The Case Against Religion
(originally, "Superior Men")
a book by James Hervey Johnson, 1949
The God of the Bible is a
Murderous viciousness, treachery, cruelty, deceitfulness, and arrogance are common characteristics of the Biblical God. No man of ordinary good morals could be even a fraction as vicious, murderous, or vengeful as the Christian God, according to the book reputed to be His divine revelation.
Consider the story of Adam and Eve, in which God made each and deliberately made them weak so that they would be tempted by a snake made by God, and cursed forever by the God who made them, for doing something which he had developed their desire to do.
Men are better than this. They forgive their children for mistakes they make and try to point out better ways of doing things.
God cursed woman and said, in Genesis 16: "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband and he shall rule over thee."
17: "And unto Adam he said: Because thou hast harkened unto the voice of thy wife and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake: in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;"
18: "Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth; to the end thou shalt eat the herb of the field;"
19: "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread 'til thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken, for dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return."
Here is a God who has made a man as a plaything and then cursed him forever for having eaten an apple. Could any more revengeful spirit be imagined? From then on, starting with the God-created Cain who murdered his brother Abel, God punished men and threatened them with "seven-fold vengeance."
From then on, instead of changing the minds of men, God permitted them to do the things that were wrong, then in revenge he told Noah that he would destroy all, except a few, by the horrible method of drowning. It would have been much easier for a supreme intelligence to change the people so they would follow the regulations prescribed by their master.
But in the destruction of the violent people, God also destroyed all animals and all the innocent babies, children, women, who had either done nothing wrong or if they violated rituals or regulations, did so unknowingly. Can this be the God of loving kindness that we hear preachers talk about?
Of course, the fable of the destruction of all of the animals by the flood is in conflict with science, as is also the story of the earth being flooded at one time and, as a matter of fact, the fable is a tradition of a primitive people with childlike minds.
Another evidence of the revengeful spirit of God is the confounding languages of the people set forth in the story of the Tower of Babel. An intelligent being would have preserved one language, if there ever was one, so that all people would understand each other better and with the better understanding, and the freer ability to communicate one with another there would be less opportunity for war and bloodshed; much of which comes from a lack of understanding caused by the defects of language, race, and religion. One of the greatest ideals of those who wish to see mankind reach perfection is a universal language; yet here we have a God, all powerful, vengefully causing just the opposite. Of course, according to science the reason for the thousands of languages is the wide dispersion and the great diversion of the various races, clans, and tribes of mankind. With little intercommunication and with the gradual dispersion from centers of origin, the tribes lost contact with one another and languages became different; people became less able to understand each other; until after many centuries, with the development of writing and civilization, languages tended to become more universally used and some dialects were consolidated.
Almost invariably wars are between peoples who speak different languages, and had the God manufactured by the ancient primitive peoples had the intelligence of the modern, well educated man, instead of confounding the languages he would have simplified them to avoid wars and bloodshed down through the ages.
What would one think of a man who showed special favoritism to the Jews, being but one tribe of the many nations and tribes he had created? And, by the way, this promise of favoritism to the Jews has not been fulfilled for they have been persecuted more than any other race on earth. The second book of the Bible is a history of their having been driven out of Egypt; and they have been driven out of country after country, exiled, killed in pogroms, forced to live in ghettos and maligned down all the pages of history, from the time of the Book of Exodus.
God's instructions to the Jews to take the land away from the Canaanites who had not done them any harm, and to murder all men women, and children, is one of the most sordid stories of viciousness and cruelty in all the pages of history. And as is reported in Deuteronomy 3:33, "And the Lord, our God, delivered him before us; and we smote him and his sons, and all his people."
34: "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." How can any person worship a God who would order the destruction of innocent women and children?
In Deuteronomy 3:6, under God's orders the writer boasts, "And we utterly destroyed them as we did unto Sihon King Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children of every city." Only a monster could order such destruction.
The intolerance of the Biblical God is the extreme of jealousy, and in the 13th Chap. of Deuteronomy he gives express orders as to the method of murdering any worshiper of other gods as follows:
10, "And thou shalt stone him with stones that he die." And further, verse 15, "And thou surely shalt 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."
There are some human beings who become insanely jealous and murder other human beings, but seldom is the peak of vengeful jealousy reached where they would kill the innocent cattle or animals of the men they hated. And again in Deuteronomy 17:5 is the further order that worshipers of other gods are to be stoned to death.
The peak of the vicious orders of the murderous Biblical God is reached in Chapter 21, verses 17 and 18: "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"
17, "But thou shalt utterly destroy them: The Hittites and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the Lord, thy God hath commanded thee."
