I’ll be honest: when Richard Dawkins referred to William Lane Craig as “a deplorable apologist for genocide,” I thought that was just a bit over the top, and that Dawkins was demonizing Craig. No more. In his response to Dawkins, Craig not only vindicated Dr. Dawkins’ assessment, he dug himself in even deeper.
Craig begins with a bit of bait and switch.
“There was no racial war here, no command to kill them all,” he said, alluding to extermination of the Canaanites in the Old Testament, “the command was to drive them out.”
You might think that this was a flat-out lie, since the Bible says, “Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” Sounds pretty genocidal, right? Aha, gotcha: Craig was “alluding to the extermination of the Canaanites,” not the genocide against the Amalekites. He found a passage that didn’t command God’s people to kill everybody, and therefore there is no genocide here. You know, kinda like there wasn’t any Holocaust if you find out the Lutherans weren’t ordered to report to the concentration camps. Oy.
But apparently even Craig himself realized that was a pretty flimsy dodge, and so he decided to try another angle: The Israelites were murdering those Canaanite children for their own good.
I would say that God has the right to give and take life as He sees fit. Children die all the time! If you believe in the salvation, as I do, of children, who die, what that meant is that the death of these children meant their salvation. People look at this [genocide] and think life ends at the grave but in fact this was the salvation of these children, who were far better dead … than being raised in this Canaanite culture.
A deplorable apologist for genocide? Dawkins was far too kind! This is simply monstrous.