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Opinions of Monday, 27 July 2020

Columnist: Dr. Samuel Adjei Sarfo, Esq.

The Bible doesn’t teach right and wrong per se

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Maybe our people are so deprived of the good sense of right and wrong because they have been deceived to believe and have faith in a book that contains very little ethics and very little wisdom. Perhaps that is how they were misled to be so corrupt and ignorant? They have been programmed to whitewash the ugliest evils in that book and to accept them as acts of righteousness sanctioned by God himself. Therefore, they cannot distinguish between good and bad.

If we construe a book of wisdom as fully containing words and acts of wisdom without any foibles or follies, we will discover that the Bible is not a book of wisdom per se because it contains its full share of nonsense. The Bible is however a book for the wise. It has too many accounts of the hocus pocus, crinkum crankum, barbarities, stupidities, naiveties, lunacy and sheer wickedness and evil deeds of primitive men which only wise people can fully decode and understand. Only the wisest can therefore distinguish the grain from the chaff in order to draw apposite object lessons for the teaching of morality and ethics.

Otherwise we will continue to hold in high esteem a mad man who deceived his people with mere milk and honey. Exodus 3:8. He is believed to have liberated them from bondage in Egypt, taken them into the wilderness by an extremely long route, slaughtered them en masse on flimsy excuses (Exodus 32: 25-28); prohibited them from complaining (Numbers 14: 2 ff); introduced them to stoning of human beings (Numbers 15: 32-36), and to the mass murder, rape and enslavement of women and children (Numbers 31:14-18; Deuteronomy 3:2-7; Deuteronomy 20: 16-18), and finally escaping to the top of a mountain and pretending to be dead while still busy writing his books. (Deuteronomy 34: 1-8).

Moses certainly killed his six hundred thousand Jews before Hitler killed his six million Jews. And so who learned antisemitism from whom? Who learned racism and intolerance from whom? And who taught the world genocide: How to plunder and exterminate innocent people and everything that breathes? Who taught the world massive and indiscriminate retribution for the sins of one man? Who taught the grim dichotomy of the chosen and unchosen with its concomitant holy war and terrorism?

And in that wilderness, while the people continued to cry of hunger, who offered tons and tons of good meat as burnt sacrifice, claiming to offer its sweet aroma to God? And when the people complained that they had cravings for good meat, who cloyed them with dead and deadly quails, whereupon they died in their thousands? Numbers 11: 1-35.

Let me ask again who was more antisemitic or downright racist? Moses or Hitler? I tell you that if Moses had not been rescued from the bulrushes, there wouldn’t have been any holocaust…..Because the Jews would have gathered enough confidence to resist their plight without depending on God to save them.

It takes a typically high degree of naiveté to recognize such a slave-master and an evil tyrant as God’s chosen prophet, lawgiver or even a leader. If God indeed chose such a monster to lead, he must be a monster himself! And this is a matter of sublime irony which we must unravel because if we don’t take any lesson from Moses’ villainy, the world will be the worse for it: We will all become savages and holocaust mongers, not knowing the difference between good and bad.

Consider all these other prophets and saboteurs spawned by this impostor’s brazen lies and hypocrisy……All these usurpers and deadbeats and raconteurs who claimed the right to dictate to kings, to tell them exactly what to do, or else scheme to remove them from power……… One of them even hacked up an alien king and sacrificed his captives, including women and children, right before the masses of the people. See 1 Samuel 15:32-33. And a king supposedly appointed by God himself killed his own soldier and married his wife who begat an heir. 2 Samuel 11 ff. David also wiped out his best friend’s siblings and children by concocting non-existent charges against them and offering them to the Gibeonites to hang upon the city hills as human sacrifice ostensibly to end famine. 2 Samuel 21: 1-9. (The Bible records no incident where Saul slaughtered the Gibeonites….And even if he did, why slaughter his descendants?).

Because of all the foregoing narratives, the Bible cannot be said to contain much ethical or moral wisdom because it portrays the sheer wickedness and savagery of man at his worst. You can read Judges Chapters 17 and 18 to acquaint yourself with how The Danites massacred a peaceful people and stole the god of Micah for themselves….. Or you can read a similarly savage story in Judges Chapters 19, 20 and 21 to familiarize yourself with the dastardly deeds of the Benjamites who gang-raped and killed their host. For in those days, the Israelites did whatever was pleasing in their eyes, and those people of God had no discernible moral or ethical compass. To wit, they were savages and barbarians!

However, the Bible is a book for the wise because when we read it, we should be able to understand its subtextual message and glean some discernible moral principles and ethics from it. Please note that from the onset, the book is strident in its opposition to knowledge of good and bad: It tells of the plight of the first parents when they sought to know…. the establishment of ignorance as the preferred mode of existence is asserted in this account: The first parents were expelled from the Garden of Eden for eating of the fruit of knowledge of the good and bad. (They were probably meant to prance around the garden unencumbered like retards or simpletons, not knowing the difference between good and bad!). In the story of Abraham, obedience without question was extolled as a great virtue, to the extent that Abraham was held in high esteem for obeying god and offering his son for sacrifice. This is a typical example of a man acclaimed for not knowing the difference between good and bad: He agreed to offer his only son as a burnt sacrifice to his god!

In the story of Moses and the Israelites in particular, the prophet substituted one form of bondage for a more egregious one when he slaughtered the Israelites en masse for their worship of idols (although he made them an idol which he named an Arc of the Covenant), for complaining of hunger and thirst, for telling the truth about the problems confronting them; and even for gathering fire wood on the sabbath day, the first pogrom of stoning was authorized. Again, after ordering the Israelites to commit genocide on several fronts, he even chastised them for humanely sparing the women and children. They were sometimes urged to destroy anything that breathed!

We do not see any quality in Moses worthy of our emulation, more because he violated his own edict by marrying outside of the tribes; and when he was challenged on this point, he cast some sort of skin disease on his own sister who had rescued him from death on the Nile. Numbers 12: 1 ff.

Given the foregoing, the core lessons the Bible can conceivably project are at the deeper levels only; but the simple-minded chooses to believe in the superficial….the crinkum crankum! Because in the deeper level sub-textual sense, the Bible teaches us great lessons through all these nasty characters and barbaric narratives; but instead of gleaning the rogues and their horrid deeds and plots for lessons of what not to do or become, we invert the lessons and praise the bad actors in simplistic encomia, all in the spirit of faith and doctrine. That is how our moral compass is so upended. That is how we become guilty by association and are duly punished……We and our descendants! We are not able to know the difference between good and bad when we read the Bible.

If we were not that naïve, it ought not be too difficult to scratch the surface of the biblical accounts to reveal its deeper textual meanings….to expose all these culprits for what they truly are. But we allow these characters to fascinate us exceedingly, and we regard them as holy, and spend years of our lives rationalizing their evil deeds and justifying their dastardly acts. In this instance, our consciousness is rotten to the core and we can neither think nor reason beyond that of these primordial savages and barbarians. We cannot know the difference between good and bad.

To derive any benefit from the Bible as a book for the wise, we must question its nonsense, condemn its villains, criticize its edicts, and vow to live better lives than its evil characters. If an account does not make sense in the Bible, we must expose it and reject it, or be condemned for it. If we rationalize the acts of savages and barbarians, we will become savages and barbarians ourselves.

For unless our lives are far righteous than these barbarians and savages whose lives the Bible has taken the time to expose to us, our intellectual development will be as stunted as theirs, and we would be no good beneficiaries in our grasp of the deeper level lessons of the “unholy” Bible. We will never know the difference between good and bad.