Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Cut Above (aka Circumcisions by Zipporah - Half Off)

In the beginning of Exodus 3, we find Moses happily married and peacefully leading a flock of sheep on the edge of the desert. One day, while wandering in the desert heat, Moses came upon a rather singular sight, as we are told in Exodus 3:

And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

Going over to this burning bush, God introduces Himself, probably because most people wouldn't recognize Him in His burning bush disguise. Then, God tells Moses that He wants the Israelites out of Egypt, ending his statement with these two verses in Exodus 3:9-10:

9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.

10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Did Moses not wonder where God was when the Israelites first went to Egypt? Is God not supposed to be all-seeing, meaning into the future as well? Did God not foresee this oppression with which the Egyptians oppressed them? Was He asleep at some point when this first started happening? What was it that finally caused the cry of the children of Israel to come to Him?

Another thing, if God is all-powerful, why did He not go in person to get His people back? Would not the arrival of an omnipotent being be more impressive than the arrival of a shepherd? And besides, is God not everywhere? Why was He not in Egypt?

Well, Moses had some thoughts on this subject too, for in Exodus 3:11 he asks God:

Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?

God apparently wasn't prepared for this, for He attempted to beat around the bush (no pun intended) with a vague answer which comes to us in Exodus 3:12 :

Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain

What the hell did that mean? Was God only to be with Moses in though? Could God not come along for the ride? Even for moral support?

Moses kind of knew that expecting logical answers from a burning bush was futile, and so he agreed. Then after some instructions and encouraging words, not to mention learning a few magic trick from God, Moses was ready to get underway. In Exodus 4:20 we read:

And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.

So all was going as planned and everyone was happy. Moses's wife, who was called Zipporah was getting a little vacation as well.

Then, for reasons unexplained, God decided to meet Moses at an inn. Perhaps he still had a few magic tricks to teach Moses before he went. Whatever the reason, all hell broke loose in the inn, as we see in Exodus 4:24-26 ;

24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him.

25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me.

26 So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.

So what the hell happened here?! God had chosen Moses as the savior of all the Israeli people in Egypt, and then He tried to kill him just for not having his son circumcised? Had God had too much to drink at that inn? Was this not a bit of an overreaction? Why did God have such an aversion to foreskin? And what was God doing peeking at the baby's private parts anyway? Is this not bordering on perversion?

But even if God disapproved, could He not have had a rational discussion with Moses? Is seeking to kill the guy that you just entrusted with a mission of Biblical Proportions something we would really expect from a Divine Being? Was Moses even sure that this was God? What was God doing hanging out in an inn without the burning bush guise?

And what was Zipporah doing walking around with a sharp stone? Had she foreseen this Divine temper tantrum? Did she have more foresight than God? How did she become so skilled at circumcisions? Was the poor child scarred for life? Did God care? Apparently not, for verse 26 says He let them go. Was He that impressed with Zipporah's emergency circumcision, or did the sight of the foreskin on the floor scare God away? If the latter, is it not good that the Egyptians had not armed themselves with foreskins?

Was Zipporah British? Was her calling Moses twice a "bloody husband," indicative of some British education. Should we not admire her restraint in her not calling him a "bloody idiot?"

And why did God decide that we have to know these minute details anyway?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Bear Necessities

In 2 Kings 2 we read about Elisha on his visit to Jericho. The people there were whining about not being able to grow crops for lack of water, so Elisha decided to come to the rescue by dumping salt in the water and thereby curing it. So far Elisha seems like a pretty nice guy.

His work in Jericho complete, Elisha decided to head up to Bethel. En route, a strange thing happened, which we read about in 2 Kings 2:23-24:

23 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.

24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

First of all, what kind of weird kids lived in Bethel? Did forty-two kids all come out of the city at once and say in unison, "Go up, thou bald head."? Had they been practicing? Did they do this for comic effect? What would possess such a large group of kids to say such a weird verse, and then repeat again? Was there nothing to occupy them in Bethel? Couldn't they have got together a game of football or baseball or something?

Whatever the reason, why did Elisha get so pissed off. Was he really bald? If so, and he was so self-conscious, couldn't he have worn a wig? And what the hell was so bad about what the kids said? If he was going up, were they not just telling him to continue, while making note of his lack of hair? Were their words not better than something like, "Move your ass, you old fart!"?

