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God-Given Rights
(Excerpts from Reflections)
by Anthony Hargis
(Posted here by Wes Penre, Jan 15, 2006)

Origin of God-Given Rights

GodFor thousands of years men have asserted that the rights of man derive from god.  When we ask such a man to explain how he came to that conclusion, we are usually left more confused than before we asked.

Is a right made “god-given” when a man utters (or writes) the words, “the right of speech is god-given”?

If so, who is authorized to utter such words?  And, who authorizes him?  And how is he authorized?

Common sense tells us that, if one man may utter such words, any man may do the same.  And, the authority of one man is equal to the authority of all others; the authority of one man to say a right is “god-given” is equal to the authority of another man who says the same right is not “god-given.”

Hence, common sense seems to tell us that we have to abandon the position that a right is “god-given” simply because one or several men say it is.

In other words, if Joe Smith declares that the right of speech is god-given, we have to observe that, unless Joe Smith is a god, such right is not god-given – it is given by Joe Smith.  Again, where, and how, did he get the authority to give rights to other men; much less, to make such rights god-given?

Perhaps it is time to search for the official document, or declaration, by which these so-called god-give rights are given to man.

To identify a right as “god-given,” we need an action, a commandment, or a declaration, that clearly comes straight from god.  And, such action, commandment or declaration should be so obvious and so undeniable that everyone will understand it – the dim-witted as well as the intelligent; the believer as well as the non-believer.  What we need is a giant chariot, or sailing ship to appear in the sky all over the world at the same time.  It will come to a halt and god will step out and stand in mid air; he will open his mouth and say, “Hear ye, hear ye, all men of all lands and all tongues (he will speak so that all men will understand), I am Zeus (Marduk, Budda, Ishstar – take your pick); I am the god(s) of the universe and I hereby declare that the following rights are granted by me to you.”  He then would enumerate all such rights he wants men to have.  Then he (or she) would tell you where to pay your taxes, previously called “sin offerings” – and about all the terrible things that would happen to you if you didn’t pay them.

Since these would be god-given rights; and since god is all powerful and all knowing, he would also declare that, if any of these rights are violated, the wrong-doer would be instantly, and automatically, punished.  For it would make no sense for a god – who has the power to grant rights – to fail to also provide automatic remedies where a right is violated.  You see, if this god granted rights, anyone who violated them would commit an offense against god as well as the life, liberty or property of a particular individual – and god would want instant and easy vindication.

I mean, who could be so blasphemous as to imagine a god who would grant rights and then fail to provide instant and automatic vindication when they are violated?

According to popular understanding god created everything, including gravity and all laws that govern it.  Did you notice, if you disregard these laws of gravity, the consequences are swift and automatic.  If you try to walk across a deep ravine without the aid of a bridge, you will fall to the bottom.  Would a kind and benevolent god give less when it comes to the rights of man?

But then, I have an idea that we will wait an eternity for this god to produce such an action, commandment, or declaration.  In the meantime, men still claim, without any comprehensible authority, that all our rights come from god.

So, let us see if we can find evidence of “rights” that come straight from god; I mean, that come straight from god as near as we can agree.  For Western society, probably most men would tell you that, if anything is the word of god, it is the Bible.  That it was determined by a vote of human beings to be the word of god is a contradiction that we will overlook in this

examination.  From the perspective of choosing natural-law or god-given rights as preferable for guiding one’s actions, this contradiction should become irrelevant as we proceed.

Definition: for purposes of this examination, a “god-given right” means any activity or duty clearly commanded or protected by god.

I pay little attention to the distinction between a right and a duty; for, the two seem to be co-relatives of one another; where a man has a right, all other men have a duty to honor such right.  And, if I have a right of speech, we all do; and, further, if I have this right in myself, I also have a duty to respect such right in all other human beings; lest I become subject to penalties designed to protect the right of speech.  I cannot claim a right and then deny it in others.

The plan of this examination is to identify several rights that are clearly declared to be god-commanded or god-protected by clear language in this book that so many men tell us represents the word of god.  From time to time I will compare several rights from two perspectives: natural-law and god-given.  By this comparison, a proper appreciation of both perspectives should become obvious.

