Saturday, April 30, 2011

Where Are They Now?

Where are they now?  Where are the religious crackpots to comment on the horrible tornado disaster which has killed about 350 people across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia late last month?

Back when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, good Christians like Pat Robertson linked that tragedy to a punishment from God for the United States' position on abortion.  Hal Lindsey claimed that this was the beginning of prophetic times [of God's Judgement] and that the Judgement of America has begun.  Hal's sentiment was shared in the pulpits by lesser known religious commentators too.  Everybody knows the sins which go on in New Orleans, especially during the abomination of Mardi Gras.

(Of course, they neglected to review the facts that it was precisely the more God-fearing neighborhoods which suffered the most, while Bourbon Street remained intact.)

Now, however, this tornado outbreak is a strike to the Bible Belt, a direct hit to its heart.  Having traveled a bit, I can tell you from personal experience that some of the hardest hit areas were also some of the most devout.  These are places where you can't buy alcohol on Sunday, and some places where you can't find a restaurant open on Sunday other than a McDonalds, all in reverence to the chosen Christian Sabbath day.

Will Pat or Hal stand up and say that this is God's Judgement, and that possibly it is directed at them?  No.  Don't count on it.

While people mull about to pick up the pieces of their shattered homes and shattered lives, the pulpit is actively working on a way to spin this into God's plan, to make it so that God's good grace can shine through the tragedy.  No doubt there are already Christian disaster response teams, working to heal the damages souls of believers, and possibly even convert people who are humbled and devastated by their losses.

The truth is that disaster can happen to anyone, and that it happens without reason or purpose.  There is no God who is casting out judgement, nor any supernatural power who can protect anyone.  That's why it is important for us, all of us as we are able, to take action to help our fellow citizens through any disaster, and to try to figure out ways to limit the horrors of disasters like this in any way possible.  This is love.  Real love.  Not praying to an imaginary friend or reveling in that fake friend's wicked wrath.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

One Month From Now...

One month from now, the world will end as we know it.  Or at least Harold Camping thinks so.  That is such a crazy idea to ponder.  I mean, it's flat out crazy in and of itself, but what if you did know the world would end in one month?  What if you knew for certain that one month from now, God would fulfill His promise to unleash His full wrath upon the overwhelming majority of the world; those who could not manage to walk the narrow path and enter the narrow gate.

Walk into a crowded mall or supermarket.  Look around.  Consider that most of the people you see are going to be punish by God in a way such that no person has ever been punished.  Perhaps even you.

Camping and his followers must be walking a fine line between extreme anticipated bliss and dire mourning for all of the lost souls around them.  I imagine it must be something like being the only one on a 747 with an ejection seat and a parachute as it plummets to the ground due to engine failure.  Sure, you'll survive, but what about everybody else?

I can't imagine the emotional roller coaster those poor, misguided souls are on.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The World's Worst Boss

A bad boss is cliché in stories, especially comedies.  "The Office" is such a hit largely due to boss Michael Scott (Steve Carell).

I have been fairly fortunate in my career, but I have heard the horror stories from others.

One of the most despised bosses is the one who takes credit for your work.  You know, the kind that gives you a rough vector on what to do and then walks away until the project is complete.  If the project is a huge success?  He (or she) takes the majority share of the credit to make himself look good to his superiors.

Who wants to work for someone like that?  Nobody I have found.

There is a bigger, badder boss out there who takes complete credit for your successes, and he thinks that everyone ultimately works for him.  No, it's not Donald Trump.  Guess again.

This boss takes the process to an entirely different level.  He actually tries to get the people who work for him to believe that he is the only reason for their successes.  Any and all successes the boss claims, and gets his workers to think that it was only through the boss that they had that success.  They all willingly give the credit to the boss.

Their failures?  Well, the workers keep the ownership of their failures.  Only successes come from the boss.  If there was a failure, it was clearly due to the worker's deviation from what the boss had instructed.  That's the reason which is drilled into the workers' heads on a regular basis.

It's brilliant, in a deviant, evil way.  The longer the workers work for this boss, the more completely they absorb the mantra that they can do no good apart from the boss.  Workers find themselves wondering if they could ever do anything right without the boss backing them.  That keeps them working for this boss.  And when they see others who are self-employed or who work for another boss, the workers reflect their fears onto these others, and suspect that they are never successful and can never do anything right.