Regardless of what they said, could Elisha not just see that they were children? Had he been a little angel during his childhood? Had he and a group of friends never hurled insults at a strange looking adult? Or was he pissed off because as a kid he never had any friends? As for these kids, were they the first to comment on his bald head? Had the insults just been building up? Could he not have gotten some medication to help him with his stress? Did he not think that calling down the wrath of God was not a little out of line?

But the big question is, what the hell was God thinking? Could God not see that Elisha was overreacting? Did God agree that 42 little kids deserved to die just for calling a bald man bald? Was there a missing Commandment that Moses had lost that had said, "Thou shalt not call a bald man bald."? And even if such childish disrespect pissed off God, could He not have gone about it in a different way? Did He have to send a couple of bears to kill the kids? Could He not have sent a couple a counselor to give the parents some help?

On the other hand, is it possible that this never happened? I mean, with the kids dead, Elisha would have been the only witness and I hardly think it's something he'd be bragging about.

However, in Leviticus 26:22 God makes it clear that He's not opposed to sending wild animals to tear little children apart, for there He says:

I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate.

Were the people of Bethel thankful that their cattle were spared? And what's the deal with these two bears? How could two bears tear 42 kids apart? Did the kids all stand there and wait their turn? Couldn't the other 40 have run away while the first 2 kids were being torn asunder? Were these bears special terminator-bears, capable of mass smiting? Were they God's familiars?
Can they be called down upon adults as well? Are all bear killings some sort of divine retribution? Must we fear bear attacks if we fall asleep in church? Or if we fail to give 10 percent of our income in the collection plate?

On the other hand, can we call out these divine intensive-care bears ourselves if somebody pisses us off? I mean, God liked Elisha, right? So if we get on God's good side too, can we access the power of the bears? Can we go strutting through the ghettos in confidence, knowing that bear protection is just a call away? Can we call them out against the IRS if we get audited? Are they there to help us if we get pulled over for speeding? Where are the limitations on the uses of the special God Bears?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Off To See The Wizard

In Leviticus 19:31 God says to us:

Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.

Look how God ended this. He wants us to know that this was written by Him, and not just some simple scribe, so it must be pretty important, huh?

So what the hell constitutes a familiar spirit? Am I allowed to regard those with unfamiliar spirits? Should I call the liquor store and ask what brands they have before I go? Must I not look the clerk in the eye if the only spirits he has are those that I do know? And what about people with team spirit? Should I shun those who show spirit for the teams with which I'm familiar? And what the hell was Bullwinkle talking about, with his "Eenie Meenie Chili Beanie, the spirits are about to speak!"? Was Bullwinkle defiling me since my childhood? Is this why The Rocky Show had to be cancelled?

And why is God so down on wizards, and why does He think we'll be defiled if we seek after them? I mean, if God's worried about us sullying our reputation, why not tell us not to seek out prostitutes? Or used-car salesmen? Or lawyers? Or politicians? What's God got against the wizards? Is it because they look like Him, with their long white hair and the beards? Or is it because they can do magic, and God wants to be the only one to bring magic to our lives? But then who gave them the magic, if not God? Is God trying to say that there are other forces out there besides Him?

So how the hell am I supposed to act to keep on good terms with God? Do wizards in any form cause me to be defiled? Must I have my computer exorcised to rid it of its Custom Installation Wizard and Recovery Wizard, and any other defiling wizard that may be hiding within? Have I condemned my children to eternal damnation by purchasing for them a Math Wizard? Why was I not warned about this back in April when I consulted the IRS's Tax Wizard? How can I become undefiled now?

And what are we to do with the constant bombardment of wizards by the entertainment industry? Why must these defiling wizards always be portrayed in a positive light? Are we in danger of the fires of hell if we visit Disney World? Did Mickey Mouse not defile himself years ago as The Sorcerer's Apprentice? Was Gandalf the reason that there were no churches in The Shire? Can no one save the poor, defiled Hobbits? And why were Harry Potter's aunt and uncle made out to be the bad guys? Were they not trying to save the young boy's soul in their attempt to keep him from the evil Hogwarts? Wasn't Hagrid the evil one, for leading the boy to Dumbledore? And why was the Witch of the North called "Good"? Did she and those horrid little Munchkins not send the innocent Dorothy on the road to the defiling Wizard of Oz? Should not the Witch of the West be known as the good one? Was she not protecting Dorothy by trying to keep her away from Oz?

