Suffer The Children (2)

Yahweh LOVES children...extra crispy!
Yahweh LOVES children...extra crispy!

On a local backroad is a sign prominently featuring the face of a baby, proclaiming that "God Is Pro Life." Contemplating this sign reminds me of how so many people approach such an issue from a religious standpoint, in complete ignorance of what their religion actually says about it. And when I see or hear the claim that "God is pro-life," I can properly respond only with one word:

BULLSHIT.

Perhaps the sign's author was thinking of the narrative from Matthew, where Jesus insists that his followers "...suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me..."

But if one looks to the rest of the Bible, the confluence of "suffer" and "children" takes on a whole new, more sinister, meaning. Yahweh, the bloodthirsty deity of the Old and New Testaments, seems to have an unmistakable fetish for exterminating children.

He begins killing them in the very first book of the Bible, drowning millions of innocent children (and fetuses) in a worldwide flood. Still, the planetary genocide is indiscriminate, and children aren't specifically targeted.

That begins to change in the book of Exodus, when Yahweh massacres "all the firstborn in the land of Egypt." This becomes a recurring theme throughout the Old Testament, where Yahweh uses infanticide as a threat or means of punishment -- even to his own "chosen people" (Leviticus 26):

"...I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number..."

Even more macabre are Yahweh's multiple threats to starve his people to the point where they'll eat their own children (Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28, Jeremiah 19, Ezekiel 5). Later, in Hosea (9 & 13), the threats become even more ghastly (emphasis mine):

"...Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb..."

"...Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and THEIR WOMEN WITH CHILD SHALL BE RIPPED UP..."

So much for God opposing abortion!

There's a coy maxim sometimes found in movies and bumper stickers that one should "kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out!" Unfortunately, once Yahweh sets the Israelites on their Old Testament wars of conquest and genocide, he seems to forget the second part. Deuteronomy's early chapters set the tone:

"...So the Lord our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people...And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children, of every city..."

The only exception is the Midianites, whose young girls are apparently so appealing that they're spared for use as sex slaves (Numbers 31).

Once Joshua becomes Yahweh's general, the genocide becomes more routine, commanded against "all the souls" of Jericho, Ai, Makkedah, Libnah, Lacish, Gezer, Eglon, Hebron, Debir and Hazor -- summarized succinctly in Joshua 10:

"...So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord God of Israel commanded..."

The same applies to the Amalekites, making sure to not miss any babies:

"...Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling..."

Yahweh seems to have a talent for devising new ways to exterminate infants. Consider the children of Babylonian parents, which "shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes (Isaiah 13) -- a thought at which David (presumably) rejoices in Psalm 137:

"...O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones..."

In 2 Kings Yahweh gets even more creative, sending two "she-bears" to rip dozens of children to shreds after they taunt the 'prophet' Elisha's baldness.

Of course, in the midst of all the mass murdering, Yahweh still makes time for good old-fashioned sacrifices. We all know the story of Abraham, who's stopped just as he's about to kill Isaac. But the story they DON'T tell you in church is that of Jephthah who, to secure a military victory, promises that he'll sacrifice whatever first greets him when he returns home. It's his daughter, and this time Yahweh DOESN'T intervene! (It should also be noted that the sacrifice of human slaves -- presumably including children -- is sanctioned in Leviticus 27).

Also, children aren't exempt from the numerous capital offenses under Yahweh's law, and even have a few of their own, such as being 'rebellious' or cursing or striking their parents. Contrary to popular belief, Jesus affirms in the New Testament that not one "jot or tittle" of the old laws is changed. As if to emphasize, he reiterates one, just for the children:

"...For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death..."

Finally, it goes without saying that BILLIONS of innocent children are condemned to an eternity in Hell because they haven't accepted Jesus as their "savior" (they're either too young or were born into the wrong religion).

With all this in mind, it's literally impossible to reasonably conclude that the god described in the Bible is "pro-life" with regard to children. He's slaughtered countless millions of them in wars and plagues, made them sex slaves for soldiers and food for their parents, dashed them against rocks, ripped them apart with animals, targeted them with capital punishment, accepted them as human sacrifices and commanded their forced abortion at the edge of the sword.

With a monster like Yahweh above a child's bed, why fear the Boogey-man beneath it?

