Randal Rauser is an associate professor of historical theology at Taylor Seminary, Edmonton. One day he bought a Bible for his seven-year-old daughter, and was shocked — SHOCKED — to discover that it was full of god-mandated genocides:
The page with Deuteronomy 20 features a factoid bubble with a green parrot which informs me that Israelite men could be exempted from having to fight if they had been newly married, had recently built a home, or were just plain scared. That’s sort of interesting. But I know that my daughter will ask not about who didn’t have to fight, but rather why those who did fight killed babies and children. After looking through the slickly produced “Adventure Bible” I’m still waiting for an answer.
If only Randal knew some sort of “professor of theology” he could ask. I’m no theologian, but I can take a shot.
There are in fact several theories designed to explain how a “loving” god could countenance genocide. Here are a handful of the most popular:
- At that point in time was still getting a feel for the job
- Tired of getting shot down as “too benevolent” by women in bars
- Developed insatiable blood-lust after drowning most of humanity
- Insisted that mass-killings be done as “lovingly” as possible
- “Wow, it took you until you were an adult force-feeding this garbage to your child for you to start asking questions like this?”
- Influenced by popularity of movie All Genocidees Go To Heaven
- Bible mistranslated; actually tried to stop genocide
- Genocide was actually OK until Jesus came and changed the rules
- Original version of commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” contained “just kidding!”
- “Don’t ask so many questions, or we’ll genocide you too!”
- Bible fiction; god imaginary; religion false