Answer by Jim Ashby:
First and foremost, everybody interprets scripture (or holy text) subjectively. What George Bernard Shaw noted about the Bible applies to virtually every religious text: “No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.”
People will take away from religion whatever they want to take away from (or read into) it. And with a world full of every imaginable type of person, the full spectrum of potential interpretations will occur. There will be liberal and conservative interpretations; apathetic and extremist interpretations; hawks and doves; and everything in between.
This is why scripture should never glorify war or prescribe punishments or condone the subjugation of our fellow human beings (i.e. women and slaves). By doing so, they give divine license to man's inhumanity to man.