I read a comment on an online message board which made the following assertion:
VIsitor: Since *God* killed them for thoughtcrime, so can *WE*. Your idea is the same as tyrants throughout history, including the present day. With the identical argument with hate-subject substitution you get the Holocaust over Jews, Orwell’s Inner Party over the Proles, Mao’s Red Guard over the peasants, the Khmer Rouge over the educated, Islamic fundamentalists over Western Civilization. Just have enough of a sliver of moral decency to admit it: you want to kill anyone who believes differently than you do. And don’t give me sophistry as to why it’s okay for *your* group to mass-murder but not others because you’re not the same as they : “A difference which *makes* no difference *is* no difference.” — William Blake and Alfred Korzybski, separately.
Response: Thank you for your comment. There are 2 things that I would like to respond to regrading the assertions you have made..
1) You said, "Since *God* killed them for thoughtcrime, so can *WE*"
No we can't ... we don't want to kill anyone for thinking differently than we. We are broken, sinful people and need grace just like everyone else. As for the Khmer Rouge, Holocaust, Red Guard, and Islamic fundamentalist comparisons, you have it backwards. It was the Canaanites who were carrying out the halocaust. God sent the Israelites to destroy them specifically because they were molesting their children and burning their children alive in fires. This was God's judicial sentence for years and year of unrepentant atrocities. Your view assumes the nation of Israel is like the Nazis, Pol Pot, ISIS or Mao’s Red Guard, when it is clear that the Canaanites were the ones like Pol Pot.
2 ) You said, "you want to kill anyone who believes differently than you do."
Actually, I have no intention of killing anyone especially considering the fact that I am no better than anyone else.
Please consider that in the same passage, that God declares the Israelites no less wicked than the Canaanites, and deserved a similar fate (as do we):
4 "Do not say in your heart, after the LORD your God has thrust them out before you, 'It is because of my righteousness that the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,' whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out before you. 5 Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the LORD your God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm the word that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob 6"Know, therefore, that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.
Also it may be worth considering that in the same document in which we find this judicial commandment to kill the Caananites , we may also find many places where God commanded the Israelites to put their own people to death for certain types of disobedience (like idolatry). When it is a judicial act of a properly instituted civil government, taking a life may sometimes be warranted. Apparently, the slaughter of the Canaanites was one such judicial act, carried out by the magistrates of Israel. This means God did not command some arbitrary genocide but gave a judicially sanctioned capital punishment to evil people. Also God warned the Israelites that if they did not obey him, "I will do to you what I plan to do to them.' "(Numbers 33:55-56). The Israelites deserved judgment just like the others, whether Egyptian of Canaanite. This should serve to remind us that we may not assume that those who suffer unique or catastrophic calamities in this life or any worse than we ourselves, since it is only the grace of God in Jesus Christ which makes us to differ from anyone (see Luke 13:1-5; 1 Cor. 4:7).