1: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2: racial prejudice or discrimination” – Merriam-Webster On-Line Dictionary
Jehovah chooses one group to talk to, to sponsor, to send plagues and pestilences in support of, and to make many laws and covenants for and with. We have a God who disregards the lives, the hard work and the rights of people all the way through the Fertile Crescent and “gives” the land in perpetuity to his “Chosen People.” This leads me to conclude that the writers creating Him were racist.
He paid particular attention to Abraham and Sarah (the original Jews); Job (also Jewish), whose first family he killed in a bet with Satan; Lot (also Jewish) whose wife he turned into a pillar of salt for looking back at the mayhem lavished on her neighbors; and Noah (also Jewish) who was allowed, along with his immediate family, to be the sole survivors of a drowning which supposedly swept the world of sin by eliminating everybody else on the Earth.
Furthermore, God gave nobody else similar tablets of stone, burning bushes, floods, and miraculous escapes. He had support and assistance solely for the Jewish people until Jesus came along. Everyone else on the face of the planet were either disregarded or dispensed with as of no worth or consequence whatsoever – which was also a common practice of readers of this book throughout its long history as the most popular book on the planet.
The Bible defines Jewish as descended from Sarah’s son, Issac, and Arab as descended from Hagar’s son, Ishmael. Both had the same father. In Jewish tradition, it is the Mother who determines race and it is very important to them even today. While a Jewish woman may marry a non-Jewish man and have Jewish children, a Jewish man cannot have Jewish children unless he marries a Jewish woman. Furthermore, conversion to the religion of Judaism doesn’t really make you Jewish. Religion, race, and tradition are mixed together and have been all along.
Sarah and Abraham pretend to be brother and sister. Yes, they were half brother and half sister, but they were also husband and wife, an important fact not mentioned in seducing two successive monarchs and, when the con was over, walking away with a bunch of loot without ever owning up to their part in bringing pestilence and plague upon their hosts’ innocent families. Their dishonesty and duplicity might be excused once, but doing the same thing twice had no valid justification. Had He been a just or even-handed god, Jehovah might have punished Abraham and Sarah, and possibly Abimelech and the Pharaoh, the authors and perpetrators, rather than the innocent families of the two seduced leaders. It is most certain in my judgment that the families did not deserve the punishments meted out by Jehovah nor did Abraham and Sarah deserve the rewards they received. Jehovah didn’t bother to warn the victims of Sarah and Abraham’s lies, either. This selfish, pestilence-causing couple also have a preference for Sarah’s son, a Jew, and find a justification for disinheriting Abraham’s firstborn, an Arab.
In another part of this book, thirty-one cities were supposedly sacked by Joshua and his army with the help of Jehovah. In Jericho, children, babies and even domesticated animals were all killed. The one exception to this brutal carnage was Joshua’s spy and his family. We don’t have Jericho’s side of the story,1 nor do we have anyone to vouch for the other thirty cities, but I am confident that the motivation for these brutal acts of murder and mayhem wasn’t in line with the philosophies outlined by Moses generations earlier or Jesus generations later. Joshua wasn’t particular good, wise or compassionate. His treatment of Jericho and the other thirty cities was, to my thinking, criminal.
In these aggressive acts of conquest, Joshua had Jehovah’s consent, approval and assistance. Covenants with God Himself supposedly gave these deeds legality and validity, which the Bible proclaims without a hint of embarrassment. Like the Pope giving South America to the Spanish and Portuguese monarchs to dispense to various chosen warlords, Jehovah endorses conquest, murder, mayhem and slavery … as long as it isn’t against His “chosen people.”
The state of Israel with its colonization of an Arab area by Americans and Europeans is a modern testament to the fruits of such bigotry; a place of perpetual fear, chaos, brutality and distrust when, a mere century ago, all lived in relative peace and harmony.
Shall we scan the Bible for reference to Jehovah treating other groups with special consideration? Were Jews the only “good” people, despite the obvious flaws of those Jehovah chose to pay attention to or sponsor? Excluding the acts of Jesus, were any other people given kindness or consideration? Whole towns and entire countries were dismissed by this deity without any consideration for their hard work in building the area and the civilization that lived there. To this book, these people were of no consequence whatsoever … which led, in due course, to similar atrocities being committed throughout history by believers in various versions of this bigoted god.
