The Bible on Homosexuality.


“Homosexuality is an illicit lust forbidden by God. He said to His people Israel, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (Leviticus 18:22). “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” (Leviticus 20:13). In these passages homosexuality is condemned as a prime example of sin, a sexual perversion. The Christian can neither alter God’s viewpoint nor depart from it.” Homosexuality: The Christian Perspective – Bible.org

This is untrue.  Particularly the last statement.  The Christian can decide that the bible is wrong, both morally and factually.  They choose to adhere to the dogma regardless of their own beliefs (if they have even thought about what they claim they believe).  The truth is that those who believe choose to remain ‘faithful’ to it’s content, have been conditioned to believe that these people are unnatural in some respect despite all evidence to the contrary.  There is no failing in falling in love with another individual.  The sexuality of others is none of anybody’s business.   It is NOT a mental illness and therefore no cure is required.  It is normal behaviour for those who are so inclined and it is nothing to be ashamed of.  It is the business of consenting the adults involved.  Unfortunately, there are those who have ignored the facts because they have been programmed to believe what it says in the bible.

13“‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” – Leviticus 20:13

What Does SoulForce Say?

The article from SoulForce, uses weak arguments defending the Bible from blame and criticism and the author goes to great lengths to exhibit their ‘qualifications’ on the subject.  The writer has convinced themselves than the bible does not in fact condemn homosexuality (I will get to why in a moment).  They also makes unsubstantiated claims of the bible condemning private sexual acts that are now considered ‘acceptable’, including the practice of Levirate Marriage (Mark 12:18), while commanding those that have been cast aside.  Aside from the fact that this practice removes female autonomy, and lends yet more weight to my misogyny argument, it is not a generally accepted practice in the UK.  The story in question was more to clear up an issue of who would claim a woman as their wife come judgement day.   DEUTERONOMY 25:11-12, is not a socially ‘accepted’ sexual act and nor are MARK 10:1-12, DEUTERONOMY 22:22, or DEUTERONOMY 22:13-21, which begs the question of exactly where the author got their ‘qualifications’ and why they chose these particular verses to support their ridiculous argument.  It also leads me to question why even bother to defend this hate-filled book to begin with but then, as expected pops up the standard straw-man answer of:

Over the centuries the Holy Spirit has taught us that certain Bible verses should not be understood as God’s law for all time periods. Some verses are specific to the culture and time they were written, and are no longer viewed as appropriate, wise, or just.”

And goes on…

“Often, the Holy Spirit uses science to teach us why those ancient words no longer apply to our modern times. During the last three decades, for example, organizations representing 1.5 million U.S. health professionals (doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and educators) have stated definitively that homosexual orientation is as natural as heterosexual orientation, that sexual orientation is determined by a combination of yet unknown pre- and post-natal influences, and that it is dangerous and inappropriate to tell a homosexual that he or she could or should attempt to change his or her sexual orientation. (See Recommended Resources, p. 23-24.)”

The article goes on and on and even makes an absurd statement that the Bible and Jesus do not condemn or even mention homosexual activity because it was unknown until the 19th Century (insert comedic ‘wrong’ buzzer).  At this point I decided to abandon the article as a source (it made me too cross).  The writer is clearly in a world of their own and I very much doubt that any amount of debunking would make the slightest bit of difference. What they did say, that I am glad that they acknowledged, is that the interpretation of various passages has enabled people to claim justification for their acts of violence and hatred.  One of the many hundreds of instances of ‘collective misinterpretation’ led to the emergence of the Klu Klux Klan and cowards in disguise terrorising any they believed to be living in ways contrary to those laid down in the bible.  This was not limited to antipathy toward homosexuals, but included race discrimination, misogyny and the persecution of any and all that they even suspected of sympathy or liberal ideology. The article was worth a mention because it illustrates the sheer level of denial we are up against.

Bible.org?

