30 November 2012

Terry Jones, The Innocence of Muslims, and Leviticus 24:16

Earlier this week, an Egyptian court sentenced seven people to death for their involvement in the anti-Islam film, The Innocence of Muslims.
"The seven accused persons were convicted of insulting the Islamic religion through participating in producing and offering a movie that insults Islam and its prophet,'' Egyptian Judge Saif al-Nasr Soliman said Wednesday.
The convicted blasphemers are living outside of Egypt and so are unlikely to be executed.

Another person accused of insulting Islam is the Quran-buring Florida pastor, Terry Jones. His case is scheduled for December 29.*

The strange thing about all this is this: The Quran does not specify the death penalty for blasphemy. (Not directly, anyway.**)

But the Bible sure as hell does.
He that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him. Leviticus 24:16
 God commands believers to kill blasphemers -- by stoning them to death.

Why are Muslims the only ones who obey him? ***

* I've spent a fair amount of time at this blog and the SAQ insulting Islam and its prophet (peanut butter and pig's fat be upon him). How come there's no death sentence out on me? I'm kind of insulted.

** There is a verse in the Quran that is applied in blasphemy cases.
The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom. Quran 5:33
Blasphemers "make war on Allah and His messenger" so they should "be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off" and then, of course, be tormented by Allah in hell forever.

*** I've tried to get an answer from Bible believers about this, but without success.

Here are my questions.
  1. Would it be wrong to obey God's command in Leviticus 24:16 today?
  2. Was it ever right to obey it?


Anonymous said...

Blasphemy is a blast-for-me but apparently, if you are a member of the rock group "Pussy Riot", blasphemy will land you in a Siberian prison for offending parishioners and the Orthodox faith:


I've asked Christians about the issue of killing blasphemers. The replies that I get are that God operated under a different historical context at the time so killing blasphemers was necessary for His purpose-driven, mysterious, plan to "develop". Stoning blasphemers was justified and necessary at that particular point in history. However, Yahweh's kid changed everything because loving the blasphemer trumps Leviticus...except if you are a member of "Pussy Riot" in which case you end up in Siberia.

Stephen said...

Do we have even a single, credible account of a blasphemer being punished directly by god? For an omnipotent being, he is either remarkably tolerant or remarkably powerless. It's funny how the only ones who are ever "caught" are the ones whose blasphemy is known to others. This leads me to conclude that "god" is so insignificant he might as well not exist.
Oh. That's right... he doesn't.
Steve Weeks

Jferrin said...

Stephen, you of course know my position on this, but there is another option: that what the Bible tells us is blasphemous is not in fact blasphemous. That way God could maintain his all-powerfullness and not punish people for what the Bible says is wrong. Either way the Bible and those that follow it have some explaining to do.