Discovering Religion: Ep 19 – If America Became a Christian Nation (3 of 3)
It appears both the Bible and Koran are very preoccupied with the sexual actives of it followers. The Koran even forbids unmarried men and women from engaging in sex intercourse, a crime punishable with up to 100 lashes.
“The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication, flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.”
A similar verse can also be found in the Bible, which commits the daughter of a holy man to be burnt at the stake for the crime of fornication.
“A priest’s daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death. “
But one of the most cruel and unusual applications of Sharia law is the stoning of married men and women who commit the crime of adultery. The Koran does not specifically prescribe stoning as the punishment for adultery. However, in the Hadith, which are the writings based on the sayings and activities of Muhammad and his companions, the beloved prophet personally handed down the death sentence for the crime of adultery on numerous occasions.
In one story, a pregnant woman confesses to Muhammad that she is guilty of adultery, and after some consideration, Muhammad commands her to bear her child and weaned him from her breast. Upon completion of this task, she returns to Muhammad, who removes the child from her and orders the woman berried up to her chest and the people to stone her to death. The hadith recounts this gruesome story with such detail, that one of Muhammad’s disciples (Khalid b Walid) flung a stone at the woman’s head with such force that blood spurted back onto his own face.
In fact, this man was so consumed by the ritualistic murder, the hadith claims he hurdled curses up on the woman and abused her to such an extent that even Muhammad himself had to reprimand his own disciple (Muslim 17:4206). Can anyone honestly defend Muhammad’s position, that allowing this woman to be so brutally punished for her crime was more important than a mother’s influence in life of her growing child? Indeed, Muhammad’s bloodlust far exceeds that of his Jewish and Christian contemporaries.
In another story from the hadith, it is told that Jews brought to the Prophet Muhammad a man and woman guilty of adultery. The Prophet said to them, “How do you usually punish the one amongst you who has committed illegal sexual intercourse?” However, the Jews were reluctant to give the answer Muhammad desired, instead claiming the Torah does not define a clear punishment. Muhammad then said to them, “You have told a lie! Bring here the Torah and recite it if you are truthful.”
So the Jews went to retrieve the Torah as well as a Rabbi, but when the rabbi began reading the instructed verse, he too failed to cite the punishment Muhammad desired, instead “reading what was written above and below the place hidden with his hand…” However, Muhammad’s disciple removed the rabbi’s hand and asked, “What is this?” To which the rabbi reluctantly acknowledged that it was the verse they had been looking for. Muhammad then “ordered the two adulterers to be stoned to death…” (Bukhari 6:60:79).
Many more such stories are documented in the hadith, including one of Muhammad’s farewell addresses to his people before his final pilgrimage to Mecca, where the prophet commands: “The adulterer must be stoned” (Ibn Ishaq 970).
However, the issue of adultery is dealt with much differently in the Christian faith. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ introduces the concept of “thought crime” as he expounds on the Mosaic laws of morality by claiming:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who look s at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
What is so interesting about the statement is that Jesus would make every single one of his followers into adulterers, for not a solitary human being could ever be innocent from lusting after another.
Although this can be seen a ploy to draw more repenters into the faith, such a loaded statement results in some very serious implications, as the punishment for adultery, which is prescribed in the Mosaic law that Jesus Christ cites in his sermon, is the penalty of death.
“If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death.”
Obviously, Jesus Christ does not mean to imply lusting after another person should result in them being stoned to death, and early Christian scribes were well aware of this conflict.Therefore, a parable was fashioned in order to rectify the inconsistency in the teachings of Christ.
In the book “Misquoting Jesus”, world-renowned New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman examines the famous story found in John Chapter 8, in which the Pharisees bring a woman accused of adultery before Jesus Christ.
‘”In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.”
