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Bible Induced Violence

Richard Lead, B.Comm M.Tax CPA.

Ken Ham, Australian creationist and executive director of the American arm of Answers in Genesis continues, like many creationists, to use evolution as a scapegoat for society's ills, notwithstanding that those ills have been around a lot longer than has evolution. 

In his article The Missing link to School Violence  Ken Ham  argues, "The teaching of evolution in public schools has fostered an environment that leads many students to believe that there is little or no meaning to life. Evolutionary indoctrination declares that we are only animals in the struggle for survival. This has created a mindset in many of our young people that life lacks purpose."

Skeptic Richard Lead takes issue with Ken Ham's preposterous notion.

Creationists like Ken Ham are quick to blame every disaster involving human failure on Charles Darwin. Darwin's gentle scientific explanation for the undisputed genetic diversity of life – random variation followed by selective retention – seems unlikely to set two teenagers off on their insane rampage.

I suspect those teenagers had been reading their bibles.

Let me posit a sample reading which could have triggered their indifference to the value of human life.

Numbers, chapter 25

'16: and the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying,
17:  vex the Midianites, and smite them'

Why did Jehovah God order this genocide? Why, those filthy Midianite women had consensual sex with Jehovah's chosen children of Israel!

Now, in typical Old Testament fashion, there is a lot of boring stuff, but then we reach Numbers chapter 31 and it gets straight into the ethnic cleansing business that Jehovah God is so comfortable in ordering.

Numbers, Chapter 31

'1. And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying,

2. Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites; afterward shalt thou be
gathered unto thy people.

3. And Moses spoke unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the
war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the Lord of Midian.

4. Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all of the tribes of Israel, shall ye send
to the war.

5. So there were delivered out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe,
twelve thousand armed for war.

6. And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and
the son of Elea'zar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets
to blow in his hand.

7. And they warred against the Midianites, AS THE LORD COMMANDED MOSES,
[emphasis added] and they slew all the males,

8. And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely
E'vi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian; Ba'laam also,
the son of Beor, they slew with the sword.

9. And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little
ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods.

10. And they burned all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their encampments,
with fire. [what else could they have burned it with? THIS was written by an omnipotent deity!]

11. And they took all the spoil, and all the prey of men and of beasts.

12. And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Elea'zar, the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by the Jordan near Jericho.

13. And Moses, and Elea'zar, the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went
forth to meet them outside the camp.

14. And Moses was angry with the officers of the host, with the captains over
thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle.

15. And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?

16. Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Ba'laam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord.

17. Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that
hath known man by lying with him.

18. But all the female children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep
alive for yourselves.'

Sceptical Comments

If we read a wee bit further we discover in verse 49:

'And they said unto Moses, Thy servants have taken the sum of the men of war who are under our charge, and there lacketh not one man of us.'

Hmmm – we are expected to believe that the children of Israel 'slew all the males' of the Midianites without a single battle casualty? The number of slaughtered men is not stated, but an estimate can be judged based on the number of virgins allowed to live. The heroic Israelite soldiers must have been heavily outnumbered.

Verse 7 claims 'all the males' were slaughtered. But verse 17 indicates otherwise, with a horror which can barely be contemplated. Flick your eyes above, to see for yourself.

But why did Yahweh want the male Midianite infants murdered? Go back to Numbers, chapter 25 – Israelite men had sex with Midianite women, so the women had to be punished by watching their male children being killed in retaliation – and then being killed themselves. This makes sense to a Yahwist.

But what about 'all the female children, that have not known a man by lying with him?' By definition, these virgins were not involved in the gang-bang which so offended Jehovah God. Why did the 'all forgiving, all merciful' Jehovah God not let these innocent girls go free? Why were they nothing more than mere sexual trophies for the Israelite soldiers, and priests (verse 40)?

How many virgins? Verse 35 tells us there were 32,000 such victims. It seams logical that there would have been a similar number of boys to be slaughtered in obedience to Yahweh.

Yes – Charles Darwin has a lot to answer for!

I would like to pose a further sceptical comment: Given the bible is the inerrant word of Jehovah God, did this genocide really happen? With all the males and non-virgin females slaughtered, the Midianite nation ended. Any progeny resulting from the rape of the virgins by the Israelite soldiers and priests would not themselves be Midianites.

So how do biblical inerrantists such as Ken Ham explain an abundance of Midianites so soon after this genocide?

The boasted Midianite ethnic cleansing occurred while the Israelite soldiers were on the plains of Moab (above v. 12). The Red-Sea Pedestrians were almost home, with the Israelites across the Jordan from Jericho.

Let’s briefly turn to the book of Joshua. Joshua 24:29 sees him die aged 110. He was an adult at the beginning of the book, when he took over the reins from the recently dead Moses. Joshua's death is the starting event in the book of Judges – and we see very early in that book (Judges 6:1) that the Midianites not only still exist as a nation, but are so strong they take the entire Israelite nation captive for seven years!

They go from annihilation to military dominance in the space of a single lifetime!

I am firmly of the view that fundamentalist Christians remain fundamentalist Christian only because they don’t read their bible.

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