of the spoils of war..."But spare the lives of the virgin girls. Keep them for yourselves!"

I can raise the issue of keeping other people as property, but I won't.  I can raise the issue of men doing as they please to virgin girls, but do I really need to? I could ask, "How would they know who the virgins were?" but my imagination brings dark imagery.

The story claims there were 32,000 virgins that were divided up among the camp. Half were assigned to those who fought in the war and Moses gave the head priest the portion set aside for God (32 girls), as ordered by God himself.

Again, as with all stories brought to light in this series, the immorality is stomach-turning.  Every time I read these stories I find it inconceivable that the book which contains them is lauded as the pinnacle of human morality and a guide for how we should live our lives.  The fact that we've learned that the kind of behavior taken by Moses is wrong is not due to God (for he is supposedly the one ordering such massacre), but rather due to where we actually get our morality from -- not from any gods, but from society, observation, empathy, media, upbringing, history, and instinct.


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