Here we have this God creating people, ordering them to increase and multiply, and then taking of people like the Ancient Jews who have a Biblical history of suspicion, greed, murder, and internal dissension, violations of their own God's command, and ordering them to go in and cruelly exterminate another race of people created by the same God: murder men, women, and innocent children,
And then in Chapter 21, verse 13, God orders other certain cities to be treated as follows: "Thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword:"
14, "But the women and the little ones and the cattle and all that is in the city, even all the spoils thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies which the Lord, thy God, has given thee."
15, "Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations."
Here we have the God of the creations ordering the murder of all of the men and the enslavement for obvious purposes of the women, and the captivity of the children.
Is it any wonder, then, that Thomas Paine says: "When we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than one-half of the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent if we would call it the word of a demon instead of a god. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and for my own part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.
It is no wonder, then, that for thousands of years the Jewish and Christian religions have activated men, rulers and church leaders to engage in the most frightful and bloody wars between Christian nations and between various sects and branches of the Christian church. Whole countries, tribes, cities, have been destroyed. They have exterminated, persecuted, and tortured all those who opposed their doctrines. It made no difference whether there was a difference of opinion the basis of which, in both cases involved in the dispute, was claimed by the proponents to be founded on the exact command and wording of the Bible.
All of those responsible for the wars, murders, persecutions, tortures, or burnings of those who differed with the religious leaders in power could readily be excused by quoting some part of the Bible, like Moses and Joshua's extermination of the Canaanites and the peoples nearby. They could all claim they had God's word for their cruelties, treacherous murders, and wars.
Had the Bible or a book with the same influence been filled with the stories of justice and fairness and the commands of a god who showed no favoritism, no cruelty, no intolerance, no hatred and no vengeance such as fills to overflowing the present Bible, mankind would have been thousands of years advanced. Had the Bible followed the thoughts and plans of the foremost thinkers of modern times, it is hard to say how much greater the advance of civilization would have been.
If the Bible were filled with stories of purity and the highest morality, and if there were no conflicts in it, no discrepancies, and if its predictions were exact and easily understood, then we might consider it as having been divinely revealed.
During all this history of the destruction of the Canaanites, the Jews made no converts, they made no efforts to convert the so-called sinful people, whose lands they took to their religion. They cruelly and mercilessly and boastfully exterminated everyone, men, women, and innocent children, reserving only, for their own use, some of the virgins.
A god with supreme power would seem to have better carried out his objectives by changing the minds of the people to follow his commandments, rather than by exterminating them. Or, if he found that the extermination was essential, why could he not have painlessly put them to sleep instead of forcing them to undergo the cruelties of ancient warfare?
The morality of any so-called supreme being is open to question if he subjects innocent children to torture and death. The Biblical admonishment that "the sins of the fathers will be visited upon the children unto the third generation" is contrary to all justice and right. No intelligent person with modern, ethical ideals could possibly conceive of any justice in the innocent being forced to suffer by reason of the action of someone else.
In the book of Judges, the story of the murder of the people of Laish by the Danites, under the express orders of the Biblical God, is another case of extreme cruelty. This is a story of sending spies to the City of Laish, finding that the people were quiet and secure, then smiting them with the edge of the sword. Let us give a parallel example: At the present time there is a New York negro calling himself Father Divine, who, according to Maurice S. White, in his booklet "Religions of the World," was born George Baker. Father Divine claims to have several million followers -- negro and white. Suppose that he discovered that there was another city, for example, Philadelphia, in which the people were largely Quakers, and that he would order his followers treacherously to murder and exterminate all of the inhabitants of Philadelphia and to steal the property and land of the people who lived there. Here was a people who had done no damage or harm to Father Divine's New York followers, who believed him to be God.
These are exactly the kind of commands that the Biblical God gave the Jews; that is, they were to fall upon, murder, and exterminate whole cities, towns, and tribes of people whom they hardly knew and who had never done them any harm. Then they were to walk in and take the lands and the cattle and the property of the people they had murdered.
Let us continue our examination of the cruelties of God's chosen people.
In the second book of Kings, tenth chapter, is the story of how Jehu murdered the seventy sons of Ahab by beheading them, and then followed the history of cruelties:
"Lay them in two heaps at the entering of the gate."
"So Jehu stew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreal, and all his great men and his kinfolks, and his priests, until he left him none remaining."
Later, "And he took them alive and slew them at the pit of the shearing house, two and sixty men; neither left he any of them."
17. "And when he came to Samaria he slew all that remained unto Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed him according to the saying of the Lord."
20. "And Jehu said, 'Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal.'"
24. "And when they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings Jehu appointed four score men without and said, 'If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escape, he that letteth him go, his life shall be for the life of him.'"
