Family Values, Biblical Style

Conservative Christians are always on about how we need to follow the Bible and return to “family values.” But what does the Bible really say about family values? Oh sure, there is one verse (out of over 31,000) that says “Honor your mother and father.” But that’s not the whole story — not by a long shot. Let’s see what else the Bible has to say about family values.

1. If you are a parent with an unruly son, the Bible says you should take your son to the elders and have your child stoned to death.

If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death.
Deut. 21:18-20

2. If you are the parent of a daughter, the Bible has an exciting money-making scheme for you, and an exciting career opportunity for your daughter! Sell your daughter as a sex-slave!

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not satisfy her owner, he must allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. But if the slave’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave but as a daughter.

If a man who has married a slave wife takes another wife for himself, he must not neglect the rights of the first wife to food, clothing, and sexual intimacy.
Exodus 21:7-10

3. Need God to help you out with some overwhelming task? Offer to burn your daughter as a sacrifice to God and he’ll be sure to help you.

And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”

Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave them into his hands.

When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter… When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to the Lord that I cannot break.”

“My father,” she replied, “you have given your word to the Lord. Do to me just as you promised…But grant me this one request,” she said. “Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.”

“You may go,” he said. And he let her go for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never marry. After the two months, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed.
Judges 11:30-39

4. In order to win accolades as the perfect host, willingly offer your daughter to a mob of rapists.

While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.”

The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this outrageous thing. Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But as for this man, don’t do such an outrageous thing.”
Judges 19:22-24

5. Want to show God that you’re his faithful, loyal follower? Be prepared to tie up your son and cut his throat!

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

…When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
Genesis 22:2,9-10

6. Hungry? Eat your children!

The Lord will bring a distant nation against you… The siege and terrible distress of the enemy’s attack will be so severe that you will eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters… The most tenderhearted man among you will have no compassion for his own brother, his beloved wife, and his surviving children. He will refuse to share with them the flesh he is devouring—the flesh of one of his own children… The most tender and delicate woman among you—so delicate she would not so much as touch the ground with her foot—will be selfish toward the husband she loves and toward her own son or daughter. She will hide from them the afterbirth and the new baby she has borne, so that she herself can secretly eat them.
Deuteronomy 28:49-57

Therefore in your midst parents will eat their children, and children will eat their parents.
Ezekiel 5:10

7. Want to be a disciple of Jesus (i.e. a Christian)? Then be sure to hate your family!

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”
Luke 14:26 (NWT, 2013 ed.)

8. Here’s a sure-fire recipe for happiness: bash out children’s brains!

Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
Psalm 137:9

9. As an obedient servant of God, be prepared to murder your brother, because sometimes God commands this of his people:

Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’”
Exodus 32:27

10. Oh, and if you have parents, you can go ahead and disown them before others:

Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”

He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers.
MT 12:46-50

11. And go ahead and lie to them and deceive them if you would be blessed:

Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn.”
Genesis 27:19

12. Wives must be kept in submissive subjection to their husbands. They must be “silent” and if they have any questions they must ask their husbands in private.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Ephesians 5:22-24

Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
1 Corinthians 14:34-35

13. Children are to be beaten.

Do not withhold discipline from a child;
    if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.
Proverbs 23:13

Bonus Family Values for Jehovah’s Witnesses!

Now, if you happen to be a Jehovah’s Witness, you are “privileged” to receive seven bonus “values”! (Due to the Watchtower’s interpretation of the Bible):

1. If your family member ever stops believing in the Watchtower, or is kicked out of the Watchtower organization, you must shun them.

2. If your child is molested by an elder you should drop the matter and continue to respect and obey the elder unless there are at least two witnesses to the molestation (in which case the elder will dutifully report the matter to the local Watchtower branch office rather than to the authorities.)

3. Take your children to the Kingdom Hall, though you fully realize that it may be a haven for known pedophiles (as documented in the Watchtower’s secret database.) Also, allow them to go out “in service” with elders who could well be pedophiles.

4. Make sure your children are ostracized at school by telling them not to make friends with non-Witness children, and by forbidding them to engage in shared cultural activities such as birthday celebrations or engaging in sports.

5. If your child or other family member is ever in need of a blood transfusion you must watch them bleed to death rather than allow them to receive the life-saving treatment.

6. Encourage your children to donate whatever money they may have to the Watchtower rather than permitting them to spend it on some frivolous item that they might actually enjoy (such as an ice-cream cone).

7. If you’re the wife of an abusive husband you just have to put up with it (divorce is only for adultery.) If your husband is a Witness then be sure to “put Kingdom interests first” by not reporting him to the authorities (you don’t want to “bring reproach on Jehovah’s organization.”)

There you have it! Are those the family values you want us all to follow? If not, then just be glad that the world in general does not follow the Bible’s values, and stop asking us to return to such a state of barbarism.

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