Please do not click on the links below if you are made queasy by graphic content. Also, if you are a Christian, please understand that I am not attacking you personally. The point is to bring into sharp focus the ethical implications of some biblical passages, and ask ourselves if it's morally ok to endorse and defend such behavior and/or teachings -- no matter what its source. We do the same when we criticize the putatively unethical teachings of other religions and belief systems; intellectual honesty and consistency requires us to apply the same standards to our own views, avoiding excuses and special pleading at all costs. Our standards of evaluation shouldn't fluctuate when we turn them on ourselves.
With that said, I feel obligated to denounce what is heinously unethical. The truth isn't always pretty, and pernicious ideas should be exposed and confronted. Without further ado, then here, here, here, and here are some rather graphic illustrations of the meaning of some biblical passages.
If these passages were in any other religious text, wouldn't you condemn such teaching/behavior as morally reprehensible? Read the surrounding passages to make sure you're not reading them out of context. Did it help make you feel any better about these passages? If these passages, and their surrounding contexts, were in any other religious text, and an apologist for that religion gave a sophisticated answer about how "times were different back then", or "God's morality is higher than ours", or "Allah, (or Vishnu, or...) made us; he can do anything he wants with us", or "you don't understand, those people (including the slaves and "little ones" and "young girls who haven't yet known any man by sleeping with him") were really wicked -- they deserved what they got", etc., would that diminish your moral outrage with respect to that religion or its god? Why, then, should it help in these cases?
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