Jehovah is clearly a Jewish God. He never reveals Himself to anyone in China or the Americas or Africa before missionaries and soldiers are sent there. He never talks to the People of Tibet or gives them Tablets of Stone with the same Ten Commandments. He apparently ignores all races except Jews and Arabs and has empathy for Jews and a peculiar antipathy toward Arabs.
Noah’s claim to fame, other than living 900 years, was again his obedience and credulity, his willingness to serve a God who was determined to drown all his neighbors in a violent, bigoted and perpetually unsuccessful fight against “sin2.”
King David may have publicly apologized for killing a beautiful woman’s husband to marry her, but he took and took and took and didn’t look back all that much. It has occurred to me, in moments dank and grim, that maybe he didn’t actually personally write everything he was purported to have written. It is conceivable that David’s excessive claims of devotion to the Almighty were written by others in his royal court. In any case, he wasn’t loyal to the philosophies of Jesus which, if Jesus is an aspect of the One True God, would have been an aspect of his God. I think King David was a politician and his public religion was part of politics.
I think Mary was not a virgin as she claimed, but I wasn’t there. I believe in spiritual miracles, in changes of heart and miraculous accomplishments of men dedicated to wisdom, peace, and love. I don’t believe in physical miracles and I don’t believe racism leads to goodness or peace.
In all of these stories, Jehovah was loyal to this one tribe, this one branch of the human family … and he treated everyone else on the planet with either indifference or disdain. Like Islam’s obsession with being descended from Muhammad, the Old Testament was obsessed with being descended from Sarah and Abraham. I call that racism. Is there a better word for it?
The Covenants between Jehovah and various Jewish prophets and leaders provide an example followed throughout Jewish, Christian and Islamic history. Jehovah (Allah to Arabs) provides a rationale for conquest, murder and slavery. This book claims that the entire Fertile Crescent was “given” to the Jewish people, providing a reason for religious and racial war based on the assumption that serving God justifies theft and murder based on race and/or belief. In the case of Zionism, that sect of Judaism believes that ancient writings came from God and justified a hostile takeover of land and cities belonging to others who were demeaned and disrespected because they weren’t Jewish and not of the “chosen race.” The Christian support for the racist state of Israel arose from reading their Old Testaments and believing that God ordained this.
Had ghost writers not penned the four Gospels from erroneous translations of ancient Jewish prophesies and had Christians not included the Old Testament in their Bibles when a minority of them convened at the behest of a non-Christian emperor in 325, all of us might be doing things quite differently. There might have been no justification for Crusades or Inquisitions. The behavioral template might have been The Golden Rule rather than the three Creeds of Conquest: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. All one had to do in the Christian or Moslem world is to identify someone or something or a group as “evil” or “infidel” and all compassion ceased. In the Christian world, “non-believer” (translation: “infidel”) was, by popular belief and common usage, someone destined for Hell.
I am not saying God is racist. I’m saying that The Holy Bible portrays Him as racist. Furthermore, I’m saying that this, in turn, led to more injustice and suffering, to assumptions that, if one could presume the approval of God, that one might be allowed to take what is created, owned and controlled by others and make it one’s own, that stealing, murder and slavery or virtual slavery were thought to be allowed if one had the presumption of God’s approval, could discount others as somehow inferior, and, at least for some, have their own racism, their selfishness and avarice, their disregard for the lives and property of others completely whitewashed by Christ’s sacrificial death.
This conclusion seems unavoidable given Biblical writings and Jewish, Christian and Islamic history.
©David N. Dodson, February, 2016, Phoenix, AZ
1Archeology has shown that at the time Joshua was supposed to have broken down the walls and killed almost everyone, there were neither walls around nor people within Jericho, an indicator that this story may be fictional.
2I have always been confused about Jehovah’s concept of sin. If it is the Ten Commandments, then why make covenants which encourage coveting and murder? If it is not being an obedient Jew, then why not just make everyone Jewish and show up physically once in a while to remind us? If it is being curious or disobedient, then why make us intensely curious and headstrong and give us free will?