Religion and Hate Crimes – Reply to Jaco Barnard-Naude

In his first blog post called “Religion and Corrective Rape”, Jaco Barnard-Naude blamed religion for the persecution of homosexuals in South Africa. He said “Religion is, no doubt, complicit in the incitement and therefore in the perpetration of these abominable and senseless hate crimes”. In my reply to his post, I admitted to the atrocities committed by people under the name of religion, but I took issue when he selectively quoted the bible to suit his agenda, like most atheists do. In fact
I believe Jaco’s post could have made much sense had he not quoted the bible. But by selectively quoting the bible, he opened himself up to the charge of hypocrisy. He blamed the bible for inciting the rape and murder of homosexuals, but he ignored the fact that the bible condemns murder and rape of anybody. In his latest post, Jaco does a good job of painting a cruel picture of religion, using Roman Catholic Church as an example, and rightly so, yet he makes the same hypocritical mistake of selectively quoting the bible to suit his point of view.  

Jaco says “When one condemns a practice as wrong, the logical implication is that the practice stands in need of punishment and correction. And the truth is that (having been told by their church that homosexuality is sinful and abominable) some people take the punishment and correction into their own hands, justifying their actions on the basis that they were acting as God’s committed soldiers”. Reality is that the bible has condemned homosexuality and very strongly, and according to Jaco then this means that the bible gives people permission to attack homosexuals. But he couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only has the bible condemned homosexuality, but it has also condemned more than a hundreds of other sins, yet we don’t see people attacking those who commit such sins.   

The bible has condemned fornication (see Deuteronomy 22), and I wonder if Jaco can mention anybody in South Africa who has been killed for committing fornication. The bible has condemned looking at an opposite sex with lust (Matthew 5:28), yet up to this day nobody has ever been raped and killed for looking with lust. The bible has also condemned disrespect towards parents (see Exodus 20), and I wonder if Jaco has ever witnessed anyone being killed by the religious fanatics in South Africa for disrespecting their parents. Adultery is one of the things condemned in the bible, and there are many adulterers in our country, yet Jaco can’t even mention a single person being killed by religious fanatics in South Africa for being an adulterer. The bible also condemns lying, pride, jealousy, hatred, and many other things that are committed on a daily basis in South Africa, of which most of them are allowed in our Constitution, yet those who commit these things are not in danger of being raped and killed. It’s up to Jaco to explain how the bible can incite people to hate crimes against homosexuals, yet the same bible can’t incite people to commit hate crimes against adulterers, fornicators or liars. Reality is that Jaco can’t explain this dilemma!

Having dealt with atheists on a daily basis for more than three years, I have come to expect them to selectively use the bible to sustain their belief, yet they will discard everything that disagrees with their belief. I suspect Jaco is one such atheist!

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