But can a witch be good? In Exodus 22:18 God says:

Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

So God's just down on anybody else with magic, huh? Is this why Bewitched and Sabrina the Teenage Witch were taken off the air? What about Jeannie? Are genies safe from the wrath of God? Why does Salem, Massachusetts call itself "The Witch City"? Should God not rain down some fire and brimstone up there in New England? Even Sodom and Gomorah didn't have the nerve to call themselves "Witch Cities." Is Salem just mocking God? And must I shun those places that rent out Ditch Witches?

So what the hell am I to do to protect my children? Should we burn all of their books save for the Bible? Should we cancel Hallowe'en? Must we suppress any and all forms of imagination in our children in order to save their soles?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away (Noah's Ark Part II)

(Noah's Ark - Part 2 of 2)

In Part One we left Noah after God had instructed the poor old guy to build an ark to ride out a global flood, making it of such length that it would not be seaworthy, using an unknown wood, and then filling it with two of every beast, fowl and creeping thing on the earth, all within seven days. Would this be a problem for a 600 year old man with no shipbuilding experience? Apparently not, for in Genesis 7:5 we read:

And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.

Probably the thought of drowning gave Noah a pretty strong incentive. Then in Genesis 7:7-9 we are told:

7 And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.

8 Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth,

9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.

So how did the animals make it from the far reaches of the globe to Noah in only seven days? How could a pair of sloths or a pair of koalas travel trough the jungles unmolested? What did Noah do if only one showed up? Or three? And what about Noah's neighbors? Would they not get suspicious when Noah, who was always walking around with God, builds this massive ship in only seven days, and then starts taking a bunch of animals on board? Did they not ask questions? Did they not figure out what was going on when God stopped his walks with Noah and the rains came? If these people were wicked and with evil thoughts, why did they not swamp the ark? Did they just stand there, thinking evil thoughts and scratching their heads as the ark floated away? Did Noah have no compassion for his friends and neighbors who were destined to drown?

Whatever the case, the rains did come and we are told in Genesis 7:20-21 how great and devastating the flood was:

20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:

Is this a misprint or were mountains smaller in those days? Is 15 cubits not only around 23 feet (7 meters). Couldn't people survive on the roofs of their houses in only 15 cubits of water? If the ark was only 30meters high, would the bottom not be scrapping on the mountains? And what about the birds? Once all the land was covered and the ark was the only thing to rest on, would not every bird in a 10 mile radius swamp it? Did Noah have to continuously shoo them away? Did he have scarecrows on deck?

Genesis 8:3-5 says:

3 And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.

4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.

5 And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.

Where did Noah get fresh water from once the rains stopped? Did he bring enough with him for all the animals for ten full months? And had any consideration been given to the mess that tens of thousands of animals must have created during that ten months? Noah and his sons, when not shooing birds, must have worked 24/7 shoveling shit overboard. And even if the crap could be disposed of, how could they survive with the stench, not to mention the smell of urine. With tens of thousands of animals pissing everyday, would not the entire hold of the ark be filled with urine? Were the wives bailing out the hold while the men were working the shovels? What did PETA and the SPCA think of animals being kept in such appalling conditions? Could there not have been an easier way to do this mass smiting?

Finally in Genesis 8:13 it looks like Noah's nightmare might be coming to an end:

And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.

But did Noah rush from the ark? Did he and his family burst forth, gasping for fresh air after being cooped up with smelly animals and creepy things for so long? Apparently not, for in the next verse we read:

And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.

Now what the hell was Noah thinking? If the water was gone the first time he looked, why did he stay on board for another seven weeks, shoveling shit and bailing out piss? Had the animals caused him to lose his mind? Was he really surprised after finding the land dry, that it was still dry seven weeks later. Did he think that maybe God had missed a creeping thing or two, and was going to flood the planet again for their sake?

Perhaps Noah was just waiting for the order to disembark, for in Genesis 8:17 God finally say:

Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.

So how did all those fowl things and creeping things that creepeth upon the earth make it back home? Could Noah not have made some stops as the waters were receding, and dropped the beasts off in their natural habitats? What protection did they have on their return journey? Were some eaten into extinction during that time? Is this what happened to the giant sloth? And unicorns?

But other animals weren't the only thing that the survivors of the ark had to worry about. Despite God's command that the animals be fruitful and multiply upon the earth, Noah apparently had a score to settle with some. In Genesis 8:24 we're told:

And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar

Were these clean beasts the ones who fouled the ship the most? Did he get carried away and burn some into extinction? How big a fire did Noah make to burn of every species? And where did he find enough dry wood?

