Solving problems by killing people: Divine?

Murders shock and revile us. But they never seem to stop. Where did these people get the idea that we should solve problems by killing people?

Scripture tells us the appropriate way to respond to behavior that’s disagreeable to us. See if you know the correct answers:

1.  How should you respond if your kids are disrespectful?

a.  Give them good counsel
b.  Forgive them
c.  Kill them

Hint: Ex. 21:17, Deut. 21:18-21

2.  How should we handle murderers?

a.  Arrest them
b.  Forgive them
c.  Kill them

Hint: Ex. 21:12, 21:15

3.  What should we do to cheating spouses?

a.  Divorce them
b.  Forgive them
c.  Kill them

Hint: Lev. 19:20, 20:10

4.  How about kidnappers?

a.  Make them sleep with wolves
b.  Forgive them
c.  Kill them

Hint: Ex 21:16

5.  How should we deal with blasphemers?

a.  Publicly humiliate them
b.  Forgive them
c.  Stone them to death

Hint: Lev. 24:16

6.  What about men who have sex with their father’s or son’s wife:

a.  Castrate them
b.  Forgive them
c.  Kill them

Hint: Lev. 20:11, 20:12

7.  Sexy Mama? What do you do Men who have sex with their mothers-in-law:

a.  Castrate them
b.  Forgive them
c.  Burn them to death

Hint: Lev. 20:14  

8.  What should we do to atheists and agnostics?

a.  Cripple them
b.  Forgive them
c.  Kill them

Hint: Josh. 1:18, 2 Chr. 15:13  

9.  That senior citizen who says, “Welcome to Walmart” and others who work on Saturdays, cook, look for food, leave home and make fires?

a.  Arrest them
b.  Forgive them
c.  Stone them to death

Hint: Ex 31:15, 16:25, 16:26, 16:29, 35:3, 31:14, 35:2, Num 15:32-36

10.  Response to lost virginity?

a.  Slap on a chastity belt immediately
b.  Forgive her
c.  Stone her to death

Hint: Deut 22:21-24

Gun-shaped Holy BibleI provided the chapter and verse for every answer: In all instances, scripture claims that God demands that we kill each other. Now you know why killing people has been such a popular way to solve problems for lo these many centuries. What it means is that we can’t be law-abiding citizens and God-abiding citizens. So whose law should we follow?

If God is Love, would Love do that?

Perhaps a more intelligent and humane way to read holy scripture is to also read books about scripture that calls itself the inerrant word of God. If we did everything it claims that God mandates us to do, there would be a run on orange jumpsuits, and cities would have more prisons than high-rise apartment buildings.

As they say, it’s easier to believe than to think. I think it’s even easier to read scripture and say, “Would Love do that?” Do you?


In Memoriam: Life as we once knew it

I watched in wonder as the debate over Notre Dame’s invitation for the President of these United States to speak at this year’s commencement hit a fever pitch of judgmental rhetoric—led by those who call themselves Christians. Fascinating stuff.

Maybe I’ve been watching the drama on Earth from too far away. I’ve obviously lost the ability to zoom in on the important stuff. I certainly missed the moment that “judge not and you will not be judged, condemn not and you will not be condemned” ceased to be central to the teachings of the radically non-religious Jewish rabbi named Yeshua. People on both sides of the issue claim to be his followers; but they clearly don’t walk his walk.

The Loud Mouth is brash enough to call out non-Christlike Christians; but the President, who consistently confronts hot topics directly, without being confrontational, delivered a speech that appealed for both sides to disagree if they must; but do it with Christ-like civility:

“I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away. No matter how much we may want to fudge it—indeed, while we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory—the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable. Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.

“Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.”

As the resident bull in a china shop, let me take this debate to a place where our President couldn’t: To “The Beginning.” At the heart of the abortion issue is this: When does Life begin—and does a woman have a right to choose to give birth to an infant body?

Much of the debate rages around whether Life begins at conception or at some stage in the development of an embryo or fetus. The presumption here is that Life is physical—and that a human can give It, take It, save It, or even make It miserable. Perhaps we have forgotten what Life is—Life with a capital “L,” that is.

Have you ever seen Life with your physical eyes? Where was It? What was It doing? What did It look like? What was it wearing? Can you draw a picture of Life? Have you ever photographed It? How old was It?

What does Life look like at birth? At death? Can you describe it? Have you ever thought about it? Have you considered the possibility that we have made the words “life” and “body” synonymous?

When Life leaves a body, the body dies. Does that mean that Life is dead, too? Unless you send me evidence to the contrary, Life—like Spirit, like Soul and like God—is invisible to those in the physical world. And, unlike those in the physical world, Spirit, Soul, God, and Life have no beginning and have no end.

We have forgotten. That’s why this Memorial Day weekend, I honor the Divinity that we once knew as Life: The powerful, invincible, God-like essence that we temporarily abandoned to slip into costumes called human bodies and solve problems by disrespecting, maligning, berating, battling and killing those who disagree with us, or belong to a different army, tribe, gang, race, gender, sexual orientation, political party or religion.

I mourn the loss of our memories. We have forgotten that at “the end of the day,” our souls will not be held accountable for how others treated us—only how we treated them. If we remembered that—even if we forgot what Life really is—Memorial Day would be just another day on the tiny planet called Earth.