THE GIST: If people have evolved by natural selection, such that gods are inventions of people instead of people being inventions of gods, it follows that gods are subject to being designed to help us achieve both our highest and our lowest aspirations ... by both our most moral and our most immoral means. At the low end, deception, usury, theft, enslavement, rape, murder and genocide are promoted by the god of The Bible as modus operandi of Zionism. The Passover story and its lopsided reception are instructive in this regard because they show how an existential foundation of moral behavior among people who worship one god can obligate immoral behavior toward people who worship a different god. That kind of in-group morality festers at the crux of the most deplorable aspects of Israeli and American foreign policy. A better existential foundation is proffered.
Oxford University Press has published "Chastity, Fidelity and Conquest: Biblical Rules for Women and War" as the 5th chapter of The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Violence, Homicide and War (available at Amazon). "Chastity, Fidelity and Conquest" warns the world at large, and Israelis in particular, about the likely consequences of pursuing Zionism over the next 40 years.
Abstract and Key Words are:
Abstract: The Bible instructs men to take a proactive approach to their problem with paternity — the possibility that a man's putative child may be a another man's genetic offspring — by stoning brides who do not bleed on first penetration, by burning women who have become pregnant out of wedlock, by torturing and poisoning wives who are suspected of adultery, by executing women who have committed adultery and by murdering female prisoners of war who are not virgins. In addition to enhancing men's assurance of paternity, control of women reduces conflict between men over women, which enhances male-male solidarity and so a society's capacity for military conquest. Concomitant to instructions for controlling women, the Bible commands adherents to commit absolute genocide against people whose land they wish to occupy, kill men in surrounding nations unless they agree to be slaves, and take their virgin women and girls as booty.
Although some non-Western cultures also sanctify such practices, in other traditional societies women have been "very free and at liberty in doing what they please with themselves" (Barbosa 1500/1866) and military conquest has not been a religious obligation. It follows that the Bible's dark legacy is not a requirement of human nature.
Key Words: adultery, anal intercourse, Bible, Canaan, chastity, Christianity, Codes of Maimonides, fidelity, genocide, Greater Israel, human sacrifice, Israel, Judaism, Muslim Civilization, Midrash Rabbah, murder, Onanism, One State Solution, paternity, Palestine, rape, sexual repression, slavery, Talmud, Torah, Two State Solution, torture, virginity testing, war, War Against Terrorism, Western Civilization, World War III, Zionism.
Based on analysis of the Bible, the Codes of Maimonides, the Midrash Rabbah and the Talmud; the work of exegetes like Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Christopher Hitchens, Thomas Paine, Israel Shahak and Geza Vermes; and analysis by evolutionists including Carolyn Block, Christine Bow-Thomas, David Buss, Napoleon Chagnon, Martin Daly, Richard Dawkins, Mildred Dickemann, Judith Easton, Mark Flinn, Steve Gaulin, David Geary, Aaron Goetz, Penelope Green, Sarah Hrdy, Mary Hoard, Farnaz Kaighobadi, Jeffery Kurland, Randy Larsen, William McKibbin, Emily Miner, Steven Platek, Michael Rumsey, Alice Schlegel, Jennifer Semmelroth, Todd Shackelford, Valerie Starratt, Viviana Weekes-Shackelford, Suzanne Weghorst, Drew Westen, and Margo Wilson — Chastity, Fidelity and Conquest derives conclusions (for which I am solely responsible) that include:
- Zionism is not racism only in the sense that Zionism makes racism look like a transgression of etiquette.
- There is a distinction between what is wrong and what is evil. Evil is committed when clarity is taken away from what is clearly wrong, allowing wrong to be seen as less wrong, excusable, right, or an obligatory commandment of a Lord God Almighty ... So it matters that rules for torturing and murdering women are promulgated in the Torah, which lies at the heart of the Bible, which lies at the heart of Judaism, which lies at the heart of Christianity. A wolf, no matter how big and bad, cannot be evil. In distinction, a wolf in sheep's clothing is pure evil.
- The Bible is not evil by virtue of its barbaric objectives or even its glorification of cruelty, murder, rape and genocide. Many ancient works do that — The Iliad, the Icelandic Sagas, the tales of the ancient Syrians and the inscriptions of the ancient Mayans, for example — but no one is selling or buying The Iliad as a foundation for morality. Therein lies the problem. The Bible is sold and bought as a guide to how people should live their lives. And it is, by far, the world's all-time best-seller.
- There was no conflict between the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" and the commandment to commit genocide. In distinction, the former facilitated the latter ... "Thou shalt not kill" meant 'Thou shalt not kill thy neighbor — the children of thy people, your countrymen' ... your fellow Israelites ... because, among other objectives, they needed to cooperate with each other in order to fulfull the genocide commandments (for details and corroborative interpretations in the rest of the Bible, the Talmud and from Maimonides, see Hartung, 1995).
- When Jesus prayed "Our Father who art in heaven ..." he was not talking to himself. Vermes (1973) has presented persuasive evidence and arguments that Jesus had on-days and off-days regarding his confidence that he was the Jewish Messiah. Although the Christian church invented the Nicene Creed (3 is 1 and 1 is 3) some 300 years after Jesus' death in order to resolve Christian adherence to the First Commandment, Jesus never had an 'on' day regarding whether he was the god that he prayed to. Indeed, he would have considered the question, let alone the assertion, to be blasphemous.