The natural-law perspective will be derived mainly from the nature of man and partly expressed by enactments and declarations of bodies of private men and partly from maxims of private men that served as the basis for such enactments and declarations.  By nature of man, I mean, for example, that it is natural for the old to die before the young – and any activity or circumstance that violates this sequence is un-natural or, from the perspective of man, evil.  When a child dies or is mutilated, it is un-natural – a great catastrophe that no man should endure.  It makes no matter whether such circumstances are mandated by priest or general, they are the work of evil.  And, by ‘bodies of private men,’ I mean a) English parliaments of the first part of the seventeenth century and b) American assemblies during the American Founding Era (from town meetings to Continental Congresses).

Since these were assemblies of private men, such men had to stand in natural law to make their enactments and declarations.

During the first part of the seventeenth century, English parliaments were not part of the king’s “government” and took no money from it; starting with Charles ii (1660 to 1685), the practice of giving bribes (places and pensions) to members of parliament became wide-spread.  Hence, the character of such parliaments went from private to public; the nature of their actions went from defending rights and liberty to acting as engines of tyranny.  But, this is a topic for another book; namely, The Lost Right, by myself.

The god-given perspective will be derived from the Bible, the revised Standard version (N. Y. Nelson, 1952).

So, let us look at this word of god.

The Right to Kill

In the beginning, Adam and Eve, the first human beings, begat Cain and Abel.  Cain was a tiller of the soil and Cain, a keeper of sheep.  Both brought offerings to the Lord, who had a regard for Abel’s offering but none for Cain’s.  This made Cain mad, so he is made to kill Abel in a fit of jealousy.  Then the Lord asked Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”  Cain responded, “I do not know: am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen, iv, 3-4)

But the Lord, being all-knowing, knew.  He, accordingly, “punished” Cain by making the earth refuse to yield to Cain’s labors, and by making him a “wanderer on the earth.”  Cain is distressed and worries that “whoever finds me will slay me.”

But the Lord said, “Not so!  If anyone slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” (Gen, iv, 12, 15)

This is very clear language, and sort of puzzling.  Why does Cain worry that “anyone” would slay him?  There are only two other people on the planet, Adam and Eve – and they had only two offspring, now one.

Why does Cain refer to them as “anyone”; and, why would he worry that they might “slay” him?  For, exceedingly rare is the parent who would slay his own child – especially if both parents and child are made in the image of God.

Also, is it really punishment to make someone “a wanderer on the earth”?  This is the description of a traveler, an adventurer, an explorer, a knight errant.  Columbus and Sir Francis Drake were wanderers upon the earth (or seas); and both enriched themselves by murder and plunder.  Thus, this punishment takes on the attributes of a ‘letter of marquis,’ which is a license issued by king or priest that authorizes a pirate to travel the world and commit genocide and take booty in the name of such king or the god in question.  With such license, a pirate will have ten times the protection as he takes spoil compared to doing the same in a private capacity; for, his victims will know that, if they resist, they can expect the vengeance of an entire nation to retaliate against him.  An ordinary man is far less likely to resist a priest-protected, or god-protected, tax collector than an ordinary bandit.

Further, earlier, Adam is warned by the Lord that, if he should eat of the tree of knowledge, “you shall die” on the same day. (Gen, ii, 17)  But the Lord lied; for, Adam ate of the tree and was punished by a requirement that he earn his living for the rest of his days (Gen, iii, 17-18); thus, god made productive labor the punishment for seeking knowledge.

We can see that the Lord imposed neither of these punishments when Cain murdered Abel.  What is the Lord trying to tell us?

Why did God promise death as punishment for seeking knowledge – and then impose only the condition that one must labor for bread instead?  Did he want to demonstrate that lying is a godly activity?

Why would the Lord declare a death penalty for seeking knowledge while making a murderer only a “wanderer on the earth”; and promise a sevenfold vengeance on anyone who should harm such murderer?  Did he want to discreetly hint that murder is pleasing to him?

The only thing that seems to be clear from this example is that the search for truth is made into a crime while murder is made into a god-given right.  This is exactly contrary to natural law, which makes productive labor an absolute right; and, anything that impairs this right unlawful.

