A South Carolina woman has been charged with felony ill treatment of an animal because she hung her nephew’s pit bull from a tree and then set it on fire after it chewed her Bible.
Hopefully her lawyer will point out that her behavior was perfectly biblical. Here are five points in favor of the “It was biblical, so how can it be cruel?” defense.
- The Bible says that animals can be possessed by demons. Chewing a bible seems as good an indicator as any. One online forum mused on the animal possession possibilities after an East Coast woman was mauled by her chimp.
- The Bible prescribes capital punishment for over thirty six kinds of evildoers. (I encourage you to check the list and find out for yourself if you would qualify.) Bible chewing appears well within the range of capital offenses.
- Animals are not exempt from capital punishment. When a man or woman has sex with a goat for example, the goat must be put to death.
- Fiery torture is the ultimate punishment for unrepentant sinners in hell. There is no indication from media reports that the pit bull in question was repentant. Furthermore, it probably didn’t take the dog more than ten or fifteen minutes to burn, a light punishment by comparison.
- Death by burning here on earth is also sanctioned by God in the Bible. God both models it and commands it. Biblical death by burning is not only not cruel—it is not unusual.
Lest you think this is all irrelevant, please remember that to many Americans, biblical words are God’s words, set in stone. Just this week, a Virginia school district is re-posting copies of the Ten Commandments in all district schools. News articles on the topic were unclear about whether the Ten Commandments they are posting, were the ones Moses received on stone tablets – about redeeming your first born son and not making sacrifices levened with yeast and such, or the more familiar ten, but both should be equally relevant.
Lest we forget, we are offered these words of wisdom from a writer in Abilene, Texas: “God’s words never change and God will never bless anything that goes against His word. God loves the sinner, but hates the sin. It’s all in the Bible and I believe in what His word says. Jesus did not come to change His father’s law, but to fulfill it.”
Any South Carolina judge worth his seat should know this.
More from the Bible at Awaypoint:
Captive Virgins, Polygamy, Sex Slaves: What Marriage Would Look Like if We Actually Followed the Bible
Mandrakes and Dove Blood: Biblical Healthcare Anyone?
If the Bible Were Law, Would You Qualify For the Death Penalty?
What the Bible Says About Rape and Rape Babies
Woman’s Hanging and Burning of Dog Biblical
Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington. She is the author of Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light and Deas and Other Imaginings, and the founder of www.WisdomCommons.org. Her articles can be found at Awaypoint.Wordpress.com.
Great post, but I can already hear the pat Christian response: “This is just a straw man argument. Dr. Tarico is simply mischaracterizing true Christian ethics and taking Old Testament passages out of the whole context of the Bible.”
Yes, you are right.
My point is simply to expose these ugly verses and commands, and so point out the inconsistency of people who claim the Bible is a good moral guide. Most “Bible-believing” Christians have never read the Bible, despite the fact that they practice bibliolatry. They don’t know that there are two sets of 10 commandments or 30 kinds of people who deserve the death penalty according to biblical law or stories sanctioning human sacrifice. If they did, they might be a little more cautious about elevating the Bible over the constitution.
Tangentially, have you ever noticed that some Christians use the words “true” and “real” as synonyms for the word “my” or “like me” — as in “true” Christian ethics, “real” Christianity. Christians who disagree with them are not “real” Christians. Same for Christians who molest their children or pilfer church funds or . . . none of them are “true” Christians.
Points well made. There are almost as many Christianities out there as there are Christians. And I am humbled to admit as a former Evangelical that I wasn’t aware there were two sets of Ten Commandments!
“Tangentially, have you ever noticed that some Christians use the words “true” and “real” as synonyms for the word “my” or “like me” — as in “true” Christian ethics, “real” Christianity.”
Your sentence above is where we need to be concentrated on !! We need to speak the same language First and foremost !!
How do we effectively engage with a person of strong beliefs without talking about those beliefs..be it angels, pseudoscience, tarot cards, Elvis is alive, aliens visiting earth, unicorns, conspiracy theories, etc etc
How do we speak to these people without mentioning the subject?
and How do we only talk to them about Knowledge, acquiring knowledge, how do we know things are true?, what is truth?, what is authority?, what is mind?, what is evidence?
In my humble opinion, if you don’t start the conversation under a common language, a common ground of definitions of certain terms, the rational person and the believer will not get anywhere because you are both speaking different languages !!
I would like to say that I have dealt with Children who have been permanently wounded by Fundamentalist upbringings. The idea of instilling a harsh and unyielding God and a terrifying hell into a young mind, before it is able to think for itself, is a serious act. I consider these children to be as damaged as those who have been sexually abused.
I was raised in such a church. I find it immoral to instill young minds with anything but love. I have read the Bible much more since I left that Church. I have studied the history of Christianity assiduously.
I find that many Evangelical Christians don’t know that much about the Bible and talk about it more than they read it. If one is going to use the Bible as a reference and be thorough, one has to realize that stoning ones children for disobedience, not beating one’s slave so bad that it dies the same day are part of the Bible. I find morality is within people by what they feel in their heart. I don’t believe it has to come from the Bible although many Christians are quite moral. I just think that doing good because it is good, is better than doing God because God commands it, and because one will go to hell if they do not toe the line.
As an Atheist, I just hope that everyone will read the Bible more and try to understand that some times the Church is harmful. And it does a lot of damage to the “out group.” Why stop at burning dogs? Why not burn me? Or worse. Why not scare the hell out of a small child. That is about the worse thing that one can do. Because they blame it all on themselves. It would be more humane to burn them.
And this whole thing makes me shake my head. And I am sad. Because this is America.
Pitbulls have killed and maimed many people. The damn things should become extinct.
u guys all smoke crack i cant believe im read this shit
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