People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

The Excuses for Bible preaching Violence

A scripture is a book inspired by God or from a higher source than humankind that sets the standard or some of the standard of what a religion is to believe.  A religion is made up of followers resolving to live up to a belief system.

 

Examples of scriptures are the Book of Mormon, the Bible and the Koran.

 

The scripture may have men set up by God such as rulers and prophets commanding terrible things.  God is still responsible for this for why did he choose these men and not more peaceful ones?  He indirectly endorses their violence.

 

Or worse, it may have the commands coming directly from God.  The Bible goes to an extreme with this: the nasty stuff often starts off with, "This is what the Lord says."  The Koran also claims that each word was dictated by God and Muhammad was only a secretary and had no input in the Koran.

 

If a command is reasonable it will not need to be enforced by being presented as from God directly so even that forcing is violent in itself and especially when the forcing is about getting obedience to violent commands.

 

What is wrong with violent scriptures?  It does not matter if the violent commands are relevant today or not.  Real people bled and suffered and died.

-Honouring such as the word of God is inexcusable - violence is to be rejected and hated - no ifs and no buts and no active or passive or tacit approval.

 

-The Bible God never spells out why a war he commands is a just war. He just demands war. And it is man who has to wage it for him. We expect war to be a necessary evil but the Bible totally ignores that principle. In the Bible, why does God give us none of the information that really matters? How do you work out if a war is just? What about abortion? Its omissions are enough to justify saying that it is penned in innocent blood.

 

-Making a book a scripture honours that book above all others and even kinder ones - it is indirectly praising the evil.

 

-If you have to cherry-pick the good bits that is dishonest and enables corruption and corruption eventually leads to violence.

 

-Cherry-picking an authority that commands good and evil is not taking evil seriously. Taking evil seriously means you stop believing that the authority knows what it is doing. To say something is a reliable authority and then to ignore it when it calls for violence is still saying it is right to command the violence but that you do not want to comply. You are a rebel and a hypocrite.

 

-If you cherry-pick then you are encouraging people to believe what they want to believe. You have nothing to say if they believe terrible things. Do not encourage religion to cherry-pick its authority for that is dishonest and dishonesty is no way to inspire members who love violence to think of peace. It will cause disunity and how can a peaceful religion work for peace if it is full of conflict itself? If you can be a member of a religion and cherry-pick you can be as bad as you want to be in the name of the religion and call yourself a member.

 

-On the human level the violence is not edifying and gives bad example.

 

-There is a risk that the reader will feel he should execute such violence because God wants him to and is inspiring him to.

 

-It means that you with your biased human judgement are judging that God has written or authorised the book - a man judging divine evil to be good shows that that man is not a true man of peace.

 

-Honouring killers such as Moses and David and especially Joshua as the voice boxes of God is just disgusting and irrational - it is not what you do if you find the violent man reprehensible. You do not make good examples of bad men.

 

-A true religion of peace might permit war in extreme circumstances - it will however not command war. A God of peace is not the origin of a religion or scripture that does command war. And it is not good enough for a holy book to say that war is justified sometimes. We know that. That is no help for it is too general and what is a just war to a is an unjust war to b and a possibly just war to c. We need details about what we must look at before declaring war and they are not given to us. And even religions that fight without it being for self-defence but aggressively say the same thing.

 

-The just war doctrine is a religious doctrine. It might contain what a secularist can agree with but the overlap is pure chance. It is still a religious doctrine. For example, religion is saying it is holy and obedient to God to wage war justly and it is a mirror of the justice of God or a mirror of God. Nobody can say religion is necessarily non-violent.

 

-Bible Christianity and Islam allow capital punishment and for more than just murder. God commands that it must be allowed. Why can’t he just permit? Why does he have to command? Command implies approval. Permitting implies tolerance.

 

-Saying some of the Bible came from God and the rest from man is not an option. A God who promotes a book by writing some of it is promoting and advertising the writings of man too and that is bad in itself but terrible when man advocates hate and evil. The person who says God forbids bad example for man is so prone to being inspired by evil and then says that God wants us to have a Bible full of man's violent rubbish is a hypocrite and a liar.

