//
you're reading...
Atheism, Islam

The Walking Dead and the Conquest of the Canaanites

The Walking Dead cast with Rick in the forefront.

The Walking Dead cast with Rick in the forefront.

In a recent episode of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” (the number one show on television) the main character, Rick, and his group, slaughtered a cadre of zombie apocalypse survivors who had become cannibals. The cannibals had put up signs to a place called “Terminus” that promised survival for those who could get there, but when a person arrived, they were herded into boxcars, taken out as needed, and slaughtered like cattle.

After being rescued from a gruesome death at Terminus , Rick and his gang take refuge in a church building. Rick wanted to destroy his cannibal captors before the group moved on, but others in his group, tired of battling, just wanted to get away. Needless to say, the cannibals came after Rick’s group, and when they thought the stronger members had left the church building, they moved in and attacked the vulnerable ones. The stronger members came back and the cannibals were trapped. Rick had a decision to make: either let the cannibals live, or destroy them. Rick decided to destroy them. In a gruesome scene, he and his group fervently kill the cannibals.

Sign luring people to Terminus.

Sign luring people to Terminus.

I asked some of the other people watching the show with me if they thought Rick was wrong for annihilating the cannibal group, and they all were like, “NO! The cannibals were evil! They threatened to kill the baby [in a certain scene]. They chopped off Bob’s leg and ate it. They slaughtered people like they were cattle. If Rick didn’t kill the cannibals, the cannibals would have killed Rick and his people.”

I thought this was an interesting response in light of some of the complaints put forward by atheists concerning Israel’s conquest of Canaan. My group of young adults saw the cannibals as a manifestation of pure evil. They didn’t think they should be reasoned with, persuaded, or shown mercy. Instead they thought the proper response was that the cannibals should be totally destroyed.

One of the cannibals eating Bob's leg in front of Bob.

One of the cannibals eating Bob’s leg in front of Bob.

The Canaanite tribes were examples of pure evil also. The Amalekites were one of the tribes that Israel was commanded to destroy (1 Samuel 15).  The main reason for God’s command to fight against them was that they kept attacking the weakest Israelites.  During the Exodus out of Egypt the Jews were walking as a group and the crippled, elderly, and women with children lagged behind. It was this group of the “least of these” that the Amalekite tribes would attack.

 “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt, how he attacked you on the way when you were faint and weary, and cut off your tail, those who were lagging behind you, and he did not fear God.”  (Deuteronomy 25:17-18)

For hundreds of years (1 Samuel 14:48) the Amalekites, who were great in number (Judges 7:12), raided the crops and villages of the Jewish people. They refused to give the Israelites water, even when the Jews offered to pay them for it. They also worshiped Baal and practiced human sacrifice and cannibalism.

The Jews, on the other hand, were commanded to follow the Mosaic law with its moral teachings and cleansing rituals. These laws kept the Jewish people healthy and protected them from diseases. But the Amalekites didn’t honor God or His laws. They didn’t practice laws concerning hygiene or cleanliness.  They had no sexual guard rails and they drank blood (usually in the belief they would gain power from it).

Interestingly, when the early church first began to spread to the Gentiles, the only rules the disciples put upon the new Christians were rules to guard them against the dangers involved with drinking blood and committing sexual immorality.

“Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.” (Acts 15:20)

These were the same guidelines that had protected the Jews from infectious diseases and STD’s. They were meant to be a blessing, not a burden. And if the Gentiles now expected to join with Jewish Christians, then at a minimum there had to be some rules concerning health and cleanliness.

The Jews weren’t commanded to wipe out entire tribes in every case; often they were told to rescue the women and children, but in the case of the Amalekites they were commanded to burn everything, including women, children, and animals. Perhaps God was providing them with another dimension of protection that was necessary for their survival.  Perhaps the Amalekites were riddled with disease and/or had hearts that were filled with evil thoughts. How were the Israelites supposed to weed them out? How could they tell who was healthy or who was diseased? How could they tell whose hearts were able to live peacefully with them and those who were filled with hatred? Even the children would have been impacted by disease or hatred.

