Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

Scripture Says…What? for the Week of November 13th

open bibleIn this week’s look at the funny, the scary and just plain weird passages in humanity’s holy texts, we look at the Bible’s take on child discipline.

While it’s often held up as a beacon of wisdom and morality, the Bible’s take on parenting is neither wise nor moral.

Deuteronomy 21:18-21, King James Version:

18If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: 19Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;

20And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.

21And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.


We often say on our show that we’re grateful that the vast majority of Christians and Jews don’t take their god at his word. Most religious believers don’t own slaves or kill unruly children or rile up mobs against members of other religions. Who could possibly rationalize this sort of barbarism? Well, sadly, more than one person can find a way.

This is just another way that religion can skew your morality and how truly ethical people don’t get their ethics from the New or Old Testaments.

If you have a passage of holy scripture that you find funny, scary or just plain weird, send it our way. Whether it’s from the Bible, the Qur’an, the Bhagavad Gita, the Book of Mormon, or even Dianetics, click on the big, red, shiny button at the top of the page and we may even read it on the show!

About the Author: Mike Gillis

Mike Gillis is co-creator, and co-host of Ask an Atheist. He hosts the Radio vs. the Martians! and Mike and Pól Save the Universe! podcasts. He also enjoys comic books, the Planet of the Apes, and the band Queen.

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Stone him with STONES. Even back in the days of the old testament they left no wiggle room for interpreting this as instructions to offer up the rebel a bong rip….

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