 

-To say the core teaching of the Bible is love is odd for even if it's God commands that one person be murdered surely that death is a core matter? It is insulting as well as odd! 

 

Those who say that there are many different interpretations (of doctrine and scriptures and revelations from God) of a religion within the religion and then who deny that violent interpretations are the valid ones or allowed and then claim that the religion is non-violent are hypocrites.  If you interpret a holy book of violence as being about peace you are either psychotic or a liar.  And you should say, "I hope my interpretation of peace is right but I apologise if it is wrong and I take responsibility for the error and for accidently enabling those who engage in violence in line with the correct interpretation.  It is only my interpretation and a violent one could be right or the intended one."  And you should hang your head in shame for you would not engage in such acrobatics to defend anything else.  Also a religion of violent scripture will have followers and the followers never claim to be perfectly in line with their religion so why should a Catholic advocating for abortion against core Catholic teaching be called a Catholic and a Muslim who is pro-Islamist terrorism be called a pagan not a Muslim?  A religion is followers so it has to take responsibility and each member has to take some responsibility for what the terrorist followers do.

  

Some points:

 

The problem is how violence is commanded by God in many scriptures.

 

The problem is also how these books are regarded as sacred and the word of God. That speaks volumes about the hypocrites that venerate the books and treat them as sources of divine guidance.
 
Even if violence is necessary, it is not right to make it holy by putting divine commands endorsing war and violence in a holy book.

 

We have the just war theory but it does not justify seeing violence as something that should be ascribed to God.

 

If a war is really just, you do not need a God to expressly command it.

 

A book of divinely commanded violence should not be venerated as holy even if there is more in it that endorses peace than violence. Violence is bad outright and is not made better by being outnumbered by nice commands. In fact it is made more disgusting.

 

If a book can be easily interpreted or understandably misinterpreted as commanding murder then it belongs in the fire.

 
Christianity and Islam when challenged will try to excuse the murders commanded by God in their scriptures. Christians adore Jesus who clearly approved of the bloodletting laws of God even if he declared them no longer applicable (a Christian lie - he told the Jews off for doing away with the rule that those who curse parents are to be murdered by divine command). To worship a man who took responsibility for murder and commanding it through collaborating with Moses is to invite evil into your heart.

 

Attempts to say that violence commanded by God in the Koran or Bible means that it was only allowed in the circumstances that existed then but these circumstances don’t exist now so we should not take them to authorise violence today are hypocritical. They cannot be totally inapplicable. They would still mean that you can think about violence in today’s circumstances at least. They would mean that you must be willing to use violence if the circumstances of the past as recorded in the Bible or Koran were repeated. Also unless God intended to teach everlasting religious truths and considered them relevant for all ages they would not be in the Bible or Koran. There was lots of revelation left out anyway so why did he make sure that bloodletting stuff was retained? To give people bad reasons for being non-violent when they read violent texts that supposedly come from God is just another way of telling them to go out and slaughter. 
 
The underlying assumption behind prophets who say God commands violence even in the name of a just war is that God sees the wider and bigger picture that we can never see. That is one hell of a dangerous idea if God has not spoken or is not there to speak. It is the reason why Christians without knowing all the facts claim that God was right to get his people to try and liquidate homosexuals and the Canaanites. So much for compassion and decency.

 

The Christians regard the Bible as having been authored by God and by man. It is fully the word of God and fully the word of man. They compare this to the mystery of how Christ is fully God and fully man. Without this doctrine, Christianity would have to say it is simply a man-made religion that is searching for the truth about God. It would have to claim to be man's thoughts about God and about what man thinks God has said. It would not be God's action to save and enlighten the world.

 

The Bible God explicitly commanded that certain sinners be stoned to death. There are many other evils - a priest's daughter can be burned to death for sexual sin.

 

Christianity generally does not carry out these executions today. A tiny minority do. The principle of giving certain sinners a terrible shaming death was observed until a few centuries ago by Roman Catholicism and other Christian systems.

 

The Church says the Bible murders were right and God's will.

 

The Church recognises the authority of Isaiah who wrote that anybody who does not speak according to the law of Moses and in agreement with it is a fraud (Isaiah 8:20).

