luni, 21 decembrie 2009

Biblia şi genocidul

Citat din "Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction" de Adam Jones:

Humanity has always nurtured conceptions of social difference that generate a primordial sense of in-group versus out-group, as well as hierarchies of good and evil, superior and inferior, desirable and undesirable.[...]

Hence the advent of “religious traditions of contempt and collective defamation, stereotypes, and derogatory metaphor indicating the victim is inferior, sub-human (animals, insects, germs, viruses) or super-human (Satanic, omnipotent).” If certain classes of people are “pre-defined as alien . . . subhuman or dehumanized, or the enemy,” it follows that they must “be eliminated in order that we may live (Them or Us).”

A vivid example of this mindset is the text that underpins the cultural tradition common to most readers of this book: the biblical Old Testament. This frequently depicts God, as one commentator put it, as “a despotic and capricious sadist,” and his followers as génocidaires (genocidal killers). The trend starts early on, in the Book of Genesis (6: 17–19), where God decides “to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life from under heaven,” with the exception of Noah and a nucleus of human and animal life. Elsewhere, “the principal biblical rationale for genocide is the danger that God’s people will be infected (by intermarriage, for example) by the religious practices of the people who surround them. They are to be a holy people – i.e., a people kept apart, separated from their idolatrous neighbors. Sometimes, the only sure means of accomplishing this is to destroy the neighbors.” Thus, in 1 Samuel 15: 2–3, “the LORD of hosts” declares: “I will punish the Amalekites for what they did in opposing the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” Sometimes, as in Numbers 31, the genocide is more selective – too selective for God’s tastes. As Yehuda Bauer summarizes this passage:

All Midianite men are killed by the Israelites in accordance with God’s command, but his order, transmitted by Moses, to kill all the women as well is not carried out, and God is angry. Moses berates the Israelites, whereupon they go out and kill all the women and all the male children; only virgin girls are left alive, for obvious reasons.

“Obvious reasons,” in that many genocides in prehistory and antiquity were designed not just to eradicate enemy ethnicities, but to incorporate and exploit some of their members. Usually, it was children (particularly girls) and women who were spared murder. They were simultaneously seen as unable to offer physical resistance, and as sources of future offspring for the dominant group (descent in patrilineal society being traced through the bloodline of the male). We see here the roots of gendercide against adult males and adolescent boys [...].

Imagine: "Israel în luptǎ cu Amalek", gravura de Matthaeus Merian cel Bǎtrân, cca. 1625-30, sursǎ -
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