This, at least, was honest about what the bible says on the matter and refrains from painting a rosy glow over the issue, but it was no less despicable.  The page is in the form of  questions and answers session and emphasises the wanton lack of respect for those who happen to be  attracted to their own gender.  Their reasons are just as despicable as the questions asked and the whole page was written by a single individual, Lehman Strauss.

Q. How can we help Christians who get involved in the practice of homosexuality?

We can help them by seeking to draw their attention to what God says in His Word. In a kind and loving spirit we can show them that they are wrong. However, the homosexual must admit to the fact that he is living in sin and that he has the desire to be made free from it. Without a genuine conviction of God’s displeasure and a strong desire to do God’s will, there is no hope. A truly born again person cannot continue to practice sin without reaping the results of miserable unhappiness brought on by loss of fellowship with God, the fear of retribution and the anxiety produced by guilt. The homosexual must ask himself, “Is the temporary gratification of the flesh worth all the penalty and losses I must suffer?”

Q. What should be the Christian’s attitude toward the homosexual?

We must always keep before us the fact that homosexuals, like all of us sinners, are the objects of God’s love. The Bible says, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus Christ “is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:2). The Christian who shares God’s love for lost sinners will seek to reach the homosexual with the gospel of Christ, which “is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16). As a Christian I should hate all sin but I can find no justification for hating the sinner. The homosexual is a precious soul for whom Christ died. We Christians can show him the best way of life by pointing him to Christ. Our Lord said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). We are obligated to take the gospel to all.

Hating the sin but not the sinner dehumanises the individual and strips them of part of who they are and allows the believer to expect the same from others.  I have no patience with this argument and it will never be accepted by any rational individual.  If they have no inclination to partake in homosexual ‘activity’ then don’t.  Nobody is expecting them to.  They have no right to pass judgement on guiltless strangers for a lifestyle that harms nobody,  because they have the credulity to believe the contents of ancient propaganda.  The article points to a series of  passages that I will use to compile yet another PDF over tomorrow and Friday.

Wikipedia?

Passages from the Old Testament have been interpreted to argue that homosexuals should be punished with death, and AIDS has been portrayed by some such as Fred Phelps and Jerry Falwell[27] as a punishment by God against homosexuals.[28] In the 20th century, theologians like Karl Barth, Jürgen Moltmann,Hans Kung, John Robinson, Bishop David Jenkins, Don Cupitt, Bishop Jack Spong challenged traditional theological positions and understandings of the Bible; following these developments some have suggested that passages have been mistranslated, are taken out of context, or that they do not refer to what we understand as “homosexuality.”[29][30]

The Wikipedia article shows again that the bible has been open to interpretation for as long as it has existed.  The number of official branches and sects that have sprung up and adhere to various ideologies are innumerable not to mention the cults such as The Watchtower Foundation and Scientology.  Each of them have their own views on homosexual inclination and participation and, while some are more liberal, the majority view it as a sin worthy of punishment in the afterlife, not in this one.  The reams of research and scientific evidence after painstaking investigation invalidate any their claims of unnatural behaviour. It renders all of their quibbling about interpretation and misunderstanding irrelevant.

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men … For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” (Romans 1:18a, 21–27)[58]

In Conclusion?

Despite the horror and the misery inflicted in the name of religion, and a wave of individuals who are determined to have everybody compelled to follow their own version of morality, there are liberal Christians who defend the Bible against those who express their justified objections.  To back this up, they assert that the bible has been misunderstood by those who are qualified to interpret it correctly.  They know very well that despite their calling for qualification before comment, Christianity is not solely directed at scholars and theologians but ordinary individuals who, for one reason or another, are not holders of Phds in Greek and Hebrew.  This brings us back to the institution’s propensity to discourage followers from questioning what they are expected to believe and this is the problem.  They are preached at and brow-beaten from every direction to believe and conform.  When somebody really does believe the tirades of hatred against strangers to the extent that they act on that belief, rather than admit their own association with those acts and express outrage,  other believers wriggle out with straw-man arguments of ‘having to believe’.

“The Inquisition was not a perversion of Christian doctrine, it was an expression of Christian doctrine.” ~ Dr. Darrell Ray, Author of, “The God Who Wasn’t There.”

