Friends and others,
I am very close to finishing and publishing the remaining three parts of my debate with Daniel Wells, a Reformed Theological Seminary student, on the subject, “Is Christianity True?” For the last three posts I chose to focus on three individual topics that I think bear out the question of Christianity’s truth quite well. They are:
1. The reliability of the Bible.
2. Evidence for a Personal God in the Natural World.
3. The Moral Argument.
Before I publish those three parts in their entirety, I wanted to devote some attention to a specific issue that arose in our debate about morality. It seems clear to me that the Christian is in a difficult spot when it comes to the claim that all absolute morality comes from the Christian god and the Bible. How can this collection of books be the source of ALL objective morality when it never repudiates slavery, the subjugation of women, or child abuse? Not only does the Bible never repudiate these awful things, it even commands them in certain areas. Consider these verses:
Children who disobey their parents shall be put to death.
If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. - Deuteronomy 21:18-21
He that smiteth/curseth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. - Exodus 21:15-17
God will make some EAT their children.
And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend. - Jeremiah 19:9
And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. - Leviticus 26:29
Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen forever. - Leviticus 25:44-46
Beating a slave to death.
And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continues a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money. Exodus 21:20-21
Raping captive virgins.
And Moses said unto them, have ye saved all the women alive? ... Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. - Numbers 31:15-18
Rape victims must marry their rapist.
If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her. - Deuteronomy 22:28-29
As I’m sure you can imagine, Daniel has been trained well on how to present the illusion of squaring a circle when it comes to these matters. However, I was born with a built in bullshit detector and unfortunately for Daniel, it works extremely well. Here is Daniel’s response to the Deuteronomy 22:28-29 verse that quite clearly states that a rape victim must marry her rapist. Consider his words:
“This is actually making the rapist the one being punished (he must marry the woman, and even pay money for his crime!). Plus, it protects an Ancient Near Eastern woman. Women in the ANE who were raped were usually not eligible for marriage. Yet, God gives this woman into marriage and secures her financial future in that the man cannot divorce her. This is a case where Israelite law was supreme to surrounding nations."
There are two things I want to say in response to this disgusting viewpoint.
1. This is objective, transcendent morality? This is god’s great idea for PROTECTING the rape victim? What an embarrassing, ridiculous suggestion. It can be improved upon in a millisecond by any secular humanist. How about, “Do not rape women, ever.” How about instead of forcing her into marriage, you send her as far away from her rapist as possible? The truth is that at best women were treated as property in Biblical times, and usually they were treated as garbage. This is not morality. This is evil.
2. What kind of psychological dualism must be happening in the brain of the 21st century, civilized human being to propose in any way that a woman was protected by marrying her rapist? My only conclusion is that such a person has never, for one single second, considered the actual horror of rape. Next to abusing children it is the worst individual crime imaginable. Let’s look at some facts from RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network):
In 2007, there were 248,300 victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. These figures do not include victims 12 years old or younger. This means that at least one sexual assault occurs every 127 seconds, or about 1 every 2 minutes. 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men will be a victim of sexual assault in their lifetime. Consider your mothers, your sisters, your wives and your daughters.
Even if you are stupid enough to take your moral cues from something as outdated as the Bible, the facts about how common sexual abuse isshould make you A LITTLE more sensitive about your awful beliefs on rape. I have zero tolerance for this disgusting bullshit.
Daniel posted a comment on my facebook page several days ago. I confronted him about his views on rape in the Bible and he accused me of misunderstanding him. I then posted the exact verse and his exact response for all to see. What was his response? He deleted the whole thread. So I am now posting it here, where he must stand accountable for what he claims to believe. As earlier stated, the full transcript of our debate is coming, but I found this to be an important and telling caveat to the whole thing. This is what holding to the bible will do to the mind of a human being. This is the evil that one will stoop to justify their beliefs. This is why Steve Weinberg says,
“Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
Yours in reason,