Fortunately for Noah, God liked a good barbecue and He wasn't pissed. In fact, in Genesis 8:21 we read:

And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

So what the hell is the point of this story? Is it that God made a colossal mistake that took the lives of almost every living creature on the planet, and only when it was too late did He regret it? Is there any comfort in that for us? How should we react? Should we too burn some animals to make a smell pleasing to the Lord? In that way, will He also forgive our evil ways? What would PETA say about this? What can I do if my community has regulations restricting open fires? Can I make any other smells that would be pleasing to the Lord?

And what ever became of Noah? How did he deal with his house full of mud, and dead and decomposing bodies of men, beasts, and even creeping things all over the land? Well, in Genesis 9:20-21 we're told:

20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:

21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.

Should we emulate Noah in this sense too. After a stressful task, should we too become intoxicated and lay around naked? Is this the true secret to finding grace in the eyes of God?

Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again (Noah's Ark Part I)

(Noah's Ark - Part 1 of 2)
In the early chapters of Genesis, not long after creating man, God started having second thoughts about what He had done. In Genesis 6:5-6 we read:

5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

But back in Genesis 3:3 did God not say :

Behold, the man is become as one of us

So what the hell happened? If man was created in God's image and later became as God, how did he get so evil? Is God saying that the (forbidden) apple doesn't fall too far from the tree? Why didn't God nip this wicked behavior in the bud if it pissed Him off? Why did He allow it to get out of control? Why didn't He correct man when he first started thinking those evil thoughts? Couldn't He have set up some sort of counseling? Maybe man just got bored. I mean, what the hell was there to do back then? Couldn't God have organized some sort of activities or team sports to keep man occupied and out of trouble?

Whatever the reasons, God wasn't going to share in the blame, nor was He going to take it any more. In Genesis 6:7 we read:

And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

Was this not a bit of an overreaction? Were man not God's children? Could God not have tried to rehabilitate them? And why was God taking His anger out on the beasts and the fowls, not to mention the poor creeping thing? What the hell did they do? Were they guilty by association? Why were they made the scapegoats? What about the fish and all those abominations of the sea? How did they escape God wrath? And by the way, what the hell is the creeping thing?

Well anyway, there was one old guy who hadn't managed to piss God off. In Genesis 6:8 we're told

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord

What did Noah do to make himself graceful? Should the Bible not tell us, so we to can find grace in the eyes of the Lord? Is this information not of paramount importance? And how did Noah remain graceful while surrounded by all that wickedness? Wouldn't the wicked guys have kicked his ass? Cain killed Abel when Abel was God's favorite, so how was Noah surviving as the favorite? Maybe the explanation is in Genesis 6:9, for there we're told that:

. . . . Noah walked with God

So was God like Noah's bodyguard? Sure, no one would kick Noah's ass when he was strutting around with an Omnipotent Being. But could it be that Noah was only good because God was walking with him? What if God had walked with others too? Would perhaps their wickedness not have been so great and their thoughts not so evil? Would it have hurt God to go walking with some others as well?

Apparently God wasn't up to just walking with anybody, and so he continued with His plans for mass destruction. In Genesis 6:14-15, He says to Noah:

14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.

15 And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.

Is that not quite a strenuous a task for an old guy like Noah? In Genesis 7:6 we learn that the poor guy is 600 years old. That's well beyond retirement age. Should he not just be relaxing and enjoying his twilight years? Was Noah allowed to hire anyone to build this ship? If the whole world was indulging in wickedness, then are we to assume there were no honest and God-fearing shipbuilders that Noah could turn to? And if he hired a shipbuilder with evil thoughts, would Noah not be contributing to the evilness? But if Noah started building ships on his own, how would the Shipbuilders Union react? Would they not destroy his operation?

And what the hell is gopher wood, and where was Noah to find so much of it? Is there even such a thing today as gopher wood? Did Noah use it all up? Who was to teach Noah shipbuilding? And why did God chose the cubit for measurement? Could He not think of something more standard? If a cubit varies with the person, whose cubit is God talking about? Is it a man-sized cubit or a God-sized cubit? And how could poor old Noah build such a large ship? Would these cubits not make the ark about 450 feet by 75 feet (137 meters by 23 meters)? Could such a wooden ship even remain afloat? Would such a long ship not fold in the middle if carried over a large wave? Did smaller ships like the Schooner Wyoming and the HMS Mersey not suffer structural problems due to their length?