Consider that dreadful cliché of ‘Guns don’t kill people, people kill people’ and imagine for one moment that one the perpetrators of a violent crime is a metaphorical gun.  The gun on its own is an inanimate object.  It will always have to potential to kill or harm somebody, but left untouched, unloaded and, to use the scientific sense of the word, not interfered with, that same potential will remain static (we are dangerous animals, with large brains and a lot of aggression).  Add now, the bullets of religious dogma and doctrine that has been loaded into it since before it can remember or had the mental equipment to defend itself from the onslaught.  The preacher picks up this metaphorical gun and aims it with their sermons, backed up by their scriptures.  This, by no means, exonerates the believer from that act, but who loaded that same believer full of their own religious hang-ups and prejudice? If you think this attitude rings any bells then you are not mistaken.  Christianity is no more exempt from accountability than any other world religion which has been used to justify atrocity and conflict and liberal Christians are just as guilty of selective dissociation from the facts as the rest.

Sources.

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The Bible and Misogony. (Part 2)


The bible contains not only instructions on slavery, racism and homophobia,  and not to mention the general attitude against unbelievers and believers of other faiths, but it is also openly misogynistic.  The general attitude toward women and girls within Christianity is, quite frankly, disgusting.  Within the sources at the bottom of this post is another link to the 38 page PDF I compiled yesterday of passages to illustrate this point.  I have also included a link to the Hammurabi code site, this way if readers would like to conduct their own comparative they will see that any and claims that the Bible’s rule are for the protection of women are both incorrect and dishonest and there is nothing original in the Bible.  It has been pieced together from unverified copies of older works and was about two hundred years out of date to begin with.  I do not believe there is anything benevolent within this hate-filled religion that cannot be learned outside it.  A few good deeds and sanctimonious intentions can neither undo nor negate the harm that is caused by this primitive belief system.

Sexism: The Institutional Roots stem from the Tree of Knowledge.

To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16

Here is where it begins.  Though sexism did not begin here, this is where the tradition of institutional misogyny that has poisoned society against half of its population has set down roots.  Eve, though the likelihood of her existence is between slim and none, has ever been blamed for ‘original-sin’.  It says a lot that she was not only a free-thinker but female, but therein lies the first hurdle.  This is the justification used for the subjugation of women for centuries along with perpetuating the attitude that

  1. Ignorance is a virtue, especially in women.
  2. Women are naturally corrupt and therefore not to be trusted.

This passage has led people to go as far as denying women pain-relief during childbirth  in the belief that women must pay for the ‘sin’ of an ancient mythical ancestor.  What is more disturbing is that otherwise sane women go willingly along with this sickening attitude. Wasn’t Jesus supposed to have died to pay for original sin?  If this were even possible, you would have thought that this ‘merciful deity’ would have lifted the punishment but lets be honest here: it isn’t god that hated women because there is no ‘God’ to do the hating and never was.

14And it was not Adam who was deceived by Satan. The woman was deceived, and sin was the result.

15But women will be saved through childbearing assuming they continue to live in faith, love, holiness, and modesty. – 1 Timothy 2:14 -15

The people who hated women are those men, so comfortable in their patriarchal privilege, saw fit to preserve this position by making it holy writ.  I doubt very much that those in charge even believed it themselves.  It is not female sin that has been passed on, it is ancient male pomposity that has been handed down through the generations and enforced by both those who chose to waste their lives in the service of the Church and those who saw something to gain from it themselves: John Calvin even claimed that female guilt is insoluble.

“Woman is more guilty than man, because she was seduced by Satan, and so diverted her husband from obedience to God that she was an instrument of death leading to all perdition. It is necessary that woman recognize this, and that she learn to what she is subjected; and not only against her husband. This is reason enough why today she is placed below and that she bears within her ignominy and shame.” – John Calvin

Unequal Chastity.

