“If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell.”
Carl Sandburg, in The People, Yes (1936)
One response to my sixty objections against Clay Jones’s attempt to defend Jehovah’s command to the Israelites to slaughter the Canaanites (men, women, and children), is that my my objections “argue the law” thus betraying a reluctance to “argue the facts”. There is some truth to this point. I have indeed focused primarily on “arguing the law”. That is because the laws of Jehovah are clearly sexist, arbitrary, unclear, and harsh (indicating that Jehovah was either stupid or unjust or both).
However, the FACTS are not especially on Jones’s side either. Jones actually makes very little effort to “argue the facts”. So I’m more than happy to shift gears for a bit and to show that Jones’s attempt to justify Jehovah’s command to slaughter the Canaanites (men, women, and children) fails even when the focus is placed on “arguing the facts”.
I will imagine that it is my own daughters (at ages 8 and 18) who are being charged with a sin or crime that Jones believes to be worthy of the death penalty. I will imagine Clay Jones to present the case for convition and for the punishment of death (based on his comments in his article “Killing the Canaanites“), and I will imagine that it is my job to vigorously defend my daughters against the charges and the case made by Jones, to ensure that they are given a fair trial.
To emphasize the human fallibility of Christian religious leaders and authorities, I will refer to the character representing Clay Jones’s views as: GRAND INQUISITOR JONES (or GI Jones). The title “Grand Inquisitor Jones” is to remind us that in the past Christians have practiced systematic terror and torture and murder of innocent men, women, and children for MANY centuries (i.e. the Inquisition), and that such horrible crimes against humanity were authorized and justified by Christian leaders and Christian theologians for MANY centuries, thus firmly establishing beyond all reasonable doubt that Christian leaders and Christian theologians are fully capable of being morally blind leaders of morally blind Christian followers.
Grand Inquisitor Jones will be a “kinder and gentler” sort of Grand Inquisitor who does not torture the accused to obtain a “confession”. GI Jones will, in a fair public trial, attempt to present a strong case based on objective empirical/historical evidence and good reasoning that is sufficient to convict my two daughters of the alleged sin or crime in question, like a prosecuting attorney in a criminal trial.
In Part 1, I presented a mini-trial of Lisa and Kathy conerning the charge of IDOLATRY. Today, Grand Inquisitor Jones will take another swing at these two girls, arguing that they have committed the sin or crime of INCEST.
Judge: The Grand Inquisitor Jones will now present his case against the accused, and then Bradley For the Defense will present objections and arguments defending the accused.
GI Jones: Thank you, your honor. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: today I will present to you my case for the charge that Lisa (age 8) is guilty of the horrible crime or sin of INCEST, and for the charge that her older sister Kathy (age 18) is also guilty of this terrible crime or sin, and that because of this horrible sin or crime, they both deserve the penalty of DEATH; they both deserve to have their heads chopped off by a sword-wielding, Jehovah-worshiping soldier of the army of Israel.*
Lisa and Kathy have committed the crime or sin of INCEST. I assure you that both of these wicked girls are Canaanites who were raised to worship the gods of the Canaanites. Like all Ancient Near East (ANE) pantheons, the Canaanite pantheon was incestuous. Baal has sex with his mother Asherah, his sister Anat, and his daughter Pidray, and none of this is presented pejoratively. Although early Canaanite laws proscribed either death or banishment for most forms of incest, after the fourteenth century BC, the penalties were reduced to no more than the payment of a fine. [The preceding italicized sentences are a quote from Clay Jones’s article.]
Since these two Canaanite girls have participated in worship of gods who engaged in incestuous sex, these two girls must have followed the example of their gods and also engaged in incestuous sex. So, you must, on the basis of this fact, deliver a verdict of “Guilty” and condemn these evil and perverse girls to death by beheading. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury for your attention to my case for the guilt of Lisa and Kathy.
BFD: What the hell! Is this a joke? I was expecting hours of testimony from multiple eyewitnesses, or at least a lengthy presentation of dozens of facts to make a circumstantial case for the guilt of the accused girls. But instead we are offered a fifteen-second, guilt-by-association “argument”. Grand Inquisitor Jones, have you no shame, sir?
The Grand Inquisitor has failed to cite the law that the defendants have violated, and the Grand Inquisitor has not even hinted at what he means by “the crime or sin of INCEST”, so we have no clear idea of what the defendants are being accused of doing, or whether the law even applies to these beautiful, charming, and intelligent girls. Since the laws of Jehovah were directed to the men of Israel, the presumption is that any such laws do NOT apply to young girls who are Canaanites, not Israelites.