In The Walking Dead, when the group was at the prison, Carol was judged and exiled for burning the bodies of people who had an infectious disease, but she was right. The disease had to be dealt with and cut off before it spread to others.  Tyrese, whose loved one was burned, was later able to see that what Carol did was a just and moral act. Even the zombie apocalypse itself was the result of an infectious disease gone awry and loosed upon the earth.

At what point does a loving person decide it’s necessary to decimate something that is bent on destroying those he loves? Sometimes hatred for evil is the ultimate form of love. War is often a loving act when it destroys an entity that is filled with an evil heart.

Christopher Hitchens saw that this was true. He supported the war on terror. In a debate with Alistair McGrath, he once declared:

“The worst kind of immorality yet is the wicked idea of non-resistance of evil, and the deranged idea that we should love our enemies. Nothing, nothing, could be more suicidal and immoral than that. We have to defend ourselves and our children and our civilization from our enemies. We have to learn to educate ourselves in a cold, steady dislike of them and a determination to encompass their destruction.” [1]

Yet Hitchens, Dawkins, et al . . . criticize God for warring against the Canaanite tribes. Dawkins calls God ” a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser . . . ” [2] Hitchens could see the necessity of fighting against the Taliban, but attacked God for fighting against the Amalekites, who were arguably even more evil than Islamic terrorists. Hitchens was opposed to religious Islamofascists who dishonor women, suppress free speech, and produce tyranny, but what about the poisonous religious societies that worshiped Baal and were determined to annihilate the Israelites? These tribes were brutal, cruel, and warring. They performed violent and sexually immoral rituals and offered their own children up as sacrifices, roasting them alive, while pounding loud drums to cover their cries and work the people into a religious frenzy.

What would have happened to the world if this type of religious practice were to prevail? Instead of worshiping a God who cared for the oppressed and needy, a God who was interested in justice and mercy, the Baals basked in perverted religious rituals that didn’t care about the needs of people. Worshiping these gods led to a hardening of people’s hearts–even against their own children. If people were defeated in battle by those who followed these gods, they were often treated sadistically; having their eyes gouged out, their skin peeled off, or hooks put into their backs so they could be dragged away. This is similar to ISIS who beheads and crucifies its enemies.

Rick and his group had already learned to kill zombies whose bite would destroy them, but the group also had to realize that part of maintaining goodness and kindness in society was the formation of the gentle warrior who, for the sake of love, can also kill humans that have no regard for kindness, compassion, mercy, or love.

If Rick was God, I think he would have told the Jews to destroy the Amalekites–and I think it would have been morally justified.

 

[1] Christopher Hitchens and Alistair McGrath, “Poison or Cure? Religious Belief in the Modern World.” Debate, Michael Cromartie Berkely Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Washington D.C., October 11, 2007, Ethics and Public Policy, http://www.eppc.org/publications/pageId.390/default.asp (accessed 9/25/2008).

[2]  Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (Boston: Mariner Books, 2008), 51.

Advertisements

About Diana Lesperance

I'm passionate about Jesus and I love to defend the gospel of grace and truth. I have a large and active family that keeps me busy and overwhelmed on a daily basis.

Discussion

8 thoughts on “The Walking Dead and the Conquest of the Canaanites

  1. Ummm, no, just NO. The Canaanites were straw-men, created, staged and demonized by the writers of the disgusting Holy Babble. The Bible is filthy propaganda literature. It’s as if you would believe the Nazi filth written about the Jews and therefore comfortable with their extermination at Treblinka. There is NO justification for genocide, including sadistic Yahweh’s butchering of CHILDREN. The Bible is a sick fantasy and only a deranged mind could venerate it as a “holy” book. I’m Jesus Christ and I wrote that disgusting screed. I’ve moved on and so should you. Grow up.