But the ark that God wanted old Noah to build wasn't just to be for sunset dinner cruises. In Genesis 6:17 we learn of God's plans:

And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

Did God really think this thing through? Did He seriously ask a 600 year old guy to build an unseaworthy vessel from an unknown wood, for the purpose of riding out a flood of Biblical proportions? Does God not think straight when He's pissed? And again this obsession to kill everything? Has God no compassion? What about the elderly or the little babies? Were their deaths to be the first case of collateral damage?

Then to make matters worse, God comes up with some more outrageous instructions for Noah. In Genesis 6:19 He hits Noah with this directive:

And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.

How was Noah to choose which animals lived and which died? Were there animals that had found grace and others that indulged in wickedness? In Genesis 3:22 did Got not say that only He and man could tell good from evil? Again, why were the beasts and the creepy thing made to suffer, and why was Noah made the bad guy who had to choose?

And then, what about the hermaphrodites, such as snails? Can they not act as male and female? How could Noah tell which was which at what time? And how much free time did God think Noah had? In the next two verses God goes on to say that Noah had to take two of everything, including birds and creeping things, as well as food for the whole gang. Could God have not given Noah a hand, since they were walking around together all the time? And was there even room in the ark, despite its huge size, for so many creatures? Is this why we lost the big mammals, like the sabertooth tiger and the woolly mammoth? Could Noah not squeeze everybody on? Why did he pick on the big mammals to leave out and not those creepy things? If something had to be left behind, why not creepy things? Or viruses? Or bacteria?

Well, apparently God thought there was extra room in the ark, for He told Noah in Genesis 7:2-3 to take even more of the clean animals:

2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.

3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.

Now, what was the deal with the creatures by sevens, the male and his female? Was math different back then? Could 2 be divided into 7 evenly? Was it something that only God could do? If not, were there not some clean males hanging around without their females?

Despite the amount of time and manpower required, God was being impatient. In Genesis 7:4 He says:

For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights

Talk about unrealistic deadlines! How could a feeble old guy do all that in only seven days? Did God not realize that quality is often sacrificed for quantity? Was Noah allowed to work on the sabbath? Did God not forbid such activities under penalty of death? Did God really mean seven working days? What kind of shifts did Noah put in? Was overtime authorized? Were there any violation of the labor laws that went unreported?

See Part II for the Great Deluge

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Something Fishy

In Leviticus 11, God torments Moses and Aaron with a great list of creatures that may not be eaten because if their lack of cleanliness. Now I would have thought that all sea creatures would have been excluded from this list. I mean, how can they get dirty if they live in the water. However, in Leviticus 11:9-12 God says:

9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.

10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:

11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.

12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

So if this is the case, why do our supermarkets dedicate entire sections to seafood? How can America call itself a Christian nation if our television stations openly promote the consumption of unclean creatures, loathed by God? Why are our politicians not protecting us from Satan's temptation in our eating of fruits of the sea? Why do we have no say in our taxes being uses to support sinful industries such as those concerned with fishing for abominations? Was it Alaska's lucrative crab fishing industry that made Sarah Palin step down as governor of that state? In one of her many conversations with God, did He tell her how she was damning her own soul by ruling over such an impious group of people?

But what can we do as good Christians to stop this reviling of God? Must we launch a crusade to destroy such heathen establishments as Red Lobster and Long John Silver? Must we shun the people who frequent such Godless eating establishments, as they have come in contact with the carcasses of such abominable creatures as lobsters and shrimp? Should they all be excommunicated until they repent their evil ways? And then are we morally obligated to stone them or burn them while their souls are pure, lest they fall back into temptation?

But what exactly are we to eat that are in the waters? God has said that we shall eat whatsoever hath fins and scales. Does His use of the word shall over can mean that we are obligated? How can I know then, what does have scales and fins and what does not? Are all fish included in this Divine directive? But what about catfish? Is it not true that they have no scales? Are catfish an abomination unto me? Will I suffer eternally for eating them? Should I only eat sea creatures on which I can visibly see fins and scales? Some spawn of Satan always removes them from the fish in the Frozen Foods Aisle! How then can I protect myself? Should the USDA not require that the absence or presence of scales and fins be listed on all labels? And what about mermaids? They have visible scales and fins! Are they safe to eat? Can I trust the mermaid's endorsement on the cans of Chicken of the Sea? And what about Pepperidge Farm's Goldfish Crackers?

