Will all due respect, Psalm 137:9 seems to be a favorite on this website. And the verse is very dark ("Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks."). But, like so many verse snippets, there is more. The entire Psalm reads:
1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.
2 There on the poplars we hung our harps,
3 for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
4 How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?
5 If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill.
6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy.
7 Remember, Lord, what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. “Tear it down,” they cried, “tear it down to its foundations!”
8 Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is the one who repays you according to what you have done to us.
9 Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.
It is my understanding this Psalm is a call to God for revenge. The Babylonians had conquered the Southern Kingdom (made up of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin) which was quite a surprise for this remaining remnant of the chosen people. The Southern Kingdom leaders were taken back to Babylon and felt humiliated by their captors. So the writer of this Psalm tried to come up with the worst possible description of vengeance he could imagine. What could be worse than wanting your captor's children killed?
While the Persians did eventually conquer the Babylonians, there is no record (to the best of my limited knowledge) that they dashed any Babylonian infants against any rocks.
End of lecture.
Well, it seems to me that an ever-increasing percentage of people are coming or have already come to the conclusion that the entire Bible was written by people, and an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, and all-present God had absolutely nothing to do with it. When I think about the writers of the Bible, it also seems to me that the more recent the life of the writer, the less ruthless the writer, on average. Having said that, splattering babies to death by throwing them against hard surfaces seems to have occurred in the Mediterranean area from the beginning of recorded history all the way through modern times.
You have Psalm 137:9. That's one reference.
There is Julia Drusilla, daughter of Caligula.
I was watching some documentary on television a while back. I think it was about Uday Hussein. They were interviewing some Iraqi guy. He said Uday's men tied this guy up in a chair. Then they brought this captive's wife and baby in the room. They raped the wife and threw the baby against the wall, killing it instantly. Shortly after, they ended up killing the captive. My memory could be foggy on this one because it might have been 5 or 6 years since I watched it. Also, it's just one man's testimony.
One thing I like about you is that you seem to understand why
atheists approach the Bible as just another collection of ancient writings. Sometimes it might even seem that we hate the Bible. I think it's just that we don't agree with much of the morality that is taught or not taught within its pages. Biblical writings are extremely valuable. Every ancient manuscript we have is valuable. They help us explore the minds of ancient people. With no available time machine, we need all the help we can get.