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2014-05-21

All scriptures contain passages that are weird. Christians have to explain why Jesus would curse a fig tree to death for not bearing fruit out-of-season, Muslims have to explain why Allah turned Jews into apes for breaking the Sabbath, and so forth. Despite their strangeness, passages like these donít present too much trouble for believers because, even if they canít account for them, the verses can be explained away as being ďmysteriousĒ without causing a crisis of faith. Then there are passages like Numbers 31:13-18 which are so damned awful that they can ruin an entire religion.

Moses, humble hero of the Israelites, Godís chosen liaison to the world of mortals, finds out that his war-party had the audacity to spare the lives of the Midianite women and children, and he goes into a full-on rage! How dare they allow these prisoners to live? They were the ones who listened to Balaam and prostituted themselves to the Israelites thereby forcing Godís hand to kill tens-of-thousands of Israelites with a plague!

Except that everything Moses just said is wrong! Balaam spoke only to the Moabites, not the Midians, he never told anyone to prostitute themselves, and of the prostitutes, only the Moabite women were explicitly stated to have been involved. If anyone is at fault, itís either the Israelite men who paid for the sex or God for murdering people indiscriminately (or both)!

But Moses isnít all that concerned with facts and orders the execution of every woman without an intact hymen. Why? Were the grandmothers selling their bodies as well? Then, he orders the execution of every single little boy. Why? Did the Israelites pay to have sex with little boys too? Finally, Moses tells the war-party that they may keep the little virgin girls for themselves as spoils of war. Each little girl will either be kept as a slave, forcibly married and raped, or bothópossibly even by the same man who butchered her parents.

Even when I try, I canít think of a worse atrocity in human history, and I have absolutely no respect for the horrible people who defend these actions, though I understand why they do. In their minds the bible must be true and God must be perfect, therefore, everything that God does in the bible, regardless of how vile and evil it appears, must actually be the pinnacle of morality. Thatís why we have sub-human apologist like William Lane Craig saying that God was moral when he ordered the murder of every man, boy, and woman of an entire race, and the rape of everyone else (the little girls). The apologistís reasons are just as awful as youíd think, but this post is getting long, so Iíll go into them on Friday.

 

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Maju writes:

 

The worst crimes presented as "morals", it's such a terrible world!

The problem with unveiling these facts as you do, is that people can end up realizing we live in some sort of Hell and that "God" is actually "Satan", so to say. They will, in most cases, react with outright denial.

Anonymous writes:

 

My working theory is that they were so ignorant about pregnancy that they assumed any woman who wasn't a virgin might carry the seed of a man for as much as years afterward, at any moment spontaneously giving birth to illegitimate offspring and thus causing him to waste his blessing on the heir of another man.

Maju writes:

 

I don't think so, Anonymous. It's about property rights: if a woman has known other men, she may compare you with them (unfavorably), also possibly she may be still in love with some of them or develop a nostalgia feeling. Also STDs may be a concern. Instead if she's virgin, she can (in principle) be tamed to your likes more easily, as she has nothing to compare with.

As contrast, what is now most common in the West and is historically documented in some peoples like Basques (cf. Humboldt), which was the practice of open relationships in early youth followed by marriage with the main boyfriend upon pregnancy (nowadays as contraceptives are more readily available this incidence happens less often but the pattern of free choice based on "love" is similar).

As the Kalash (the only Pagan people of Pakistan, who have similar free-choice customs) say: "in Pakistan there is no love". Same for all the other Judeo-Christo-Muslim contexts (or similar Patriarchal ones), in which marriage and concubinage are absolutely treated as an issue of male property over women. Love does not matter for them, only power.

Our Western development, which is largely very recent, implies a reversion to Pagan and pre-Patriarchal modes, which are more natural and basic, I must say, and therefore more universal.


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Oh the irony!