 

The Church honours Jesus who said that the Bible is from God and does not err.

 

The Church takes its authority from the apostles - one of whom wrote that Jesus is the go-between between man and God and gave the law (Galatians 3:19-20).

 

The Church usually ignores the rules about killing today.

 

Its a worry.

 

If we look at human nature we worry more. The human being is selective in her or his compassion just like everybody else is! She or he can be glad that others are suffering and not loved ones. She or he can think that those who suffer deserve it. Human nature often condones terrible treatment of oneself and others for it relieves and keeps anger and hatred at bay and they are horrible emotions. Human nature does not love good - it loves good when it fits. Is that the kind of creature that should be respected for saying God lets evil happen for a purpose and even writes violent commandments for a purpose? And people are attracted by imperfection to one degree or another. Some like everything to have another side, an evil side. Are they in a religion that praises the God of the evil Bible because his commands were evil? Do you want to be the kind of person who deliberately condones? You may do it because you see many others doing it. Do you want to be the kind of person who sees inexcusable evil, useless evil, the suffering of little babies, and who imagines there is a divine purpose? That is very serious if there is no God. It means you fail to understand fully what happened to the babies. You are not trying to. You are excusing something that cannot be excused. You are hailing vicious ruthless nature as God. To worship a non-existent God means you imagine that God has done what God has not done. If you are decent, you will expect to be told if you are making such a hideous mistake - the greatest one of all. Remember if you believe, "God is right to let that plague torment babies to death though I don't know why" you are saying you would do the same thing or try to if you were God or if God asked you to run things for a while.

 

The rules have not been officially repudiated - there is no apology for revering a violent Bible and no apology for condoning those murders.

 

An official repudiation would involve denying the Bible really is God's unerring book and asserting that it is responsible for great suffering. It would involve asserting that the Church does not wish to set up religious and social conditions that make it possible for such murders to resume. It is immaterial that the Church may not actually send people out to kill.

 

Whether the Christian knows it or not, he or she represents a faith that refuses to detest religious violence completely.

 

People do good works - sometimes big ones - but are not really good. A good doctor is not really a good doctor if he has abused a child in his care even once. People point to the good works of Moses and Jesus and call the Bible the good book. That is treated as a justification for not being put off by the violence and the acceptance of violence commanded by God through Moses and Jesus. It is a disgrace. The good is irrelevant. To use the good as an excuse for embracing the bad is a further insult to the people corrupted by those scriptures and to their victims. There is no excuse for not being in a religion with scriptures that abhor violence. Or you could be a secular humanist!

 

People of different religions do terrible things. Some religions revel in bloodletting. A faith with peaceful scriptures waging war in the name of faith would be strange. We do not find a faith like Christianity or Islam murdering people and endorsing violence to be very odd. You would not believe that a yoga group would murder and kill but you would believe a Christian group would. You would believe it easily.
 
When you praise the Bible as being unerring in its teaching and doctrine, you are saying it is right to say that God commanded that homosexuals be stoned to death. That is to mention one evil out of many that it commands. This is extreme evil. Respecting and approving of it makes you no better than those who picked up the stones. To praise the Bible is to indirectly respect and approve the evil. To praise the God of the Bible is to implicitly respect and approve the evil. The evil being implicit or indirect does not make it any less bad. It is still as reprehensible and intolerable. In one way, you are worse than the killers for they had more chance of feeling bad about it than you!

 

Many say that a religion is not to blame for everything that bad members do. It is to blame when it can stop them but won't or if its scriptures command them to wrong others. A religion is to be firstly judged by its source of authority be that a God or a Bible or a Prophet. An evil Bible for example is a foundation for either an evil religion or a hypocritical one if not both. Judge the authority. Then you may judge the role of the religion in the evil that its members do.

 

Believers make excuses for the evil commanded in their holy books. To believe that a book is God's word because man gives reasons why it must be so and because man excuses the bad bits is really making man's thinking the foundation of your faith. The excuses are invariably speculative. They pretend to lead you to God.