The twenty fifth verse tells how this treacherous fiend, acting under God's command, murdered these worshipers who had been invited to appear at their temple, and then in verse thirty we have the Lord's commendation for this heinous crime:
"And the Lord said unto Jehu, 'Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thine children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.'"
And on through all of the books of the Old Testament are these stories of murder, killing treachery, debauchery, robbery, and the destruction of innocent people, the murder of children and the capture of virgins for use of the Jews -- all under the express command of the Biblical God.
In the fifteenth chapter of the second book of Kings is the story of how Manahem smote Tiphsah and, "All the women therein that were with child he ripped up." And we are asked to believe that the Biblical god ordered such inexcusable and unparalleled cruelty and barbarism. The so-called prophet Elisah was supposed to be a man of God, and he is typical of the reflection of God's mentality. Because some children referred to Elisah as "bald-headed," as children will, "He turned back and cursed them in the name of the Lord, and there came forth two she-bears out of the wood, and tare sixty and two children of them."
Is this not a fine example of God's treatment of his children? And of the unparalleled vindictiveness of one of his "men of God."
From this extreme of cruelty and murder of innocent people, other parts of the Bible, written by different men and at different times, swing to the other extreme and Jesus Christ is quoted as having told his followers to "love thine enemies," and "whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain."
Verse 44, Matthew, Chapter 6:
"Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you."
Here we have two conflicting systems of philosophy: one, the murder of innocent people at God's command, and two, the docile submission and prostration before one's enemies. Christ is supposed to be a part of God, and he gives opinions different from those given by the Holy Ghost or the other indivisible part of the Trinity.
But that is not all. At no time is there any mercy shown the innocent bystanders. Consider the case of Christ's casting the devils out of a man and putting them into a whole herd of swine, causing them to run over a cliff, with consequent death to the whole herd. What harm had the swine done to Christ or the man who was reported to be full of devils? The owner of the swine is not considered at all. Why should he be forced to lose his hogs because someone he probably never knew had fits?
Of course, during the time that the Bible was written people knew nothing of psychology or psychiatry, and they believed that any man who showed signs of insanity or epilepsy was possessed with devils or foreign evil spirits. They did not know that this was a mental condition.
But here, again, we have a conflict with Christ's own so-called philosophy, which has been the cause of the shedding of the blood of untold thousands of innocent people.
For in Matthew, chapter 10, verse 34, he says:
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth. I come not to send peace but a sword."
35. "For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."
36. "And a man's foes shall be they of his own household."
37. "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."
Here we have again the intolerance and the cruelty and the persecution of the Biblical God. Christ has ordered sons to be against fathers and has boasted about bringing a sword instead of peace. And perhaps this is one of the prophecies that is better fulfilled than any of the others, for down through the nearly twenty centuries since Christ is supposed to have been born, the sword, murder, and persecution have been instruments by which Christianity has been spread. We have the early four hundred years of war between the various Christian sects. We have the spread of the Catholic church by means of the sword and we have the burning of those who did not agree with the priests in power; burning at the stake, the murder of old women who were called "witches," the destruction and slaughter of the Mexicans and South Americans by the conquistadors who carried a sword in one hand and a cross in the other. We have the history of the Inquisition and the persecution and destruction of millions of innocent people, the extirpation of the Huguenots of France, and the war between various parts of the so-called Holy Roman Empire; and the leaders of each one of these groups could always quote Jesus Christ for an excuse to carry on the warfare, persecutions, and cruelties that have set the world back thousands and thousands of years.
Take, for example, the Biblical command in Exodus, chapter 22, verse 18: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."
Thousands of innocent women have been tortured and burned at the stake to satisfy the sadistic enjoyment of priests, preachers, and even the Puritans of America. It was probably an easy way for gossips to get rid of old women who knew too much, or for men to get rid of their mothers in-law, or even possibly for the county to get rid of taking care of old women who were not able to work any more; and possibly children and in laws who were supposed to support their elderly mothers could pass the word around and have them accused of being a witch and eliminate them. Even during these times, the Eskimos leave their aged parents on the ice to freeze after their period of usefulness has passed, when the old women's teeth have worn down so they can't chew seal skins any more to soften them. What a wonderful spirit of loving kindness we have set before us by these Biblical stories and commands!
The Churches Must Have
in Order to Prosper
The churches are continually asking for more aid from the State -- they want the children carried to their schools in publicly paid buses. They fear public education, and want the state to support wholly or partially their parochial schools. Every effort is made to keep a hold on the children, to restrict by law the teaching of modern scientific theories such as evolution.
Most churches try by law, and they have succeeded in backward states, to make people live up to their doctrines, such as observing Sunday. Most states declare documents illegal if drawn on Sunday. In others, it is a crime to attend certain recreational games or visit theaters or movies on the "Lord's" day.