We should also notice that the Lord had no regard for Cain before he killed Abel; after the killing, the Lord effectively elevated Cain to a status higher than all other human beings (that is, Adam and Eve) since he promised to take a sevenfold vengeance against Adam or Eve if either should harm Cain.

Another consideration: “God created man in his own image.” (Gen, i, 27)  Adam and Eve produce a child who later kills his own brother.  Is it in ‘god’s image’ that men kill their own brothers?  Can this be so?  How can such a child come from a man made in the “image of God”?

We cannot have a God that makes a mistake of such magnitude; it would argue against this God’s infallibility, and make him a mere cheating mortal.  It simply cannot be; for, what’s the use of having a God who is not all-knowing, all-powerful, and everywhere at the same time?  Without all these attributes, such a God would be no different from an ordinary highwayman.

The fact that the Lord promised to take seven-fold vengeance on anyone (Adam or Eve) for an injury done to Cain points to the conclusion that the Lord fully intended to create a race of pirates, and was eager to retaliate savagely against the parents of a pirate if they should harm him.

The puzzle deepens.  Remember, there are only three people on the earth, Adam, Eve, and Cain.  So, “Cain knew his wife….”  Wife?  Where did this woman come from?  Was Cain‘s “wife” Eve – his mother?  The Bible later tells us that Adam and Eve had additional sons and daughters.  From the chronology of the Bible, it appears unlikely that one of Cain’s sisters was his wife; for, all of them were born after Adam’s one hundred and thirtieth year of age – long after Cain murdered Abel – and contemporary with or after Lamech (see immediately below). (Gen, v, 4)

Let us by-pass this difficulty and see where it leads.  Cain’s wife “conceived and bore Enoch,” who fathered Irad.  This necessarily means that Enoch knew his wife.  How did this woman come into existence?  The world’s population then consisted of Adam and Eve, Cain and his mystery wife, and Enoch; and now, Enoch’s mystery wife. (Gen, iv, 17-18)

We go thru three more generations of sons and their mystery wives, and find that “Lamech took two wives.” (Gen, iv, 19)  Lamech tells his wives,

I have slain a man for wounding me,
a young man for striking me.
If Cain is avenged sevenfold,
truly Lamech seventy-sevenfold. (Gen, iv, 23-24)

In this case of homicide, the Lord is silent; Lamech, in other words, passes judgment on himself.  And, men have voted it to be the word of God.

I suppose that Lamech’s mantle of protection is a multiple of Cain’s because Lamech had two wives.  This was the Lord’s way to encourage murderers to take two or more wives so they could produce more offspring – more potential murderers, you see.

So, Adam is punished for seeking knowledge by requiring him to till the soil (that is, to labor for his bread); while Cain is “punished” for murder by relieving him of such labor and making him a full-time traveler and protecting him with a mantle of seven-fold vengeance if anyone should harm him.

What happened here?

First, the Lord declared disobedience and investigation of reality to be capital crimes; if these be crimes, their opposites, arbitrary rule and the discharge of lies and nonsense, are god-protected activities; for, who would be threatened by disobedience but tyrants; and, who would be threatened by the search for facts but liars?

Second, by promising one punishment and delivering another, this Jewish god demonstrated that arbitrary rule is a sacred activity.

Third, by making productive labor penalty for crime, Jews provided a religious foundation by which to punish productive labor to the end of time by way of an income tax; at least this is the case in societies that are founded on religious principles.

Fourth, by describing productive labor as a crime, the natural-law source of all rights is declared to be, at least, a morally inferior activity compared to indolence; and, at most, criminal activity.  In other words, according to natural law, we have no rights but what flow from productive labor.  The activity of putting seeds in the ground and tending the young plants that come from those seeds comprise the activity that give a man the right to call the resulting crop his property – to the exclusion of all others.  When he exchanges his crop for money, he may exercise any other right that pleases him – so long as he does not infringe rights of others.

Again, according to natural law, productive labor is the source of all rights.

By making productive labor a penalty for crime, the source of all rights is polluted; all rights derived from it are morally suspect or the product of criminal activity.  The man who believes this perspective can have no rights.  As such, and, since the purpose of organized societies is to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior, religious societies reward indolence by imposing penalties on productive labor – these penalties are, effectively, taxes on income.