 

The Bible and the Koran deny that they are written only for theologians. They are addressed to the ordinary person. The authors were well aware that ordinary people have limited understanding and have limited time to think about religious matters. The holy books themselves do not expect those who will kill for their faith to have a complete understanding of the books. No honest person who believes God wrote the Bible for example could complain if somebody knows the Bible in an average way and then decides to murder adulterers by stoning just as God commanded. Theologians are liars. They try to undermine the fact that the texts should be and are intended to be interpreted as the average person would interpret them. They come up with far-fetched and complicated excuses to cover up the nasty teachings and that is only if they have to. Usually they just tell people the sweet stuff. They manipulate the people. No Catholic priest tells a child preparing for full membership in the Church by confirmation, "You need to be very sure this religion is true. Thus you must think about all the murdering God commanded in the Bible before he became man in Jesus Christ. If you think it is wrong then find another faith." The Bible and Koran were written to a generation that knew less than ours and which was more accepting of violence and religious extremism. They sanctify and embody and endorse extremisms and no lies by Pope Francis or anybody else that claims that religion does not justify violence change that. Telling lies only serves to make religion corrupt and that will lead to violence in itself.

 

Those who know religious scriptures endorse violence, often still insist that those followers who dish out that violence, are not "real Christians" or not "real Muslims" or whatever. They go as far as to argue that they have nothing to do with Christianity or Islam at all. That is extreme. You need something to do with a religion in order to claim to wage war in its name. There has to be something there. When confronted with the violence they say it is poetry and not to be taken literally. That is just scripture-twisting. It is dishonest and makes words mean nothing. No jihadist is going to listen to their nonsense. And they shouldn't expect them to listen.

 

Another tactic to say that the scriptural violence was right in its time for it was done in self-defence or a just war or something. You need proof that it was a just war but all you get is speculation and weak evidence. Nobody has the right to approve a war on slender evidence even if that war happened in 10,000 BC. What does approving say about you?

 

Some say, "The bad things my faith has done and which its Bible says God did are in the past. We have moved on and learned from all that." They are implying that if they were alive then and not today they would not condone or participate. But they probably would. It is very likely that they would for those Christians in the past who opposed slavery for example were very few in number. The chance that you would live in 1300 and not want to see heretics burned to death and witches murdered would be so statistically small that it is virtually certain you would be as bad as the Church that destroyed them. The chance that you would want them murdered by the Church is statistically huge. It is arrogant to say you would not kill or enable the killing if you were alive then. You cannot know that and you are using the deaths of those people as an excuse to boast that you would have nothing to do with it. If you say your religion knows better now, you cannot say it did in 1300. If you were in the religion and leave then you would be as bad as the rest. Indeed you are in your heart for you should not be in a religion that has done such great evil even if it has changed. The evil proves that the religion is not immune to doing it - you are encouraging a religion and serving it when it has no intrinsic power to avoid evil to a reasonable degree at least. What if there is something subtle in the religious doctrines or some supernatural force supporting the religion that leads you to execute evil when the time is right? What if this kind of evil is intrinsic to the religion?
 
You cannot trust your peaceful interpretation of a book you say is infallible such as the Bible or Koran or Book of Mormon when there are disagreements about whether violence is needed or not in its pages. It takes the wind from your sails. You cannot convince others.

 

To accuse the violent Christians or Muslims of misinterpreting their religions means your peaceful interpretation is just another opinion. It is not right just because you say so. And who should listen to you if the Christians and Muslims who serve violence know their religious history and scriptures better than you do? If a violent interpretation of a book allegedly from God is reasonable and if a peaceful interpretation is reasonable, the religion is still to blame for the actions of the violent interpreters. Take the scripture A Course in Miracles. It preaches love and peace and unlike the Bible never commands violence but the problem is that it preaches moral relativism. Thus though the followers are people of peace they are still to blame if some member goes out with a machine gun and reasons, "I feel that God wants me to kill. Morality is mere opinion so why not? Good and evil/right and wrong are whatever people say they are." They are to blame for they are a community that stands for moral relativism. The gunman is not an island. His religion being a major part of his environment formed him as did other influences. If followers of A Course in Miracles are to admit responsibility, how much more are those who elevate scriptures above all other books and call them divinely inspired when those books command torture and violence and lies in the name of God? If religion results from indoctrination, it is intrinsically and inherently violent for indoctrination is violence. The wife who is treated well by her husband who merely wants to program her mind his way is still being abused and mistreated. Indoctrination creates an inherent alienation of other human beings - it is a kind of racism based on us versus them or us not them. Religion is not a harmless picnic.