Always they decry the atheist, the unbeliever, and the freethinker and even bar anti-religious periodicals from the mails in Canada.
They boycott newspapers, magazines and bookstores where freethought literature is sold and officials who discuss freethought.
Their representatives are hired to serve at public expense in the legislatures, in Congress, and in the armed forces. No atheist can have a paid representative in these places and men are sometimes forced to go to church in the Navy and some of the military branches.
If religion was not compulsory, and not subsidized, it would not grow so strong. Place reason and religion on an equal footing and religion would fall by the way; that is if atheists were permitted to have freedom from taxes, representatives in the armed forces and the legislatures and to pass laws providing for no favors toward church doctrines (such as the Sunday laws), and the arguments against atheism were permitted, as religious programs are, to be broadcast over the radio, then religion would lose, in spite of the low mentality of the people.
Religion depends upon the sheathed sword of political power and the suppression of opposition, for success. Exposing it to the light of truth destroys its power and influence.
A Sensible God
A sensible god, all-powerful and all-good, would have made a world for human beings with no wars, no sickness, no dishonesty, no killing, no crime, no noxious insects, no sorrow, no trouble, no worries, no earth quakes, no poison snakes, no animals nor men tearing one another to pieces. All would have been peace and quiet, happiness, and enjoyment.
The priests have built up a fabulous monster who delights in making men sinful, and then punishing them by eternal torment in hell for their so-called wrong doing. What man would want to punish his enemies forever and ever? Of course, the truth is that the original priests or religious leaders knew that there was no such thing as a god, and they built their monster on the basis of their own imaginations. The god they talk about is a god who will send to hell anyone who has the intelligence and courage not to believe in the priests' fables.
Naturally the priests want people to do as they say and the way to get them to do it is to threaten them with eternal torment after death. The priests could not demonstrate their God by having him strike unbelievers dead, so they had to reserve punishment for the atheists until after death. No one returned to say that they had not been punished, so many people were impressed by the claim that they had been sent to hell.
Any of the moronic church followers can see that good men suffer and criminals prosper on earth. So the only thing the priest could say was, "Just wait until they die, then they will suffer."
Good men can only look forward to happiness in heaven, be cause often they are robbed while alive. And the priest fills his pockets at the expense of the believing fools who want to stand on the right side of their religious leaders while alive, and of the God Demon after death.
Daniel Being in the lion's Den,
If True, Was No Miracle
Religionists make much of the story, in the book of Daniel, about his having been thrown into a den of lions and having escaped unhurt. If the story is true, there is nothing unusual about such a thing. There are, in every circus, men, women, and even young girls who are lion tamers, and not only stay in the cage with these savage beasts, but actually make the animal perform at their command.
Miracles of Healing and Magic
The proponents of the Christian religion profess to prove the truth of their doctrine by citing the miracles of healing and other so-called miracles as evidence.
But all religions, Jewish, Christian, Mohammedan, the ancient Greek and Roman religions, the Japanese, Buddhist, all of the Hindu religions, also, claim miracles and claim more than the Christians do. They usually refer to miracles that have happened in far away places and at far away times, but also demonstrate magical miracles in front of the eyes of the spectators, such as walking on fire, putting skewers through their flesh which does not bleed, and practicing self hypnotism which gives them extra strength for similar acts. The Christians can no more prove the veracity of their religion by the recitation of miracles and the appearance of gods and spirits and the voices of such beings than the other religions can prove their case. The difficulty of discerning the with the average Christian, is that he does not read, and has not the opportunity to read of the methods of other religions. It is safer to report a miracle that happened thousands of years ago and a long way off, than it is to tell of something that can be investigated by the listener.
If he could read all the stories and hear the priests of all religions, and see the rituals of each, as well as understand the exposé of the so-called miracles, he would conclude that all were believed because of the still low mentality of men.
Many so-called miracles -- healing of minor mental and physical ailments -- are the direct result of hypnotism. Psychiatrists and alienists often understand how to talk to a patient suffering from mental ills and remove depressing mental aberrations from his mind. Others, experts at hypnotism and suggestion, can make people do strong things. This often may account for the so-called miracles of ancient and present times. All races and all religions claim to have God power, but the truth is that these things are done by mental suggestion.
Hypnotized men can be made to act like animals, stick pins in their flesh, stiffen themselves like boards, and do other strange things they are told to do by the man who has them under his spell.
There is nothing divine about this. There are many well written books on the abnormal behavior of men, which explain the phenomena.
But in ancient times, neither hypnotism nor insanity was understood, and crazy people were thought to be possessed of devils. They had complexes and sometimes, by properly talking to them, they could be shocked out of their insanity. Those who had heard of miraculous cures already had given themselves autosuggestive assistance when they went to be cured of a mental ailment.
