The stories are symbolism….and it doesn’t make one’s religion any less valid! The stuff in Hindu scriptures and Polytheistic mythology likely didn’t LITERALLY happen either but many Hindus and NeoPagan Reconstructionists don’t let that ruin their faith (most understand the Deities represent forces and archetypes).
It’s what the stories REPRESENT! THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW! Frummies refuse to or are incapable of understanding that!
To drive the point home; There are even practicing, Temple-going Reform Jews who are technically complete Atheists….but their Faith is more a reverence for their culture and higher ideals (‘God’ to them could mean ’Humanity’s better nature’). It’s a similar approach to Church of Satan and The Satanic Temple’s approach to Ol’ Scratch.
Thus; Religion need not be about Literal History or Literal Superbeings floating around somewhere.
All this jib jab about contradictions, literalism, etc. is annoying.
Last night; I read an interesting take on the whole “Hebrew Testament God & Canaanite Genocides” from a webpage by a Jewish Author and I think it made a lot of sense….
….Basically; A lot of ancient writ and writing conventions about warfare in the Bronze & Iron Age was akin to an over-the-top Football Coach exhorting his team, “Go out there and destroy them!”. Coach doesn’t really want to hurt the other team. He just wants his team to really win!
Thus; Deity was talking in over-the-top hyperbole and wasn’t really commanding mass-slaughter. To drive the point home, many inscriptions by other rulers who won battles do the same thing; The supposedly-destroyed nations in the Bible are still alive and well in latter chapters.
The Canaanites still exist, we call them Lebanese….
….This may even explain the whole thing concerning the destruction of Tyre that never happened. A prophecy saying “Tyre will have a period of serious political, social and economic difficulty” doesn’t have quite the pizzazz as “Tyre will be destroyed!”.
Thus; The Israelite’s conquest of Canaan was a lot less literal mass murder and more “political & cultural takeover with some warfare tossed in”. While it still sounds grim to us it seems perfectly *meh* from the standpoint of ancient brutish people, back then. Also; Hebrews WERE technically Canaanites….Canaanite Ex-Pats who worshiped their Pantheon as a single Composite Deity who came home and made their peers follow suit.
Reason, Non-Literalism, and Context must be considered, otherwise Religion becomes a force of pure evil! Likewise; The concept of damnation being eternal rather than purgatorial is the most monstrously disgusting, evil and blasphemous thing devised! It makes the Divine not only a monster but a failure, too!
Since Organized Religion isn’t dying anytime soon, the best thing is to reform and apply reason, non-literalism and context while declaring frummies a laughingstock to be shamed as a bunch of hateful demiurgic rubes.