- In Jesus' time, the job of the Jewish Messiah was to recreate the Kingdom of David ... when Jews had complete dominion over Israel and reputed themselves to have received spectacular amounts of tribute (protection money) from all surrounding nations.
- It should be noted that, thanks to Saul of Tarsus (Saint Paul), Jesus accomplished his 'on-day' objective ... except that the enormous tribute paid to the reconstituted Israel comes from the United States instead of being sent by surrounding nations.
- Jesus' strategy was to create brotherly love among all sects of Jews — right down to the Samaritans — in order to provide a united front against Roman colonialism. This love did not extend to goyim unless they served Israel in some extraordinary individual capacity (as in 'but some of my best friends are goy!' see: Luke 7:1-10 for an example), and he only blessed a left-over Canaanite woman because she was willing to accept herself and her kind as having the status of dogs in comparison to Israelites (see Matthew 15:21-28 and Hartung 1995).
- Anyone who doubts the depth of Christian allegiance to Zionism, or thinks that it only pertains to right-wing fundamentalist Christians, should contemplate the conflict between the drive to "stabilize" world oil prices (Chomsky 2011a) and allegiance to Israel. These two pursuits are antithetical, but for most Christians and Jews — i.e., the vast majority of Americans — Zionism even trumps oil.
- Zionist Jews, who number fewer than 16 million, are the sparkplugs of Zionism ... but the rest of the engine is drawn from 2.2 billion Christians, most of whom range from vaguely philo-Semitic (Mead 2008) to frank Zionists (Haaretz 2010c). Many Christians have difficulty appreciating this, but it should be kept in mind that the Jewish Bible comprises about two thirds of the Christian Bible and Christians worship the god of the Jews (the god that Jesus worshipped) and Jesus himself (who was a Jew and, with the help of Saul of Tarsus, the most effective Zionist in history).
- Whether the barbarity of cultural ancestors is manifest today in unequal pay for equal work done by women, or the inchoate notion that it is OK to make Palestinians pay for what Germans did to Jews during World War II, on-going reverence for the god of the Bible increases the probability that humans will self-destruct.
- Just as the Treaty of Versailles invited World War II, so the re-creation of Israel invited the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the Sinai War, the Six-Day War, the War of Attrition, the Yom Kippur War, the First and Second Lebanon Wars, the Gaza War, the Gulf War, the Iraq War, the war in Afghanistan, the war in Libya, the drumbeat for war against Iran (Chomsky 2011a) and the amorphous War Against Terrorism — whose efforts range from America aping Israel by celebrating extra-judicial assassinations (Chomsky 2011b) and by torturing prisoners ... to removing shoes in airports.
- We need to realize that each of us, Zionist and anti-Zionist alike, is responsible for the torture and/or murder of every Palestinian that has been tortured or murdered by Israel and every Muslim of any ilk that has been tortured and/or murdered by the United States (including Samir Kahn as collateral damage during the murder of Anwar Al-Awlaki ... both American citizens).
- If WWIII should occur within the next 20 years, civilization (humanity's capacity to preserve, implement and extend knowledge thus far accumulated) would almost certainly survive because the world's arsenal of nuclear weapons has been substantially reduced over the past 20 years. However, if WWIII occurs subsequent to the much-sought-after technological breakthrough that will lower the cost of nuclear bombs by a game-changing magnitude, scores of nations will have them, delivery systems will range from ICBM's to trucks, and WWIII could damage civilization beyond repair.
- Contemporary Reformed Zionist Christians (Barack Obama (2011), view the prospect of 'giving' the Palestinians 22% of what should be theirs (Abbas, 2011) as nobelesse oblige ... but Reformed Zionism, whether promoted by Christians or Jews, is ultimately as much an oxymoron as 'Reformed Fascism' ... so abject betrayal of Palestinians by Reformed Zionists like Barack Obama and his alter ego mother figure, Hillary Clinton, and Susan Rice, should come as no surprise (Ephron 2011, Falk 2011).
- Whether Reformed Zionism brings WWIII in 20 years, or 40 years or 80 years — whether before the implementation of a Two State Solution, during its implementation, or after its failure — the hatred necessarily generated by any form of Zionism is cumulative, irreducible and inescapable.
- Now is the time to dissuade people who claim a right to behave in a barbarous manner because barbaric instructions are given to them by a god invented by their ancestors to serve the same purposes today that he served back then — theft of other people's liberty, lives and land (Haaretz 2009, EU Times 2009).
- Western civilization cannot be the 'light unto the nations' that it fancies itself to be — whether through Moses or Jesus — nor even a respectable example of a civilization that upholds human rights, until women have full equality of opportunity, until we stop violating the rights of Palestinians as a special case, and until we stop violating much of the Muslim world in secondary consequence.
John Hartung is the Associate Editor of the Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology and Professor of Anesthesiology at the State University of New York.
His Ph.D. is in anthropology from Harvard. About half of Dr. Hartung's publications are in social science, with the rest in medicine (Curriculum Vitae).
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