The Ethics of Land Grabbing

From a Christian home-school workbook, presented by Stuff Christian Culture Likes. This particular section is advice to the young Christian on how to deal with those pesky unbelievers who argue about the Canaanite genocide:

“The Israelites had ownership of the land and were taking back the land they rightfully owned.”

Something to share with my Native America friends. Maybe the knowledge that they’re morally entitled to kill every white American they come across will partially make up for seeing Johnny Depp play Tonto.

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  • Azel

    Why am I under the impression that they would answer to your proposal by saying that Native Americans weren’t the Real True Owners&tm; of the land?

    And, even without considering his moral utter failure in ordering a genocide, did God really had rights over this land? Because for all his power, the God of Joshua is no almighty overlord: isn’t he the one who got stumped by iron chariots?

  • Yoav

    1. Even according to their own magic books the Israelites weren’t the only people living in the land before what passed for Isrealites at that point, Jacob and his folk (all 70 of them according to Exodus 1), moved to Egypt.
    2. Under any legal system I’m aware of if someone invades your property you have to go to court and try to get them evicted, you don’t just get to go in kill him and take his virgin daughters as sex slaves.
    3. Their god is supposedly omni-fucking-potent so he shouldn’t have any problem figuring out a genocide free way to solve the problem such as convincing the current occupants to move away or give the Isrealites another promised land maybe even one that doesn’t suck as bad as the original one which is basically the worst plot in the middle east.

    • mikespeir

      In fact, Abraham’s clan were effectively squatters in Canaan.

      • Ryan Hite

        And then they stole the cannanite god Yahweh and made it their national god.

    • Jayn

      #2: don’t forget things like squatter’s rights, where if someone else is using your property it can become legally theirs, making the Israelites the ‘invaders’.

  • kessy_athena

    Actually, the phrase that really struck me was “The land had been infested by other tribes…” Infested? Seriously? Nothing like completely dehumanizing anyone who’s not part of your religion. And I’ll bet it never even occurred to the authors or most of their target audience what they were saying.

    • JohnMWhite

      What concerns me more is that I actually believe it has occurred to them. They mean it.

      • kessy_athena

        ~_~ No offense, John, but I really, *really* hope you’re completely wrong about that. I don’t think I have the words to express just how disturbing that would be to me. It’s one thing to say something like that casually when you’re just thinking about it in simplistic good guys vs bad guys fashion. But it’s an entirely different thing to consciously realize that those are ordinary people just living their lives but it’s still okay to kill them with about as much thought as you’d give to squashing a roach. I don’t mean to go all Godwin, but in complete seriousness, that’s how things like the Holocaust happen.

        • JohnMWhite

          You made my point for me. The Holocaust happened. And it happened in part because of propaganda being peddled as education that dehumanised anyone who wasn’t part of the socially vaunted German volk. This did not happen centuries ago, these people were not living in caves and they were not drugged out of their minds. They were ordinary people in the thousands who were led very swiftly to accept the idea that whole swathes of humanity weren’t human at all, and it wasn’t the first time nor the last.

          I’ve heard teachers and priests rail against ‘infestations’ of homosexuals in the government, the schools, the Vatican, even the BBC. They want them gotten rid of and they frequently utilise this sort of language. It’s not unusual. Ordinary people just living their lives are not acceptable to a lot of these authoritarians if those people are living the ‘wrong’ sort of life.

    • Machintelligence

      As Fat Freddy’ cat said after he “returned” to the house his owner had moved out of, and was chased by the new residents: “The house has become infested with hideous demons and ogres!”

  • Lurker111

    “The Israelites had ownership of the land and were taking back the land they rightfully owned.”

    Naturally the Israelites had registered their ownership with the Land Office before leaving, so that any entering tribes could check this out.

    Actually, latest research suggests that the Exodus never occurred, and that the Israelites were just a subgroup of Canaanites that were a tad more successful than their neighbors. Or perhaps a tad more violent.

  • BobaFuct

    400 years is well outside the statute of limitations for an adverse possession claim. I guess god isn’t a common law kinda guy…

  • evodevo

    Plays right in to the Israeli treatment of Palestinians, doesn’t it !!

    • kessy_athena

      Which is exactly why archaeology in Israel is extremely politicized.

  • Alice

    “…so if he wants to defy nature, logic [and morality] he can.”

    Also, it is interesting they describe the genocides as “Israel’s raid” and “their slaughter” purposefully distancing the action from the fact that God gave them the orders and the power.

    • lartanner

      “so if he wants to defy logic and nature, He can.”

      No, he can’t defy logic, according to Plantinga et al. God’s omipotence doesn’t allow him to make a square circle or make a stone so heavy even he can’t lift it.