It then continues with Cain and Lamech; when Cain murdered Abel and Lamech murdered a young man, we see that neither victim was vindicated and that vengeance was threatened against anyone who harmed either murderer.  By these actions, we also see that there is no such thing as a god-given right to life; for, one can have a god-protected activity of murder or a god-protected activity of life.

In other words, if this god had given a right of life, he would have punished Cain and Lamech; and he would have made productive labor a virtue; for, to support one’s life in any other way would involve injury to another man’s right to life or property.

Another perspective: when god made productive labor punishment for seeking knowledge, he also had to make arrangements to impose this punishment.  Who could that be?  Does god personally stand over each man and whip him when he tries to earn his bread?  Or does he appoint certain men to this duty?  And, who could they be?  Priests?  Tax collectors?  In early history books, Jews are reported to have been tax-collectors most favored by kings, nobles and priests for the past twenty-five hundred years, at least; my book, Fires that Cry, discusses this aspect of Jewish history.

When we see the ease by which life is taken by this god (a rebellious son, or a man who gathers sticks on the Sabbath, may be stoned to death (Deut, xxi, 18-21; Num, xv, 32-36)), we get an idea of the inverted nature of religious ethics.  Between a god-given right to murder and a god-given right to life, only one is possible in a religious society; and, god has spoken, murder is pleasing to him – there is no such thing as a right to life; to believe or declare otherwise is to commit heresy.

Right of Conquest

The right to brutalize children was examined in an earlier part of the full article.

…you shall not bow down to them or serve them [“other gods” or “a graven image”]; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.  (Exodus, xx, 5-6)

The right to brutalize children necessitated another right, the right of conquest.  If a man wishes to punish a neighbor’s child for an act done by the neighbor, we should expect that child to fail to see any justice in such punishment; and we should expect him to resist that punishment.

Therefore, to properly enjoy this right to brutalize children, we need a set of rules that will give us instruction on how to slaughter and plunder such children.  Of course, we do not want to punish these children while they are children; for, as children, they have no property, there would be nothing to take as booty, no profit.  Instead, we want to wait until such children mature, and accumulate wealth.  Ah, then it becomes worthwhile.  This set of rules goes by various names: law of the admiral, maritime law, military law.  These terms are mere disguises for the so-called right of conquest: the nostrum that murdering a man and taking his property will establish ownership of that property.

It is probably impossible to identify the origin of this “right”; for, to do this, we would have to travel back to a time long before man invented language.  All we can do is locate the first time this set of rules was organized into written words; and then describe these words as the first evidence of a custom that had been established thousands of years before these words appeared.  For Western man, this first evidence is a commandment given to Moses by his Lord,

When you draw near to a city to fight against it, offer terms of peace to it.  And if its answer to you is peace and it opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall do forced labor for you and shall serve you.  But if it makes no peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it; and when the Lord your God gives it into your hand you shall put all its males to the sword, but the women and the little ones, the cattle, and everything else in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as booty for yourselves; and you shall enjoy the spoil of your enemies, which the Lord your God has given you.  Thus you shall do to all the cities which are very far from you, which are not cities of the nations here.  But in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Per’izzites, the Hivites and the Jeb’usites, as the Lord your God has commanded; that they may not teach you to do according to all their abominable practices which they have done in the service of their gods, and so to sin against the Lord your God. (Deut, xx, 10-18)

We first notice that, according to Moses and the Lord, peace consists of doing forced labor for the Israelites and that, when the children of Israel besiege a city, they are simply on a mission of peace.  Thus, if inhabitants of a city should object to this offer of peace (that is, doing forced labor for the children of Israel), such an objection would be construed as an act of aggressive war; such an act, then, would give the holy race justification to kill all males of the city and take its females and all property therein as booty.

This procedure has become the basis of all military law: if a city surrenders to an invading army, it is only required to make money payments to officers of such army; if it resists, the city will be turned over to enlisted men for plunder, and whatever else they might want to do.  When the slaughter and sacking are complete, the officers set up barriers at each gate of the city and collect ten percent, or so, from each victorious soldier as he passes by.