    Posted by Fat Jesus Preaches | November 15, 2014, 6:04 pm
  2. A lot of people do not take issue with the slaughter of the Canaanites, except for the slaughter of the innocent children. If the cannibals in walking dead had a baby with them, and rick killed the baby too, then we’d be looking at comparable situations.

    Posted by Allallt | November 16, 2014, 8:31 am
  3. So, you’ve done a great job in arguing that genocide is okay if you can call the other people “evil” with no evidence. I will not be surprised if you refuse to allow this post to be in your comments but we’ll both know it was here. I am still curious if you believe that hailstones are kept in magical warehouses.

    “They also worshiped Baal and practiced human sacrifice and cannibalism.”
    And
    “They didn’t practice laws concerning hygiene or cleanliness. They had no sexual guard rails and they drank blood (usually in the belief they would gain power from it).”

    Evidence of this please, and not just the propaganda of the bible stories. Indeed, it does sound just like the usual blood libel that Christians have used for so many years against Jews. And if we’re going to use the bible, then I can point out instances where this god of yours also encourages human sacrifice.

    It’s also interesting that the Israelites evidently left their own “least” behind, no one forced them to do that and evidently God had no problem with it. The larger problem is that we have no evidence of the “exodus” at all, certainly no evidence of a group of “There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. 38 Many other people went up with them, and also large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds.” wandering around for 4 decades in an area half the size of Pennsylvania.

    “The Jews, on the other hand, were commanded to follow the Mosaic law with its moral teachings and cleansing rituals. These laws kept the Jewish people healthy and protected them from diseases.”

    Again, this is not true. We have the laws saying that menstruating women are unclean. We have laws on not wearing mixed fabric, we have laws on not eating blood which are not based in any health problems, the same with other food sources. We have the claim that bird blood will cure disease which is not true. We do have an utter lack of useful laws. We have no laws about washing one’s hands when assisting a birth or any other medical procedure, no laws to site a latrine away from water sources.

    As for what was said in Acts 15, you are correct, Peter says to make it easy for gentiles to become Christians. What I find interesting is that he says that his god was wrong and screwed up. “10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?” Now, who put that yoke on the necks of Peter and his ancestors? Why yes, it was your god who said that this was a covenant between him and his people. This omnipotent and omniscient god that now evidently didn’t know that his people couldn’t actually live up to what he commanded and now needed and excuse to ignore his laws?

    “The Jews weren’t commanded to wipe out entire tribes in every case; often they were told to rescue the women and children, but in the case of the Amalekites they were commanded to burn everything, including women, children, and animals. erhaps God was providing them with another dimension of protection that was necessary for their survival. Perhaps the Amalekites were riddled with disease and/or had hearts that were filled with evil thoughts. How were the Israelites supposed to weed them out? How could they tell who was healthy or who was diseased? How could they tell whose hearts were able to live peacefully with them and those who were filled with hatred? Even the children would have been impacted by disease or hatred.”

    And this is just a lie and a lot of excuses. Rescue? No, they were commanded to kill and/or enslave women and children. I wonder if you would claim that the US govt in the late 19 and early 20th c were “rescuing” Native American children when they took them from their parents?

    Let me remind of you of Numbers 31, where all the women and male children were to be murdered and only virgin girls were to be enslaved. You know what the Midianites did to deserve this? The Israelites decided to marry their women and the Israelites decided to start worshipping their gods. Moses married a Midianite women, the supposed mouthpiece of this god. We also have the story of Jericho, a city that seems to have done nothing except be in the way. So, we again have this god demanding the murder of everyone and thing inside, except for the precious metals, natch. Funny how this god needs gold so much. And with Jericho, we can see that this god’s curse upon it was utterly worthless.