Christ is reported time and time again to have shown his "power," which may have been hypnotic power. Those insane who were not violent, and those able to hypnotize, were considered divine -- unless they interfered with the priest's or rabbi's business, in which case the established religious leaders of early times strove then, as they do now, to eliminate competition and opposition, and called the men "false prophets" and the women "witches."
All of this so-called "miracle working" was and is practiced by charlatans on ignorant peoples of low mentality.
The Bible Incites Men to Crime
The Bible tells a long history of vengeance, bloodshed, dishonesty, threats, hatred, murder, violence, rape, slavery, and misery.
The New Testament is full of a morbid, conflicting philosophy of resignation, animosity, intolerance, threats of hell fire, unhappiness, opposition to natural enjoyment, and self imposed poverty.
The promise of redemption from sin, and the practice, of the Catholic Church, of relieving those who have committed crimes from suffering from their acts, is conducive to crime.
Satan, a perfect angel turned criminal, was ejected from heaven, but is still powerful enough to give God a good tussle, and he leads man to a life of crime. If God were all powerful he could put the devil in hell and stop all this nonsense.
For eating a forbidden apple, the God-Monster condemned Adam and all his descendants to a life of unhappiness and eternal hell fire and torture.
The Christians claim that only after Christ had been murdered could people be saved, and then only by accepting the Church ritual without question.
What criminals God created! Satan, then Adam and Eve who were disobedient. Then Cain who killed Abel. Then later, because men were criminals, God drowned them all except Noah and his family, apparently venting his wrath upon all animals too, drowning the innocent with the guilty. Chapter 7, Verse 21, Genesis: "All flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl and of cattle, and of beast and creeping things and the fowl of heaven, and they were destroyed from the earth, and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark."
All innocent children, innocent women and old people, all kittens and puppies and little animals, all doves and birds and bees and butterflies were exterminated to satisfy the blood lust of the god who had created them as they were. Is this kindness, justice, love, righteousness? What harm could these creatures have done that they should be cruelly drowned?
But that was not enough. After the extermination Noah still sacrificed his few remaining precious animals. He "burned every clean beast and every clean fowl -- and the Lord smelled a sweet savour" and said to himself he would not destroy man again. Only a fiend could be happy by the burning of animals for the odor of their cooking flesh. What crime had the clean beasts committed that they should be roasted?
But God was not long satisfied with the men he had promised to spare. Torture and punishment were again in his mind. The people spoke one language. But he confused them at the tower of Babel, with the result that forever after there has been confusion, misunderstanding, war, conquest, extermination, slavery, rape and robbery. Had God left his handicraft with but one language, how much easier it would have been for him to have had the Gospel preached to them. There might not have been so many religions.
Then in the story of Lot, his wife was turned into a pillar of salt just because she looked back on the city where she had lived. What an act of kindness!
In the 17th Chapter of Genesis the rite of circumcision was ordered -- a form of torture, like the customs of savages in making holes in their ears and lips. There was no known medical advantage to the ignorant tribesmen of those ancient days. It was simply a sacrifice or torture for the benefit of God.
What a delightful person Abraham was to have received God's blessing. When his wife, Sarah, had passed the age of childbearing, he used her handmaiden, Hagar, and she bore a son. When later Sarah recovered her powers and bore a son, she was jealous of Hagar and God ordered Abraham to kick Hagar out into the wilderness. This is a fine example of domestic faithfulness.
Then God ordered Abraham to burn his son as a sacrifice -- releasing him at the last minute. What a fiend! But the blood hungry God still demanded the blood of something, so Abraham was ordered to take "a ram caught in the thicket by his horns, and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son." An innocent animal tortured and burned for the pleasure of a monstrous God. No wonder the Jews were a cruel, heartless people with such a God as their ideal.
Then we have Jacob gaining Isaac's blessing by deceit. Trickery is looked upon as cleverness by the Biblical God and the men who were favored by him. By deceit did Simeon and Levi kill men of Hamor and Schechem and steal their cattle. Moses and God together are reputed to have brought the seven plagues and pestilences to Egypt, on young and old, innocent and guilty alike. Revenge, punishment, rapine, murder and thievery fill all the history of Moses. But why should God punish bad men by killing innocent children? They always suffer the most from famine and pestilence. Why not kill the guilty and let the innocent live? That would have been the way to a better world.
God's jealousy is well shown in the ten or sixteen commandments, "visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children of the third and fourth generation of them that hate me." What a revengeful hatred! Not satisfied with ruining his enemies, he is like the Italian and Kentucky feudists who murder whole generations of the families of those against whom they have a real or fancied grievance. They have the commandments as an example. If God could exact revenge on the third and fourth unborn, innocent generations for failure to worship him, what blame can we attach to feudists who follow his example?
