Does the Bible’s God Cross the Depravity Baseline? by Dale O'Neal

Written by Dale O'Neal:

           To assess the morality of a culture, one must determine the point at which any culture crosses the line from simply bad behavior into rank depravity.  As difficult and subjective as this is, given its importance, attempting to do so would seem to be an essential exercise, especially given the biblical god’s threat of eternal punishment.  While pondering where to begin to answer such a question, I ran across something outside the biblical context that helped me quite a bit by establishing what I refer to as a depravity baseline.  I believe most civilized people will acknowledge this as an acceptable reference point, so comparisons can then be drawn by referring to it.

Some time ago documents were discovered that were prepared by German anthropologist Prof Heinrich Vögler as part of his detailed description of a primitive, cannibalistic tribe that flourished in the jungles of Borneo in the mid-19th century.  Inspired by its warlike god, this violent and ruthless tribe, the Thuluka, either killed off or enslaved most of the other tribes of the northeastern interior of Borneo.  Tales of their savagery were known for some time through the legends of neighboring tribes, but only recently did these particular papers come to light, along with some relics, weapons and ceremonial items, at Prof. Vögler’s family estate in Bavaria.

        The Thuluka, like any primitive tribe, had their own tribal god, Mutah, who they believed created the world and chose them above all other tribes to be his people, putting themselves, as primitive tribes do, at the center of the universe.  They took Mutah’s special Salbennungenheit (Prof Vögler’s word – the best translation is probably ‘anointing’) as a mandate to pillage, plunder and destroy all the neighboring tribes to give themselves greater living-space.  They differed from most tribes, however, in the pattern of glorifying their own hatred for their enemies and the brutality they inflicted upon them.  Prof. Vögler documented the simple but effective control-strategies Thuluka chiefs and shamans used on the rest of the tribe.  They enforced absolute loyalty to their god Mutah’ s demands.  The rewards for loyalty could be great while the penalties for disobedience were ruthless, usually death.  And they demonized their enemies to justify exterminating them and taking their land.  They had a great psychological advantage as well, because they were absolutely certain their great god Mutah would intervene directly to give them victory every time.

        In these documents, reproduced here with their original numbering, Prof Vögler detailed what he believed was the essence of what inspired the Thuluka to be so warlike.  It would be difficult to find a purer expression of depravity, so I consider it the depravity baseline.


Thuluka Call To Conquer


1   The great war god Natuka will deliver many tribes before you, and you shall defeat them and utterly destroy them and show no mercy to them.

2   You shall consume all the people Mutah delivers to you, and your eye shall not pity them.

3   This is to be done so they do not teach you to perform their detestable practices, because you are a holy people.

4   You shall kill every male among the little ones and every woman who has known a man intimately.  But of all the female children who are virgins, spare them for yourselves.

5   If you desire a beautiful woman among the captives, take her home as a wife for yourself.

6   Some villages you may simply take captive, if they submit to your offer of peace, and take them to your home to serve as forced labor.  However, you are to destroy other nearby villages completely, leaving nothing alive that breathes, human or animal.

7   Their little ones are to be dashed to pieces before the eyes of their parents.

8   Greatly honored will be the warriors who actually seize these little ones and dash them to pieces against a rock.

9   Fearless Thuluka warriors are to plunder all houses and ravish the wives and show no pity for children or women with child.

10 Captured warriors of the enemies are to be thrust through with a spear.  The great day of Mutah is coming, cruel, with fury and burning anger.

11 In my anger I will stomp upon your enemies and trample them and make them drunk in my wrath; their life blood will stain my garments, for vengeance will be in my heart.  I will pour out their life blood on the earth.

12 With plagues and blood I shall enter into judgment with them and cause to fall upon them a torrential rain of hailstones, fire and brimstone.  In this way, I will glorify and justify myself and make my greatness known to all tribes.

13 In that great day the Thuluka faithful will delight in Mutah's vengeance.  You will celebrate by washing your feet in the blood of the vanquished, and even your dogs will enjoy the feast. 

14 You will eat the flesh of mighty men until you are glutted and drink the blood of princes until you are drunk.

15 Then shall the Thuluka praise Mutah for his loving kindness and goodness and compassion to the Thuluka.

16 Mutah will cover the Thuluka faithful in animal skins of righteousness; as the earth causes our seeds to grow, so Mutah will cause righteousness and praise to spout forth from all nations.  Praise be to Mutah.


Thuluka Prayer For Vengeance Upon Their Enemies


17 Deliver me from our enemies, O Mutah.  Shatter their teeth in their mouths.

18 Break out the fangs of the young lions, O Mutah.

19 Shorten the lives of their warriors that their children be fatherless and their wives be widowed.  May their children be homeless and have to wander far away from their ruined homes begging for food.  O Mutah, even then may no one extend a hand of kindness to these fatherless children so that they will wither away and cut off all posterity.  May the memory of them be cut off from the earth.

20 Give their children over to famine and may they be thrust through by a spear.  May their women all be childless and widowed and all their men be smitten to death.

21 Pour out your wrath upon the tribes that do not know you.

22 Slay the wicked, O Mutah.  Oh how I hate those who hate you, O Mutah, oh how I loath those who rise up against you.  I hate them with perfect hatred and consider them my enemies.

