And the Lord said, " “Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. 6 Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, the mothers and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the old men who were in front of the temple. ~ Ezekiel 9:5-6How does this verse make you feel? Are your initial thoughts to defend or oppose it? What if we made some minor changes to the verse like the following:
And Allah said, " “Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. 6 Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, the mothers and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the old men who were in front of the temple. ~ The Holy Quran sura 9:5-6
Does that make a difference? Would you defend one more so than the other, or do you find them both abhorrent? What if I tied these words to Hitler? Would it make a difference if we added context to each of these scenarios? What if we explained that the residents of the city needed to be exterminated or else they would continue to commit heinous crimes against humanity?
The words themselves regardless of the source are abhorrent, period. The issue some people struggle with is what to do about the source. If the source is someone (or some group/institution) you identify with what do you do with a verse/quote promoting genocide? What does that verse/quote tell you about the source? Are your tribal loyalties so important to you that you would defend the source regardless of what he/she/it may say?
If you can work out some clever double think so that your source stays innocent and blameless while promoting something as sicking as genocide AND still be able to sleep at night, then I applaud your skills in mental gymnastics. I, on the other hand, can not look at a verse like this without feeling sick. Opposing this verse doesn't mean I throw out the Bible entirely or despise the religion (or the believers) around it. I just can't believe in a deity which calls for genocide in one verse and then promises showers of blessings and love in the next. It is the image of a barbecue-obsessed deity, who demands obedience or blood, that I have rejected after many years struggling with questions brought up by reading the rarely mentioned parts of the Bible. Studying the Bible in-depth is what set me on the path to the conclusions I've reached today. (Although, I wouldn't mind grilling with Thor.)