28 September 2006

Using the Bible to clarify the Geneva Conventions

President Bush has a problem with the Geneva Conventions. He says Common Article 3 is "just very, very vague" and "open to interpretation" when it says that prisoners must "be treated humanely" without being subjected to "outrages upon personal dignity."

And that's where the Bible comes in. Since the Bible is God's law, it is above any and all human laws, including the Geneva Conventions. So the Bible can be used to clarify the Geneva Conventions. And that's what the legislation passed by the Senate today did: it clarified Common Article 3 using the Bible's guide to torture.

27 September 2006

The Bible's guide to torture

Sometimes you have to beat people for their own good.

The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly. Proverbs 20:30

Some people should be beaten as a punishment for their crimes.

And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten. Deuteronomy 25:2

It's always a good idea to beat fools. Beat them whenever you find them.

A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes. Proverbs 18:6
Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools. Proverbs 19:29
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back. Proverbs 26:3

And slaves may be beaten, as long they survive for at least a day or two after the beating.

If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property. Exodus 21:20-21

Beating your children is a sure sign of parental love.

He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. Proverbs 13:24

And don't stop just because they cry.

Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. Proverbs 19:18

It will make them less foolish.

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. Proverbs 22:15
The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. Proverbs 29:15

So beat them hard and often. Don't worry about hurting them. You may break a few bones and cause some brain damage, but it isn't going to kill them. And even if it does, they'll be better off. They'll thank you in heaven for beating the hell out of them.

Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. Proverbs 23:13-14

The Old Testament God used a rod to beat those who disobey his commandments.

If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.Psalm 89:31-2

And he tortured the Philistines by giving them "hemorrhoids in their secret parts."

The hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts. 1 Samuel 5:9

At times, Jesus seemed to look favorably on torture.

In his parables, for example, Jesus often spoke of torturing his enemies.

And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors. Matthew 18:34
And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 22:12-13
The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 24:50-51
The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. Luke 12:46-48

The devils expected Jesus to torture them. (And Jesus didn't deny that he planned to do so.)

And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? Matthew 8:29
Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. Mark 5:7
What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. Luke 8:28

At the end of the world, God will torture people until they want to die. But he won't let them die so that he can continue to torture them.

And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. Revelation 9:5-6

But the ultimate torture is hell. If hell is justified, anything is permissible.

The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:41-42
If thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. Matthew 18:8-9
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. Matthew 25:41
...hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. Mark 9:43-48
And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. Luke 16:22-24
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever. Revelation 14:10-11

24 September 2006

How to stone somebody (according to the Bible)

The Bible doesn't say much about how we're supposed to stone people. What size rocks to use, who can participate, etc.

It does say that you need two or three witnesses (with or without sin) and that the witnesses themselves must throw the first stones.

At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death ... The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death. Deuteronomy 17:6
And if you're stoning your wife, family member, or friend for believing in the wrong god, then you must throw the first stone (and you may not pity her).
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 ... 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: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death. Deuteronomy 13:6-9

But who can participate in the stoning? Is stoning just for men, or can women and children throw some stones too?

Well, as usual, the Bible isn't much use here. Sometimes it says just the men (Deuteronomy 13:9, 22:21) should do the stoning, and sometimes all the people get to do it (Leviticus 24:23, Numbers 15:32, 17:7, 21:21, Joshua 7:25).

But luckily Monty Python clears the whole thing up in the Life of Brian.

Monty Python - The Life Of Brian (The Stoning)

22 September 2006

Death by Stoning: the Bible vs the Quran

In my last post I listed 13 biblical passages that prescribe stoning as a punishment for various crimes. (The Catholic Encyclopedia says there are 18. Did I miss some? If so let me know so I can add another verse to the Everybody must get stoned song.) Here's a summary.
1.For touching Mount Sinai Exodus 19:13
2.For taking "accursed things" Joshua 7:1-26
3.For cursing or blaspheming Leviticus 24:16
4.For adultery (including urban rape victims who fail to scream loud enough) Deuteronomy 22:23-24
5.For animals (like an ox that gores a human) Exodus 21:28
6.For a woman who is not a virgin on her wedding night Deuteronomy 22:13-21
7.For worshipping other gods Deuteronomy 17:2-5
8.For preaching the wrong religion Deuteronomy 13:5-10
9.For disobeying parents Deuteronomy 21:18-21
10.For witches and wizards Leviticus 20:27
11.For giving your children to Molech Leviticus 20:2
12.For breaking the Sabbath Numbers 15:32-56
13.For cursing the king 1 Kings 21:10
I thought it would be interesting to see how many times, and for what offenses, the Quran prescribed death by stoning.

The answer is zero. The Quran does not mention stoning as a punishment for any crime.

So what gives, then? Why is stoning a fairly common punishment in Islamic countries, but rare or nonexistent in Christian or Jewish ones?

21 September 2006

Biblical Justice: Everybody must get stoned

(To the tune of Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35")

Well, they'll stone you if you touch the holy things.

Whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death. Exodus 19:13

They'll stone you if you take accursed things.

Achan ... took of the accursed thing. ... And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. ... So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Joshua 7:1-26

They'll stone you if you curse or blaspheme.

And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him. Leviticus 24:16

They'll stone you if you're raped and do not scream.

If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city. Deuteronomy 22:23-24

But I would not feel so all alone. Everybody must get stoned.