 

Liberal Christians claim that the Bible shows how God gave revelation progressively, he helped the true and good religion evolve. This is the excuse then for the violence commanded by God in the Old Testament. But the history of the religion looks like there was no divine guidance at all and any improvement came through trial and error. The talk about progressive revelation can be used by any religion even a religion based on deliberate hoaxes. To say that God let us murder and maim for he didn't think we were ready to be told that it is wrong is disgusting.

 

The Christian view that slavery is bad but we were too stubborn to give it up so God had to tolerate it and wean us away from it progressively is an excuse for tolerating the intolerable. They want us to believe that God accommodated his revelation to us by at first saying nothing against slavery and when we were ready he got us to abolish it and see it for the evil it truly is. That is just an excuse for saying that a collection of books purporting to give us instruction from God are from God despite the terrible moral teachings. With an excuse like that, you could write Mein Kamph volume 2 and fill it with nice thoughts and say that it and Mein Kamph are inspired by God.

 

The Bible God teaches good things and bad things. You might understand this as God giving a mixed message about violence and so on. Suppose you are right that it does, You might interpret the Bible as a book of peace and say it commands that we never be violent. But that does not change the fact that there is a mixed message. A mixed message shows a reluctance and a failure to condemn violence correctly and thoroughly and clearly. It is still a seed of violence and violence starts in the heart. A peaceful religion contains the seeds of violence when it has scriptures that at least occasionally command violence in the name of a good God because it is leaving its scriptures wide up to a violent interpretation. A really good scripture gives nothing at all that can be interpreted or misconstrued as endorsing evil. Really good people discard such scriptures immediately. They do not even try to excuse them or think of excusing them. They will not risk excusing evil. There are certain things you never look for excuses for.

 

If a scripture can reasonably be interpreted as allowing or even worse, endorsing, violence and cruelty it is to blame for any suffering that is caused. If you accept that a scripture is God's word then conforming to your (maybe violent) interpretation of it becomes a duty. It is not a choice. You do not have the freedom to choose where duty is concerned. You obey. Some say that the solution to this is empathy - trying to understand how those who you might persecute feel and think and why. But empathy is hard to achieve where you have a strong sense of duty. Plus one purpose of duty is to by-pass thinking things over and making a choice. You just carry out the duty.


Despite ordering that people be stoned to death, God "failed to provide his people with reasonable rules of evidence to judge criminal cases".

 

The book Christianity is Not Great says that God communicated badly and witches and others were killed by religion because of it. It says God did nothing to help. It says the believers who answer that we don't know if God did help but should believe that he did. God never said he had a reason for being so vague so we have no right to guess that he did. You don't want to be condoning all the evil and bloodshed and death over a guess. It is too serious for that. It is different if God said he was sorry but he had a reason that we would not understand and explains why we cannot understand.

 

If a religion is really good for you, it will have nothing in its holy books that risks being interpreted or misinterpreted as a yes to violence. A good God would not write in such a way. The need for interpretation can be avoided at best and minimised at worst. To promote such a book or religion is to take part in the creation of violence perhaps retrospectively.

 

Remember that a violent revelation allegedly from God say the Koran or the Bible (the Bible in fairness is far worse than the Koran ) asks for interpretation. Thus if a violent interpretation is possible then the writers and promoters of the scripture must take responsibility even if their own interpretation is peaceful. A peaceful interpretation is not truly peaceful when the book gives mixed messages on violence. It is just a cover-up for the truth.
  
Christians often say that the killings of babies in the Bible were justified for they were going to grow up sinful anyway or perhaps killing them saved them from a life of sin so they had a chance to go to God by dying early. So much for being non-judgemental! It is the filthiest example of judgementalism imaginable. Many Christians admit that if they were miraculously sent back in time to kill the children they would.

