Look in your own backyard for the religious crazies. Here’s a letter that was published in the St Cloud Times which I found simply unbelievable—it’s a plea to people to obey the bloodthirsty skygod of the Bible, and it makes an awful argument.
… Down through the ages, God has continued to display his unmerited, undeserved favor toward mankind, and also his continued warnings. He has recorded in his word not only the good things, but the failures and weaknesses of men and women. … He has faithfully shown us there is nothing new under the sun. One nation rises up and is used to bring judgment on a corrupt one.
The account of Jephthah should warn us that we should go to the word of God for direction and not make any rash vows or say things we may one day regret. According to the law, which Jephthah was under, only certain clean animals and birds were eligible for sacrifice.
His regret for not having first considered what God would’ve had him do is nothing compared with the anguish one day of those who refuse to be accountable to God and deny, change or add to his word. They will be judged by it.
The story of Jephthah from Judges 11:29-40 is a good reason to abandon that Judeo-Christian vileness. Perhaps you recall it; a Hebrew chieftain asks for his god’s aid in slaughtering the Ammonites, and all God asks in return is that Jephthah sacrifice the first thing he sees when he returns home. Jephthah devastates the Ammonites, destroying twenty towns (nice), and the first thing he sees at his door is his daughter. Who he then kills and sacrifices as a burnt offering.
What a horrible story and what horrible people that they think we should learn love of and obedience to god from it; all it tells me is that their god is a monster, and that those who follow him are unconscionably amoral themselves.
August Berkshire has a reply published today—it’s a little milder than I’d have been, but that’s why he’s better at public relations than I am.
The Feb. 10 letter “Account warns us to go to Bible for direction” states: “The account of Jephthah should warn us that we should go to the word of God for direction.”
According to the Bible, Jephthah pledged to sacrifice to God the first thing that walked through his door, which turned out to be his daughter. (Judges 11).
Did God intervene to save the child at the last moment, as occurred in the Abraham and Isaac story? No.
Evidently God has no problem with human sacrifice. In fact, it is estimated that God kills 33 million people in the biblical stories.
Fortunately, most of humanity has moved on from the barbaric times and god depicted in the Old Testament.