Monday, April 4, 2011

Horrific Violence Breeds Horrific Violence

What would you do if someone instructed you to murder your child as a show of loyalty? Grab your child and run? Call the police? Or would you be loyal and do it?

Christians young and old are taught to honor Abraham for being willing to murder his only son, Isaac, at God’s request. What kind of parent would really do that? 

Religious people so often say that violent scripture is just an illustration of the real point -- a parable -- and that we need to read deeper to get the real meaning. The problem with interpretation: everyone's is different. And the Bible and Quran are often interpreted by psychopaths as instructions to kill innocent people.

For example, Andrea Yates drowned her 5 young children in their bathtub in Houston, Texas in 2001. A devout Christian, Ms. Yates read the Bible feverishly, and she and her husband "home-churched" their children three times a week. Amazingly, Yates was on firm scriptural ground when she murdered her children. Just like Abraham, when Yates felt that God required her to kill her children, she did it without question. Yates apparently takes a literal view of Christian scripture, and who can blame her? If you really believe that the perfect word of the loving creator of the universe is right there in black and white, who are you to question it? Some devout believers will do anything they believe gods are instructing them to do.


  1. In the months before the murders, Yates “stopped talking, mutilated herself, and read the Bible feverishly.”

  2. "[Yates] earmarked pages in her Bible about a mother's obligation to raise her children or face the consequences, and about the death penalty being the only way to get rid of demons inside. She came to believe that she had failed so badly to measure up to her own extreme ideals of motherhood (she thought the kids should say their ABCs by age 2) that, as she later told the jail psychiatrist, 'the kids were destined to perish in the fires of hell.'",9171,1001989,00.html

  3. Genesis 22

    1Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
    “Here I am,” he replied.
    2Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
    3Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.
    4On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.
    5He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
    6Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together,
    7Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
    “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
    “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
    8Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
    9When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.
    10Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
    11But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
    “Here I am,” he replied.
    12“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”