He's got such a brilliant scam that people actually want to work for him.  So, without further delay, let me introduce you to this mastermind, the world's best, worst boss.  You can call him Jesus.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Abortion Paradox

Abortion.  It's a hot topic.  Passion on both sides of the argument.  I'm not here to change your mind about it one way or the other, so don't worry.  I'm looking deeper.

Christians generally view abortion as bad.  They site verses like Psalm 51:6 and Psalm 139:13 as support  for the idea that God plays an active role in making babies.  If God is making all babies, then nobody should put an end to them, or so the logic goes.  (Of course, they don't really consider that natural miscarriages happen at a rate of over 10% for young, healthy mothers, and that rate climbs as health decreases and age increases, but we'll let that go for now.)

Do this:  Ask a Christian pro-lifer what happens to babies who are aborted in the grand scheme, in God's eternal plans.  I've only come across two real variations so far (other than "I don't know"):  1)  They go straight to heaven.  or 2) God, knowing all things, assigns them salvation or damnation based on how they would have turned out had they not been aborted.

Answer #1 is troublesome.  If aborted babies go straight to Heaven regardless of how they would have turned out, then why is God putting all of us through this life experience, with its inherent trials and tribulations, where He will end up condemning the vast majority of us, instead of just sparing us the drama and welcoming everyone into Heaven?

Also, this position creates a very odd reward schedule for a Christian mother, or would-be mother, if she is not mentally sound.  After all, the primary goal of any Christian mother would be to raise her kids in a way to enhance their reception of Jesus, with their salvation being the end desire.  Yet by a would-be mother having an abortion, she could ensure that her child goes straight into Jesus' arms.  In fact, such a would-be mother could look at her abortions with great pride, considering that she is directly helping to populate Heaven.

Answer #2 is no less troublesome.  If God can determine where the child will ultimately end up before he or she is born, then this life on earth is pointless because God knows our fate already.  Not only that, but God is purposefully making billions of souls which He knows will be condemned to Hell from the moment He starts making them.  The question of "why are we here?" takes on a whole new dimension, and the answer becomes clear.  We are suffering for God's amusement.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Golden Paradox

There's an odd dynamic out there in the netherworld where secularists and Christians debate morals.  Secularists, of course, argue that we can derive the moral code from considering what is the best way for societies to live and interact with each other.  For example, it's pretty obvious that theft is bad.  Who would want to live in a society where everybody is constantly stealing from one another?  Right and wrong are pretty easy to discern, really, at least on the major issues.

Christians are appalled by the secularist approach, or (as their talk-show hosts often call it) humanist approach, to defining morals.  They know that God is the source of all morality.  They know what is right and what is wrong by reading God's word.  However, most Christians do not follow God's Law from the Old Testament.  Sure, they will proudly post the ten commandments in front of courthouses, but that's about all you hear about obeying God's Law from the mainstream.

As my recent debate with David* had demonstrated, many Christians look at Matthew 22:36-40, where Jesus says the two most important commandments are to love God and to love your neighbor, and they take this as a license of freedom from God's Law.  If they want to know how to act, they need only to think of how to love their neighbor.

The great paradox here is that this puts this type of Christian on the same footing as the secularist in determining morality.  Each is judging morality as they see fit from their own hearts.  Yet, oddly enough, Christians espousing this belief feels like they are somehow better at it.  Their golden rule is somehow better than the golden rule of someone else.  Go figure.

* This post is not directed at David, as I had not detected this unjustly superlative position in him.  This post is based more off of my experience with others and listening to Christian radio.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dueling David 2c: Offensive Content

David said  “...advocates of [the Bible/Koran] are the best authority of what its followers should be practicing...”

To some extent, I think this is a completely valid viewpoint, and that you are right to push in that direction. You should be held accountable for what you really believe, only what is really being taught.

However, you must realize that there is often a departure between what is taught and believed about the Bible versus what is actually in the Bible. For example, several hundred years ago, Christianity presented a fairly uniform front that hell was a place of eternal punishment, a lake of fire where those who rejected God were tortured forever. Today, you still have people who believe that, but you also have others who believe that hell is just the absence of God, or that the unsaved are simply terminated. All of these views are from advocates of the faith, but they can't all be correct.

