Perhaps it was merely a matter of time, but Christian evangelical apologist and author of Reasonable Faith, William Lane Craig, is finally quoted on Fundies Say the Darndest Things! And I have to say, the quote is fully justified for inclusion. Here is Craig as part of long apologetic screed explaining why Yahweh’s command to commit genocide against the Canaanites wasn’t such a bad thing after all, except for the Israeli soldiers!
So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgement. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalizing effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing.
You can almost just hear Craig crying, “Won’t someone please think of the Israeli soldiers?!”
What’s confounds me is the idea that Yahweh could have extinguished the Canaanite’s existence himself–and thus saved the soldiers from their “brutalizing” ordeal–completely escapes the intelligent Dr. Craig. What is Yahweh’s purpose in making the soldiers “suffer” so? Craig does not say.
As perverse as Craig’s logic sounds to non-believers–and perhaps to a few Christians as well–it seems fully supported by Christian theology, which devalues earthly life and exalts an alleged heavenly existence above all things. Craig’s rationalization of child murder is especially revealing–and troubling. It suggests that Christian opposition to things like abortion is not born so much out of sorrow over the loss of (potential) life, but only that death is occuring absent divine sanction. After all, the children are inheriting eternal life no matter who kills them. So what are Christians objecting to abortion for if not that it’s we–and not God–who’s doing the killing? This is what makes theists like Christians so frightening at times. If they’re convinced they’ve got a licence to kill from their god, there’s no restraint to stop them. And when they do kill for this very reason, how can another Christian object? Ironically, it’s only by humanist values that Christians are able to thrive in a society, not by their own.