In this exciting new edition of FWBI we take a look at Deuteronomy 13:6-10!
Do you have any friends who are devoutly Christian, but are married to a non-believer or a person who practices a different religion? Or perhaps they have a child who decided to strike out on his or her own path and adopt a faith different than his father’s. Or are you yourself a Christian, but still have friends who practice different religions or no religion at all? How do you know that they hold different beliefs than you? Because you’ve discussed it with them, of course. Perhaps you’ve actually enjoyed many friendly debates on the subject of each other’s faith – or lack thereof.
Well, I’ve got some bad news for you, friend. The time to talk is over… and The Angry Desert God is very displeased with you for disobeying His command. The action that must be taken when you run across a heathen (even if that heathen is a beloved family member) who dares to disagree with you on the Christian interpretation of the magical sky wizard, is made very clear in The Good Book… Pick up a rock and beat that motherfucker to death. Immediately! And make sure you call up the church congregation and have them give you a hand with the killing… but only after you have dealt the initial blow. After that it’s cool for everyone else to join in the bloodshed.
I know, I know – this may sound a bit brutal to the average person who self-identifies as Christian but has never actually read the Bible – the book that they believe to be the literal word of God.
6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
Now, it does seem a bit strange that a loving, kind God would demand that you immediately kill your son or daughter or wife or best friend for merely speaking to you of the possibility of other gods – or no gods at all – but it makes sense when religion is viewed as a means to control a population. In order for you to have complete and total faith in a belief system – or any system, for that matter – it must not be openly questioned, contemplated or debated. If one remains ignorant of other beliefs or ideas, then one runs no risk of adopting the new teachings and abandoning the old (Thou must not eat of the Tree of Knowledge). If the authors, or revisers, of the Christian doctrine allowed their followers an opening to discuss other paths, especially with people whom the believer trusted most and maintained their closest relationships (family and friends) then you can see how the very foundation of the church – particularly in the early days of organized Christianity – could be threatened.
So of course the obvious answer was to instruct the loyal servants of The Angry Desert God to quickly kill – and silence – any dissent from non-believers, thereby preserving the control mechanism put in place by the church. Violence does solve certain problems… especially among religions and governments.
As the old phrase (popularized by that silly pirate movie) goes: “Dead men (and women and children) tell no tales.”
One must look only to the atrocities currently being committed in the name of God, as instructed by another “holy” book, the Quran, to see that taking ancient religious instruction too seriously is usually not a great idea. It’s a good thing that the vast majority of “Christians” don’t actually believe or follow what their Bibles tell them… because if they were truly faithful to the teachings and commandments of their particular omnipotent deity, this world would certainly be a much, much more violent and dangerous place.
So, while I understand that not all aspects of religion are dangerous and that some people need faith and dogma in order to face everyday life armed with the knowledge of their own unavoidable death, I would personally have a very tough time worshipping a god who demands the violent murder of my children for the simple act of disagreeing. It takes some serious self-deception to hold up a Bible – after you’ve actually read it – and proudly claim to be a Christian….
Or, in the words of Isaac Asimov,
“Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for Atheism ever conceived.”
Okay, I suppose I’ve taken up enough of your time with my preachy nonsense. Thanks once again for joining us for this installment of Fun With Biblical Interpretation! Now get out there and start collecting rocks. And make sure you warm up and stretch – you certainly don’t want to pull a muscle while doing the Lord’s work.
Author: Nick Allison is just a banged-up Army Infantry vet of the War in Iraq. He lives in Austin, TX with his wife, their children and two big, dumb, ugly mongrel dogs. Don’t take anything he says too seriously… he’s just trying to figure out this ride we call existence like everyone else. Also, he enjoys writing his own bio in third-person because it probably makes him feel more important.
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