How could God tell the Jews they should not steal, kill, commit adultery, bear false witness, and then order them to sacrifice innocent animals, murder the peaceful Canaanites, rob them of their land and cattle and rape their virgin daughters?
For in the Book of Joshua, God ordered spies sent into Canaan, and ordered Joshua to kill the inhabitants thereof, "and they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them; there were not any left to breathe -- "
But still God demands murder crime, bloodshed. The Jews who were his chosen people were enslaved, and as related in the book of Judges, were delivered to cruel masters.
Samson is betrayed by his wife, and murders her people, being in turn killed himself.
Then we have the beautiful story of David, God's chosen beneficiary and a man classed as exceedingly wise by the Jews. What kind of man is he? In the second Chapter of II Samuel the sordid story is told of his walking on the roof at night and seeing a beautiful naked woman bathing. He found that she was the wife of Uriah, "And David sent messengers and took her; and she came in unto him and he lay with her, for she was purified from her uncleanness; and she returned unto her house; and the woman conceived; and sent and told David, and said I am with child. And David sent to Joab, saying send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David, and when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered." The childish, tedious Biblical language need not be repeated here, but in Chapter II, Verse 15, he tells Joab to "Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle and retire ye from him that he may be smitten and die," and Joab carried out the sordid crime. Uriah was killed and thus David, the elect of God, covered the adultery and wife stealing by a cleverly concealed murder. Uriah the only decent one of the group was killed. God showed him no mercy. The wife was a party to the crime, so was Joab, David the instigator and God a silent partner, and the Jewish rabbis who wrote the tale did so in such a fashion as to give David credit for being a smart man. The example and the lack of punishment has probably instigated many similar crimes. No wonder that David continually praised God, because he believed that God helped him in his schemes and crimes. David says, "I have kept the ways of the Lord -- therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness."
So David killed animals or burnt them alive to please God and by doing these things, "So the Lord was entreated for the land the plague (another threat of God) was stayed from Israel." The blood-hungry God threatened famine, pestilence and trouble but was appeased by the killing and burning of innocent animals.
Just as it was with all of humanity, they were declared guilty by God, condemned to eternal hell fire, then redeemed by killing, in a horrible manner, God's own son. Blood, crime, murder seemed to please God above all else, even the murder of his own son who was supposed to be the best man that ever lived and whose death has been advertised as the most pleasing sacrifice God ever had made to him.
The promise of life after death and the examples of these crimes and the ability of Catholics to "purchase" by penitence (and cash offering) relief from crime have been some of the most prominent factors in the continuous crime wave which has followed Christianity since its beginning.
These stories taught to children must have a bad effect on their subconscious minds.
David, the elect of God, was a sensual old man. "When he was stricken with years" they sought a virgin to lie with him. A disgusting proceeding for a young virgin to have to be a concubine for this old reprobate who had extinguished his sex ability by excesses. She was not consulted, of course.
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, was another rascal of the same breed, having inherited his ability from his father, David.
The Jews and Christians have touted Solomon's wisdom for thousands of years. The Bible says of him "And King Solomon shall be blessed and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord forever." (Remember, David, the seducer and murderer, was the alleged ancestor of Jesus Christ.)
God "appeared to Solomon the second time" and promised him protection and prosperity. And Solomon "loved many strange women and he had 700 wives, princesses and 300 concubines."
"And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, even as the sand that is on the sea shore." What a magnificent God! "For he (Solomon) was wiser than all men" with 700 wives and 300 concubines? Certainly an inspiring example for preachers who seduce their choir girls and secretaries and the sextons' wives.
Jehu, another of God's elect massacred whole families. The two tribes of Israel waged war against each other. Amaziah slew 10,000. The two tribes fought until they were so weakened they became an easy prey to the Assyrians, all under the supervision of the sadistic monster-God who must have enjoyed such entertainment.
In II Chron., Chapter 21, Jehoram murders his brothers, and the Lord smote Jehoahas with an incurable bowel disease. This was a magnanimous act for an omnipotent God to do, "and it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness, so he died of sore diseases." No wonder the Catholic Church had the pretext for the cruelties and tortures of the Inquisition from the Bible itself. Poor Jehoahas was only 32.
"Uziah did that which was right in the sight of the Lord." But the Lord could not control him and he objected to something the priests did and the Lord smote him with leprosy -- a high degree of torture in revenge.
These stories are probably for the purposes of showing that those who do as the priests want will prosper and that those who disobey will suffer. Ethics, morality, honesty, and fairness have no bearing on the success or prosperity of the Jewish rulers of the Old Testament.