“Cultures, which demand virginity and chastity in women, have as their bedrock the double standard morality code. If men are encouraged to view women as depreciating chattels they will never regard them as human. And if women are not regarded as human, then all kinds of atrocities and injustices are permissible against them!” – Voula Papas – Atheist Foundation of Australia

It is a general principle within Christianity that the obedient, submissive, chaste and silent figure of Mary is the template of female virtue.  If Mary ever existed, ‘the touch of man’ may well have had an entirely different meaning from the meaning of today.  We must also remember that the idea of who qualified as people was almost exclusively limited to other Jews. The idea of feminine of submission under men is, on its own offensive, and those who hold to this idea fail to realise that the character was a victim of an assault which resulted in an unwanted pregnancy. Could this be the reason why the pro-life movement see fit to declare all fertilised eggs ‘babies’ in some bizarre and convoluted mindset of their own.  In order to reconcile this ridiculous notion with their fallacy of humility and virtue in their poster-girl for innocence, the story, with whatever truth there was in this story, it has obviously been embellished and obfuscated to a point where it is unrecognisable from reality.  Since then and throughout the book, the words whore and harlot are used frequently both in the bible to describe women who deviate from the double standards of sexual moral code set by prudish men.  The name of the murdered Queen Jezebel has been warped into an epithet for women considered wanton and vain by the paradoxical and twisted standards of the bible.

11Women should learn quietly and submissively.

12I do not let women teach men or have authority over them.b Let them listen quietly.

13For God made Adam first, and afterward he made Eve.”

– 1 Timothy 2:11-13

It is paradoxical because while women are condemned over and over for the crime of daring to be female,  They prostitute their wives to save their own skins, they sell their daughters and treat their wives as property. They keep hoards of Concubines and multiple spouses. So while the ‘preservation of biblical marriage’ people shout about single sex marriage being ‘unnatural’, or ‘sinful’ they really should think again. The Bible permits polygamy, for men, while cast off women are considered unclean and unmarketable as they have been ‘used’ by other men.  The test for fidelity, is not only impossible to pass as it requires the girl to prove a negative, but it is exclusively for women.  The actual biblical definition of ‘adultery is for a to have sexual relations with a man who is not her husband while the marital status of the man is considered irrelevant.

Punish the Victim and Reward the Villain.

14But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the plunder from your enemies that the LORD your God has given you. – Deuteronomy 20:14

We see repeated examples of the male characters being given license and even applauded for their conquests and rewarded with free license, or even instruction, to rape the virgins of the latest conquest.  Deuteronomy specifies that both the victim of rape and the rapist must be stoned to death while other passages of the Bible decree that the rapist must take his victim for a wife and compensate her father. Genesis encourages the rape of women over that of men, on top of the passages that offer women as spoils of war in the name of growing the religion.  It doesn’t even seem that incest is out of the question when Ammon raped his own sister and it took more than 2 years for her brother to exact revenge.  I wonder what slight angered David most; the theft of his daughter’s virginity or the failure to compensate.

14But Amnon wouldn’t listen to her, and since he was stronger than she was, he raped her. 15Then suddenly Amnon’s love turned to hate, and he hated her even more than he had loved her. “Get out of here!” he snarled at her.” – 2 Samuel 13:14-15

Chapter 19 of judges is on of many examples of permission for men to sacrifice the women in their care to save themselves.  One might presumably wonder why the Levite ever bothered to regain his ‘concubine’ from her father’s house when he would so readily give her up to be raped by a drunken gang.  It serves to illustrate the lack of standing that women have in the eyes of Christianity. Women have come a long way but our progress must not be taken for granted when it could be so easily taken from us again.  Western law protects us from religious lore, and thankfully rape is now dealt with by lengthy prison sentences.  The problem is still the burden of proof and the attitude projected by the a Christian owned media that the plaintiff must first prove her own wholesomeness.

