That's indeed an interesting distinction. I don't know, I always thought of the whole thing as Mosaic Law. Ah well, it ain't my book. But still, this distinction really doesn't solve the problem for me since I don't think the Commandments are all that great either.
Why, for example, should I keep the sabbath? A literal reading of the Bible would have us believing that the world was created in six literal days and that God rested on the seventh. And apparently we're supposed to rest as God did. But if we take the Bible literally we can deduce that the world as we know it is only about 6,000 years old. (Some people just say no more than 10,000.) But modern science shows that this story can only be an allegory, as the world is estimated to be about 4.5 billion years old (and the universe is estimated to be 15 billion years old). Even if you want to object and claim (correctly) that the Bible describes a pre-creation world that is formless, the point remains the same. All the relevant science suggests that life has existed on this planet for around 3.4 years (and humans for at least 100,000 of them).
So if the Bible is still true and the science is valid then the creation story is probably just poetic and allegorical. Some people claim that the days in creation describe epochs or things like that. But even if that's true, why should we rest on this day of God's choosing when God didn't even do it the way the Bible says He did? That doesn't make any sense. And if God did do it the way the Bible says, why would He make it look like something else happened? Why would independent dating methods all reach the same conclusion? Why would there be layers of sedimentary rock formations? And furthermore, even if the Bible were literally true, and it's clearly not, it still doesn't make much sense to me that not keeping the sabbath is the same level of offense as murder or even lying. God's Law apparently has no sense of proportionality. Murder and lying are apparently equally offensive to God. Adultery and not keeping the sabbath are also morally equal. This seems to be contrary to the way most of us think about morality. If a country had a legal system in which death was the penalty for every offense we would think this country to have a horrible justice system. And so I ask again, how did you determine this Law to be perfect? It's perfection doesn't seem at all obvious to me. On what grounds can you demonstrate its perfection?
With regard to homosexuality, I don't know how your counseling background is supposed to give you insight on a complicated question of genetics that is as of yet unresolved any more than my background in education does. And your claim about the plausibility of a gay-gene really shows you're not a geneticist. (If it were that obvious that it couldn't exist, why would they bother looking for it?) But I digress. That wasn't even the point. As I said, even if its a matter of nature, or lack thereof, it really doesn't matter. My point was that it's not a choice. And I don't see how it makes sense to condemn someone for something that they did not choose. It's a silly point really.
As for this:
As far as Numbers 31, God's covenant with the Hebrew people included God's wrath against those that offended the Hebrews. The Hebrews were to be the teachers of the world, teaching the world the Moral Law and any nation or tribe that sought to undermine that was utterly destroyed. Nations feared the Hebrews because of their God, He would reach out His outstretched arms and smite Hebrews' enemies. You can call this cruel, but God chose the Hebrews as His people, and when it came to His people, He held no punches. I don't know about you, but that's the kind of God I want, have chosen and depend upon. Favoritism, perhaps, but cruelty, no.
How ridiculous! So your God chooses one tribe as His own and now ANYTHING they do can be justified if it's in response to an offense of their sensibilities? That's absurd. Again, this takes me back to my earlier point. How is it that you determined that this stuff is true? I just don't understand how you can accept this repugnant conception of morality, if you could even call it that, without the a priori presumption of its truth.
As far as Sun Tzu, I think you're limiting the focus to the lives sacrificed. I know that seems harsh but sometimes the exercising of power yields better results than oh, miraculously, changing a people's lawlessness by power--which goes against freewill and the responsibility for one's actions.
Of course I'm focusing on the lives sacrificed! They were killed by a man for the purpose of asserting his dominance. Since I don't see his dominance as having a value greater than their lives, I don't see how this is a justifiable act. In this case, even if he had no other way of getting the women in order, he is not justified. And so again, this line of reasoning is unhelpful. All you've done is change the question from how the law ought to be enforced to is the law just to begin with. (And if the miraculous statement was in response to what I wrote regarding your cancer argument, you completely missed the point.)
In other words, the Midians were the problem, not God. And again, not all Midian boys were wiped out.
I assume this is similar to the Pharaoh losing his firstborn. Pharaoh was the problem, not God!
No. The Arabs were wrong not for punishing thieves but because the punishment itself was disproportionate and barbaric. Likewise, you can simultaneously agree that the Midianites and Pharaoh were wrong but also agree that God's punishment was unfair and condemnable. I don't think that kids should talk back to their parents. I doubt you do either. But I don't see how the appropriateness of this rule can be used as a defense if a parent decides to say, brutally mutilate their child as punishment. The enforcement of a just law can, itself, be unjust.
And I still don't see how the fact that not all the Midianite boys were wiped out somehow justifies the murder of some of them. I don't know why you keep bringing it up. If a man killed two boys and then defended his actions by claiming he didn't kill their two brothers we'd find that man's defense to be utterly lacking. Likewise, I just don't see how the fact that not all the boys were killed is even relevant to our discussion. The moral issue at hand is the slaughter of the boys that were killed and not the fact that some boys were not slaughtered. Again, it could have been just one boy. The point would remain the same.
Furthermore, any possible reason for including the boys in the slaughter really falls apart when you take into account that the virgin girls were taken. If the worry was that the boys could somehow infect the tribe, for example, then surely the girls could too. In fact, one could argue that the Israelites would have had more to fear from the girls considering it was their mothers and not their fathers that tempted the tribe and brought the slaughter in the first place.
As for the Trinity, I agree that it's a plainly nonsensical doctrine. Furthermore, a lot of the passages that supposedly support it are dubious when you take into account how some of the earlier manuscripts read and the way in which the text was transmitted. (It's also the same reason that I think that a literal reading of the Bible, or any other ancient text for that matter, makes no sense.) I also don't really understand who Christ is supposed to be a sacrifice to if he is himself God.