The Evil Foundation of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
Henry Lindner, MD
The author demonstrates that the Jewish Torah, the first five books of the Christian Old Testament and the foundation of Islam, presents a perverse view of human nature and society. Instead of a loving God who cherishes his created humans as a human mother cherishes her children, it describes a vicious Dictator who wants nothing from mankind except obedience, worship, and burnt animal sacrifice. Its foundational premise is that all humans are innately prone to disobey God the “Father”, and are therefore flawed--they are born evil and must redeem themselves by unquestioning obedience to God and his priests and prophets. The Torah teaches that sex is dirty, that women are inferior to men, and that human life consists of following rigid, arbitrary rules whose violation is punishable by death. The Torah is a blueprint for a totalitarian, militaristic society based upon the conquest and exploitation of the rest of humanity. It advocates tribal/racial/national supremacism and explicitly condones mass murder, slavery, and rape.
In trying to understand the social problems and violence in the world, we must look at the documents and ideas that form the basis of our mentality and our society. Our minds and actions are not the product of genes, but of ideas. We differ from other animals by having a linguistic mind that is controlled by linguistic formulas—by ideas. We cannot live without theories to make sense of the world around us, so we must have ideas. Good ideas that are consistent with Cosmic reality lead to good thoughts and actions. Bad ideas lead to suffering and destruction. In order to cleanse our minds of false and destructive ideas we have to be philosophers—we have to learn to judge the truth or falsehood of the ideas that inhabit our minds. We have to become expert at identifying bad ideas and replacing them with better ideas. If we don't control our ideas, they control us. Let us look at a set of ideas that has been controlling our minds for far too long, with disastrous consequences.
Consider the ideas about God and human beings presented in the Torah or Pentateuch, the scriptural basis of Judaism, and therefore of Christianity and Islam, which are essentially reformed versions of Judaism. We are presented with Supreme Being who is intelligent, like us, and decides to create the Cosmos and to create Man “in his image”. We read that God created man and woman in a state of ignorance and innocence so that he could test them. He wanted to see whether we would obey a simple command: not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The story is complicated by the existence of another intelligent being called Satan—a troublemaker whom God allows to exist for some reason—perhaps because He wants to see whether the humans will choose to obey Him or Satan.
So the humans were “tempted” by Satan to do something God forbade them to do—to obtain knowledge by eating of the Tree of Knowledge. The message of this story is clear: Humans should simply obey God and should not seek knowledge or think for themselves. What a strange creator who doesn’t want his creatures to use the extraordinary brain he has given them! Doesn’t every loving mother want her children to grow and learn and develop their potential? Adam and Eve chose knowledge, for which they are banished from the Garden of Eden and forced to learn how to survive and to bear all the difficulties of life. We humans should have chosen, it appears, to remain comfortable, ignorant, and totally dependent in the Garden. After the expulsion, we find that humans constantly choose to do exactly what God tells them not to do—to the point that God decides to kill almost all human beings in a worldwide flood, sparing only one man, Noah, and his family. One man and his family? The only humans on Earth worth saving? Really? Why did God create mankind if he knew that man’s ability to think and chose would naturally cause almost all humans to disobey His commandments so He would have to kill them? Why did he create humans to be so naturally disobedient and “bad”? The message is clear: Humans must not use the mind that God gave them but should mindlessly obey God’s arbitrary commandments—even when they are completely contrary to their nature! What kind of insane creature is this God? Why didn’t He just create humans beings and leave them alone to live and learn independently? Why did he tolerate Satan’s existence and his meddling with the human race?
Well, it gets much worse. The Torah is blatantly racist! The descendants of Ham, a son of Noah, are condemned to be slaves, simply because Ham happened to see Noah naked when Noah was drunk. (Christian Europeans later assuaged their guilt over their murder and enslavement of Indians and Africans by rationalizing that they were descendents of Ham!) All Semites are descendents of Noah’s son Shem. The descendants of Ham (Caanan) are supposed to serve (be slaves for) the descendents of Shem, and the descendents of Japheth (Europeans and Asians?) are to be enlarged and dwell in the tents of Shem (house slaves or employees?). Choosing from the descendents of Shem, God decides to enter into a special relationship with one man, Abraham, and his descendants to whom he promises a certain region of the Earth—a place already filled with people who apparently deserve to be exterminated for no other reason than they are not the chosen ones. God specifies that the descendents of Jacob, Abraham’s grandson who lied and stole his brother’s birthright, will be his “chosen people” and promises that they will rule not only Canaan but eventually the entire world! Notice that this story is all bloodlines and race and world domination!