“Of course, one would be hard-pressed to find a lot of examples of Christian Honor Killings, and many apologists refute the deaths that result from the severe beatings that some Christian women endure by their husbands who feel they have not been sufficiently compliant in their duty to submit and obey. These men will use biblical Scripture to back up their abuse and many women accept it, as well, choosing to remain in abusive relationships because of the Christian doctrines on divorce, etc.” – Al Stefanelli

The condemnation from a largely Christian western hemisphere, of the honour killings of young women who fall in love with outside their caste or religion, who become westernised and disobedient, is hypocritical to say the least.  These Christians need look only as far as their own holy book to find instructions to the same tune.  Islam is based on old testament Christianity.  The differences are there, for instance, Islam’s prophet is an elderly paedophile. There is the same call to eradicate the unbeliever and the homosexual, the same call to subjugate women, the same call to spread the faith by the sword, and the same call for the ritual murder for rape victims.


Damned Since Conception.

5If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding.– Leviticus 12:1-5

And we return to the beginning.  We are, apparently born damned by merit of being born at all.  Aside the fact that the idea of inherited sin is a despicable principle, it is impossible. We inherit our DNA from our parents. We acquire mannerisms from observing them day by day.  We are passed heirlooms and family keepsakes.  If we are incredibly unlucky we end up taking on the debts of our deceased relatives.  What we do not inherit is sin and collective shame.  We can in no reasonable way be held accountable for the actions of either our parents or ancestors who died long before we were born so it begs the question of why some believe we can and should.  It is a fear tactic, designed to bully the conformist to continue in their unquestioned obedience.

“Man born of woman. Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one!” Job 14:1-4

By Christian doctrine, we are damned from the moment we are conceived due to the very manner of our conception.  We are damned because we have mothers and that this is one more despicable attitude among hundreds of others.  The Bible holds a myriad of contradictions and nonsensical sexist ideas but I think this has to be one of the worst. Women, are told in the bible that they are saved through pain in childbirth (ritual torture?) for the sin of being women at all, and it then goes on to say that their children take that sin from them. It’s the great catch-all; “HOW DO WE GET THE BELIEVER, WHO STICKS BY ALL OUR RULES WITHOUT EXCEPTION AND HAS NOTHING TO FEEL GUILTY ABOUT?…AHH, THAT’S RIGHT, THEY WERE BORN! AND IT GIVES THEM SOMETHING TO HATE THEIR MOTHERS FOR.’

18Your children and your crops will be cursed. The offspring of your herds and flocks will be cursed. Deuteronomy 28:18

In Conclusion?

In response to this post, I will brook no straw-man arguments that “We might not like it but it’s in the Bible so I must believe it.” That is not an argument.  That is moral and intellectual cowardice.  The Bible is as irrelevant today as any other ancient mythology and it is time that people realised this.  Claiming that 21st century civilised morality is not applicable when considering the scripture is, in itself, erroneous. Christianity is morally bankrupt and has no legitimate claim to the privilege it has achieved through emotional terrorism and force.  It should be brought to account in every criminal trial in determining motive.  It should not be immune to its violent past.  The religious-right may well think they are reclaiming their countries but that will only result in a theocracy that will put us back into the dark ages.  As a word of warning to the women who are desirous of this ‘return to a golden age’, you too will be required to live by these same rules.  Your comfortable and liberated lifestyles will come to an end if the harbingers of the Old Testament, were to get their wishes granted.  I am not prepared to live by Christianity’s vitriol and bigotry and nor should any of the rest of us be.

Sources

Required Reading

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Attwood.

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.

The Bible on Slavery (Part 2)


This is the concluding part of my post on Slavery.  I will cover in this post, the general condoning of slavery within the bible with a view on specific aspects such as sexual and conjugal slavery, and debt slavery which play a large part in the same Biblical laws which right-wing fundamentalists are claiming that western morality is founded upon and widely.  I will also cover some of the manumission of slavery.

I have also found a biblical reference to the word ‘Ebed’ that I was having difficulty with on my last entry.  Ebed, in the Bible was a person, rather than a descriptive noun, as we are led to believe by Wikipedia.  The story in which Ebed is briefly referred to in is as the father of Gaal who became involved in a slave uprising that was put down by Abimelech; a mass-murdering ego-maniac who appointed himself king (Judges 9:1 – 45).

