The god of the Bible Endorses Offered Rape and Actual Genocide
Editor’s Note: The purpose of this piece is not to make a moral case against Christianity. It is not to declare that the biblical god character is immoral. It is not to insinuate that, by inculcating Christian theology into one’s children, one will produce immoral adults. On issues related to morality, I am a nihilist; that is, I do not believe objective “right” and “wrong,” or “good” and “evil,” or “moral” and “immoral” exist. Thus, I am quite possibly the worst conceivable individual to make a moral case against any belief system’s truth. This is why my present purposes relate much more to academics and scholarship than to passion or righteous outrage. I aim simply to explain what the god of the Bible endorses, without standing in judgment of what he endorses.
On any Bible-centered Christian worldview, it is quite easy to apprehend what is right and what is wrong...what good and what evil. To a Christian, such as my frequent interlocutor Rhology, that which is good is consonant with god’s nature and that which is evil is counter to it. A key point must be made clear: On Christianity, it is not that god’s will conforms to that which is good; rather, on this view, god’s nature defines what is good. To a Christian, anything god does, commands or affirms is necessarily good, and could not be otherwise. Turning to the Bible, then, any behavior god exhibits therein, and any action he commands or endorses, is necessarily righteous on the Christian view.
To live up to this post’s title, then, I first must prove that god endorses—approves of—“offered rape.” To do this, I shall cite
Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter;
and they called to Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them."
But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him,
and said, "Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly.
"Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof."
I selected a Bible translation in easily understood English to ensure the gist was clear: The men of
How do we know
and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men
(for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds),
The Bible, on Christianity, is the word of god. On the Christian view, god’s nature is the definition of what is right, or good. The Bible describes Lot as righteous, and god’s own angels move to deliver Lot from
The Bible also expresses, in the clearest of terms, the moral righteousness of genocide in some cases. Let us first define genocide so no later confusion is possible: Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction of a group, whether racial, political, cultural or religious. To demonstrate god’s endorsement, the challenge is not so much finding applicable passages to select as avoiding the potential pitfall of illustrating the point gratuitously. Here are a few prime examples:
"When the LORD your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and stronger than you,
and when the LORD your God delivers them before you and you defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them.
"Furthermore, you shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons.
"For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods; then the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you and He will quickly destroy you.
"But thus you shall do to them: you shall tear down their altars, and smash their sacred pillars, and hew down their Asherim, and burn their graven images with fire.
"Only in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes.
"But you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite and the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, as the LORD your God has commanded you,
so that they may not teach you to do according to all their detestable things which they have done for their gods, so that you would sin against the LORD your God.
Now Joshua captured Makkedah on that day, and struck it and its king with the edge of the sword; he utterly destroyed it and every person who was in it He left no survivor Thus he did to the king of Makkedah just as he had done to the king of Jericho.
Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Makkedah to Libnah, and fought against Libnah.
The LORD gave it also with its king into the hands of Israel, and he struck it and every person who was in it with the edge of the sword. He left no survivor in it. Thus he did to its king just as he had done to the king of Jericho.
And Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Libnah to Lachish, and they camped by it and fought against it.
The LORD gave Lachish into the hands of Israel; and he captured it on the second day, and struck it and every person who was in it with the edge of the sword, according to all that he had done to Libnah.
Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish, and Joshua defeated him and his people until he had left him no survivor.
And Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Lachish to Eglon, and they camped by it and fought against it.
They captured it on that day and struck it with the edge of the sword; and he utterly destroyed that day every person who was in it, according to all that he had done to Lachish.
Then Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron, and they fought against it.
They captured it and struck it and its king and all its cities and all the persons who were in it with the edge of the sword. He left no survivor, according to all that he had done to Eglon. And he utterly destroyed it and every person who was in it.
Then Joshua and all Israel with him returned to Debir, and they fought against it.
He captured it and its king and all its cities, and they struck them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed every person who was in it. He left no survivor. Just as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir and its king, as he had also done to Libnah and its king.
Thus Joshua struck all the land, the hill country and the Negev and the lowland and the slopes and all their kings He left no survivor, but he utterly destroyed all who breathed, just as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded.
Working from our definition that genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction of a group, whether racial, political, cultural or religious, there can be little—nay, absolutely no—doubt that the god of the Bible has commanded genocide. This is not to say that any genocide is consonant with godly righteousness; not in the least. It is not even to say that one in 1000 genocides is consonant with godliness. It is merely to prove that, on the Christian view, in principle, genocide can be consistent with righteousness before god. It proves that, if god condescended to humanity again tomorrow, and he commanded genocide, it would be consistent with some previous commands and, on the Christian view, to perform genocide would be moral.
I believe it has been established sufficiently that the god of the Bible—in circumstances however limited—endorses offered rape and actual genocide. In those circumstances—again, however limited—offered rape and actual genocide, on Christianity, are consonant with god’s necessarily righteous nature.