We notice, secondly, that this activity of genocide and plunder is “commanded”; it is, thus, a god-commanded, a god-protected activity; that is, a god-given right.

The Lord then sets forth a long list of penalties that will befall the children of Israel if they choose not to become holy; that is, if they choose not to become bandits and assassins.  These curses run from verse fifteen to verse sixty-eight of Deuteronomy xxviii.  If these people will not participate in genocide, and wholesale theft, they will make the Lord so angry that he will cause them, for example, to “eat the offspring of [their] own body, the flesh of [their] sons and daughters.  A man will grudge food to his brother: he will not share the flesh of his children… A woman will not share her afterbirth, which she will eat in secret. (Deut, xxviii, 53-4, 56)

The Lord leaves no doubt that murder and theft are pleasing to him,

And you shall destroy all the peoples that the Lord your God will give over to you, your eye shall not pity them; neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you. (Deut, vii, 16)

And when the Lord your God brings you into the land which he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you, with great and goodly cities, which you did not build, and houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, and cisterns hewn out, which you did not hew, and vineyards and olive trees, which you did not plant, and when you eat and are full, then take heed lest you forget the Lord your God… (Deut, vi, 10-12)

By “take heed,” Moses (that is, the Lord) means that the Israelite army is required to share an appropriate percentage of booty with priests; lest they impose their anger (that is, the Lord’s anger) on the people.

I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and cities which you had not built, and you dwell therein; you eat the fruit of vineyards and oliveyards which you did not plant.  Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River (Euphrates), and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. (Josh, xxiv, 13-14)

Yes, these people who took what they did not produce, and murdered those that did – yes, these people are pleasing in the sight of the Lord.

It is a law of nature that there will never be 100% agreement within any group; in fact, the larger the group, the more diverse opinions there will be.  The promise to enrich the children of Israel by murder and plunder would invariably strike some of these holy souls as immoral, or unlawful.  The promise of almost unlimited booty and the opportunity to vent a reptilian rage – with sword and penis – would persuade most Israelites of the nobility of their cause, but not all.

The Ten Commandments were invented to capture these stragglers – and to deceive observers.  Here, the holy race is commanded, “You shall not kill…Neither shall you steal… Neither shall you covet your neighbor’s wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor’s” (Deut, v, 17, 19, 21)

Within two chapters of these commandments, the Lord is made to command the Israelites to kill “all the peoples that the Lord your God will give over to you,” and to take all their possessions (Deut, vi, 10-12; vii, 16).

So, these are the general rules by which the children of Israel are to exercise that right of conquest.  Let us look into some of the details of its operation.

The example that we examine seems to have had its beginning when “the people [of Israel] began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab….  So Israel yoked himself (sic) to Ba’al of Pe’or.” (Num, xxv, 1, 3)

This playing the harlot kindled the anger of the Lord, who commanded Moses, “Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them in the sun before the Lord, that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.”  Moses promptly disobeyed, he “said to the judges of Israel, “Every one of you slay his men who have yoked themselves to Ba’al of Pe’or.” (Num, xxv, 3-4)

In the meantime, “one of the people of Israel (Zimri)… brought a Midianite woman to his family.”  Phin’ehas, grandson of Aaron, pierced both of them with a spear.  This stopped the plague the Lord had sent among the people of Israel as punishment for playing the harlot with the daughters of Moab – but not before twenty-four thousand had died. (Num, xxv, 6-9)

It is strange that it should be considered a crime for Zimri to bring home a Midianite woman; the Lord was angered because Israelites were playing “the harlot with the daughters of Moab” – not the daughters of Midian.  This is ordinary Biblical fare: it makes no sense; for, the territory of Moab is separated from the territory of Midian by a) the territory of Edom and b) one hundred and fifty miles; Moab lies east of the Dead Sea and Midian lies east of the bay of Elath (now the Gulf of Aqaba), across from the lower half of the Sinai Peninsula.