    You ask how could the Israelites determine who was diseased and who was healthy? Oh yes, again your bible has nothing useful, like how to determine if someone has a disease evidently. And of course, this bible does not detail treatment for sick people, except for bird blood and other nonsense. As for kids being impacted by disease and hatred, yep, they are. And this god certainly goes out of its way to cause such things.

    Your excuses for genocide are unsurprising. Humans have made them for millenia. Yep, Hitchens supported attacking the Taliban, he also supported the war made on Iraq for utterly false reasons. You seem to forget that atheism only means having no believe in god/gods, it’s not a moral stance. I do find it amazing that you think that this quote from him is great ““The worst kind of immorality yet is the wicked idea of non-resistance of evil, and the deranged idea that we should love our enemies. Nothing, nothing, could be more suicidal and immoral than that. We have to defend ourselves and our children and our civilization from our enemies. We have to learn to educate ourselves in a cold, steady dislike of them and a determination to encompass their destruction.”

    And hmmm, didn’t someone say “38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[h] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”

    There’s no exception here at all, Diana. Nothing that says “well, as long as *you* think they are baddies, you can do what you want.” I always am amused when TrueChristians like you ignore your god when it’s convenient. Perhaps this ignoring of this god is why you have done your best to ignore my request for you to show that you are indeed a real Christian by showing the abilities that Jesus promised. It’s a shame that you have abandoned the thread on the superstitious ape blog.

    Posted by clubschadenfreude | November 16, 2014, 10:37 am
  4. Why is it that an omnipotent god needed the Israelittes to slaughter whole races but he didn’t need humans to gather up the animals for the ark? What kind of blood lust does it require for an omnipoent god to require genocide when he could simply have shown compassion and grace and snapped his fingers to make the canaanites all change their ways and become Jewish? Is YHWH truly incapable of that? If the answer is no then why did he insist on the genocidal bloodshed when more sane and peaceful methods were in his grasp? Violence is the act of those with no other option and those with no ability to reason, no compassion, no sense. Yet, the most wise god ordered genocide by human hand when he could have caused the enemies of israel to simply drop dead or be bombed into oblivion with fire from heavens. With all the options open YHWH chose humans killing humans in the most reprehensible way. Even the Satan has never done this.

    Posted by myatheistlife | November 16, 2014, 4:40 pm
  5. I can’t say that I’m surprised with the ridiculous blathering by atheists. I don’t believe in Mickey Mouse, Santa Clause, Easter, or the Mythology Called Evolution. I don’t care what new FALSE SCIENCE is created to support self absorbed idiocy like Monkeys miraculously turning into Men with no evidence to support such meanderings except in more fabrication of false evidence that can’t possibly show you how these supposed evidences are connected to such false science unless you simply have FAITH that these things are true. Radiocarbon Dating has been proven to be a falsehood, and DNA is the new foundation for promoting the ruse of this new world’s Religion titled “Science”. That is NOT true Science, that is programming of a THEORY that people who don’t want to live under a moral code of righteousness have caused the rest of the gullible populous to adhere to, so they can be able to “Do as thou wilt, that is the whole of the law”. They don’t want morality to limit their sexual depravities so they eliminate the very creator of morality from their lives by fabricating a completely different reality for themselves so they can never be held accountable for such depravities.

    A comparative example was given of perversions demonstrated in a TV series, to the corrupt and perverse Canaanites, and the best that atheists can come up with is that because they don’t believe in YHWH thereby he hasn’t earned their recognition. So they bloviate with extensive suppositions of why they would rather believe in their fictional Monkey Mythology religion via using examples of other fabricated evidences that they put their faith in because it has been TOLD TO THEM how these things are genuine and credible. Furthermore, such naivete would defend their positions by suggesting that they themselves have SEEN the evidence presented and have come to the same conclusion. The sad part about such naive persons is that all they are doing is blindly following the convictions of fraudsters (incredibly hypocritical of how they use this same tactic to attack servants of YHWH).