23 But O Mutah, because of your loving kindness, deal kindly with me, for I am tired and needy.

24 I shall joyfully sing of thy loving kindness in the morning, for you have been my refuge in my day of distress.


Mutah’s Rewards For the Faithful

And Punishments For The Disobedient


25 Now it shall be, if you will diligently obey Mutah, being careful to do all his commands, Mutah will set you high above all the tribes of the earth, and all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you if you will obey Mutah.

26 Mutah will command the blessing upon you in your harvests and in all you put your hand to, and he will bless you in the land which Mutah gives to you.

27 So all the people shall see that you are called by the name of Mutah, and they shall be afraid of you.

28 But, if you will not obey Mutah and follow all his commands, then curses shall come upon you and overtake you.

29 Mutah will smite you with fever and with inflammation and with fiery heat and with the knife.

30 Mutah will cause you to be defeated before your enemies.

31 Your carcasses shall be food to all birds of the sky and to the beasts of the earth.

32 Mutah will smite you with boils and with hemorrhoids and with the scab, and with the itch from which you cannot be healed.  Mutah will smite you with madness and with blindness and with bewilderment of heart, and you shall grope at noon as the blind man gropes in darkness.  You shall betroth a wife, but another man shall violate her.

33 Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people while your eyes shall look on and yearn for them continually, but there shall be nothing you can do.

34 And you shall be driven mad by the sight of what you see.  Mutah will strike you on the knees and the legs with sore boils, from which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head.

35 You shall serve your enemies whom Mutah shall send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness and in the lack of all things; and Mutah will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.

36 You shall eat the offspring of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters.  The tender man shall be hostile toward his brother and toward the wife he cherishes and toward the rest of his children who remain, so that he will not give even one of them any of the flesh of his children, which he shall eat since he has nothing else left. The tender woman among you shall be hostile toward the husband she cherishes and toward her son and daughter and toward her afterbirth, which issues from between her legs, and toward her children whom she bears; for she shall eat them secretly for lack of anything else.

37 All this will befall you if you are not careful to observe all the words of this law, to fear this honored and awesome name, Mutah.  Mutah will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, even severe and lasting plagues and miserable and chronic sicknesses.

38 It shall happen that, as Mutah delighted over you to prosper you and multiply you, so Mutah will delight over you to make you perish and destroy you.

39 Your life shall hang in doubt before you, and you shall be in dread night and day, and shall have no assurance of your life.  In the morning you shall say, ‘I wish that it were evening!’ and that evening you shall say, ‘I wish that it were morning!’ because of the dread of your heart and the sight of your eyes.

40 For a fire is kindled in my anger.

41 I will heap misfortunes on them.  I will use my arrows on them.  They shall be wasted by famine, and consumed by plague and bitter destruction; and the teeth of beasts I will send upon them, with the venom of crawling things of the dust.  The knife shall bereave; it shall destroy both young man and virgin, the nurseling along with the man of gray hairs.  I will cleave them in pieces, I will make the memory of them cease from among men.

42 Vengeance is mine, and retribution.

43 I will render vengeance on my adversaries, and I will repay those who hate me.  I will make my arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh, with the blood of the slain and of the captives.

44 Whoever calls another member of the tribe a fool or does not forgive a fellow tribesman shall be burned alive.

45 Mutah’s goal is not to bring peace, but conflict.

46 Mutah anxiously awaits the time when he will cast fire upon the earth.

47 There is no neutral ground.  Whoever is not loyal to Mutah is against Mutah and is his enemy.















        Those familiar with the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, no doubt have recognized the true source of this fiction of the Thuluka, Mutah and Prof. Vögler.  This all comes from the Bible itself.  But placing it in a foreign setting helps people lower their sacred shield and overcome their usual deference to things biblical and see these statements for what they are. This biblical material is never emphasized and only rarely sees the light of day because it reveals the primitive, vindictive, barbaric – that is, the utterly human – aspects of the biblical God’s personality.  These aspects are there to be found, however, and this material helps one answer the greatest moral question one about the Bible’s god: “Would the God of the Bible create and enforce eternal punishment?”  If previous violence and threats of violence are indicators of future behavior, then these verses strongly suggest that the Bible's God would indeed not only tolerate but would even take delight in tormenting his enemies forever.  The corresponding biblical references follow:




1   Dt.7:2

2   Dt.7:16

3   Dt.20:18; 7:7

4   Num.31:17-18

5   Dt.21:11-12

6   Dt.20,11-15

7   Is.13:16

8   Ps.138:9

9   Is.13:18

10 Is.13:9

11 Is.63:3,4,6

12 Ezek.38:22-23

13 Ps.58:10; 68:23

14 Ezek.39:17-19

15 Is.63:7

16 Is.61:10,11 

17 Ps.59:1

18 Ps.58:6

19 Ps.109:8-15

20 Jer.18:21

21 Ps.79:6

22 Ps.139:19-22

23 Ps.109:21,22

24 Ps.59:16

25 Dt.28:1,2

26 Dt.28:8

27 Dt.28:10

28 Dt.28:15

29 Dt.28:22

30 Dt.28:25

31 Dt.28:26

32 Dt.28:25-30

33 Dt.28:32

34 Dt.28:34,35

35 Dt.28:48

36 Dt.28:53-57

37 Dt.28:58-59

38 Dt.28:63

39 Dt.28:66-67

40 Dt.32:22

41 Dt.32:23-26

42 Dt.32:35

43 Dt.32:41-42

44 Mt.5:22; 18:35

45 Mt.10:34

46 Lk.12:49

47 Mt.12:30; Lk.9:50