On today's 700 Club, Pat Robertson gave his audience a shining example of how religion can take something that most people would find morally repugnant and turn it into a virtue and something worthy of endorsement. The opportunity came when a woman sent him the following question:
My spouse was reading the part of the Bible where God told his people to wipe out cities and take their lands. Why didn't a loving God have mercy on them? That sounds like Islam to me. -NANCY
Robertson's response, which you can watch on the video accompanying this article, was that annihilation was actually an act of mercy on God's part:
Assuming you have a culture with 1,000 really bad people in it; they're thieves, they're rapists, they're having incest, you name it; they are doing everything horrible. Now if they have children, what's going to happen? Instead of having 1,000, you'll have maybe 3,000 or 4,000; and then, nothing has changed them, then they will pass it on to the next generation ad the next thing you know you've got 10,000 or 20,000 of them and if I keeps on going you're going to have a million of them. So what's the most merciful thing for a loving god to do? It's to take the 1,000 and get rid of them. And that's what he did...
Now it sounds cruel, but in the long run it's more merciful. Further, he didn't want his people to be contaminated by those people. I know that's hard, but this is God and I'm not God. I'm just telling you that's a good rationale for what happened.
Robertson went on to describe more reasons why God might want to destroy these people... and their children and their livestock:
They had sex with animals, they had incest, they did all these terrible things and they offered their children as sacrifices to their gods. It was horrible what they did.
It probably isn't necessary to comment further on what religion has done to Pat Robertson's vision of morality but here, for purposes of reference, are some of the biblical passages where God orders these horrible things done (King James translation):
Thus saith the LORD of hosts... go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. -1 Samuel 15:2-3
So smote all the country... he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded. -Joshua 10:40
And we took all his cities at the time, and destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain. -Deuteronomy 2:34
And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them. -Deuteronomy 7:2
And thou shalt consume all the people which the LORD thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them. -Deuteronomy 7:16
The 700 Club http://www.cbn.com/700club/
The Skeptics Annotated Bible http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/says_about/genocide.html
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