20:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
20:2 Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.
20:3 And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name.
20:4 And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not:
20:5 Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.
20:6 And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.
20:7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.
20:8 And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.
And who is this Molech, you might ask? According to the All Knowing, All Seeing Wiki:
Moloch, Molech, Molekh, Molek, or Moloc, representing Semitic מולך m-l-k, (a root which occurs in various Hebrew and Arabic words related to kings) is either the name of a god or the name of a particular kind of sacrifice associated with fire. Moloch was historically affiliated with cultures throughout the Middle East, including the Ammonite, Hebrew, Canaanite, Phoenician and related cultures in North Africa and the Levant.
O.K., false god and all that. Got it. Yahweh detests false gods, as we well know.
It appears that, back in Biblical times, “knowing” believers in any god(s) or goddess(es) other than the One True God and getting them pregnant was a big time problem. The One True God really had a distinct problem with this, as He commands His followers to stone to death any of His followers or any non-believers that just happened to be wandering around in Israel if they had the presumptuousness to get a lady pregnant who also worshipped Moloch. Stoning to death seems very harsh for a Compassionate and Forgiving God. That sounds neither compassionate nor forgiving. That particular sentence seems very harsh and unforgiving. Throwing stones at someone, bashing them in the head and body, until their bodily functions stop, presumably due to loss of blood and traumatic injuries, would constitute cruel and unusual punishment in my book.
These verses in the Bible are emblematic of a very thorny problem for me. They are not relevant, and they are ancient anachronisms that have zero relevance to today’s complex and law-based society. First off, how many worshippers of Moloch does anyone know? I have never come across any, although I will be the first to admit that I run in pretty small circles of society these days. I did once know a practicing Wiccan with whom I spent a very interesting All Hallow’s Eve back in my college days. But that’s about it. Nope, I know of no followers of Moloch, certainly none who I would consider getting pregnant. But then, if I am not in the current country of Israel, then maybe God’s commandment is not in force? It’s difficult to tell.
I am just pointing out that prohibitions against getting a follower of Moloch pregnant have very little relevance in today’s society.
However, the bigger problem is, of course, what God commands his followers to do to anyone they find has violated said commandment. God, the One True God, the Kind and Benevolent God, really desires people who go to church on Sundays, who dress up in their best Easter outfits on Easter, who probably belong to the Kiwanis Club or Elks Club, who take their kids to the baseball games, to go stone people to death? Getting someone pregnant isn’t even a crime these days. And perhaps this guy is married to a nice lady who also happens to worship Moloch, and they have a child while they are married. Does this still apply? The husband gets stoned to death while the wife and kid get off scot free?
No doubt these aspects of the Bible made sense back in 150 B.C. There was no legal system; no courts, no lawyers, no presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Law was whatever the current social mores were at that time. Someone back then, no doubt a follower of early Judaism, thought this was a really good thing to have lying around, especially if it had the weight of the One True God behind it. This person might have had a grudge against someone who worshipped Moloch, maybe someone got his daughter pregnant. “I’ll fix them!” Whatever. It really doesn’t matter where this came from. These kinds of bloodthirsty and unthinking commandments attributed to God have absolutely no place in today’s society. None.
And here’s the crux of the matter. When pressed on issues like this, most Christians will resort to the standard reply, “Oh, the Bible isn’t meant to be taken literally. Much of it is a parable, and you have to read it in that way to find the wisdom it contains.” To which I say, bull pucky. I believe it is terribly, terribly obvious that the authors of the Bible (including all the later revisions, Canonization and collations) fully intended for the entire thing to be taken as fact. There are no literary interpretations to be made, no symbolism, allegory or parables included. The story of Genesis was written to be read as factual history. This is true of all religions. Most every religion contains the story of creation. They also have a very detailed history of the people/tribe who believes that particular religion. That is what binds them together, that sets them off from the rabble. Everyone has their own, true history. The Bible is no different. The Old Testament was to be taken as the literal history of the Jewish people.
The “Good Book” commands you, as a follower of the Christian God, to stone to death anyone who gets a follower of a false god pregnant. That’s what it says to do. End of story.
So, the question then becomes, why does anything that the Bible says about anything have any inherent meaning in today’s society? Why should I believe anything written in the Bible? Because we are now into the realm of picking and choosing whatever passages out of the Bible that you think are applicable. "That one there, that’s good. 'Thou shalt not kill.' I like that one. Wait, doesn’t this one over here say that I should do exactly that, kill someone? This one over here says I should kill my own child if he curses at me. (Exodus 21:17) Wow, that’s pretty severe. God must not really mean that. But I shouldn’t kill anyone, except homosexuals, people who have sex with animals, men who lie with their mothers, and kids who curse at their parents… Wow, that’s really confusing."
See the dilemma here? You can go on forever picking and choosing what you think is and is not “the Word of God” in the Bible. That’s what leads to this insanity in today’s society about homosexuals. People cherry pick whatever “knowledge” they desire out of the Bible, usually something that supports their already formulated position. “See, I believe exactly the same thing that God does!” Isn’t that amazing?
And yet, modern Christianity expects us to exhibit unwavering faith regarding God and Jesus Christ, all based on a book that has been edited multiple times, contains multiple contradictions and ridiculous commandments that have zero relevance in today’s society.
I just don’t understand the need for belief and faith, especially as something as ridiculous and archaic as the Bible. No, I am not saying there aren’t any lessons to be gleaned from the Bible. There are, certainly. But that can be said of the Bhagavad Gita. Or of the Koran. Or the teachings of a Native American shaman. When you apply logic and reason to a reading of the Bible, it becomes nothing more than a collection of ancient beliefs, ancient history and ancient myths and legends that were handed down from generation to generation. That is what the Bible is.
I would be happy to listen to and debate anyone who would like to discuss this subject further. Because, in all truth, I do not understand.