Similarly, you would not have asked General Custer if the United States policy of slaughter and forced relocation of the Native Americans was justified. His view would be biased, for sure, presenting the best possible picture of the situation from the U.S. perspective.

Therefore, I submit to you that consulting Lewis or Wright about what to believe is one level removed from the truth. Our battle ground should not be the opinions of others, but rather the very words of God written in the Bible, and what the implications are regarding those words.

To advocate is to encourage support for something. That's different than mandating something. Having laws which regulate something instead of having laws which forbid something is a tacit approval of that something. What you have to recognize is that, at one point in time, God had rules regulating slavery, not prohibiting slavery.

You bring up an interesting point about Hebrew slavery, which was more like indentured servitude than true slavery, because it had a term limit defined by the seventh-year Jubilee. However, this is not the only kind of slavery which existed. You've got to read all of the text, and pay attention to the details.

Leviticus 25 is one of the chapters covering Jubilee. Leviticus 25:39-43 talks about how a poor Hebrew may sell himself, but must be released on Jubilee. It also says that he is not to be treated as a slave. In contrast is Leviticus 25:44-46, God instructs the Israelites to buy their slaves from other nations, and that these types of slaves are property which can be willed and inherited, precisely like the slaves of the United States were treated. In that last verse, Leviticus 25:46, you can see the double standard God has established in the treatment of slaves versus the Hebrew servants. The rest of that chapter explicitly explains that it is only, only, the Hebrew servants which are to be freed during Jubilee.

So whether or not Christianity today advocates slavery, God, Himself, at one time did.

Furthermore, God defined a double-standard of justice for slaves, such as Exodus 21:26-27. Where God would have prescribed eye-for-eye, tooth-for-tooth justice for free citizens, instead a slave just gets freed if his master knocks out a tooth or blinds him while his master receives no punishment. In Exodus 21:28-32, you see that if a wild bull kills a free man, the bull's owner will get put to death. But if the wild bull kills a slave, then the bull's owner just has to pay the slave's owner a fine.

So God not only advocated slavery, bu also advocated the treatment of slaves as second-class citizens, not worthy of the same justice which is afforded free men. That's not really what I would expect to see from a loving God. How about you?

I've spilled enough virtual ink for one argument. Let's cover oppression and genocide after we get slavery resolved.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dueling David 2b: Naturally Flawed Logic

Blogs aren't the best places for debate, but well try to make this work as best as possible.  This is an ongoing debate with David.  See "Dueling David" for the previous round if you'd like to join in, and don't forget to read the comments because that is where David replied.

Naturally Flawed Logic
I never claimed that anything which occurs in nature is OK. After all, there are some pretty horrific genetic mutations which happen in nature. If I had the power to control that, maybe like God, I would probably try to prevent that from happening. But I digress. ;-)

I missed the BBC series on chimps, but, yes, murder and cannibalism happen in nature. Yes, many, if not most or all, of us feel the occasional violent urge like we would want to kill others, even if that feeling is fleeting and not deeply serious. But that's entirely different than sexuality. Let's talk about why.

Sexuality affects us so much that researchers determined that one of the first things we recognize about anyone is their sex. Male or female? This is long before we could even form an opinion on whether or not we should kill them. ;-) Our sexuality is always there. Our urges to kill other people? Not so much, unless we are just insane.

In purely legalistic perspective, your friend's comment is correct. Until someone has homosexual sex, they are not homosexual. But that's not true in the brain and the internalized sexuality which we all think about on at least a subconscious level any time we meet other people. In fact, that's one reason why I know that male homosexuals are natural. Not because I have homosexual desires, but precisely the opposite. I think male homosexual sex is repulsive. If all men had the same sexuality as me, male homosexuality would not exist. Yet male homosexuals do exist, so not everybody has the same sexuality.

You know what else? I can often tell when another man is homosexual. You may have heard of a term “gaydar.” Not always. Not perfectly. But often enough that it's not just coincidence, I can tell. I picked up on it pretty readily with the three gay friends I have, and it's not because they were flamboyant about their homosexuality, or because they made passes at me (although one of them did eventually, I guess his gaydar wasn't working).

You may be of the opinion that men and women think differently. Quite often, the homosexual men I've met have thought differently as well. This is somewhat of a proven fact too. Do a little research, and you will find that our top military language translators are quite often homosexual. That's why policies which exclude gays from the military are actually somewhat detrimental to national security.

