28 June 2008

The Scripture Project: Volunteer Editors Needed

There's something new at the SAB that I want to tell you about.

I've decided to donate the material at the site to Sam Harris' Reason Project. The SAB will still be around, of course, but there will also be a new site, called "The Scripture Project", that will be a collaborative, wiki-style website that will start with the material from the SAB and go from there. I don't know where "there" will be, but it should take it far beyond what one person can do alone.

Which is where you folks come in. The Scripture project needs help in importing and editing material from the SAB. To help out, all you have to do is to go here to sign up.

24 June 2008

The tokens of virginity: Muslims, honor killings, and the book of Deuteronomy

Where do Muslims get their fruitcake ideas about sex and marriage? Take this recent news story for example.
The annulment of a young Muslim couple’s marriage because the bride was not a virgin has caused anger in France, prompting President Sarkozy’s party to call for a change in the law.

The decision by a court in Lille was condemned by the Government, media, feminists and civil rights organisations after it was reported in a legal journal on Thursday. Patrick Devedjian, leader of the ruling Union for a Popular Movement, said it was unacceptable that the law could be used for religious reasons to repudiate a bride. It must be modified “to put an end to this extremely disturbing situation”, he said.

The case, which had previously gone unreported, involved an engineer in his 30s, named as Mr X, who married Ms Y, a student nurse in her 20s, in 2006. The wedding night party was still under way at the family’s home in Roubaix when the groom came down from the bedroom complaining that his bride was not a virgin. He could not display the blood-stained sheet that is traditionally exhibited as proof of the bride’s “purity”.

Is there something about bloody sheets in the Quran? No, for shit like that you have to go to the Bible.

If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you. Deuteronomy 22:13-21

So the groom was just obeying God. Well, almost anyway. According to the Bible, he shouldn't have just had the wedding annulled; he and the men of the city should have stoned his bride to death at the door of her father's house because she had disgraced him, her family and her community. It's a matter of honor -- an honor killing required by the Bible.

As long as these verses remain in the Bible, no Bible believer can complain about Muslim honor killings. The Muslims are just doing what the Bible God commands.

And there couldn't be anything wrong with that, now could there?

17 June 2008

The Bible and the Quran agree: God and Satan force nonbelievers to disbelieve.

I'm not sure how this works exactly, but it must be true because both the Bible and the Quran say it is: God and Satan force nonbelievers to disbelieve (and then burn them forever in Hell for not believing).

Here's what the Bible says:

God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned. 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12

He [God] hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. John 12:40

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4

And here's the Quran:
As for the Disbelievers, Whether thou warn them or thou warn them not it is all one for them; they believe not. Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. 2:6-7

We have placed upon their hearts veils, lest they should understand, and in their ears a deafness. 6:25

As for him whom He sendeth astray, for them thou wilt find no protecting friends beside Him, and We shall assemble them on the Day of Resurrection on their faces, blind, dumb and deaf; their habitation will be hell; whenever it abateth, We increase the flame for them. That is their reward because they disbelieved Our revelations. 17:97-98

Lo! on their hearts We have placed coverings so that they understand not, and in their ears a deafness. And though thou call them to the guidance, in that case they can never be led aright. 18:57

He [Iblis aka Satan] said: Now, because Thou [Allah aka God] hast sent me astray, verily I shall lurk in ambush for them on Thy Right Path. ... He said: Go forth from hence, degraded, banished. As for such of them as follow thee, surely I will fill hell with all of you. 7:16-18

I [Iblis] verily shall adorn the path of error for them in the earth, and shall mislead them every one, Save such of them as are Thy perfectly devoted slaves. ...for all such, hell will be the promised place. 15:39-43

Isn't it great to see God and Satan working together so nicely on such an important task?

10 June 2008

People burned to death by God

In a previous post, I asked the question: Is it wrong to burn people to death? From the comments, it is clear that the answer depends upon whether you are a Bible-believer or not. So far no believer has answered the question, whereas every non-believer has answered clearly: It is wrong always and everywhere to burn to death anyone for any reason.

Of course there is a reason believers refuse the answer the question: God likes burning people to death. He sees nothing wrong with it. In fact, he does it himself sometimes. Here are a few examples from the Bible.

