I don’t write here as much as I used to. For some of my readers, that’s probably a good thing. For others, maybe not. For me, at this point in my life, it’s just about right. Finding that perfect balance between competing interests can be a difficult thing. I’ll keep this as brief as I can. I have read many stories, watched countless videos and encountered many people in person who suspend good judgement and set aside their understanding of right and wrong in order to maintain their faith.
I used to be one of these people. I used to have to ignore my own conscience and my own understanding and acceptance of moral things in order to justify my belief in the Bible. This is unbelievably common among believers. In fact, it is a requirement for belief. Faith without excuses does not, and cannot, exist. If excuses were not necessary, faith would just be called knowledge. Let me give some examples. The Christian Bible is full of immoral things and they are often condoned. Sometimes they are said to be wrong, but then the perpetrators of such acts are left with nothing but a slapped wrist. Things such as:
–Murder (People could be put to death for cursing their parents, working on the sabbath, premarital sex, disobeying their parents, worshiping another god, practicing witchcraft, being the daughter of a priest who becomes a prostitute, if you are a girl who is raped but doesn’t cry out in the city limits, trying to convert people to other religions, being gay or committing adultery. The killing of these people was not justice. It was murder.)
–Rape (Deuteronomy 22:28-29…A man must pay restitution to the father of his rape victim IF they are discovered. Then he must marry her and never divorce her. Again, this is not justice.)
–Incest (Genesis 19… When Lot’s daughters got him drunk, slept with him and got pregnant. Were they punished? No. Their children became fathers of great nations.)
–Slavery (Exodus 21… There are several rules and regulations for the owning and treatment of slaves. People could be owned and sold as property. Read all of Exodus 21 and try to justify the actions of slave owners and their allowance by God to own and beat people and get away with it because these people aren’t people. They are property. Justify that without sounding like a monster. Go ahead and try.)
–Child abuse (Proverbs 23:13-14…Hitting a child with a rod is fine. They won’t die so it’s okay. Several other verses also mention hitting children with rods to spare them from death or hell.)
-Genocide (1 Samuel 15: 1-3 is a prime example. God says: “Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.” There is also Leviticus 26:7-9, Numbers 31:17-8 (which says to kill everyone, except the virgin girls. It says to keep them for yourselves), Deuteronomy 20:13-4 (Kill every man, but keep the women, children and livestock as plunder), and who can forget Genesis 7:21-3 where God created a flood and destroyed all living things except for what could fit on a big boat.)
–Misogyny (Leviticus 12 speaks of treating women as unclean for having a period and going through childbirth. She is TWICE as unclean if she has a daughter as she would be for having a son. 1 Corinthians 11 and 1 Corinthians 14 talk about how the woman came from man and therefore he is the head of her. 1 Timothy 2 talks about keeping women silent.)
These things (just a small sampling of the horrible examples in scripture) are all in the Bible and are given the okay by God. Some are explicitly endorsed by God and some are dismissed as “no big deal” (as long as you pay a small fine) by God. These are incredibly evil and immoral acts that are said to be just and good by believers because they were given the thumbs up by a god they have determined to be good. It is disgusting to me to think that otherwise rational people would make excuses for these atrocities by saying they are part of “God’s will” and are therefore inherently good. It is what is known as the Divine Command Theory…and it’s bullshit. Basically, it states that no matter what God says, whether immoral or not, is right and good and just. Again, not to be rude or blunt, but that’s bullshit.
If you were to ask someone if murder is ever okay, most people would say no. But if you were to ask a believer if the killing of gay lovers or adulterers in the old testament was justified, you most likely would get a different answer. Ask someone today if owning another person as property is an okay thing to do. Again, you’d get a resounding NO from just about anyone you ask. Ask a believer if the slavery described in Exodus 21 was okay and you’d likely hear a variety of excuses such as, “It wasn’t slavery, it was indentured servitude” or “it wasn’t really slavery because they weren’t kept forever” or my favorite, “that’s the Old Testament so it doesn’t apply after Jesus came.” These excuses are quite common and most people don’t see them as contradicting their day-to-day sense of morality, but they are in direct conflict. To believe that the god of the Bible exists, is in control and is just, these excuses must be made.
I won’t drag this out any more than I need to. I will just say that if something is immoral and obviously wrong to us because it causes great harm to another, it is always wrong. And it is always wrong regardless of what anyone says…even God. Just because you believe a supernatural being decreed this or that to be okay, it doesn’t make immoral actions moral. It makes that being IMMORAL. Period.
Here are a couple of videos of believers trying to excuse gross immorality…and failing quite miserably. I encourage you to watch them if you have the time. If you are a believer and you sound like this, stop, back up and rethink your position. Rethink your values. Stop and think about what is a moral action and what is immoral. If your god does something that is immoral, what justifies your belief and worship of that god?