Further, if Zimri sinned by bringing home a Midianite wife, Moses sinned two or three times; for, he had at least two, maybe three, Midianite wives.  Then, we can add a dose of treachery to their bigotry toward Midian; when Moses is first introduced, Pharaoh is harassing him and, we are told, wants to kill him; Midian priests give Moses refuge, teach him his religion, and give him wives. (Ex, ii, 16-22; iii, 1; Judges, iv, 11)

With these contradictions staring them in the face, the Lord commands Moses, “Harass the Mid’ianites, and smite them.”  Here, we have a god-given right of treachery, of ingratitude; it is so monotonous. (Num, xxv, 17)

A census is taken and a thousand men from each tribe went to war against Midian, and slew all the males and took everyone else and all property as booty; and they returned to the plains of Moab, with these captives and spoil. (Num, xxxi, 1-12)

When Moses saw that every human Midianite had not been slain, he became angry,

Have you let all the women live?  Behold, these caused the people of Israel… to act treacherously against the Lord… so the plague came among the congregation of the Lord.  Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him.  But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.” (Num, xxxi, 15-18)

In this barbarous age we could safely say that not a female over eight years of age was left alive.

After this slaughter, all that remained of the Midianite nation consisted of, six hundred and seventy-five thousand (675,000) sheep,seventy-two thousand (72,000) cattle, sixty-one thousand (61,000) asses, and thirty-two thousand (32,000) virgins. (Num, xxxi, 32-35)

The Lord commanded Moses to divide this booty equally between the army and the people of Israel; with a one in five hundred portion of the army’s share devoted to Elea’zar the priest – and a one in fifty portion of the people’s share given over to the Levites, who had charge of the Lord’s tabernacle. (Num, xxxi, 36-47)

Thus, Elea’zar’s share of the spoil amounted to six hundred and seventy-five (675) sheep, seventy-two (72) cattle, sixty-one (61) asses, and thirty-two (32) virgins.

The Levites share amounted to six thousand, seven hundred and fifty (6,750) sheep, seven hundred and twenty (720) cattle, six hundred and ten (610) asses and three hundred and twenty (320) virgins.  Prior to this raid, the census showed twenty-three thousand Levite males one month and older. (Num, xxvi, 62)  It is not explained how three hundred and twenty little virgins were divided among the Levite males.

The army fared much better than the Levites.  It consisted of twelve thousand men – which suffered not a single casualty in this genocide, the Midianites were so docile – or, trusting (Num, xxxi, 49).  Along with its share of sheep, cattle and asses, it was rewarded with fifteen thousand, nine hundred and sixty-eight (15,968) virgins – one and a third little virgins per holy warrior, eight-years-old virgins.

Gee, no wonder these Hebrews, or Jews, are so eager to obey the Lord.

One more item, Moses and Elea’zar the priest divided sixteen thousand, seven hundred and fifty (16,750) shekels of gold taken from the Midianites – this total equals two hundred and eighty (280) kilograms of gold – some four and a half millions of dollars at five hundred dollars per troy ounce. (Num, xxxi, 51-2)

So, let us draw this clearly, and concisely: the Lord – that is, Moses and Elea’zar – was (were) angered because one Israelite man brought home a Midianite woman as wife; Moses and Elea’zar sent an Israelite army to exterminate the entire nation (minus its virgins) and return with its booty – so the male children of the Lord could “play the harlot” with thirty-two thousand Midianite virgins – all eight years old and younger.

All this was sparked, supposedly, because some males of Israel had “yoked” themselves to daughters of Moab, a territory separated form the territory of Midian by one hundred and fifty miles.

About the only sensible explanation for this slaughter of Midianites – apart from the slabbering for virgins, that is – would be to eliminate competition for the expected booty to be taken from Canaan according to the covenant between Moses and god.  The Midianite nation descended from Midian, a half brother of Isaac, both sons of Abraham. (Gen, xxi, 1-3; xxv, 1-6)  As such, the descendants of Midian were as much entitled to the Canaanite booty as the Israelites were.  By exterminating the Midianites, the Israelites merely eliminated a contender for the Canaanite booty.

Actually, we are trying to make sense of a senseless history.  It was written five hundred to a thousand years after the so-called events in question – if they happened at all.  When we contemplate how difficult it is to transcribe a reasonably accurate quotation from a conversation two days old, we should give no credence whatsoever to a quotation of a conversation that occurred among illiterate men, and that occurred five hundred years prior to its recordation.  For this reason alone, we must regard the “history” of the Bible as a contrived and plagiarized history – a fiction written mainly for the purpose of justifying what had already happened, and to make it pleasing to the Lord.

