In the previous post, I began detailing my top ten reasons for doubting both the Bible's infallibility and inspiration. Today's continuation of that list examines what I perceive to be some of the more barbaric passages in the Bible, of which there are many to choose from. Some might say that these are all taken out of context, but I would argue that there is no context in which these verses are acceptable. If one's objective morality comes from God, we should all be pretty worried.
4. Human sacrifice: I'm sure we're all quite familiar with the story of the near sacrifice of Isaac by his father Abraham at the command of God himself in Genesis 22. Apparently, this was the best way God could test Abraham's devotion and obedience to him. Why does an omniscient God need to test anyone at all? Moreover, of all the ways in which a human could be tested, why human sacrifice? Of course, God stops Abraham before he kills Isaac, but this has to indicate that human sacrifice was not entirely out of the ordinary among the Israelites and God.
5. Mass murder: 1 Samuel 15:1-3 has the Lord ordering Saul to kill both man, woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey. This is the inspired word of the creator of the universe? I should hope not.
6. Infanticide: In Isaiah 13:15-16, we have the writer describing the wrath of God upon the Babylonians in which infants will be dashed to pieces and the wives will be raped. It certainly seems that God is not pro-life. I take great comfort in the fact that most of these stories are just that, stories.
7. Misogyny: Genesis 19 details the popular story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Being the only righteous people of the city, Lot and his family are permitted to leave before God rains down sulfur and fire. Just prior to that, however, an angry mob gathered outside Lot's home calling out for the two angels Lot was hosting so that they might "know them." Wanting to keep God's angels safe, Lot generously offers his two virgin daughters instead, so that the mob might do to them as they pleased. This is our example of righteousness? Rather, this is just one of many passages in which women are treated with utter contempt and degradation.
(TO BE CONTINUED)