The following insightful article first appeared in the Fall of 1997 issue of THINK!. With the August 1999 attack on the Jewish children at the day-care center by Buford Furrow who is associated with the Phinehas Priests we've decided to place the article on our site in order to give our visitors an insight into this violent superstitious based group of religious murderers. We are also going to run it again in the next issue of THINK!.
The reality of these child killers in our society forces us, Jews, Christians, Moslems and Christian Identity followers/Phinehas Priests all included, to take an honest reasonable look at the Bible and all other violent "holy" books. If we apply our God-given reason we can't accept the hatred, fear and the distorted picture of the Creator these trashy outdated mythological books offer.
The insane idea in the Old Testament that God favors the Jews over everyone else, that they are God's "chosen people," is what is causing the current racial violence infecting our land and killing our children. We all need to let go of the revealed religions we have been brought up to believe and bravely and honestly embrace that which God has given us - REASON!
Not long ago the FBI arrested a number of men from West Virginia who had been plotting to blow up the FBI's Central Fingerprint Registry. These men were associated with a militia type group known as the Phineas Priesthood, which is by design completely unorganized, but are linked by certain values and attitudes in common. Like many militia groups, they're convinced that the U.S. Government is secretly controlled by a sinister foreign cabal, and that they, as the True Christian Patriots they are, are fully justified in waging war against the government. (Apparently they haven't read the 13th chapter of Romans.)
Other Phineas Priesthood groups had been arrested, one in Georgia for conspiring to disrupt the Olympics, and another in Washington for a series of bank robberies and bombings. Another series of bank robberies in the Midwest are believed to be the product of another gang of Phineas Priests. The bunch in West Virginia, in addition to amassing explosive materials, had actually sold blueprints of the FBI facility in Clarksburg to a man they believed was a Middle Eastern terrorist. That they were willing to make common cause with such a person to destroy a vital crime fighting facility, and to murder government workers and citizens alike, says a lot about their level of moral depravity and delusion.
What is a "Phineas Priest", and why does a certain element of the Militia Movement possess this conceit? The inspiration comes from the Old Testament (Mark 7:1-13 shows that Jesus believed the ungodly and brutal Hebrew Bible/Old Testament was the Word of God and Matthew 5:17-19 makes clear Jesus believed the heartless commands and laws of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament will remain in effect “until heaven and earth pass”.) and the Book of Numbers (Numbers 25:6-13)*. Phineas was the grandson of Aaron, who objected to the consorting of an Israelite with a Midianite woman and slew them both. (Ironic when you recall that Moses married a Midianite woman himself.) This zealous deed so impressed his fellows that it assured his succession to the High Priesthood, and the memory of this incident resulted in a faction of priests after the Babylonian Exile centuries later claiming descent from Phineas, and the special status this apparently implied.
This story is an obscure one, unknown to most Christians, but it's become known to some in the Militia, and of all the myriad episodes in the Bible, this is one they find especially meaningful: a shameful tale of bigotry and murder that provides them with not only a name, but a justification for committing similar heinous acts under the cover of religious zeal. The story of Phineas is not the only barbaric episode in the Old Testament, but one of many; and the existence of such episodes in the absence of any clear moral condemnation can only debase the morals of those who succumb to "zeal poisoning." After all, if it's in the Bible, it must have God's approval (right?), and to imitate such acts must be righteous. Giving full vent to one's hostile and destructive impulses, furthermore, provides a heady rush that far surpasses any drug, and the delusion that one is acting according to God's will opens up the floodgates.
This is a glaring defect in the Old Testament that, with the prodigious growth of Fundamentalism, has become a deadly problem. When numerous examples of outright evil are presented as righteous behavior, we should not be surprised when further such incidents by unrepentant fanatics occur in the future. As for the rest of us, who are not in any nut group, the challenge posed by the Old Testament is simple: either we recognize it as morally deficient, or we debase our moral sensibility in order to conform to it. The former course leads towards a steadier pace on the road to becoming truly civilized, but the latter will ultimately destroy civilization in an insane orgy of bloodlust and paranoid delusion.
6 "And behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his breathern a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
7 "And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;
8 "And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.
9 "And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.
10 "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
11 "Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy.
12 "Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace:
13 "And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel."
As a Deist, this type of depiction of God as a jealous killer is NOT acceptable. Deists think too highly of God to believe the Hebrew Bible's, the Christian Bible's, the Koran's or the Book of Mormon's depiction of the Creator. These "holy" horror stories are motivating people, our fellow human beings, to take the lives of others. It's time to put a stop to the Bible and all forms of revelation/superstition by using our innate God-given reason.
Please make the effort to promote Deism and bring a much overdue end to "revealed" religion by becoming a member of the World Union of Deists. Click here for a W.U.D. Membership Application and help put an end to religious violence and create a new reason-based beginning for humanity and the world.