God played with poor Job like a cat with a mouse -- he tortured him with worries, even descending to torture him with boils, testing his ability to bear pain. Here we have omnipotence, with millions of people to look after on this earth alone, to say nothing of other worlds and all the other animals, besides the dead in hell and the dead in heaven, amusing himself by plaguing a poor old man with boils to see how much he could stand. This record in the Holy Bible is said to be a divine revelation from God! Job was a good man. He appealed to God, and finally God let him live 140 years after his years of torture and plague.
In all the Bible, during the centuries it is reported to be giving the history of the world, are these tales of wars, slavery, misery, pestilence, and plagues visited on God's chosen people. The best evidence is in the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and other prophets, but it is in every book and on every page. To repeat them all would be almost to reproduce the Bible, so we will mention the headlines of the Biblical chapters:
How could God expect the people to believe in him when they suffered all these disasters, when at the same time they were praying to him to help them?
If the prophets who had talked with God did not believe in his doctrines, how could those of us who have not had the benefit of personal instruction be expected to believe in him? And if God treats the Jews, his chosen people who had been persecuted from the beginning of history, as he does, what can the rest of humanity expect from him?
Any psychologist will explain that the reading of books and stories on crime, and the glorification of the criminals cannot but help develop a crime complex in the young and lower classes of men.
Dr. Rufus King Noyes, in a brilliant address some years ago in Boston, said, "God killed prematurely 5,000,000 witches. Whom could those alleged witches blame? They could only blame God for God made them." Nowadays people do not believe in witches. But the Biblical record is full of them, the Witch of Endor even having had royal customers. "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live," the Bible commands us, and millions of innocent old ladies have been not only killed as a result of this commandment but burned alive in Europe and tortured, even in the United States.
It is possible that the Jewish rabbis did not want any competition from witches, who were supposed to be female wizards. But with the murder of innocent old ladies, only crime and hatred could be engendered in the hearts of the families of those so exterminated.
Dr. Noyes reminds us that God is the arch criminal of all time. He caused to be murdered millions of Jews, Gentiles, the Canaanites, many tribes, nations, and all the people and animals of the world in the flood. He has used fire, earthquake, volcanic eruption, floods, cold, heat, and tidal waves to destroy millions and millions of innocent victims who have tried to exist as created by God. He could have made them right, or changed them after they were created -- instead of murdering them. Thus God, with his criminal instinct, has created man in his own image, hence man could not be expected to be anything but a criminal. All the wicked murderous men of the Bible were exalted. "Exalt Solomon, call him the wisest of men, yet polygamy is wrong and criminal."
"Jesus was undoubtedly daft -- his own brother and neighbors held that he was beside himself. Insanity was, has been, and is still worshiped. Then, "moon struck" people were not common. The people were too homogenous. Insanity was not understood. And they concluded narrowly, that inordinate ambition, extravagant pretenses and unaccountable conduct was a sign of inspiration and indicative of kinship with God. Such traits called for worship. Hence a mistaken diagnosis led to lunatic worship. And we have it today in the Christ worship, God worship, and Ghost worship of Christianity. Such demoralizing worship and mental associations count much for crime."
Most religions are based on the mental confusion of their founders. Take an insane man from an asylum, try to follow his mental procedure today, and we would have another religion -- a mental mess.
Jesus may have gone insane over disappointment in a love affair. The insanity came upon him suddenly as is to be deduced from the story of his first claiming to be the elect of god. It is told in the 4th Chapter of Luke.
In the town of Nazareth where Jesus had grown up in obscurity, and after his baptism, when he started his career, his townfolk rejected him. He had been preaching in the synagogues and came to his own in Nazareth and reading from the Jewish writings, claimed to be the Savior sent to redeem the people. He excused his lack of ability to his home town by saying that a prophet is not honored in his own country and that the prophet Elias had not saved the people of his land from famine for three years, nor had Eliseus been able to cure any of the lepers of Israel save Naaman.
But these excuses, and his claim to divinity, did not satisfy his townspeople, "And all they in the synagogue when they heard these things were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust him out of the city and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong." But he escaped. Evidently his family and his neighbors considered him insane when he claimed to be God or God's son. "Religion and war are almost synonymous," says Dr. Noyes, "All wars are criminal and nearly all have been provoked by religion. Why are religious nations so criminal, vicious, and miserable? Because war and religious hate has killed off the best men and women and left the worst.
"War degenerates the brain and leads to low estimates of life, and reckless uses of life. After war many generations rise before its demoralizing and criminalizing influence is obliterated. Carrying guns in war leads to carrying pistols in civil life. And what does a man think who carries a pistol? He imagines how he would act in given cases, and kills a hundred times over imagined assailants. A brain thus wrought may lead to homicide and murder."
