The Bible and Racism


I was going to write the misogyny post prior to this, but considering the recent media fiasco perpetuated by Fox ‘News’ surrounding the unfounded claims made against Shirley Sherrod, I decided to make this post a priority.  Despite claims made by many moderate Christians who, left to their own devices, are quite happy to get on with life without trying to convert the world, that the Bible is a guide to life and source of all the good in humanity, this is a misnomer.  We have seen that the bible is an instruction book, but are those instructions compatible with the freedom and welfare of all? The answer to that should be a clear and resounding ‘NO’ from any who value unconditional freedom.  I quite deliberately used the phrase ‘unconditional freedom’ for that for that seems to be the dividing issue within the Bible itself: whether people who disagree with the common consensus have the right to express that view, and who qualifies as people to begin with.  The posts on slavery have already determined that not all qualify as ‘people’ in the dictionary sense of the word.  So where does this leave us if we hand ourselves over to Christ as some seem so determined for us to do ‘come hell or high water’?

Having already covered slavery, it could not escape my notice, how often it merged with racism.  In 1457, the Council of Cardinals met in Holland where they sanctioned the enslavement of Africans for the purpose of their conversion to Christianity and exploitation in the labour market as chattel property. This satanic scheme speedily gained the sanctimonious blessing of the Pharaoh (Pope) and became a standard policy of the Catholic Church, and later of the Protestant churches, enduring for three centuries: thus the ghastly traffic in human misery was anointed with the oil of pontifical righteousness in Jesus’ name.

44“‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.” – Leviticus 25:44-46

It is already clear that the Bible has two classes of people; Israelites and foreigners. Israelites could enslave ‘foreigners’ captured in battle with no hope of release. They could sell themselves into set periods of bondage but could not be sold by others, unless they had the misfortune of being female.  It is clear just from the bible’s stance on slavery that certain people, particularly ‘their own’ were due certain rights and privileges above those they considered foreigners.  What is also apparent is that this attitude has not diminished but merely been disguised or denied.  Monotheistic religious institutions in Australia were firstly concerned over the preservation of their tax-free status after the election of a new Prime Minister who is openly atheist.  Religious charities institutions in the UK also receive a tax free status, as they do in America.  So, as we see, not much has changed.

“God will kill the Egyptian children to show that he puts a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.” Exodus 11:7


Multiple Acts of Genocide, Usurpation of land

& Repression of Other Faiths.

Were it not so easy to dehumanise those we do not know so that we may make them our enemies when they have something we want, it might be easier to overlook the fact that the bible tells of numerous acts of genocide commanded by a jealous, petty tyrant of a deity against people who had committed a crime so heinous, so terrible that it could not be borne.  What was this crime?  They did not believe in the God the Israelites did.  They were of a different ‘race’ with different, but probably not too dissimilar, customs and they lived their lives as they saw fit.  I have previously been called up on judging the events and customs of the past by the standards and morals of the present, so I shall say this now;  relative morality and detachment is all very well when studying verifiable historical events out of interest, but when there are those in society calling for the rest of the nation to live and abide by their unsubstantiated beliefs, then that same detachment serves only to beggar our integrity as people.

Pope Nicholas V, instructed warriors and missionaries to enslave or kill all those who were not Christians but many Christians claim, wrongly, that the bible condemns racism and slavery.  They deliberately ignore those passages which disprove their point.  Exodus 21:12, 20:13, 21:20-21; Deuteronomy 5:17, 27:25, 24:7 and Leviticus 25:39, all put the lie to those claims and show that not only were slaves valued less than livestock, but that as ‘God’s chosen’, Israelites occupied an elevated position above those they considered ‘alien’.

Chronicles 21:7 70,000 were killed due to a census called by one man.

1Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. 2So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, “Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so that I may know how many there are.” 3But Joab replied, “May the LORD multiply his troops a hundred times over. My lord the king, are they not all my lord’s subjects? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?” 4The king’s word, however, overruled Joab; so Joab left and went throughout Israel and then came back to Jerusalem. 5Joab reported the number of the fighting men to David: In all Israel there were one million one hundred thousand men who could handle a sword, including four hundred and seventy thousand in Judah. 6But Joab did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, because the king’s command was repulsive to him. 7This command was also evil in the sight of God; so he punished Israel.

Deuteronomy 3:1-2 60 cities and looted and destroyed and the lands forcibly taken from other people so that the Israelites could live there.  That is right.  This ‘merciful’ god commanded the deaths of thousands so that another group could take their place.  The UN would call this Genocide.  When Saddam Hussain invaded Kuwait in the 90s because they had something that Iraq wanted.  The west rushed in to help and were rightfully appalled by how the Kuwaiti people had been treated.  Let us not forget that modern acts of terrorism use religion in the perpetrator’s attempt to justify their ritual acts of cowardly suicide combined with mass murder.  The Qua’ran is borrowed from the Christian old testament every bit as much as the Old Testament is plagiarised from the Torah and the Hammurabi Code.  They are not so different as they both call for the eradication of those who don’t share their own beliefs.

