From my Ramayana Series!
Hindu Disproportionate Revenge
Tears blinded the eyes of Rama as he took the ornaments of Sita. Holding them in his hand, he swore, “I will wage war against Ravan and kill him. I will wipe out his entire race to avenge the grief that he has caused me.”
And elsewhere he thought, “Such an act should not go unpunished. Not only would [Rama] kill Ravan but he would wipe out his entire family.”
Later Sita says to here captor, Ravana: “By Kidnapping me you have hastened not only you own end but that of your entire race of demons.”
Jewish Disproportionate Revenge
Saul is the King of Israel and Samuel is the prophet of Yahweh (the god of the Jews) who came to tell Saul he must annihilate their southern neighbors – the Amalekites — for an old offense (see Exod. 17:8-16;, Deut. 25:17-19). This is only one such story where Yahweh commits genocide:
From 1 Samuel 15: 1-3: Samuel said to saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over His people Israel. Therefore, listen to the Lord’s command! “Thus said the Lord of Hosts: I am exacting the penalty for what Amalek did to Israel, for the assault he made upon them on the road, on their way up from Egypt. Now go, attack Amalek, and proscribe all that belongs to him. Spare no one, but kill alike men and women, infants and sucklings, oxen and sheep, camels and asses!”
[The Jewish Study Bible]
Reading stories like these to my kids, I have to pause the sacred recital and tell them, “Ah, don’t let this bother you. Back in those days they always talked about wiping out everybody (guilty and innocent) to revenge a much smaller offense.” Why should we be shocked that Yahweh was so vicious, everyone bragged about their gods and heros doing it back then! Of course Christians and Hindus reflexively justify these deeds of their heros, but I wonder if they know that their defensiveness is generic. I wonder how many have read outside their traditions and seen the patterns.