Bible’s ‘Bronze Age morality’

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 24, 2009

The writer of "Bible reflects sign of the times" (letter, Sept. 21) seems to be explaining dubious acts committed in the Bible because they were social norms of the time.

He says: "Just as we have our laws, so, too, did the people living in biblical times." One would think then that we should not base our current ethics or morals on such outdated societal norms. Not exactly, since the writer later says, "[W]e use the Bible to show how homosexuality is against God because it is clearly defined." Why pick and choose? Let’s see what else God tells us to do in the Bible.

The Bible tells us to put to death adulterers, blasphemers, witches and people who work on the Sabbath. God repeatedly tells the Israelites to commit ethnic cleansing and genocide against numerous tribes. Numbers 31:1-15 tells how God ordered Moses to kill the poor Midianites. The Israelite soldiers quickly butchered the men, but spared the women and children. This act of mercy infuriated Moses, who ordered the boys and the women who were not virgins to be killed, "but the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves."

This is just a sampling of typical Bronze Age "morality" in the Bible that has no place in today’s society. My point: It’s inconsistent to say homosexuality is wrong because the Bible says so, and then ignore all the other things the Bible says that are also wrong. That people pick and choose among biblical values just shows that we are the ultimate deciders of what is right and wrong.

Just like we don’t use Bronze Age medicine or science today, let’s not apply Bronze Age morality, either. We have clearly advanced since then.

Capt. Josh Packard
Camp Cropper, Iraq