This post by Robert L. Johnson originally appeared at World Union of Deists.
All good parents want what is best for their children. Unfortunately, sometimes parents with good intentions teach their children from religious books in which the good content is far outweighed by the bad content. It is our duty as parents, and as grandparents, to be honest with our children and grandchildren. And this duty extends to what we teach them about God, religion and philosophy.
Just because we were brought up to believe the Bible, Torah or Koran is “the word of God” does not mean any of these books actually really are “the word of God.” When we objectively examine these purported “holy books”, applying our God-given reason to them, we see they all fall far short of any type of true meaningful morality. Slavery is one glaring example of a lack of morals in all three of these man-made books which are falsely alleged to be of divine origins. Do we want our children to believe that slavery is acceptable? If we don’t, we need to teach them that these three books are nothing but ancient superstitions written long ago by men who still ignorantly believed the Earth is flat.
Since I have a Christian background and not an Islamic background, I will not go into detail about why Muslim parents should protect their children from the Koran. However, we will soon have an article up written by a Deist who was formerly a Muslim which will address this issue in detail. And it’s also important to realize that Abraham is considered the patriarch of Islam as well as of Judaism and Christianity. Therefore the bad examples of Abraham which are covered below apply to all three of the Abrahamic “revealed” religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
If Abraham was alive today and told anyone that God told him to kill his son in a sacrifice to God, he would be put in a mental institution and his son would be taken into protective custody. Unfortunately many followers of the Abrahamic “revealed” religions today take this horrid ungodly Bible story as fact and truth. One tragically sad case involves a Christian woman, Deanna Laney, who had three beautiful little boys who she believed, based on the Bible story of Abraham, God wanted her to kill to show God she “had complete and unconditional faith in Him.” Like many Christians and followers of the Abrahamic “revealed” religions, Deanna Laney falsely believed God ordered Abraham to kill his only son because he, God, wanted to know if he, Abraham, had enough faith in God to do it. However, the Bible, at Genesis 22:12, claims the reason the Bible god gave this order to Abraham was to know if Abraham feared him, God, enough to do it. As any rational mere human mind knows, this type of behavior on the part of the Bible god and on the part of Abraham is insane. Thankfully, it is proof that God, the Supreme Intelligence, or, as is described in the Declaration of Independence, Nature’s God, had and has absolutely NOTHING to do with the Bible! Sadly, in the case of Deanna Laney, she religiously murdered two of her children, Luke age six and Joshua age eight, and had caused severe brain damage to 14 month old Aaron. She committed these Bible inspired evil and unnatural acts by smashing her little boys’ heads with heavy stones.
One Bible teaching that is not good for children, especially sons, nor for their parents, is found at Deuteronomy 21:18-21 which commands, “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.” There are other Biblical verses which call for the killing of children who curse their mother or father such as Exodus 21:17 among others.
The Bible god, according to 2 Kings 2:23-24, sent two bears to tear-up 42 little boys who were teasing the bald headed Hebrew “prophet” Elisha about his bald head! Will stories like this edify your children? Or will they just put fear in them?
Not to leave little girls out, Leviticus 27:3-7 is how God lets little girls and women know they are not worth much. It reads, “And thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary. And if it be a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty shekels. And if it be from five years old even unto twenty years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male twenty shekels, and for the female ten shekels. And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver. And if it be from sixty years old and above; if it be a male, then thy estimation shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female ten shekels.” How do you explain to innocent impressionable children that their Creator, God, has put a monetary value on them? And an extremely low one at that! And that God thinks girls are worth only about half as much as boys! Also, the Bible god does not even bother putting a value on infants younger than one month let alone on unborn babies.
How do you tell children that God favored one group of people “above all people that are upon the face of the earth” as Deuteronomy 7:6 claims about the Hebrews/Jews? If you’re Jewish you’re doing a great disservice to your children by propagating this shameful lie and giving your children a false sense of superiority. If you’re a Gentile and teaching this nonsense to your child, you’re filling them with a terrible inferiority complex.
One scary thought for children would be the fear of becoming a slave for someone. The Bible teaches the Jews that they can own Gentile slaves. And the Biblical teaching specifically mentions Gentile children. Leviticus 25:44-46 reads, “Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.” These are sick ideas to teach children weather you’re a Jew or a Gentile.
In Matthew we see that the Bible says that Jesus said he is not only not against the unreasonable and cruel laws of the Old Testament, but that he came to fulfill them. Matthew 5:17 states that Jesus stated, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” And in Matthew 15:4-6 Jesus condemns the Jews for not following the Old Testament/Torah laws which required them to kill their children if their children cursed their parents. This paints quite a different picture of Jesus than the one used on most children’s’ Bibles!
Children will receive a scare and a bad lesson at Luke 14:26 which claims that Jesus said, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” This could only cause confusion in the minds of children (and adults) and fear that they may cause their father to lose his own life. It also sets them up to be victims of cults in addition to the cult of Christianity by belittling their gift from God of life itself; their own life! It sets up a mindset of hating your own life in order to please the religious guru. That is sick and very unnatural and ungodly.
Zombies are always a scare to children! In Matthew 27:52-53 we read about what can only be described as zombies or the living dead. It states, “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” Based on this tall tale when Jesus died the “saints” arose from the dead but stayed put at their graves until about 45 hours later when Jesus came back to life and came out of his tomb. At that time they strolled into Jerusalem “and appeared unto many.” No adult in his or her right mind would ever believe this Biblical lie. However, it does have much potential to frighten little children.
There are many more Bible stories which are not good for children. The Bible is so ambiguous, it’s not even clear what exactly is required for its main promise of eternal salvation, that any of the good teachings in it are rendered meaningless by the evil teachings that are in it.
Penn Jillette: Reading the Bible (Or the Koran, Or the Torah) Will Make You an Atheist
Christopher Hitchens Revises the Ten Commandments
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