      These people need to get their stories straight.

      • Alice

        Oh, I don’t agree with the workbook; I’m just saying they left out the fact that the God of the Bible is never morally consistent. And I think they meant “logic” more in the sense of “God can do things that don’t make sense to us because we aren’t smart enough to understand his reasoning.” This is a common lame response to the question of why God allows/causes evil in the world.

  • DreadPirateRogers

    “Maybe the knowledge that they’re morally entitled to kill every white
    American they come across will partially make up for seeing Johnny Depp
    play Tonto.”

    While I’m pretty sure this isn’t meant seriously, I
    still feel the need to point out that it’s not American Indians getting
    pissed off about Johnny Depp, it’s stupid Tumblrites who have taken the
    mantle of Defenders of Everything™ upon themselves. The Comanche nation
    adopted Johnny Depp, so he’s considered a Comanche, and he’s been
    working closely with them to ensure that his portrayal of Tonto is
    pleasing and acceptable to them. This isn’t a case of William Shatner
    and his twins role in White Comanche.

    • JohnMWhite

      Plenty of Native Americans are upset, too. The Comanche Nation adopted Depp during filming because they were under the impression the film was going to be sensitive regarding Native American culture. It turns out this was not the case. Also, those in the Comanche Nation who chose to adopt Depp don’t speak for all Native Americans.

      I’m always a little put out by people’s insistence on policing who has a right to be annoyed or offended by something. I don’t care if people on Tumblr haven’t a Native American bone in their body, that doesn’t make them incapable of assessing the pros and cons of a white guy speaking broken English with a dead crow on his head who ignores the deaths of countless members of his own people for the sake of saving one white guy.

    • MarkTemporis

      Racial sensitivity notwithstanding, wearing a stuffed crow on your head is a crime against fashion and nature.

  • JohnMWhite

    “If a person entered your home and tried to claim it as theirs while you were gone, I doubt you’d let them do just that”. Yes, the first thing kids should be taught is that if anybody is in their space, they should swiftly kill them. Especially if they are armed with skittles.

  • trj

    Does God ever justify his genocidal commands by saying his people are taking back their land? Feel free to correct me, but I don’t think he ever does. That seems a little strange, since it would be an obvious (though still grossly insufficient) excuse.

    Instead, we’re told the murdered peoples were evil and all deserved to die (take that, evil infants). Other times no reason is given at all – the victims were simply in the way of the Israelite demand for lebensraum.

  • stop2wonder

    “If a person entered your home and tried to claim it as theirs while you were gone, I doubt you’d let them do just that.”

    Yeah. a little bit of apples and oranges going on there.

    First, I’m not sure what my claim would be on “my home” if I was gone over 400 years.

    Second, regardless of how much I felt my claim on the house was justified, I wouldn’t ride in murdering, raping, and enslaving the current occupants.

    • DanD

      Adverse possession in Massachusetts is 30 years, as near as I can tell, no location has a term longer than 60, so yeah, at least 340 years to late.

      Funnily enough, force of arms is not allowed to create adverse possession, so this passage actually emphasizes that the Israelites have no claim to the land (ok, I admit applying English Common Law to the bible might not be perfectly correct, but it is amusing).

  • Mark Joseph

    Well, they got one thing right, at least; the Noah’s flood and Red Sea crossing certainly are among the “most ridiculous stories in the Bible.” Another case of unintentionally speaking the truth?

  • JohnMWhite

    Nobody is trying to silence you or Depp. Criticism or disagreement is not an attempt to silence others. You’re getting rather bent out of shape about Internet pushback over what you swear is just a stupid fucking movie.

    • DreadPirateRogers

      Because typing out coherent sentences is “getting rather bent out of shape”? I’m not even ALL CAPS MODE. My problem is people thinking that being offended gives them special privileges. My problem is the modern day “White Man’s Burden” that is being offended for groups that aren’t offended. My problem is the racism and sexism that seems inherent in thinking that certain groups are so special they have to be protected from the shit that the other groups go through. Big Bang Theory makes fun of nerd culture, and is not true to it at all. Where’s the outrage? American Dad’s Stan Smith is very much satire of the right, and his daughter Haylee very much satire of the left, where’s the outrage? Every time white people do martial arts, which are an Asian discipline, on screen where’s the outrage? Who decides which groups are special enough to get the special treatment, and which groups aren’t?

  • Santiago Brin

    very funny!!!! I claim some ‘native’ blood, I’m on my way to the land claiming rampage

  • Mick

    I’d like to get a copy of that book. Anyone know its name and where it can be purchased? [I followed the link to the Facebook page, but couldn't find anything there.]