How to show you are not cruel
To the editor:
Rachel Laurn writes (Letter to the editor, May 7th): “What if you could even write a book explaining yourself? … You want desperately to show everyone that you are not cruel, but loving. Not harsh, but kind. Not quick to get angry, but extremely patient.” She’s referring to the Bible, a book about a cruel, genocidal deity with anger management issues.
Consider the following passages from the Bible:
I Samuel 6:19: “And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the Lord had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.”
I Samuel 15:2-3: “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”
Deuteronomy 28:27: “The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the hemorrhoids, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou cannot be healed.”
Cannot be healed? Ouch! This is a very small sample from dozens of similar passages in the Bible that depict a deity that condones or commits cruelty, war and genocide on a massive scale. This mythical being is hardly the deity that Rachel fantasizes about.
However, the written word is an inefficient way for any deity to communicate with humans. There are around 7,000 languages in the world with around 3,000 having no written form. And the Bible has not been translated into thousands of other languages: as of 2018 the full Bible has been translated into 683 languages, the New Testament has been translated into an additional 1,534 languages. And what about the millions that lived before the Bible existed?
So, what is the fate for the millions of people that have no Bible to read? In many cases where the Bible exists, most of the people are illiterate. A more efficient way for any deity to communicate with humans would be to implant the deity’s words in everyone’s mind like ROM (read only memory) in computer terminology. Alas, this has not been done.