“Ask the leading citizens of Shechem whether they want to be ruled by all seventy of Gideon’s sons or by one man. And remember that I am your own flesh and blood!” – Abimelech (Judges 9:2)

“But today you have revolted against my father and his descendants, killing his seventy sons on one stone. And you have chosen his slave woman’s son, Abimelech, to be your king just because he is your relative.”– (Judges 9:18) New Living Translation (©2007)

Enslavement.

In the Mediterranean and Middle East, even before the concept of Christianity, it was customary to take war captives as slaves.  What the writers of the bible did was ‘legitimise’ this practice by setting down rules as to whom could and could not be enslaved, the treatment of  slaves and the position of slaves as inheritance.  In this way, they endorsed slavery but most of the Deuteronomic code is plagiarised, almost word for word, from the much older Mesopotamian, Hammurabi code.  Deuteronomy proscribed death for any man caught abducting an Israelite for the purpose of enslaving them.  Whether this was as a means of protection, it is unclear but what is clear that this law was exclusive in that it was only protection to one demographic of that society.  More worryingly it seems it was more exclusively directed at male Israelites.

“If a man is found stealing one of his brothers of the people of Israel, and if he treats him as a slave or sells him, then that thief shall die. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.” English Standard Version (©2001) Deuteronomy 24:7

The Holiness Laws of Leviticus are also explicit in their stance on slavery.  It allows the trade of slaves on the condition that the slaves they trade are not Israelites.  Non-Israelite residents who had been sold into slavery were considered property and could therefore be inherited and sold on.  The children of slaves remained slaves for life and were also the property of their parents’ masters.  Foreign slaves had no right to marry but enslaved Israelites were sometimes given wives by their masters.  Those slaves were freed after six years but their wives were only released with them if they were married prior to their enslavement.  Women and children remained the property of their masters regardless of their race.  As Leviticus only refers to Hebrew slaves so considering the exclusivity of the rest of the Bible, it leads us to the conclusion that once foreigners were enslaved they were never freed.

The separation of slaves into categories was in order to determine the level of protection from the law they were entitled to; foreign & native, debt & chattel.  Foreign chattel slaves had the lowest status.

Debt Slavery.

Debt slavery was the most protected form of slavery.  These were citizens who had fallen on hard times and had sold themselves in order to pay their debts.  Their bondage was limited to no more than six years if they were male.  Poverty and famine were common economic problems and this meant that some were compelled to enter debt-bondage. Women and children were viewed as merchantable property and could also be sold by their families for financial reasons.  Debtors were allowed to sell family members for three years and this has been supported by the Hammurabi code which allows residents to sell their children to pay their debts.  The bible has narrowed this to only allow them to be sold to Israelites without a time limitation (The Holiness Code).  The Covenant Code declares that thieves, caught after sunrise, that cannot make restitution for their theft were to be sold into slavery.  Finally, the Book of Kings instructs that children of a deceased debtor be sold to clear the outstanding debt.

Conjugal and Sexual Slavery.

This involved being sold to be a wife and was a common practice in that part of the world and the time the scriptures were written.  No sanction was made in the Old Testament for sexual intercourse outside of marriage, but the taking of a second wife as a concubine was allowed for.  There is also allowance for fathers to sell their unmarried daughters with the provision that either the master or the master’s son eventually marries her.  Both Jewish and Christian commentators have agreed that this law applies to girls under the age of 12 years.