In order for Jesus to keep with his message of love thy neighbor, while at the same time not appearing to contradict the law of Moses, John 8 portrays Jesus uses his wits to get out a difficult predicament, making the famous statement:
“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
However, this story is a complete fabrication, for this account does not appear in any of the earliest know Greek manuscripts, which have been personally examined by Bart Ear-mon himself. In fact, this story is well known among New Testament scholars and, other textual critics, to have been added many hundreds of years after the book of John was initially written in order to solve the conflict between Christ’s message of love and the penalties for death as prescribed by Moses.
Although this parable is a work of fiction, one has to at least acknowledge the attempt made by Christians to distance themselves from the horrific murders perpetrated in the Old Testament, something that cannot be said for the Prophet Muhammad, whose personal views on adultery were more akin to the bloodthirsty patriarchs of Biblical lore than to his progressive Jewish and Christian counterparts living in Muhammad’s own era.
But regardless of how one might try tip-toe around such passages, if a nation were to subscribe to Biblical or Koranic justice, such archaic punishment for crimes would never become institutionalize in the 21st century, or would it?
It is for this very reason the Found Fathers created a separation of Church and state, baring any possibility of a run-away theocracy from taking root and implementing archaic and sickening laws that would otherwise fail to thrive in a population that is NOT under the influence of religious superstitions. Although we have only examined the negative aspects of religious doctrine, it is well understood that most people of faith tend to focus on the inspirational message of their religion, despite what negativity can be found in their respective holy books. And although many people of faith study Scripture on a weekly or even daily basis, most of them they are instructed on what to read by their religious leaders, prayer groups, or study guides. Therefore, the faithful either rationalize the passages they don’t agree with, ignore them all together, or simply do not even know they exist.
But it’s a well-know fact both the Bible and Koran have been used as a tools for evil, both historically and in present day. Although moderate Muslims had nothing to do with 9/11 and modern-day Christians had nothing to do with the American slave trade, it does not excuse the fact they are participating in a belief system that still contains the Scriptural justification for incomprehensible evil. Indeed, we have investigated the enforcement of archaic laws that continue to take place in the Islamic world as well as the murderer of abortion doctors and the persecution of Homosexuality that continues to plague the United States.
But if American Christians are so adamant about what is told Leviticus 20:13 that they are willing to deny homosexuals the right to marry, then why don’t these same Christian lobby to instate the death penalty for those who would curse their parents? Furthermore, why don’t Christians protest TV stations for the promotion of blasphemy, or better yet, issue Wanted posters that target prominent blasphemers, like the creators of South Park? In fact, earlier this year Trey Parker and Matt Stone received death threats by Muslims for their attempt to depict Muhammad in their TV show. However, moderate Muslims get up in arms when a clear the distinction is not made between them and the extremists. But, it is the extremist view that most accurately reflects the true tenets of any faith.
Simply put, Extremism is pure, uncut religion that has not been diluted with the progressive views of secular logic and reason. Although most people of faith would agree that executing someone for the sin adultery to be an extremist view on religion, we must not fool ourselves as to where one might be inclined to believe this is how God actually wants us to behave.
A majority of the people that practice religion just want to adhere the good and ignore the bad, but this view of Scripture only serves to excuse those who would follow their religion to its fullest extent. It is true that many people find comfort in the Abrahamic faiths, and no one has right to take that away, but when you place belief in a religion that also promotes the abuse of human rights, you are aiding an abetting the quote unquote “extremists” of your religion, who do not stop to make the same distinction between which of God laws are good or bad. For in their eyes, there is only God’s law.
The aim of this episode has been to highlight some of the injustices promoted through Scripture and to show the true source morality is not handed down from upon high. In the next series of episodes, we will discover that our understanding of right and wrong is an ongoing human endeavor, the result of centuries of trial and error, social consensus, and millions of years of evolution. Science and logical thinking are the essential tools by which to achieve a sound moral philosophy, and its no coincidence that with the greater accumulation of knowledge about our origins and the nature of reality, the better we have started to treat one another.