An unnatural love for languages and an inclination for interior design are stereotypes of homosexuals for a reason. It's not that all homosexuals possess these skills, but enough do to stand out. And that points to homosexuality as being more than simply a label of someone who preforms the act of homosexual intercourse.

Something else to consider: Roughly 1.7% of human births are intersex, where sexual organs are not clearly male or female, or actually have both sexual organs. About 0.018% of human births have chromosomes which are inconsistent with either male or female. If something as basic as male verses female organs can get mixed up, it must be inherently possible for “masculine” brains to end up in female bodies, or visa versa, or some hybrid of male and female brain.

OK, so all of this points back to homosexuality being completely natural, homosexuals being born with homosexual desires from birth, and God condemning them for those very same desires. Yes, I know, desires and actions are different. You can argue it's still a choice in the end (no pun intended). But if a homosexual man feels towards sex with a woman the way I feel towards homosexual sex with another man, well, quite frankly, that's no choice at all. It's not going to happen.

Deuling David 2a: The Morals of God

Blogs aren't the best places for debate, but well try to make this work as best as possible.  This is an ongoing debate with David.  See "Dueling David" for the previous round if you'd like to join in, and don't forget to read the comments because that is where David replied.

I've split up the major headings to different posts here. In the next round, maybe we should limit it to 300-500 word replies to encourage real dialog?  I don't know, though, as it can cut down on clarity.  But post whatever you need to David this time for your reply.

New business
In the “I'm an Insensitive Jerk” post, I mentioned that God condemns all wrongdoers, and that God is right in doing so, which David agreed with. David rejected the sentiment I gave that “a believer should feel justified in his or her condemnation of others.” He stated that this “does not logically follow, is contrary to scripture and I utterly disagree.”
I wrote this particular passage from a fictional fundamentalist point of view, more in line with expressing an emotion than a fact. So you are right to criticize it as not being factual, but that was not exactly my aim. However, it's not completely contrary to scripture either. Please read my study “Judging Pigs” for additional details regarding judging. But also consider that all Christians want to be like Christ, right? At least the good ones. Well, according to John 5:22, Jesus is the judge of everyone. So, in a very real sense, being judgemental of others is Christ-like. ;-)

The Morals of God
I must not have written “Holy Divorce” very well, or maybe you did not pay close attention when you read it, because you obviously missed the point. The main thrust of the message was that Jesus was making an illegitimate claim; passing the divorce law off as something Moses himself came up with. It was God, not Moses, who made the law, and the law itself was not even about permission to divorce. If I understand scripture better than Jesus, then we have a problem.

Here's something to puzzle over: What is God's will if not God's preference? If we transgress God's will for us, are we not sinning? Now why would God not write a law prohibiting the sin of divorce, if He considered it to be a sin? Or conversely, why would God's Law permit the sin of divorce? Last, but not least, if God really viewed divorce as a sin, why was no atonement offering required in connection to the divorce? You don't have to reply to these. I'd rather drop the subject of divorce for bigger fish.

You said your point was that “we can't even agree on what the rules should be for ourselves. If God is indeed on another level from mere mortals how then can we judge Him?” Well, that goes back to my plane example. Of the entire population of the world, nobody knows exactly how to fly a plane (or at least not a statistically large enough proportion to measure whole percentages), but just about everyone would agree you are not supposed to turn it into a lawn dart. Yes, we may bicker over the finer details, but larger moral anchors nearly everyone agrees on. Murder is bad. Stealing is bad. Rape is bad. Homicidal rage is bad. Lying is bad. Pedophilia is bad. Etc. (By the way, you will not find that last one anywhere in the Bible.) And the regions of the globe which do not share these same anchors as cultural norms are not exactly well functioning.

Maybe we do not have a good perspective to judge God about the finer details, like whether or not rabbits should be clean or unclean. However, when God starts disregarding the bigger moral anchors, then I think we can judge, indeed. That's what Moses did, such as in Exodus 32. God was about to kill all of the Israelites, but Moses had to remind God about how evil that would appear to the Egyptians (Exodus 32:12) and how killing the Israelites would turn God into a liar (Exodus 32:13).

To me, killing a parent for something their child did, or killing the child for something the parent did, is one of those major morality no-nos that everyone can agree on.  Even God agrees on it.  He just doesn't feel that He is obligated to follow that morality, no matter how righteous that law is.