    In the end, Mythical Monkey people and the Religion (“Science”) associated with it will not outlast morality, since these pagan practices are not new, and everytime in history that perversity and immorality have been allowed to thrive in and whatever form it has happened to shroud itself under, it inevitably ends up being the demise of the whole world with only a moral few from a chosen line to start over.
    I’ll end by exposing the modern descendants of Canaan (The False Jews that live in the land of Israel today). They have not been able to strip themselves from the blood libel that was so common with Canaanites. And there’s even a video where a “Jew” admits to having been raised by his “Jewish” parents to commit the same horrors often associated with the Canaanites :

    Bye bye Monkey Religion (“Science”)

    Posted by Antathiyah Adan | April 21, 2016, 7:57 am
  6. “War is often a loving act when it destroys an entity that is filled with an evil heart.”

    Yes…like using the Atom bomb for putting an end to all the suffering and death instead of just watching the prolonging of it all.

    As for atheists, we have to remember that after a person is freely given God’s enlightening truth in His Word, if that person then rejects this wonderful gift, he can no longer see things rightly as he becomes blind to the truth, and just another member of the blind leading the blind. It’s especially devastating when this happens with one in an otherwise Christian family. But it’s simply not possible to understand God’s righteous ways without the Holy Spirit living within.

    Thank you for this very good article.

    Posted by wpmember7 | November 17, 2016, 11:52 am
    • The purpose of this website is to try to persuade both apostate Christians and atheists of the beauty of the Word of God, and to show them how dangerous it has been in the course of history to stray away from the Gospel. Perhaps this is why God desires faithfulness to His Word…not that he is an irrational tyrant . . . but that he is wise and knows what’s best for us.

      Posted by Diana Lesperance | November 17, 2016, 8:38 pm
  7. I agree with you 100%. You’re doing such a good work here. It’s not always easy to tell the truth in love. But when we do it proves loving intentions and that we’re not in this to just win an argument and leave the other person devastated. I can certainly understand a person in doubt and even questioning some things in God’s Word…it’s just uber-important that they come to know God’s righteous reason for all the things he says and does, and that in the end they let the Spirit of God win their hearts to defeat the spirit of Satan. In each and every one of these hard matters in the Bible that we discuss (argue?) there is God’s truth and just the opposite, Satan’s lies. Which we choose to believe and stick with means everything and will live with us eternally.

    Posted by wpmember7 | November 18, 2016, 9:33 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Books

Why am I WAITING for “Shalom?”

"They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven . . ."
(1 Thessalonians 1:9b-10a)

The word "shalom" in the Hebrew has many meanings which indicate restoration, renewal, friendship, peace, safety and so on. At one time, God placed his creation in a perfect garden--a place of safety, security, provision and peace--and we disobeyed God, losing 1) our relationship with God and 2) paradise.

Since that time, we've attempted to bring back both of these losses in our own way. Religion is our attempt to gain back our relationship with God, and politics is our attempt to gain back paradise.

The solution to both of these losses is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet the world refuses to believe the good news! Instead they try to attain the restoration--the shalom--in their own way through their own effort.

I believe that the kingdom of God is restored in the hearts of men as they receive Christ's finished work, but the kingdom of God doesn't come physically to earth until Christ comes.

Any effort to bring about the promise ahead of time in our own strength is akin to Abraham going to Hagar for fulfillment of the promise instead of waiting with Sarah for the birth of the promised child through whom the nations of the earth would be blessed.

The evangelical church is rushing en masse to bring about shalom through their own effort, power, and influence. Men like Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, Jim Wallis, and Donald Miller are losing their faith in the promise of Christ that he would prepare a place for them and they're attempting to restore paradise now.

I want to let it be known that I'm WAITING for shalom. I won't be a part of their dream. They are moving ahead of God rather than waiting on God and they will create another Ishmael as a result.

%d bloggers like this: