by Bob Johnson
Rachel Fraenkel is the mother of one of the three Jewish religious students who were murdered last month in the Israeli occupied Palestinian West Bank, Naftali Fraenkel. She recently spoke out against the violence saying she shares the pain of the parent’s of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, an Islamic Palestinian teen who was kidnapped and burned alive by Jews in a revenge attack last week. Ms. Fraenkel said that the shedding of innocent blood is against the Torah and Judaism. She is wrong.
Many people who follow a “revealed”/hearsay religion like Judaism, Christianity or Islam are not aware of the teachings and contents of their own “holy” scriptures. I had a Jewish friend who I gave a copy of Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason to (for The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition in paper back click here and for the Kindle version click here). This book does a great job of objectively addressing the
brutal religious violence and genocide practiced by the Hebrews/Jews in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. After reading it she said that her and her parents only celebrate Jewish holidays for the opportunity to get family together and visit with family members they haven’t seen for awhile. This, unfortunately, is the case with too many members of the various “revealed”/hearsay religions. Instead of accepting the “holy” books of these religious violence promoting ungodly religions, people need to honestly examine them with their innate God-given reason and when they see how they not only promote religious violence, but slander and libel God by blaming it on alleged orders from God, they must reject them and remove them from their lives. This is the only way to end religious violence. Without the support of their members, the “revealed”/hearsay religions will wither and die and religious violence will die with them. We have a responsibility to see to it that we educate as many people as we possibly can to the true teachings in their “holy” books as well as to the fact that they have a rational and natural alternative in Deism.
Ms. Fraenkel needs to make herself familiar with the orders of the “holy” man of all three Abrahamic “revealed” religions, the alleged prophet of God, Moses. At Numbers 31:17-18 we read that Moses was upset with the Israelite army after they had defeated a neighbor in battle because they only slaughtered the men but did not murder all of the women and children with the exception of the virgin girls. Moses ordered the Israelite army to “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.” Verse 35 informs us the number of “women children” the Hebrews/Jews kept alive for themselves was 32,000. Clearly this will correct Ms. Fraenkel’s false assumption that not only is violence promoted by the Torah and Judaism, but so is genocide and child rape.
Another quote from the Bible that shows it accepts the slaughter of children is Psalm 137:9 which reads: ” Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.” It’s an insult to The Supreme Intelligence/God to claim teachings like this are a part of the Word of God. As the American founder and Deist Thomas Paine wrote in The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition:
What have ye still to offer against the pure and moral religion of Deism, in support of your system of falsehood, idolatry, and pretended revelation? Had the cruel and murderous orders with which the Bible is filled, and the numberless torturing executions of men, women and children, inconsequence of those orders, been ascribed to some friend whose memory you revered, you would have glowed with satisfaction at detecting the falsehood of the charge, and gloried in defending his injured fame. Is it because ye are sunk in the cruelty of superstition, or feel no interest in the honor of your
Creator, that ye listen to the horrid tales of the Bible, or hear them with callous indifference?
Islam also promotes religious violence as Surah 9:5 makes clear. This verse instructs Muslims to “slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush.” Islamic apologists often attempt to say this is not a command for all Muslims but it is limited to the Muslims at a particular time and place, in particular to the war that was going on between the Muslims and the unbelievers/pagans shortly after the Muslims formed themselves into a community in Madinah. If this is true it makes one wonder why it is not stated so in the Quran, letting everyone who reads it know that it’s not applicable to all Muslims after that scripture was “revealed” and written. One Islamic apologist, Dr. Zakir Naik, actually said:
This verse is quoted during a battle. …We know that America was once at war with Vietnam. Suppose the President of America or the General of the American Army told the American soldiers during the war: ‘Wherever you find the Vietnamese, kill them’. Today if I say that the American President said, ‘Wherever you find Vietnamese, kill them’ without giving the context, I will make him sound like a butcher. But if I quote him in context, that he said it during a war, it will sound very logical, as he was trying to boost the morale of the American soldiers during the war. …Similarly in Surah Taubah chapter 9 verse 5 the Qur’an says, ‘Kill the Mushriqs (pagans) where ever you find them”, during a battle to boost the morale of the Muslim soldiers. What the Qur’an is telling Muslim soldiers is, don’t be afraid during battle; wherever you find the enemies kill them.
One very important fact Naik ignores is a president or a general are only people, they are not The Supreme Intelligence/God. What they say and write is not claimed, as the Quran is, to be the Word of God. We must hold all writings that are claimed to be the Word of God to the very highest standards possible. When we do this we see that none of them are really the Word of God.
Likewise, Christianity is mired in religious violence, too. Matthew 15:1-6 has Jesus defending the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament command to kill children who curse their parents and refers to it as a command from God. And Matthew 5:17-18 says that Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Since heaven and Earth have not passed yet, according to this foolish teaching, the laws of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament are still valid as are the prophets like the genocidal maniac Moses.
The New Testament also claims Jesus made statements which can only be seen as promoting religious violence such as Matthew 10:34 which says that Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” And Luke 22:36 which says that Jesus said, “. . . he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.”
As the world sees the barbaric religious violence in the “holy land” continue to escalate (it now looks like Israel is going to invade Gaza) the World Union of Deists sees a need to educate people to the fact that this religious violence is letting us know that the “revealed”/hearsay religions have absolutely nothing of value to offer us. The religious violence in the Middle East is proof that the “revealed” religions are failures and that The Supreme Intelligence/God has absolutely nothing to do with them. This is because God gave us reason and not religion.
Bob Johnson is a freelance writer in the Tampa area of Florida. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after a stint in Marine Corps infantry and reading Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason he became a Deist.
In 1993 he founded the World Union of Deists, and in 1996 he launched the first website devoted to Deism. He is the author of God Gave Us Reason, Not Religion, Deism: A Revolution in Religion, A Revolution in You and An Answer to C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. He has also written the introduction to Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition and Principles of Nature by Elihu Palmer.