 

The Catholic Church says that Jesus is the head of the Church and the catechism says Christ is the Bible and the Bible is Christ. But Jesus said in John 8 that it was okay to stone a woman to death for adultery as long as those who stoned her were sinless themselves. He gave out to the Jews for not killing men who cursed their parents. I would be concerned about a faith like that getting too much power. It did heinous things when it was able in the past. The pope saying capital punishment is a sin is lying. The Bible endorses it strongly in the name of God.

 

We conclude that the excuses for the scriptural violence are rooted in religious prejudice and bigotry and deceitfulness and not in justice. An extreme example of this bigotry is how people have been put to death for wanting a civilised Bible. Nobody was ever burned at the stake for saying God is bad but for saying he is too good to write nasty Bibles or to condone Jesus' hate speeches.

 

Leave those religions of the Bible - they have no moral authority to call you a member or require that you should be one. To honour them is to honour their holy books indirectly. And those books are evil rather than holy.

 

The Bible is full of violence, nonsense and hate. No wonder believers pick out the nice bits and pretend the evil commands are not there. If you really believe the Bible properly you will not treat it like that! There is something very vulgar and condemnatory about cherry-picking a book that is supposedly from God like that. It is like saying, "This book is my authority. It is more important and sacred than any other book. Yet I will pick and choose from it." It is accepting the Bible as inspired but with a "but". The Bible deserves no honour not even this begrudging hypocritical honour. You drop bad scriptures like they are burning coals put into your hands. You will if you have no leanings towards enabling violence or honouring it. The worse the book is the more disgusting is the homage you pay to it. As the hypocrite pays homage to virtue by pretending to be virtuous so do you pay homage to the violence. You serve lies and lies are the first step to creating a violent society.

 

If the revelations from God have both good and bad in them then what?

Is the good better than the bad?

Is the bad better than the good?

Are they equal? God only needs to use evil to do good with it because we made evil so he has to work in that backdrop. So in that sense he needs evil. If God uses evil for a good purpose then the horrible commands are good in some way we cannot comprehend. So they are equal. To praise the good is to praise the bad. That is the principle. You are in principle, though you think you are not, praising the bad commands when you praise the good.

 

Man reflects his own violence in the "revelations from above" and the religions he makes so do not enable him. Do not honour his religious creation for it is not really sacred - do not turn it into an image of God to be adored and served for talk about God is not necessarily about the real God if there is one - and man pretending to speak for God or imagining he does means man is manipulative and manipulation is a form of violence and enables further violence.

 

When a holy book commands murder or violence, and/or agrees with murder and violence in the past, it should be dismissed as unholy - no ifs or buts. It should be discarded immediately. There are certain evils you must not look for excuses or reasons for. And holy books that honour a God who commands violence are top of the list.


We must remember too that evil has to look good to succeed so don't chip in with, "But the Christian is such a nice person despite his belief in the Bible." Or, "The Bible contains so many beautiful teachings." Human nature is notorious for enabling evil with a smile. A truly decent person does not even contemplate honouring an evil book as the word of God. He throws it away. The good bits are a reason for rejecting it not accepting it. Something that advocates good and teaches good and then teaches its opposite is worse than something that means well but does little else but damage. Evil needs to be softened by having lots of good put into the mix. That way it does more harm than shamelessly blatant and undiluted evil.

 

Too often stories in the Bible are disproven or shown to teach evil lessons allegedly from God.


Then what the believers do is this.


They say the stories are figurative and were never intended to be taken as literally true.

That is just a way of pretending that the story is divinely inspired.

And surely God could make his point without all that figurative stuff?

And why does he not make the allegorical nature of the story clear? Most stories do not read as allegories.

 

The Bible is violent period.  And if you stay in a religion invented by man and that has fake revelations from God that endorse violence you tarnish yourself. Enabling violence and being okay with nasty scriptures is the one thing needed before religious terrorism can appear and with or without terrorism appearing it is still a terrible terrible hideous thing to do. Nobody can blame God entirely even if God did give the violent commands - man had no right to mention the commands much less obey them!

 

Even if you are responsible for your behaviour a bad influence like the Bible can be responsible too. The two are not mutually exclusive. It is better though to blame the religious belief system than the person if possible. The Bible instead of being carried in procession should be spat upon.