  1. God burned and smashed the people in Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone from heaven. (So there's fire and brimstone in heaven?)
    The LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven. Genesis 19:24

  2. Aaron's sons were caught burning incense without a license, so God burned them to death. (Aaron, the lousy father that he was, just watched and said nothing.)
    And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. Leviticus 10:1-2

  3. The Israelites complained (the Bible doesn't say about what) and God heard it (he had his hearing aid on), so he burned them to death. (What else would any self-respecting God do?).
    And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp." Numbers 11:1

  4. God burns to death another 250 for burning incense. (What is it about incense that pisses God off? And do the Catholics know about this?)
    And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense. Numbers 16:35

  5. 102 men (in two shifts of 51 each) are burned to death by God to prove that Elijah is a man of God. (Who else could magically burn people to death?)
    If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. ... And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. 2 Kings 1:10-12

So the moral of the story is this: Don't complain, burn incense, or hang around men of God. (Otherwise God might burn you to death, too.)

Barack Obama: "Before we get carried away, let's read our bibles."

(Repost with YouTube video)

Here's what Obama said last summer at the "Call to Renewal" conference.

...given the increasing diversity of America's population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.

And even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would we go with James Dobson's, or Al Sharpton's? Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount - a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application? So before we get carried away, let's read our bibles. Folks haven't been reading their bibles. ...

Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values.
...let me give you an example.

We all know the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham is ordered by God to offer up his only son, and without argument, he takes Isaac to the mountaintop, binds him to an altar, and raises his knife, prepared to act as God has commanded.

Of course, in the end God sends down an angel to intercede at the very last minute, and Abraham passes God's test of devotion.

But it's fair to say that if any of us leaving this church saw Abraham on a roof of a building raising his knife, we would, at the very least, call the police and expect the Department of Children and Family Services to take Isaac away from Abraham. We would do so because we do not hear what Abraham hears, do not see what Abraham sees, true as those experiences may be. So the best we can do is act in accordance with those things that we all see, and that we all hear, be it common laws or basic reason.

06 June 2008

Is it wrong to burn people to death?

That's an easy question for most of us to answer. It's one of the few things that we can all agree on: it is wrong always and everywhere to burn to death anyone for any reason whatsoever.

But Bible believers aren't so sure about that. It must be OK to burn people to death or God wouldn't have commanded us to do so, as he clearly did in Leviticus 20:14, for example.

And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.
Notice that God tells us to burn to death all three: man, wife, and mother-in-law. It may have been the man's idea, but we must burn all three anyway. (Couldn't we try counseling first?)

Is there anyone that really believes this is a good idea? Is there anyone who thinks it was a good idea a few thousand years ago? Will it be a good idea a few thousand years from now?

A god who commands people to burn other people to death is not a good god. This verse alone should be enough show that the Bible was not inspired by a kind and loving god.

02 June 2008

Top Ten Abominations to God

When the subject of abominations comes up, most people think of homosexuality, because that is one of the few things that God hasn't changed his mind about since he became a born again Christian a couple thousand years ago. God still likes Leviticus 18:22, although he's softened up a bit on Leviticus 20:13.

Here are ten other things that are (or were) abominations to the non-denominational, pre-Christian Bible-God. (In God's favorite order -- biblical!)

  1. Lobsters, shrimp, clams, octopus, and squids
    Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you. Leviticus 11:12
  2. Four-legged fowls
    All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. Leviticus 11:20
  3. Four-footed flying, creeping things
    But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you. Leviticus 11:23
  4. Whatever crawls on its belly, goes on all four, or has lots of legs
    Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth ... are an abomination. Leviticus 11:42
  5. Sacrificing a blemished sheep or goat
    Thou shalt not sacrifice unto the LORD thy God any bullock, or sheep, wherein is blemish, or any evilfavouredness: for that is an abomination unto the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 17:1
  6. Women who wear men's clothing
    The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 22:5
  7. The hire of a whore or the price of a dog
    Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 23:18
  8. Taking back an ex-wife after she's been defiled
    (If you get married and then find that you hate your wife because she's unclean or something, go ahead and divorce her and kick her out of your house. After she's gone, if some other guy marries her and also hates her and divorces her, don't take her back as your wife. It really pisses God off. It's an abomination to him.)
    When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD. Deuteronomy 24:1-4
  9. The work of a craftsman
    Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman.... Deuteronomy 27:15
  10. Whatever people value the most
    (Like kindness, wisdom, truth, courage, honesty, love, compassion, beauty?)
    That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. Luke 16:15