God makes his chosen people suffer slavery in Egypt before bringing them to the “promised land”. As they travel there, he is their constant companion—protecting them, feeding them; appearing as a cloud in the day and a column of fire at night. Today we would say that they had an encounter with an extra-terrestrial! He gives them ten major commandments to follow in their relationships to one another, and innumerable lesser commandments about how they are to “worship” him. He tells them that whenever they break his rules, they must kill animals and burn them, which they end up doing continuously because the rules are contrary to human nature and society. He tells them that they must worship him in very specific ways within very strict guidelines and gives them plans for building the Ark of the Covenant and the tabernacle for his worship—where he will dwell among them. (Such petty narcissism in the Creator of the Cosmos?) He gives the Israelites a long list of “unclean” foods that they are not to eat including rabbits, pigs, lobster, octopus, clams, snails, frogs, etc. All animals must be killed and butchered according to certain rules. These dietary and other types of laws are obviously intended to make the Israelites feel special, to look upon people who do not follow such rules as unclean and inferior, and to practically prevent any social interaction and therefore any blood-line “contamination”.
Why would the Supreme Being who created this magnificent Cosmos and all life on this Earth want to play this commandment-sin-sacrifice game with one small group of human beings? Is he playing with humans as we might play with our pets? Would we ever be so cruel to our pets, let alone our children? Why does the Creator of everything want to be obeyed and worshipped at all? Does he have an ego problem or other neurotic imbalance? Why choose to experiment with one man’s descendants and command them to kill and conquer other humans? Why would he put this one group of humans into conflict with all the rest? Why not reveal Himself to and give His commandments to the entire human species? Is He doing some kind of experiment? Does He want to leave the rest of the human race as a control group—to see what theories and religions they will develop without His special intervention and to see how they react to His chosen people?
Now let us look at the moral/social/political regime that God invents for His pet people. Is it a wonderful celebration of nature and of human life? Does it bring out the best in man in accordance with his nature? Does it promote rationality, love, and the pursuit of truth? Does it promote peace and brotherhood among all human beings? The answer to all these questions is a resounding "No". This God is not interested in humans knowing anything beyond what He tells them. He wants complete obedience and ritualistic worship on penalty of death. He fails the parenthood test. Let’s look a close look at the moral and social aspects of this eternal “covenant” that He makes with the Israelites.
God’s Plan for his chosen people is a control regime based on rigid rules and physical punishments, with almost all infractions punishable by death. That’s right—death for breaking the rules. No actual society has ever been more unnatural, murderous, and cruel than the society outlined in the Torah. Let’s start with the seemingly reasonable part, the “Ten Commandments” from Exodus 20. It is clear from their context that these commandments apply only to Israelite-God and Israelite-Israelite relationships, and not at all to the Israelites' relationships to other humans whom they will murder, rape, and enslave. Some of the internal rules are necessary for any human society, since people cannot live together in peace if they unrestrictedly kill, steal, and lie. However, the implication that people have to be “commanded” to treat each other with such minimal respect says volumes about the negative view of mankind offered here. Children are commanded to love and honor their parents, but not parents to love and honor their children. Won't children naturally love and honor their parents if their parents have given them the love and respect that they deserve? Only if the parents are tyrants will they need the threat of God’s wrath to induce their children “honor” them. Four of the Ten Commandments require that humans recognize and worship this one God and show Him special respect—failure to do so is punishable by death. We must ask, Why? What kind of sick, egomaniacal creature has to command humans to worship him, in specific ways or die? If the Creator of the Cosmos were sane, loving and kind, could humans do anything but admire and worship Him?
God doesn’t stop with those ten commandments. In fact, the Torah includes hundreds of commandments (613 according to orthodox Jews), most of them punishable by death. God and his priests control human beings by fear! God says that he will kill anyone who touches Mount Sinai or the ark of the covenant. He commands that any man who has sex with another man should be killed. Any human who has sex with an animal should be killed. Why is God so obsessed with human sexual conduct? Not only is sexual intercourse outside male-female marriage punishable by death, even permissible marital sex is unclean! After having sex, both the man and woman must wash immediately and be considered unclean for the rest of the day. Talk about giving human beings an inferiority complex! Such a negative view of sex would certainly create confusion about this most wonderful form of intimacy. Indeed, it would create perversion by encouraging the splitting of sexual desire from the rest of the personality.
This society is not authoritarian, it is totalitarian. A persistently disobedient child should be killed. Any “witch”, “sorceress”, or “medium”, or anyone who worships or sacrifices to any other God should be killed. Anyone who doesn’t perform a sacrifice just right should be killed. Anyone who does any work on the Sabbath should be killed. Anyone who shows contempt for a priest or judge should be killed. Anyone who challenges the authority of the leaders or disobeys the leaders should be killed. God himself kills Korah and his supporters when he dissents from and denounces the dictatorship of Moses and Aaron and demands that the 250 council members have a greater say in the decisions affecting their lives. Imagine it—Death for demanding democracy! This document is the foundation of the Western Judeo-Christian democracies! Is it any wonder that our democracies are a sham!