Though GI Jones has utterly failed to make a rational case against the defendants in terms of the alleged law against INCEST, let’s ignore that for the moment, and simply assume the common sense notion that the word “incest” means: having sexual intercourse with one’s parent, child, sibling, grandchild, or grandparent.
Since GI Jones has presented ZERO facts to show that either Lisa or Kathy have ever had sexual intercourse with ANYONE, there is no case here to consider.
All we have is GI Jones’ personal assertion that Lisa and Kathy “were raised to worship the gods of the Canaanites” and that some of the gods of the Canaanites engaged in incestuous sex. So what? The fact that they worshiped gods who were believed to have engaged in incestuous sex, does not mean that these girls had any interest or desire to engage in incestuous sex, nor does this show that they ever in fact engaged in incestuous sex. One simply does not always do everything that one believes that a god has done.
The Israelites believed that Jehovah created the universe. Does that mean that each and every Israelite has desired to create a universe? Does that mean that each and every Israelite has tried to create a universe? Of course not. The Israelites believe that Jehovah caused a great flood that nearly destroyed all life on earth, except for a handful of people and a few hundred selected pairs of animals. Does that mean that each and every Israelite has desired to cause a worldwide flood? or desired to destroy virtually all life on this planet? Does that mean that each and every Israelite has actually tried to cause a worldwide flood? or tried to destroy virtually all life on this planet? Of course not. The actions and behaviors of a god are NOT automatically taken to be an appropriate example for humans to try to imitate.
Grand Inquisitor Jones has already admitted this obvious point, and has admitted it specifically in relation to the issue of incest. He himself points out that “early Canaanite laws proscribed either death or banishment for most forms of incest”. So, it appears that early Canaanites, at least, did not take the incestuous sexual activity of some of their gods to be a model of behavior for them to follow. Furthermore, although the severe punishments of death and banishment were later replaced by fines, that still constitutes a PUNISHMENT, and still indicates that the Canaanites don’t view all activities by all of their gods as being an appropriate model for human behavior, just like Israelites don’t view all activities by Jehovah as being an appropriate model for human behavior.
Finally, even if it was true that Canaanites in general admired the engagement of their gods in incestuous sex, and even if Canaanites in general desired to engage in incestuous sex, and even if Canaanites in general have tried to engage in incestuous sex, this is NOT sufficient reason for convicting these two particular Canaanite girls and condemning them to have their heads chopped off! At the most, GI Jones has shown that there is some modest probabiltiy that one or both of these two girls has committed the sin or crime of incest, but such a weak conclusion falls obviously and hopelessly short of the requirement that guilt be established beyond any reasonable doubt, especially in a capital case.
Let’s briefly consider each category of incest, in accordance with the above common-sense understanding of what “incest” means.
1. Did either of these girls have sex with one of their parents?
First of all, there is nothing in the laws of Jehovah that prohibits a girl from having sex with her mother. So, we can eliminate that issue right away. Second of all, shockingly there is also no law of Jehovah that prohibits a father from having sex with his daughter. That might well be the case because the laws of Jehovah are SEXIST, and daughters were considered to be the property of their fathers. In any case, there is no such prohibition in the laws of Jehovah. So, we can strike this first question as being irrelevant, because this court is only concerned with alleged violoations of the laws of Jehovah.
2. Did either of these girls have sex with one of their grandparents?
First of all, there is no law of Jehovah that prohibits a grandmother from having sex with her granddaughter, so we can immediately set aside that possibility as irrelevant.
Leviticus 18:10 does, however, prohibit a man from having sex with his granddaughter.
There are two obvious problems with applying this law to the accused Canaanite girls. First of all, the death penalty was NOT assigned to this form of incest by the laws of Jehovah, so it would be UNJUST to implement the death penalty on these two girls for a violation of Leviticus 18:10.
Second of all, it seems fairly obvious that any punishment for violation of this law would be given to the grandfather who had sex with his granddaughter and NOT to the granddaughter, who in many cases would only be a child or a very young woman. If the laws of Jehovah did require that BOTH grandfather and granddaughter be severely punished, that would be an obvious and grevious injustice, and would provide powerful evidence that Jehovah and his laws are UNJUST. There is no good reason, however, to think that a granddaughter was supposed to be punished at all in such cases of incest.
Therefore, although it is possible that one or both of these two girls has engaged in incestuous sex with a grandparent, this would not be grounds for punishing these girls in any way. Finally, Grand Inquisitor Jones has presented no specific facts showing that either of these girls has had sex with her grandfather.
