God Loves Killing Children: The Bible Says So

Bible Study: God is Infanticidal

Bible Study: God is Infanticidal

Simply put, there is nothing, can be nothing, that ever justifies the murder of a child. Yet the Christian god has murdered children since the dawn of time.

In 1 Samuel 15:3, for example, Yahweh sends his prophet Samuel to the city of Amalek, with clear instructions: “Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” 

“Infant and suckling.” Oh, my. The fate of the children of Amalek was no isolated instance. Yahweh already had quite a track record when it came to the murder of children. 

Consider the story of Abraham, one of the patriarchs of the Old to prove to this sadistic deity that he loved him enough to commit infanticide. 

And for this, Abraham is revered by Christians, many of whom are parents. The irony is hard to miss. Consider, too, the flood—Yahweh’s punishment for a man who he supposedly created and who he now deemed unworthy to live because of their sin and decadence. 

The flood destroyed “every living substance … which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven” (Genesis 7:23). 

That included, of course, children. Yahweh spared Noah and his wife, their sons, and their daughters-in-law, and two of every animal in existence, according to the Biblical account. But not children. He made no exception for children. 

They were drowned with the rest of humanity, guilty of the “wickedness of man.” The children—like their parents, were punished because “every imagination of the thoughts of [their] heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). 

Yahweh killed them all—drowned the born and the unborn. It beggars the imagination to think of what newborn babes might have done to bring down the wrath of such an angry god upon them: coveting other infant’s rattles, perhaps? 

Whatever the reason, this god washed their lives away with the same ease with which he dispatched murderers and rapists. Suffer the little children indeed. So there it is. 

The Christian god clearly and with malice aforethought sent Samuel to Amalek, not just to take the city and destroy its army, but to slaughter every innocent child in the population. 

He sends a flood to destroy born and unborn children whom he condemns for their ‘wickedness.’ Abraham proves he is worthy to serve his god through his willingness to hack his own son to death. 

How do Christians explain their god’s apparent taste for child murder? The easy answer here would be to trot out the old chestnut that these were ancient times, and in ancient times the world was different. 

Yahweh’s harsher Old Testament laws were needed in that time and that place but were subsequently set aside as the world changed, presumably for the better. 

That means, I suppose, that he allowed atrocities in ancient times that he does not allow now, such as infanticide. Yahweh was cool with baby slaughter back then, but over time, changed his mind. But if his mind changed, doesn’t that mean he changed? 

So much for perfection. If he changed, he either wasn’t perfect before or he isn’t perfect now. Perfection is an absolute. You’re either perfect or you are not. With perfection, there are no degrees or stages. 

If Yahweh changed, does that mean that he was an imperfect being who saw the error of his judgment in killing babies, or does it mean that he was perfect then (which would, by implication, mean baby-killing wasn’t wrong since it was the act of a being incapable of error) but, because he changed, is imperfect now? 

Either way, Christians are saddled with a deity callous enough to order the murder of children or kill them with his own hands, and who also, on occasion, sits on the sidelines and watches while children are murdered. 

Considering the biblical account of the Christ child, for example, an omniscient god would have known that the birth of his son would result in the slaughter of the innocents. 

He would have foreseen that Herod would order his legions to “[slay] all the children that were in Bethlehem ... from two years old and under” (Matthew 2:16). 

Surely an all-powerful god could have prevented such an atrocity from happening. Herod was a man—Yahweh a supposed omnipotent being—so how is that Herod’s will won out? 

Was god incapable of thwarting the will of Herod, thus imperfect, or did he, through inaction, coldly sanction the death of every baby in Bethlehem? 

Is this how that god changed from the Old Testament to the New? Did the kinder and gentler New Testament god merely adjust his position on child murder from killing them himself or working murderously through others to sitting idly by while populations of children were butchered? 

I am stunned by the ease with which modern Christians gloss over their god’s taste for infanticide. As a child, I remember the yearly reenactments of the biblical Christmas story (like Charlie Brown’s friend, Shermie, I was always a shepherd), which always included a reading of the bible verses that recounted the story but which always omitted the slaughter of the innocents. 

In the midst of all the Christmas cheer, no one stopped to ask why that god mutely sanctioned the murder of children. 

I remember hearing the story of Abraham and his son Isaac, and in the telling of this tale, Abraham was hailed as a faithful servant of Yahweh—not as a man who obeyed the voices in his head telling him to stab his son to death. 

I remember being taught the story of the flood, with emphasis on the appearance of the rainbow, Yahweh’s supposed promise to never again destroy the world by flood. 

But no one ever stopped to explain why the death of every innocent child in the world was needed to satisfy this god in the first place. 

As a parent, I would do anything to protect my children from harm. Like every other parent, I laugh with them, worry about them, and love them unconditionally. 

I would gladly give my life to save theirs. As an Atheist, I am appalled that Christians cling to and defend a violent, bloody god who not only kills children or coldly allows them to die because their deaths serve his divine plan, but who does so with impunity. 

Christian parents shake their heads in anger and disbelief, and rightfully so, whenever an innocent child is murdered, but bow their heads in loving homage to the baby-killing god of the Testaments. 

I know the Christian god doesn’t exist, I know the stories of Abraham and Amalek are only apocryphal tales intended to frighten believers into subservience to their god. 

The marvel is that Christians believe their god does exist, which means they believe these myths of children murdered by their god are true, yet they pledge their lives to a being who, according to their own sacred texts, has killed more children than all the Susan Smiths and Andrea Yates of the world combined.



Retired British teacher, Linux user, and avid reader.

Post a Comment

Comments will go through moderation before appearing, and are subject to our community guidelines, which can be viewed here

Previous Article Next Article