Well, they'll stone you if you're an ox and gore a human.

If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned. Exodus 21:28

They'll stone you if you marry when not a virgin.

If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her ... and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel's father shall say ... these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. ... But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die. Deuteronomy 22:13-21

They'll stone you if you worship other gods.

If there be found among you ... that ... hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them ... Then shalt thou ... tone them with stones, till they die. Deuteronomy 17:2-5

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 ... thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die. Deuteronomy 13:5-10

They'll stone you if you disobey your Pa.

If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother ... Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city ... And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die. Deuteronomy 21:18-21

But I would not feel so all alone. Everybody must get stoned.

They'll stone you if you if you're a wizard or a witch.

A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:27

They'll stone you if you give Molech your kids.

Whosoever ... giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. Leviticus 20:2

They'll stone you if you if you're a sabbath breaker.

They found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. ... And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones.... And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses. Numbers 15:32-56

They'll stone you if you curse the dictator.

Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die. 1 Kings 21:10

But I would not feel so all alone. Everybody must get stoned.

20 September 2006

Pope vs. Islam cartoons (and a modest proposal)

Here are some of my favorites. (More here)

"Violence is incompatible with the nature of God"? Then why doesn't the Pope remove all the cruel and violent passages in the Bible? Catholics have (thankfully) ignored them (along with most of the Bible) anyway. Why not use the Pope's infallibility to get rid of the bad stuff in the Bible for good?

A good place to start would be to remove 2 Chronicles 15:13. Such a verse "is incompatible with the nature of God" and therefore could not have been inspired by him (her, etc.)

Christians, Jews, and Muslims should either accept the fact that their religions are based upon violent texts or clean up those texts so they are no longer violent.

18 September 2006

Holy War and the Holy Father: the Bible vs the Quran

Believers ... shall slay and be slain. It is a promise ... in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur'an. -- Quran 9:111
Pope Benedict should have known better. When it comes to holy war and other "evil and inhuman" things, the Bible and the Quran are pretty evenly matched.

Here are some evil and inhuman holy war instructions from the Quran.

  1. Slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out ... if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers. 2:191
  2. Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you. 2:216
  3. Fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward. 4:74
  4. Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah; and those who disbelieve do battle for the cause of idols. So fight the minions of the devil. 4:76
  5. They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend nor helper from among them. 4:89
  6. If they keep not aloof from you nor offer you peace nor hold their hands, then take them and kill them wherever ye find them. Against such We have given you clear warrant. 4:91
  7. The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom. 5:33
  8. I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then smite the necks and smite of them each finger. 8:12
  9. When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them. Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless manoeuvring for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey's end. Ye (Muslims) slew them not, but Allah slew them. And thou (Muhammad) threwest not when thou didst throw, but Allah threw. 8:15-17
  10. And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah's Purpose). Lo! they cannot escape. Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others beside them whom ye know not. Allah knoweth them. 8:59-60
  11. Exhort the believers to fight. If there be of you twenty steadfast they shall overcome two hundred, and if there be of you a hundred (steadfast) they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they (the disbelievers) are a folk without intelligence. 8:65
  12. It is not for any prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land. 8:67
  13. Slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. 9:5
  14. If they ... assail your religion, then fight the heads of disbelief ... Will ye not fight a folk who broke their solemn pledges, and purposed to drive out the messenger and did attack you first? What! Fear ye them? Now Allah hath more right that ye should fear Him, if ye are believers Fight them! Allah will chastise them at your hands, and He will lay them low and give you victory over them. 9:12-14
  15. O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey's end. 9:73
  16. Believers ... shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur'an. 9:111
  17. O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you. 9:123
  18. Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks. 47:4
And here are some from the Bible.
  1. The Lord is a man of war. Exodus 15:3

  2. The LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation. Exodus 17:16, Deuteronomy 25:19
  3. And the LORD said unto Moses, Fear him not: for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people ... So they smote him, and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left him alive: and they possessed his land. Numbers 21:34-35
  4. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites ... And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males. And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones ... And they burnt all their cities....

    And Moses was wroth with the officers ... And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? ... Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. Numbers 31:1-18

  5. And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain: Deuteronomy 2:33-34
  6. And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them. Deuteronomy 7:2, 7:16
  7. If thou shalt hear say ... Certain men ... saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known ... Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword. Deuteronomy 13:12-15
  8. When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it ... And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women ... shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. ... But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: But thou shalt utterly destroy them ... as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee. Deuteronomy 20:10-17
  9. And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword. Joshua 6:21
  10. So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded. Joshua 10:40
  11. For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses. Joshua 11:20
  12. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. 1 Samuel 15:2-3

  13. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. Psalm 2:8-9

  14. He teacheth my hands to war. Psalm 18:34

  15. That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same. Psalm 68:23

  16. Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1
  17. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. Matthew 10:34
  18. He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. Luke 22:36

So which holy book wins the Pope's holy war contest? I guess it depends on who is keeping score.

01 September 2006

Satan vs God: past and future killings

In previous posts, I've tried to total the number of people killed by God and Satan in the Bible, as well as provide some estimates of their future plans in that regard. Here's a table that summarizes the results. (Follow the links in the table for the details.)
God Satan
Total number killed (not including un-numbered killings) 2,301,417 10
Total killings (estimated) 33 million 60
Planned future killings 3,300,000,000 0