Now what is so striking here is that God is displaying very human trait.  Nobody wants to be lied to (at least when our egos aren't on the line), but we can all justify to ourselves when we lie to other people.  God knows that He shouldn't kill a child for the sins of the father, but He goes right ahead and does it anyway.  I'm sure He's found a way to justify it to Himself too.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dueling David

When we close our mouths, we close our minds... at least in the sense of debate. State your beliefs, but be careful to listen and consider alternate viewpoints, instead of simply and automatically rejecting those viewpoints. Examine the weaknesses and strengths of your beliefs to see what really holds up and what needs correction. This is the process of truth derivation through debate.

I received a few comments to some recent posts from someone going by the name of David. David has challenged the veracity of some of my statements, publicly. If we were cartoons, it would be like Bugs Bunny has taken off his white glove and slapped Daffy Duck across the face. Well, of course you know, this means war. ;-)

I thought I would throw this word skirmish up on its own post. That way you, the reader, can more easily join in if you'd like, and point out where I go wrong. Or you can just sit back and (hopefully) be entertained and enlightened. Enjoy!

For your ease, I have summarized arguments up to now. David, please correct me if I have misrepresented anything.

My replies will be indented.

The Morals of God
Spawning from the “I'm an Insensitive Jerk” post, David suggests that God is self-consistent in His morality, that He defines the rules, and that rules are a reflection for us to know His nature. In a sense, David sees morality as internal to God in all the ways that it is external to us humans.

I mentioned that in Deut. 24:16, according to God a man shall not be killed due to sins of his children, and visa versa. Yet God does this very thing in scripture, such as when God killed King David's baby which he had with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11-12). This makes God seem inconsistent with His own rules.

David replied with a manifold answer: Children often suffer for the sins of their parents. This law was for us and our justice, not for God, similar to how God provided the divorce law for the hardness of our hearts. Why is it that we think a woman can decide to kill her unborn child, but God is not capable of making a similar decision? And finally, who are we to judge God?
David, I'm sure you realize that this law is not a description of the way the world works in general, but rather a law regarding legal justice. So children suffering for their parents mistakes, and vice versa, in the life-experience sense, is not technically applicable.

As for divorce, it's funny you mention that. Check out my exegesis post “Holy Divorce” for a rebuttal of that errant perspective. The underlying claim you make, though, is that there can be two sets of standards, one for man and one for God. That means that morals are relative; relative to the executor. Here's where it gets interesting: Let's allow God His own set of morals. Like any set of morals, God should be obligated to exercise those morals judgements consistently, especially if, as you suggest, God is self-consistent. That is not what we find in the Bible. For example, God kills Onan just for spilling his semen on the ground, but God lets Manasseh, the most evil king Judah ever had, reign for 55 years (2 Kings 21). So God appears to be inconsistent in His application of His morals, which is not very moral at all. You could claim that the reason for this inconsistency has to do with how this all fits into God's ultimate plan. That point is more difficult to refute, however it does paint morals as being relative to the situation as opposed to be absolute, which is so often proclaimed by believers. (You may be interested to review another exegesis post, “Sins of Their Fathers,” where I discuss some of the several times when God does kill children for the sins of their fathers.)

In regards to the half-joking comparison between abortion and God's decision, the appropriate rebuttal for you somewhat depends on your beliefs about the unborn. Yet perhaps what should be asked is whether or not that comparison is a valid one to make. That goes back to the law. I don't think anyone would say that a woman has a right to abort her pregnancy as a means of punishing the father. I'm guessing most people would find that idea morally repugnant, as I certainly do. However, this is what you have suggested that God is doing by your reply, whether or not you intended to suggest that.

Who are we to judge God? Job was awfully humble about it, that's true, suggesting none of us are worthy to question God. Yet that's not the only Biblical viewpoint. You may remember how Abraham questioned God about His planned destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Perhaps you remember how Moses questioned God on multiple occasions, including twice when Moses influenced God to change His mind in order not to completely annihilate the Israelites; once for the Golden Cow worshiping and once when they were afraid to enter the Promised Land. If it wasn't for Moses' moral judgement, imperfect as it was, there might now be a country called “Moses” instead of a country called “Israel.” I believe we have the right and the responsibility to question the morals of God. True, I am not omniscient, so my judgement may be wrong. On the other hand, I do not know how to fly a plane, but I am pretty sure I could tell if a pilot was about to turn the plane into a lawn dart. You do not have to know every single thing in order to be correct on a particular judgement.