If the Midianites had exterminated the Israelites, we can be sure that Midianites would now occupy Palestine and regard themselves as the holy race.  This points to the possibility that the original covenant between the Lord and Abram was intended to descend to Midian, not Isaac.  You see, Moses learned his religion from Midian priests; since Moses was descended from Isaac and would not share in this probable covenant, he may have decided to exterminate the Midianites, so his descendants could take the Canaanite booty instead.  His descendants, then, re-wrote – or invented – their history to show that their booty, and they, were holy to the Lord.


God-given Rights into Perpetuity

Just as reasonable men attempt to make natural-law rights perpetual; so, Biblical writers attempt the same thing with regard to god-given rights.

That these god-given rights were intended to be perpetual is made very clear by numerous ceremonies that serve as evidence of the Jewish god’s covenant with his believers, and that are commanded to be observed forever.  Circumcision appears to be the first ceremony for this purpose, “So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant.”  Thus, all that is necessary to become a party to this covenant is to become circumcised. (Gen, xvii, 5-13)

Circumcision is only the first symbol.  Chapters and verses seem to be endless that detail the knick-knacks, ceremonies, and costumes that symbolize the covenant of Moses, and identify its parties.  The effect of these ceremonies turns the Jewish nation into a race of holy raiders, and makes certain that it shares its booty with the priesthood.  We are told what shall be given to priests, and how, and when; and this sharing of booty is interlarded with ceremonies to show gratitude to god and priests; a “blast of trumpets”; “a day of atonement… you shall afflict yourselves” (presumably for any goyim that may have escaped the edge of the sword, or spoil that may have been overlooked); the people shall dwell in “booths” seven days so they remember when “I brought them out of the land of Egypt” with all their booty. (Lev, xxiii, 24, 43)

Chapter xxiii of Leviticus contains a list of “holy convocations, my appointed feasts,” as given to Moses by “the Lord.”

“The seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest; you shall do no work.”

The evening of the fourteenth day of the first month is the Lord’s Passover.

The next day is the “feast of unleavened bread… you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days.”

There are “holy convocations” and the first and seventh days; and “you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord seven days.”  This keeps the priests well fed.

The Lord tells Moses, “When you come into the land which I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.”

This menu of first fruits of booty to be given to priests continues; a cereal of fine flour mixed with oil, offered by fire to the Lord, a pleasing odor”; a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord.”  You see, the odor pleases the Lord, the food pleases the priests.  Wine, of course, accompanies every one of these offerings.

These books of Moses are crammed full of commandments on how to keep priests well-fed (“they shall eat the offerings by fire to the Lord, and his rightful dues.” (Deut, xviii, 1)); we find detailed instructions for the construction of a temple (Ex, chapters xxvi and xxvii), how to make garments for priests (Ex, chapters xxviii and xxix), and alters of gold and silver (Ex, chapters xxx and xxxi).

And all these ceremonies and instructions are required for the purpose of keeping the covenant of Moses (or Abram) foremost in the minds of the people of Israel.  They are statutes to be observed “forever thru-out your generations.”  This qualification is repeated so often that, to make a complete list of them, would be a most tedious job; here is a partial listing: Gen, xvii, 5-13; Ex, xxiii, 21; xxviii, 43; xxix, 28, 42; xxx, 10, 21, 31; xxxi, 16; Lev, xxiii, 14, 21, 31, 41; xxiv, 3, 8, 9; Deut, xviii, 5.

Owing to these seemingly endless repetitions of promises of perpetual booty, we can draw the conclusion that being thick-skulled and a demonic ethics are compatible attributes.

Here is a silly question: ‘When people observe these convocations, ceremonies and commandments promulgated to memorialize the covenant of Moses, what, exactly, are they memorializing?’  When they observe these ceremonies, what do they expect is return?  If they do not expect in return the god-given rights of genocide and plunder, what’s the purpose of performing such ceremonies?