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Comments (sorry, due to trolling, comments must be pre-approved) 16 comments

lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 13 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Paladin

I can't remember what our discussion on this hob was originally about though re-reading the hub you say that 'millions of children are condemned to Hell for being born into the wrong religion' The Apostle Paul tells us that those who don't hear about Christ aren't judged for not trusting him as 'savior' but are judged according to their own conscience! The question becomes 'have we always lived up to our own conscience'?

Lawrence


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 13 months ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for re-visiting the hub, Lawrence! I'm glad HubPages has intelligent, articulate and reasonable believers like yourself with which we can have relevant and productive conversations. I've grown so tired of dealing with obnoxious and immature trolls!

In answer to your question, I'd wager that very few of us -- flawed humans that we are -- have managed to live up to our own conscience. Unfortunately, the chasm between what we KNOW to be right and what we actually DO is far too deep and wide.

I dearly wish I could go back in time and live my life over, if only to erase the multitude of personal injuries and offenses I've committed over the course of a lifetime -- mostly due to my own human insecurity, vanity or selfishness. Saying sorry just doesn't seem to balance the scales.

As for Paul's comments, I don't remember that specific quote. If possible, could you provide a verse, or even narrow it down to a book? If you can't, I may be able to find it on my own. Thanks...


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 13 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Paladin.

I'll look the verse up as I can't remember it totally offhand.

Lawrence


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 13 months ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Lawrence!


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 13 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Paladin

Romans 2 verse 6 says God will repay each according to what they have done. Thats the closest I can find at the moment.

Lawrence


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 13 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Paladin

Just been and looked it up and it's in Romans chapter 2. It's basically the whole chapter but concentrate on verses 14 and 15

"For when the Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a Law to themselves.

In that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them. (New American Standard Bible)

Romans is about the closest you get to a "Systematic Theology" from Paul or any of the Apostles and through the rest of the chapter he deals with the Law and the Jew

Hope this helps

Lawrence


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 13 months ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Lawrence! I will look into that further.


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 13 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

By the way, your comment about the difference between what we know to be right and what we do is exactly what Paul's getting at when he says "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3 verse 23) the word for 'sin' is "Harmartia" and carries the meaning of 'missing the mark' like an archer shooting and missing the target.

Lawrence


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 13 months ago from Michigan, USA Author

That may be true, but Paul also said -- in the very next chapter of Romans (emphasis mine):

"...Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin...For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus..."

He makes it clear (and in Romans 5 as well) that humans are sinful by default. They are BORN into sin. Thus, it goes without saying that infants and even newborns arrive in this world already condemned by this supposed ancestral stain.


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 13 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

You're right about that and there's still dispute among Christians as to how that 'plays out'

I wrote a hub called 'Baptism, what is it?' That looks at why the traditional churches have infant Baptism, basically the Medieval church thought that if a child was baptised in water and the promises made bythe parents kept then until the child was old enough to make their own decisions they were 'saved'

Confirmation took place when the child was old enough to decide and the child takes responsibility from that point on.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 13 months ago from Michigan, USA Author

What a weird coincidence! Just this morning, I was browsing my Encyclopedia of World Religions, and the entry I was reading was about the original Anabaptists (who rejected childhood baptism and favored adult baptism)!

I'll check out that hub. Thanks for the reference, Lawrence!


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 13 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Paladin

A lot of evangelicals reject child baptism but it has some good points (I've been in both camps on this at one time or another!)

What I was going to say us that Paul's point is that no one has even obeyed their own conscience 100% and its that whixh condemns us! Paul offers us the way out which is Jesus!


Sam Wickstrom profile image

Sam Wickstrom 2 weeks ago from Nelson, BC, Canada

Great article, clearing showing religious people why they're sometimes called religious nuts. Who would worship such a malevolent monster!?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 weeks ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Sam. To be fair to the religious, I daresay most believers don't really think that much about such things. They go to church once a week and on certain religious occasions, and the extent of their religious knowledge is what they're told in church or temple -- which, of course, includes NONE of the items I've mentioned here.

I'm hoping that believers, in coming across theses like mine (for whatever reason), may be forced to take a more serious look at what they believe, and re-examine the "holy" text upon which it is founded. It's often said that the best way to make more atheists is to encourage people to read the Bible, and I try to get them to look at it ALL, not just the parts cherry-picked by their preachers and priests in church!


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 2 weeks ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Paladin

Oh that they would "Search the Scriptures". I still think this was a good article even if I disagreed with it!

Let's all be like the Bereans in Acts 16 and search the things out to see if they're true!

Lawrence


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 weeks ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Lawrence! :-)

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