3. Did either of these girls have sex with one of her children?
At eight years of age, it is obvious that Lisa has not ever given birth to a child, so Lisa cannot have committed this form of incest.
Kathy is 18 years old, so it is biologically possible that she had a child at a very early age (say when she was 14 years old) and then recently had sex with her four year old child. But I have placed into evidence sworn statements from Kathy’s parents and from Kathy’s physician stating that Kathy has never been pregnant and never given birth to a child. Since Kathy has been living at home with her parents for her entire life (so far) , they would have known if she had become pregnant and given birth to a child, so we can rule out the possibility that Kathy has engaged in this form of incest.
There is no law of Jehovah that prohibits a mother from having sex with her daughter, so we can eliminate that possibility as irrelevant to this trial.
Because the laws of Jehovah are SEXIST, there is only a prohibition against a man having sex with his mother (Leviticus 18:7), and this law was directed to the MEN of Israel, not to the BOYS of Israel. So, it is doubtful that this law prohibits sex between a young boy and his mother.
Furthermore, the death penalty was NOT assigned to this form of incest (it is only when a man has sex with “his father’s wife” that the death penalty is assigned–see Leviticus 20:11–in which case the woman might not be his biological mother and the act would be punishable as a form of adultery), so it would be UNJUST to condemn either of these girls to death for violation of this law of Jehovah.
4. Did either of these girls have sex with one of her siblings?
I have placed into evidence sworn statements from the father and mother of these girls that they have no other children besides these two girls, and that they never have had any other children, even with other partners. Therefore, there are no other siblings, and thus these girls do not have a brother.
The only way that it would be possible for these girls to have sex with a sibling would be to have had sex with each other. No evidence has been presented to this court indicating that they have had sex with each other, so there is no evidence that they have committed this form of incest.
Furthermore, the laws of Jehovah are SEXIST, and so they only prohibit a man from having sex with his sister (Leviticus 20:17). There is no law of Jehovah that prohibits a girl or a woman from having sex with her sister. Thus, even if it could be proven that these girls had sex with each other, that would NOT be a violation of a law of Jehovah. This court is only concerned with violations of the laws of Jehovah.
Finally, although it is clear that it is not possible for either Lisa or Kathy to have had sex with a brother, since they don’t have a brother, even if it were shown that they had a brother and had sex with him, that particular form of incest was NOT assigned the death penalty in the laws of Jehovah.
5. Did either of these girls have sex with one of her grandchildren?
Since neither girl has ever given birth to a child, it is clear that the answer to this question is: NO.
There is no law of Jehovah prohibiting a grandmother from having sex with her granddaughter, so that form of incest is irrelevant to this court.
Furthermore, since the laws of Jehovah were directed to the MEN of Israel, it is unclear whether the laws of Jehovah prohibit a BOY from having sex with his grandmother.
It is also UNCLEAR who would be punished in such a case, since in the case of a grandfather having sex with his granddaughter it would presumably be the grandfather who was punshed and not the granddaughter. However, the SEXIST nature of the laws of Jehovah suggest that it might be the BOY who was to be punished in the case of sex between a grandmother and her grandson. The laws of Jehovah are simply too UNCLEAR on this point to justify a severe punishment, even if guilt could be established, which it cannot be in the case of these two girls.
Finally, even in the case of a grandfather having sex with his granddaughter, the death penalty was NOT assigned to that sin or crime, so it would be UNJUST to impose the death penalty on these two girls on the basis of an anaologous charge, even if their guilt could be proven, which it cannot be, since they have never had any children.
In conclusion, we have examined the five basic kinds of incest, in accordance with this common-sense understanding of the meaning of the word “incest”: having sexual intercourse with one’s parent, child, sibling, grandchild, or grandparent.
In NO CASE did we find a specific kind of incest in which all three of the following requirements were met:
(1) the specific kind of incest in question was prohibited by a law of Jehovah, AND
(2) the death penalty was assigned for that specific kind of incest by the laws of Jehovah, AND
(3) the factual evidence presented here by GI Jones proves beyond a reasonable doubt that one or both of these two girls had engaged in that specific kind of incest.
Because these three conditions have not been met for ANY of the five different kinds of incest, you must return a verdict of NOT GUILTY.
Please return a verdict of NOT GUILTY for the two beautiful, charming, intelligent, and loving girls who are standing at my side today. There have been no specific facts or evidence presented by the Grand Inquisitor Jones showing that they have engaged in any kind of incest prohibited by the laws of Jehovah and punishable by the death penalty. Let there be no chopping off heads today; declare Lisa and Kathy NOT GUILTY.
* I do have children, but the names and ages given here are not the actual names and ages of my children.