Christian Bible Says To
Kill Members Of Other Faiths
Carey Sherrill

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If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; ... Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.
                    -- Deuteronomy, Chapter 17:2-3,5

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Cliff replies:

This is another classic example of the double-standard which dribbles continually from the camps of the politicized Evangelical Christians. They are quick to point out that Islam's very beginnings appear to have been quite violent; the very Scriptures and traditions of Islam tell us this. However, many modern expressions of mainstream Islam has grown up and learned to reinterpret those passages however they must. They've treated the violent traditions similarly, placing them into a historical contexts: anything but a direct command to each and every Muslim, "the same yesterday, today, and forever" (to borrow a line from the Christian Bible).

Surely many Muslims are only vaguely aware of these Scriptures and Traditions, if at all.

And Christians, likewise, are only vaguely aware of the passage you pulled and any number of other passages listed on our National Bible Week lists and our Big List of Quotations.

But there is is! Plain for all to see, and many others which they can twist and stretch all they want, in context or out, but This, That, and The Other are the words they used and Thus and So is the meaning generally associated with that combination of words.

In other words, even when we compare the percentage to the whole, the Koran contains less violence-laden and barbaric-sounding material than the Holy Bible (New Testament plus Hebrew Scripture).

Ah, but what do modern Christian Bible scholars think of this (those sympathetic to the religion itself, as opposed to the critics)? You and I look askance at this material as well as gratuitously pornographic passages like Exekiel 23, where the racy part is not just a description of what people did but a prophesy from God, cloaked in a blatantly pornographic metaphor! But pastors and bishops and professors of religion at the Christian Universities most likely have a convenient, "cleaned up" interpretation for the violence. If not, they at least have an apologetic explanation!

Not even the most bitterly resentful atheist would tell people that Christians are to follow these examples today, or that these passages represent and teach the core values of the Christian religion as it is expressed in the modern world. Nor would the most affronted among us go around telling people who don't know better (if there be any who have avoided Christian propaganda!) that Christians believe the Earth is flat, in spite of the many Scriptures which suggest otherwise!

We all know better than that!

We're all more humane than that!

(And let us hope that most of us are acting according to what we know!)

And I'll grant that many if not most Christians know that Islam is not the barbaric system of the past any more than Judaism or Christianity are, though there are minority groups of extremists and fundamentalists in each. I'll grant that most Christians know this.

Unfortunately, those individuals who exploit certain groups of Christians for personal gain and political power don't know or care anything about truth or couth or other things that most of us regular folks hold dear. What they say about Islam is no more truthful than what they say about atheism, Mormonism, the Democratic Party, Jesus, or the price of tea in China.

And unfortunately, many "rank-and-file" Christians get caught up in the wiles of their opportunitic leaders.

Perhaps we might do well to point out this one discrepancy in today's atmosphere: The opportunistic political preachers have a double standard when they "prove" to people that Islam is violent by quoting passages from the Koran, but ignore the fact that the same thing can be done for Christianity.

If they want to call Islam a violent religion and base their opinion on passages from the Koran, then they should be thrilled to likewise hear the part in Numbers 31:40 where the ancient Jews (allegedly) killed the men, women, and little boys, but saved the virgins "for yourselves," but not before they allocated the fauna that they stole from the people they killed and set aside a percentage to be sacrificed for "the Lord's tribute."

And since Moses kept 16,000 "persons ... the Lord's tribute was thirty and two persons."

Moses here commits ritual sacrifice of virgin women.

Is this modern Judaism? modern Christianity?

No.

As much of a fixation on death as the Christian religion has, this is not modern Christianity.

But if these opportunists want to call Islam violent, they'll need to get accustomed to hearing about the "thirty and two persons" who were sacrificed as "the Lord's tribute."

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