The Torah is profoundly anti-female. The fact that it was Eve who succumbed to temptation in the garden of Eden and caused Adam to sin is well-known and abused. In a similar instance, when Aaron and Miriam complained about Moses, it was Miriam who was punished with leprosy, not Aaron! The Israelites were a patriarchal society that viewed women as lesser human beings, somewhere between men and livestock. There were many instances where leading Israelite men slept with prostitutes. There is no commandment against this nor any condemnation of it, as long as the prostitute is not an Israelite. Virginity is required of Israelite wives but not of husbands, which is logically impossible unless there is a group of Israelite women who have sex but never marry or there are plenty of non-Israelite woman available! Any Israelite girl who willingly has sex with a man outside of marriage should be killed. If a man accuses his wife of adultery, she has to undergo a bizarre test reminiscent of, and probably productive of the Salem witchcraft tests. No similar test is mentioned for a man accused of adultery by his wife! The punishment for a man who rapes an Israelite virgin is not death, he simply has to pay the father a fine and then marry her! However, if a man marries a woman and then can prove that she was not a virgin as she claimed (no blood on the sheets), then the new wife should be killed! Talk about a sexual double standard! There are also many rules that make women subservient to and less valuable than men. A father may nullify any vows made by a daughter living within his house or any vows made by his wife. A woman is unclean and not to be touched for an entire week after her menstrual bleeding begins. A woman is unclean for seven days after delivering a son, but for 14 days after delivering a daughter. The value of a male compared to a female is set at a ratio of 5-to-3.
So the Torah provides a blueprint for a cruel, patriarchal, oppressive, fear- and guilt-ridden totalitarian society. Every person within it lives in constant fear of transgressing one of the hundreds of commandments and thereby earning an automatic death sentence. Imagine living in a society where everyone knows that they deserve death! Even thinking about and judging reality by oneself is a violation and could get one killed! Anyone could accuse another person of a capital crime at any time—and they would probably be right! Two witnesses are enough to determine guilt. This fear and guilt certainly makes them more amenable to the control of the leaders! Any persons who should exhibit the fatal disease of thinking for themselves could be “outed” and killed by invoking any number of laws they had broken. No effective resistance to the leadership could ever develop.
Now even though it squashed all dissent by execution, how could such a sick, dysfunctional society go on existing? Wouldn’t the unfortunate victim-members want to escape at all costs? Why would human beings continually submit to this horrible totalitarian regime? There would have to be some obvious advantages of membership in the tribe to outweigh these advantages—and of course it would help if the rules were not strictly enforced but would be invoked only when the rulers decided to make an example of someone. In such a society, a guilt-ridden hypocrisy would be the normal mentality. So what were the advantages to being an Israelite? This brings us to the nature of the society’s relationship with outsiders. What about the non-Israelites? How are they to be treated according to the Torah? We find that even before the captivity in Egypt, Jacob’s sons deceived the Hivites by promising to become their allies. They told the Hivite men that they must be circumcised. When the Hivite men were recovering from their circumcision, Jacob’s sons killed all the men, enslaved their women and children, and stole all their possessions as booty. They claimed to be justified in committing these heinous crimes because one Hivite man raped one of their daughters. However, the Hivite man had offered to both pay the fine and marry the girl, just as the later Levitical law commanded! Thus was established a principal of disproportionate retaliation based upon race—but it gets much uglier. After leaving Egypt and coming into Canaan, God commands the Israelites to kill all non-Israelites within the Promised Land, steal their land, houses, and livestock, and destroy all their sacred sites. God tells them to make no covenants with them. They should kill all the men, boys, and women who are not virgins. They should rape and then keep as wives the virgins, or the attractive women. Why do all these different people in Canaan deserve extermination? Once, God claims it is because of their “wickedness”, but we have to wonder. Were they really so wicked or were they just living in the wrong place? Could they possibly have been more wicked than the Israelites who were going around slaughtering entire tribes, raping the women, and stealing everything in sight? No. This is just all just God-sanctioned ethnic cleansing and genocide—the greatest evils of all—right here in our most “sacred” text!
Notice that the Israelites’ genocidal license is not even limited to the Promised Land! God also tells them that they have the right to kill or enslave all people living outside of the Promised Land—the entire human species! Furthermore, God institutes a moral double standard for the Israelites in their relationships with the non-Israelites who do live among them and observe their laws. Gentiles can be sold as slaves but not Israelites. Gentiles should be charged interest on loans, but not fellow Israelites. God tells the Israelites to love their neighbor as themselves, but by “neighbor” He clearly means only other Israelites. In one passage only, Israelites are told to not mistreat the aliens living obediently among them, indeed that they should love them as they love themselves. However, what force does this lone admonition of love towards a small subset of aliens have when the double standard has been firmly established and all aliens who don’t serve them are free game for theft, murder, rape, and enslavement? It is, in the final analysis, a case of “us” against “them”, and “they” are to be treated well only if “they” serve “our” purposes!