Any criminal, any murderer, any bloodthirsty dictator like Hitler or Mussolini or Stalin can find an excuse and an example for his crimes in the Bible. God's orders to the Jews to exterminate the Canaanites is a perfect example of a murderous, selfish race of people using God as a pretext to descend upon an innocent nation and cruelly murder the inhabitants and spoil them of their lands, cattle, other possessions, and virgins.
"David was impelled by God, and had God's approval for killing people with saws, harrows of iron, axes of iron and by burning them in brick kilns. (Think of sawing people in two.) Persecutors of heretics were impelled by God and had God's approval for wholesale killing with more refined but no less terrible instruments of death."
"Centuries of religion killed the sense of right and wrong, centuries of blood and war killed the sense of conscience and made justice in high places so crude that the stealing of 12¢ got a man hung within this century ( 1800 to 1899)."
Italian Christians worship a spear pointed God, and adore the image of his poniard pierced heart and by brain impressions thus produced they employ the stiletto to murder their fellow country men. Italy is one of the most criminal nations on earth. Yet it is also 99.90 percent religious and Catholic.
"Rich churches and monopolies make poverty and poverty makes crime."
Erroneous knowledge of sexual physiology and the scientific relation of the sexes cause estrangement, brutality, disease, and crime. The Christian suppression of free and open discussion and understanding of sex problems, and of the approval of normal sex relations, has been a major cause of insanity and abnormal sex complexes, which are factors in the cause of crime.
"Had not religion everywhere been identified with crime, would the holy office of the inquisition ever have been established? Had Ferdinand and Isabella, Pope Sextus IV, and Torquemada been infidels, atheists, free-speakers and scientists, 10,000 men and women 10,000 times better than they, would not have been burnt alive." It is in the Latin American countries and in Spain where freethinkers and atheists have been unknown until recently, that the cruel, bloody custom of pub. kc bull fights has been practiced as an amusement for centuries.
All of the Bible is full of hypocrisy, such as David and Solomon praising God and at the same time conducting lives of moral depravity, crime, murder, and adultery. "You see all down through the ages how religion and crime have gone hand in hand."
"Where religion has triumphed nations have fallen, lapsed into barbarism. Pseudo-philosophy, metaphysical speculation, literary vagaries, scholastic subtleties, poetic fictions, allegorical mysteries, and mythological falsehoods endanger the brain and unbalance the reason, and a symmetrical use of the mental faculties resulting therefrom develop disease, insanity, and crime.
"The Biblical idea of master, servant, and slave has made de. gradation, stupidity, cupidity, and crime. The first judges were clerics.
"The real sin, -- of solemnly teaching the drinking of the blood of gods, tends to make man brutal and blood-thirsty.
"Priests and preachers play upon the emotions of the young and old alike and develop unstable personalities. If the young were trained to reason instead of to give way to the emotion, there would be less crime and poverty.
"Any ordinary man must be a hypocrite to believe all of the obvious falsehoods of the Bible. If his mind is that of a moron he would believe anything. Ministers are lie defenders. They get everything wrong end to, even to a neck collar. Their main business is to confuse truth and falsehood, and declare a lie the truth. Theology is the art of lying, and the ablest minister is the ablest defender of the lies of religion. And the defense of any lie, however ancient or often told, makes immorality and crime.
"The word sacred, by the way, comes from the word sarco, which means flesh. Sarco-ceremonies helped Jewish priests to get fresh meat, which they could not otherwise be sure of doing in a hot climate. They established a system of sacrifice, or flesh-feast, feast, which allowed them to be sure of fresh meat. They (the priests) saw the animal butchered. It was sarco, sacrifice, flesh-feast, or sacred to them because they were hungry and knew how to eat fresh meat and sell the stale to strangers."
Eliminate religion, and one of the greatest causes of crime and war will have been destroyed.
Let the searcher for truth read in II Samuel of the story of Amnon, who by trickery and deceit enticed his half sister into his bedroom, and raped her. Then like the low-down criminal that he was, he kicked her out, a ruined woman. Amnon was the son of David, the elect of God, and an ancestor of Christ. The brother of the half sister, Absalom, then swore vengeance and by a cowardly trick killed his half brother. That displeased David, but he was later reconciled by a trick and the deceit of one of his ministers and allowed Absalom to return home.
Absalom returned his father's forgiveness by trying to kill him and run him out of his kingdom. He was finally hanged as he ran under a tree, hurrying to destroy his fleeing father. This is one of the most degrading stories ever written of the incestuous lust of a degenerate, the merciless revenge of a half brother and the villainous endeavor by a criminal son to commit parricide. If God's chosen people, and his elect, David and his outfit, can act like this, and be set up as an example, there is nothing strange that Christians and Jews have had a criminal history for thousands of years.