1Next we turned and went up along the road toward Bashan, and Og king of Bashan with his whole army marched out to meet us in battle at Edrei. 2The LORD said to me, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have handed him over to you with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.”

Joshua 6:16-21 legitimises the murder of women, men, children, the elderly and livestock, for the purposes of taking the land for themselves.  The stories seem to have on similarity in common, it uses the premise of ‘God said so’ to justify acts of mass-murder that would have been otherwise unacceptable.  It appears that pretty much any act of brutality against those of other races and beliefs, in both testaments, was carried out or ordered by ‘God’.  We condemn acts of terrorism and aggression committed in the name of Allah, but many forget that the book they follow also condones and celebrates the same horrific acts in the name of a different god.

16The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the people, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city! 17The city and all that is in it are to be devoteda to the LORD.Only Rahab the prostituteb and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. 18But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. 19All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the LORD and must go into his treasury.”20When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city. 21They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.

Judges 21 apparently justifies the murder of all who do not share Christianity, and the rape of virgin girls.  The biblical punishment for the rape of a virgin was marriage to that young woman.  The very idea of forcing a girl who has already undergone a humiliating rape to marry her rapist is morally repugnant, but the mere suggestion that this is an idea which has any merit in modern western society is despicable.  The fact that deems these young women to be fair game for these armies is that they were not Israeli, and presumably therefore not people.

5Then the Israelites asked, “Who from all the tribes of Israel has failed to assemble before the LORD?” For they had taken a solemn oath that anyone who failed to assemble before the LORD at Mizpah should certainly be put to death. 6Now the Israelites grieved for their brothers, the Benjamites. “Today one tribe is cut off from Israel,” they said. 7“How can we provide wives for those who are left, since we have taken an oath by the LORD not to give them any of our daughters in marriage?”8Then they asked, “Which one of the tribes of Israel failed to assemble before the LORD at Mizpah?” They discovered that no one from Jabesh Gilead had come to the camp for the assembly. 9For when they counted the people, they found that none of the people of Jabesh Gilead were there. 10So the assembly sent twelve thousand fighting men with instructions to go to Jabesh Gilead and put to the sword those living there, including the women and children. 11“This is what you are to do,” they said. “Kill every male and every woman who is not a virgin.” 12They found among the people living in Jabesh Gilead four hundred young women who had never slept with a man, and they took them to the camp at Shiloh in Canaan.

Kings 10:18-27 orders the ritual murder of followers of a different religion in their own sanctuary.  Again, those of a different race bare the brunt of ‘God’s wrath.’  It would not take a genius to recognise by now, the recurring theme within these books.  I am hesitant to condemn all Christians as racists as this generalisation would be as bad as the racism which is so obvious in their scripture.  One does not have to be Christian to be racist or vice versa but one cannot deny that the contents of this book not only describe acts of horrific murder and oppression but have been used for such within living memory.

18Then Jehu brought all the people together and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little; Jehu will serve him much. 19Now summon all the prophets of Baal, all his ministers and all his priests. See that no one is missing, because I am going to hold a great sacrifice for Baal. Anyone who fails to come will no longer live.” But Jehu was acting deceptively in order to destroy the ministers of Baal. 20Jehu said, “Call an assembly in honor of Baal.” So they proclaimed it. 21Then he sent word throughout Israel, and all the ministers of Baal came; not one stayed away. They crowded into the temple of Baal until it was full from one end to the other. 22And Jehu said to the keeper of the wardrobe, “Bring robes for all the ministers of Baal.” So he brought out robes for them. 23Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Recab went into the temple of Baal. Jehu said to the ministers of Baal, “Look around and see that no servants of the LORD are here with you—only ministers of Baal.” 24So they went in to make sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had posted eighty men outside with this warning: “If one of you lets any of the men I am placing in your hands escape, it will be your life for his life.” 25As soon as Jehu had finished making the burnt offering, he ordered the guards and officers: “Go in and kill them; let no one escape.” So they cut them down with the sword. The guards and officers threw the bodies out and then entered the inner shrine of the temple of Baal. 26They brought the sacred stone out of the temple of Baal and burned it. 27They demolished the sacred stone of Baal and tore down the temple of Baal, and people have used it for a latrine to this day.

Conclusion?

There are obviously more examples of racism in the Bible than I have had time to detail here, but hopefully I have sufficiently illustrated the point. The days in which Christianity has an uncontested influence on those we have elected to run our nations are rightfully hanging in the balance, but all non-believers have a choice to make. We can sit back and allow those who constantly demean our self-learned, independent morality as non-believers, and to continue their onslaught against our freedom to live as we choose without religious interference in our lives; or we can all act as individuals in defiance of a force every bit as dangerous to the world as Islam and Sharia Law. The idea of being forced into ignoring my integrity is not only distasteful, but frightening. We cannot afford a western theocracy in this day and age because, as the situation in the middle east  has proven, it is nearly impossible to remove one once it is established.  We must remind people that freedom of religion is individual. It stops with them and they have no right to demand that non-believers adhere to their rules and ideals especially when our lifestyles and choices harm nobody.

Sources.

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