The Torah is the constitution of a society designed for conquest, plunder, and exploitation. The tribe is to exist perpetually by killing other people and stealing their land, houses, and livestock. It enslaves all outsiders that it doesn’t kill. Those it doesn’t happen to enslave, it exploits according to a moral double standard. The Torah creates a “chosen people” who exploit all others, thereby perpetuating war, theft, and slavery. It poisons the natural potential for love and cooperation among all human beings. It is the negation of all human values, connections, and affections.
In philosophy as in architecture, foundations are crucial. This foundation of Judaism, Christianity and Islam is incorrigibly evil. No religious reform, reinterpretation, or moderation can change the essential evil of these scriptures. Jesus, Paul, Mohammed, Marx, Locke and Jefferson all failed to fix this problem. As human beings, we must reject these ancient, evil writings as immoral. Any person who does not consciously reject these scriptures is necessarily affected by them, even if only unconsciously. Moderates who do not follow these scriptures but claim that they are still "good" are protecting the scriptures from criticism and are therefore part of the problem. There is no possibility of being "moderate" in the face of such evil. These scriptures and the religions based upon them have caused and are continuing to cause child abuse, abuse of women, psychopathology, exploitation, and war. They must no longer be tolerated. We must all work together to expose these scriptures and to eliminate them from our minds and from our children's minds, forever. Only then can we begin to create a sane, peaceful society on this Earth.
 Genesis 2:16 “And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
 Genesis 9:24 “When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said, "Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers." 26 He also said, "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem. 27 May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japheth live in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be his slave.”
 Leviticus 11
 Exodus 19:12 “Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, `Be careful that you do not go up the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.’”
 Leviticus 20:13 “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”
 Exodus 22:19 “Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal must be put to death.”
 Leviticus 15:16 “When a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his whole body with water, and he will be unclean till evening. 17Any clothing or leather that has semen on it must be washed with water, and it will be unclean till evening. 18 When a man lies with a woman and there is an emission of semen, both must bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.”
 Deuteronomy 21:18 “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard." 21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.”
 Exodus 22:18 “Do not allow a sorceress to live. 20 Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the LORD must be destroyed.”
 Exodus 35:2 "Six days work shall be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death."
 Deuteronomy 17:12 “The man who shows contempt for the judge or for the priest who stands ministering there to the LORD your God must be put to death. You must purge the evil from Israel. 13 All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not be contemptuous again.”
 Numbers 16: 3 “They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, "You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the LORD's assembly?" 31 As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart 32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, with their households and all Korah's men and all their possessions.”
 Numbers 12:10 “When the cloud lifted from above the Tent, there stood Miriam--leprous, like snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had leprosy; 11and he said to Moses, "Please, my lord, do not hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed.”
 Numbers 5:19 “Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, "If no other man has slept with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you."
 Deuteronomy 28:28 “If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.”
 Deuteronomy 22:20 “If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl's virginity can be found, (if the parents do not have the bloody sheet from the deflowering) 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father's house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death.”
 Numbers 30:5 “But if her father forbids her when he hears about it, none of her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand; the LORD will release her because her father has forbidden her. 12 But if her husband nullifies them when he hears about them, then none of the vows or pledges that came from her lips will stand.”
 Leviticus 15:19 “And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even.”
 Leviticus 12:2 “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean. 5 But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days.”
 Leviticus 27:1 “The LORD said to Moses, 2 Speak to the Israelites and say to them: If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate persons to the LORD by giving equivalent values, 3 set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel; 4 and if it is a female, set her value at thirty shekels.”
 Genesis 34
 Exodus 34:12 “Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee:”
 Numbers 31:17 “Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man. 32 The plunder remaining from the spoils that the soldiers took was 675,000 sheep, 3372,000 cattle, 3461,000 donkeys 35 and 32,000 women who had never slept with a man.”
 Deuteronomy 21:10 “When you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, 11if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife.”
 Deuteronomy 20:10 “When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. 12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the LORD your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the LORD your God gives you from your enemies. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby. 16 However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy them--the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites--as the LORD your God has commanded you.”
 Leviticus 25:42 “Because the Israelites are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt, they must not be sold as slaves.”
 Deuteronomy 23:19 “Do not charge your brother interest, whether on money or food or anything else that may earn interest. 20 You may charge a foreigner interest, but not a brother Israelite, so that the LORD your God may bless you in everything you put your hand to in the land you are entering to possess.”
 Leviticus 19:18 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.”