"And it came to pass at midnight, that Jehovah smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the first-born of cattle."
For some reason, I have found myself talking to a few theists recently, or more specifically, Christians. The above quote from exodus is one reason (of many) that I left the church. So, it was interesting to ask them what they thought of the above passage.
Apart from the usual, "you are taking it out of context" answer, to which I say, "there is no context whatsoever that makes God's actions in Egypt morally justifiable", one answer in common was along the lines of, "God needed to show his power so that he would be respected"!
Anyone that uses that kind of violence to gain respect is not interested in respect, they are interested in fear. It is the justification a spouse uses when they use violence against their partner. God, of course, cannot bypass his own moral laws and commit genocide, unless he is a hypocrite, in which case why worship him?
Anyone who defends someone else's violence by saying they need to be respected and so need to show their wrath, has lost their instinctive ability to tell the difference between fear and respect. Is this the reasoning they would have used If one of the Egyptian parents had asked, "why did God kill my child?"
This reasoning, that is used to defend God's actions, is a sign of how far down the rabbit hole Christians have to be. They have lost that very human quality, empathy. Instead they look to the bible and their pastors for answers. They no longer trust their own thoughts and feelings, particularly if those thoughts and feelings are not seen, by their peers, to fit with the group-think that is their own church's interpretation of the bible.
If that kind of twisted logic is what is required to be a Christian, then I have made the right choice. I am right. I am free of that way of thinking and that I no longer have to twist my thoughts and feelings to obey any one particular church's interpretation of the angry whims of a jealous, spiteful, violent and abusive God.
Point to ponder. Why would an all-powerful God require a red mark above the door to distinguish households of his chosen people and those of the Egyptians? Other than to require absolute obedience (a very appealing characteristic, I'm sure) or to allow humans, who probably carried out the genocide, to tell which house was which.