“And if a man sells his daughter to be a female servant, she shall not go out as the male servant do. If she does not please her master, who has betrothed her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt deceitfully with her. And if he has betrothed her to his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. If he takes another wife, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, and her marriage rights. And if he does not do these three for her, then she shall go out free, without paying money.” (Exodus 21:7-11)

The code allows that a woman be ‘redeemed’ if the groom break his betrothal to her.  If female slaves were betrothed to the master’s son then she was to be treated as a daughter (paradoxically, daughters could be sold). If the female slave was married to her master then she was still dependant on them for food, shelter and clothing, but also conjugal rights.  Failure to comply with this was the only way a female slave would gain their freedom.  If an Israelite engaged in sexual activity with an unredeemed female slave who was betrothed, they were ‘scourged’ in Jewish tradition. Deuteronomy (15:12) instructed that they both be stoned as free persons.  The betrothal of a slave was taken as an exception to the law of release.  Women who were captured in battle were forced into marriages with their captors after having their heads shaved and undergoing a period of mourning.

“10When you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, 11if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. 12Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails 13and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. 14If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonoured her.” Deuteronomy 21:10-14

As you see men, were allowed to change their minds once they had ‘sampled the goods’ as it were, and then just let her go with no regard for her well-being.  Would ‘Christians’ allow that behaviour in their own neighbourhoods or within their own families?  How many would condemn the behaviour without realising that by subscribing to their religion and their scripture, they are not only condoning it but supporting it?

Manumission.

I have already disclosed the Covenant code allows male Israelite slaves to be released after six years.  This does not include foreign slaves or Israelite daughters that have been sold to be wives by their fathers.  Israelite daughters were deemed  the property of their fathers and could be sold as such.  The master would then marry them themselves or marry her to one of their sons.  Only if the contract was not fulfilled by their master, was there any hope of reprieve for the girl but and children she’d had remained the property of her master.  Deuteronomic code contradicts the covenant in that it extends the seven-year release to both genders.  However, some see this as a general decree and that marriage takes the place of manumission.

The Bible extends certain rights to freed slaves and allows them an amount of produce to take with them and a command to their master ‘not to regret’ the gift considering a slave costs half the amount of a hired servant.  Despite the various commands and rules about release, many were kept longer than the permitted time.  Some believe that this is why the Kingdom of Judah was destroyed (as punishment from Yahweh for disobedience). The Holiness code does not mention any time limit on captivity , only an instruction that debt-slaves and Israelite slaves with foreign owners be released on a Jubilee year (every fifty years).  Many see this code as a supplement for the previous seven-year requirement. There was an allowance that those slaves be allowed to buy their freedom for the amount it would cost to hire a servant for the remainder of the period until the next Jubilee year.

Permanent enslavement was the fate of foreign and female slaves, as decreed in the Holiness code.  Not even the death of their master was enough to release them as they were deemed as inheritable property.  Israelites were permitted to renounce their seven-year manumission and opt for permanent enslavement at a religious sanctuary or in the presence of the ‘household gods’. The English translation of this from both the Masoretic text and the Septuagint, substitute ‘household gods’ with ‘judges’.  Having done this, their master would drive and awl through their ear into a door post.  It is thought that pierced earlobes were a sign of servitude.

Conclusion?

In short the Bible is filled with instructions for slavery and rules pertaining to the acquiring of slaves.  Those who both believe and claim the Bible is the infallible word of God, must also bear in mind that where they claim all the goodness from human experience and give credit to their deity, they should also be wary; without acknowledging the contradictions of their arguments, and the outright incompatibility between western morality and basic human rights, and their scripture, they are proving the hypocrisy of their own beliefs.  I would urge them all to READ the books they have set their lives and beliefs on.  Would they really feel so comfortable or public in their ideas, knowing what they are so blindly associating themselves with?

Sources

CNN covers the claims of Racism by Fox-make-the-scaremongering-bollocks-up-as they-go-along ‘News’.


Please follow this link to view the news clip.

I agree with him but would have more sympathy from the interviewee if he.

  • were not ranting
  • and would allow people to question him thoroughly without interrupting.

I would like to make a point that disagreement about a certain subject does not render a civil discussion impossible.  If people are so firm in their beliefs then hearing another point of view is no threat to them.  I would say that those who are threatened by another position on a subject are not only unhappy with their own position but realise that changing their mind would mean an admission of error.  It is arrogant to affirm that untested points of view are unerring, and churlish to refuse to hear out alternative points of view.