Bible reading in public schools?

Sadly, the debate about mandating the teaching of the Bible in primary public schools has reared its ugly head again. It is impossible to ignore that any poor little suckers who are exposed to this epic amount of historic patriarchal tribal swill will learn: That theft, murder, genocide and rapine are all just fine if done in the name of the Lord, as in Numbers 31:9–18, ‘The Israelites captured the Midianite women and their children, and they plundered all their herds, flocks, and goods. Then they burned all the cities where the Midianites had lived, as well as all their encampments, and carried away all the plunder and spoils, both people and animals. They brought the captives, spoils, and plunder to Moses, to Eleazar the priest, and to the congregation of Israel at the camp on the plains of Moab, by the Jordan across from Jericho. And Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the congregation went to meet them outside the camp.

‘But Moses was angry with the officers of the army — the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds — who were returning from the battle. “Have you spared all the women?” he asked them. “Look, these women caused the sons of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to turn unfaithfully against the LORD at Peor [by worshipping their traditional feminine aspect of deity], So now, kill all the boys, and kill every woman who has had relations with a man, but spare for yourselves every girl who has never had relations with a man.’

And from Deuteronomy 20:13–18, ‘“When the LORD your God has delivered it [a city] into your hands, you must strike down every male with the sword. But the women, children, livestock, and whatever else is in the city — all its spoil — you may take as plunder, and you shall enjoy the spoil of your enemies that the LORD your God gives you. This is how you are to treat all the cities that are far away from you and do not belong to the nations nearby. However, in the cities of the nations that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, you must not leave alive anything that breathes. For you must devote them to complete destruction — the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites — as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that they cannot teach you to do all the detestable things they do for their gods [sacred sexual ceremony, the ‘Heiros Gamos,’ or Sacred Marriage, where the king marries the Land, as Goddess] and cause you to sin against the LORD your God [by reverencing the age-old traditional Goddess].”’

Added to these atrocities and standard patriarchal war crimes, children will learn that menstruation is the greatest pollution next only to death and corpses, and that women and girls are spiritually, morally and physically polluted on account of it, and that only money and jewelry offerings to the priesthood (the Levites, Moses’ own priestly caste) will ‘purify’ them, much as reflected in the Islamic Sunnah (“Oh women, give generously of your jewels and gold bangles, for thou art surely of Hell on the day of Resurrection”). Birth blood is also “pollution,” but less so if the birth results in a male baby. The purifications must be twice as long and generous if the child is female as the ‘pollution’ is greater with a girl child.

Also, It’s fine to offer your daughters to a rapacious mob outside your house if it is to protect your two respectable male guests (‘Before they had gone to bed, all the men of the city of Sodom, both young and old, surrounded the house. They called out to Lot, saying, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Send them out to us so we can have relations with them!” Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him. “Please, my brothers,” he pleaded, “don’t do such a wicked thing! Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them to you, and you can do to them whatever you want. But do not do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”’) Also, it’s fine to have sex and beget children with your daughters if there’s no one else around. Also, it’s fine to blame the young victim(s) of incest/rape, your children, and say that THEY came on to YOU (as if!), and to claim to have been really drunk, not remember, and not really know what you were doing. (Gen 19) In fact, that claim has been successfully used as a defence in a BC court quite recently, in a case where the victim was a toddler.

Also, Bible-studying youth will learn, from the Mosaic Purity Laws that feature prominently in the Old Testament, that any donkey that has been subjected to rape by a man has been rendered polluted. The poor beast, as if it hasn’t been subjected to enough ignominy, must then be “stoned to death outside the city wall,” and its flesh not be consumed as food. I’m quite sure that goes directly against animal cruelty statutes most everywhere in ‘civilized’ Christendom these days. Obviously, these are not the best lessons to be exposing the forming young minds of schoolchildren to. In fact, it is almost certainly a practice guaranteed to cause nightmares.

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Yvonne Owens, PhD

Yvonne Owens, PhD

I'm a writer/researcher/arts educator on Vancouver Island and all round global citizen who loves humans even though we're such a phenomenal pain-in-the-ass.