After all, the purpose of all these ceremonies is to memorialize and perpetuate the covenant of Abram, et al.  Why would anyone perform these ceremonies but to become parties to the covenant, and to profit from its terms?

Certainly, there are many Bible believers who haven’t a clue as to what they have gotten themselves into; but this doesn’t stop the natural consequences.  The satanic consequences of the Soviet enterprise required millions of nameless and brainless bureaucrats just as much as it required an “elite” set of Jewish bureaucrats to direct the actions of the brainless.  One without the other is the picture of idiotic impotency; together, they produce a hell on earth.  When a man becomes a believer, he accepts the Bible as the word of god.  To become a believer in this nonsense, and to reject ninety-five percent of it at the same time is a level of self-delusion that I don’t think they can reach; at least for more than one or two hours a week.

If a Jew or Christian actually prefers freedom and rights derived from natural law, he must reject the teachings of the Bible; but this would reject the very essence of what makes a Jew or Christian.  Here, we deal with a man or woman who lives neither in the world of Jew or Christian nor in the world of liberty; but, somewhere in between – in a world of confusion, and impotence.  They usually spend their lives earnestly trying to spread their confusion and impotence.

It makes no matter what a religionist believes, religion is evidence of a gigantic social structure that has devoured every society where it dominates.  Wherever we find such a society, we find every vice and misery in super abundance; poverty, sleaze, ignorance, sexual perversion, hatred, abuse of children – to name a few.  It is not necessary that every member of this structure acknowledge its true nature; only those that direct its policies need to have this knowledge.  All other members need only one thing to maintain their good standing: to believe that obedience and a dedication to nonsense are virtues.  With this combination, every crime is possible, and holy – and no right, developed by civilized men, has any existence.

Why do we examine these god-given rights?

The examination of some of these god-given rights may appear to some readers as too detailed or too exhaustive; some may think the depth of examination unnecessary.

A reason that I examine some of these god-given rights so minutely is because, although they were declared some twenty-five hundred years ago, there are men today who seek to impose them on the rest of mankind.

It is a common practice to embrace words of the past as guides for the future.  I think, for example, that the principles regarding friendship, freedom and reasoning collected, discovered and explained by Aristotle, twenty-four hundred years ago, are just as valuable today as they were when Aristotle wrote about them – and will be valuable to every generation of men to the end of time.

Accordingly, I study the works of Aristotle (among others), and try to live by their lessons, and try to expand their circle of influence.

On the other side, there are men today – let us call them bureaucrats, monopolists and priests – who are driven by a lust for domination and booty; they find instructions in the Bible to be exceedingly helpful; and, besides, such instructions make treachery, robbery and murder respectable – and religious duties.

Remember, the books that we find in the Bible were placed there by a vote of human beings.  If Bible believers did not want to raise sleaze, murder and plunder to god-protected activities, they could just as easily remove such passages from the Bible.  Thus, when men say that the Bible is the word of god, it is more correct to say that some men want other men to believe that the Bible is the word of god.  The first set of men wants to enlist the stories, lessons and rules in the Bible to impose Biblical conditions on all other men.

There is the objection that people may endorse the Bible without subscribing to the murderous lessons in it.  This is a very unseemly position.  It makes hypocrites of those who have read the Bible, and mental incompetents of those who have not read it.  From these perspectives neither Bible believer is to be trusted.  If a man in the first category endorses the Bible and professes to not accept its murderous lessons, he proposes a contradiction; and, how can we determine when he tells the truth and when he lies?  A child can see this contradiction.  As to the man in the second category, he engages in the practice of forming opinions with no basis in facts; he imagines that knowledge consists of wishful thinking.  When power is given to people in either category, their stories will be splattered with blood and glaring with reptilian hatred.

Anthony Hargis is a philosopher.  His studies and writings focus generally on the American Revolution and rights of man.  His writings include The Lost Right, an examination of the nature and history of the right of revolution, commonly known as the right of petition; and, Fires that Cry, which examines the role of Jews as favored tax collectors in Europe, Africa and the Middle East for, at least, the last twenty-five hundred years.  This article, “God-given Rights,” is excerpted from Reflections, which consists of an examination of the ethically retrograde nature of religion, and of proposals for natural-law alternatives.

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