Naturally Flawed Logic
In the “Exodus of Free Speech?” post, I had casually made the statement:
“That problem not being GLBT persons, but rather the antiquated Biblical and Koranic views of homosexuality, which has proven itself to be 100% natural at some frequency.”

David had mentioned that my logic in this statement was flawed, that such a statement could be made for human issues such as murder, rape, extortion, etc.
David, I do apologize, as I have taken some liberties with this blog verses the “The Wise Fool” blog, in that I am not always fully fleshing out and supporting statements. I'm doing this purposefully for better readability. I understand why you may not quite understand my intent here. So let me explain.

In the Bible, you find no expression for the fact that homosexuality is natural. All you see is that it is a abomination to God. Correspondingly, there is a subset of Christians out there who see homosexuality as a choice only, not a desire anyone is born with. The statement I made is directed at such people; people who ignore the scientific evidence which confirms that homosexuality is a naturally occurring phenomenon within many parts of the animal kingdom, including us.

Furthermore, that statement is directed at the Bible and the Koran. For if God/Allah is making only certain people who have homosexual attraction and at the same time condemning homosexual behavior, that is indeed a perverse game such a Creator is playing.

Just to be extra clear here, I believe that there are some people who choose to perform homosexual acts despite their actual inherent sexual bias of the contrary, such as what you hear about in prisons. Yet there are people who are clearly born different, with an honest attraction for the same sex. It is the “natural homosexuals” which neither holy book acknowledges which proves that their religious belief structure is antiquated. So I am arguing a different point altogether, one that forces the believer's revelation that God must be involved in making someone homosexual, and God's inherent unjustified condemnation of such an individual.

I'll point out a flaw in logic of your argument, at least as it is provided. Murder, rape, extortion, etc. are crimes involving victims. Homosexuality in and of itself is a victimless act, an act which can promote love between the two people involved. So yes, they all happen naturally, but your grouping is clearly wrong and hurtful, while on the other hand, homosexuality can actually be as enriching a life experience as any non-child-bearing heterosexual union.

I'm Offended
I made another casual statement, saying this about the Bible and Koran:
“Talk about offensive material... slavery, oppression, and genocide, oh my!”

David stated that he didn't think I would have a problem with history books, which all contain that stuff. So he asked if I was inferring that the Bible and Koran advocate these things, because he doesn't “think that [such a] view is one commonly held by serious scholars of the subject.”
The natural question to ask back: Which serious scholars, or rather what type of serious scholars? Are these people of faith who have a vested interest to paint things in a positive light, and to ignore facts to the contrary? This is an important question to answer, because these Holy books do contain this content in a way which should not be ignored.

New-Testament-Only Christianity does not fundamentally advocate any of those. The funny thing about the New Testament, though, is that it is most often connected to the Old Testament as a package deal known as the Bible. In the Old Testament, God instructs the Israelites to take slave women as war spoils and commit genocide on multiple populations. Oppression is a little more slippery to deal with, because it depends on how you want to define it. I see a certain level of the oppression of the rights of women, some of which is echoed even in the New Testament. Now what you have to remember is the God of the Bible does not change. He tells us so, so it must be true. So the God of Christianity could be called an advocate of slavery, oppression, and genocide, even if Christianity proper does not actively promote any of those evils. If you need any specific verses to support my claims, just ask. ;-)

The Koran and Islam I am still learning about. Muslims have many flavors, just like Christians do, so any generalization falls short of the full truth. Shari'a law does indeed promote oppression of Christians and Jews living in Islamic states. There are many anti-Semitic passages in the Koran, several coupled with condemnation from Allah, which goes a long way towards promoting genocide. Similar to the Bible, slaves are part of the spoils of war according to Allah.

So, yes, that's what I was inferring. I believe there are grounds to do so. I just picked out three objectionable topics of slavery, oppression, and genocide, but there are others too, such as promoting discrimination and intolerance, and inciting extremists. I'm not sure I would classify myself as a “serious scholar” of the Bible, but I have studied it enough to know without doubt that there are concepts, Biblical, God-ordained concepts, which I would never want taught to children.