God does not only forbid our eating the unclean creatures of the waters; He says that they shall be an abomination unto us. Does this mean that I'm morally obligated to loathe and despise most marine life? Did George Bush not tell us that humans and fish can coexist?Was this a religiously inspired message? Was God speaking through Dubya? But what exactly did George mean by "fish?" Does "fish" mean all sea life, or only those with fins and scales? Are the scaley and finny ones our friends, while the others hate us for our religious freedoms? What actions should I take if I'm confronted with one? If I'm wading along the beach and I come upon a jellyfish floating by, can I coexist peacefully with it by simply giving it a wide berth, or must I smite it, considering the abomination that it is? But if I should smite it, will I not then be confronted with it's carcass, which is an abomination in itself? Am I screwed either way? Must I avoid the seashore? What about those small aquariums at doctor or dentist offices? If they contain abominations such as frogs or snails, must I shatter them in a zealous fervor?

And what am I to do about the influence of Hollywood on my children, with its endless production of godless cartoons? Disney gave us a little mermaid who should have been pleasing to God, considering that she had scales and some fins; but then they had her associating with an abominable crab! And Nemo, also sporting fins and scales, was forced to hang around with a vile sea turtle! How can I explain such blasphemy to my children?
How can I keep them from the evil influence of SpongeBob and his despicable finless cronies? Even the old cartoons such as Squiddly Diddly and Aquaman are abominations unto our children! Are there no fishy Christian productions that we as parents can turn to?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Resistance is Futile

In Matthew 5:39, Jesus tells us:

But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Was Jesus aware of our Constitutional Right to Bear Arms when He said this? Is Jesus telling me to sell my gun collection? Does the Second Amendment not protect us from Governmental takeover? How can I stop the minions of evil from pouring into my home if I must not offer any resistance? Will Jesus post guards at my door to protect me? But how can they offer protection if they too cannot offer resistance? Are those who protect us, like law enforcement officers, really operatives of Satan, blatantly defying Jesus's directives with our own tax money?

What about our military? Does their preserving our freedom piss Jesus off because they're resisting the terrorists? Should we call them all back home so as not to go against His teachings? Were we wrong in resisting the spread of Communism? Should we have invited Stalin and his cronies here after World War II? And did we let Jesus down in the Second World War as well? In our effort to save the world from Fascism, did we plunge ourselves into sin? Was Marshal P├ętain a model Christian for surrendering France to the Nazis? Should the French rightfully be called the Chosen people?

And what exactly does Jesus mean by resistance? Is the deadbolt on my front door not a means of resisting? Are my family and I living in sin every night when we bolt our door? Will I have to answer for this at the Judgement Day? Should I leave the front door open as proof that I'm offering no resistance? Should we open the borders as well? How can we call ourselves a Christian nation when we have controls in place to resist the illegal entry of evil? What must Jesus think of us?

How about sports? Are defensive positions sinful? Should the defensive line open up and allow the ball to be carried over the goal line with no resistance? Would Jesus then be cheering from His Throne? Is defensive driving wicked? If someone wishes to run me off the road, should I offer no resistance? Should I simply drive in a ditch to preserve my sole? Should I cancel my appointment for a flu shot? If I offer resistance to the virus, am I in danger of the eternal fires of hell? Should we lay to waste the clinics offering such shots?

How about Jesus's directive to turn the other cheek when we are smitten? Which cheeks are being referred to here? Or is "cheek" just a metaphor? Should we always offer more to whosoever shall smite us? When the Japanese smote our Pacific Fleet, should we have offered our Atlantic Fleet as well? When the terrorists knocked down the World Trade Center, should we have led them to the Empire State Building? If the opposing team scores a touchdown, must we offer them a field goal too?

Or is Jesus simply telling us to never be in a position where we're on the defensive? He gave no restrictions about being on the offensive! Are we morally obligated to launch preemptive strikes? Is God on our side only while we're winning? If we strike first, are our opponents morally obligated to offer us no resistance? Should we walk down the street kicking ass before our asses are kicked? Should we kick the other cheek as well when it's turned to us?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Family Feud

I've heard it said that the problems with families today is that they don't know Jesus. With that in mind, I decided to look up Jesus's teachings on the family. Luke and Matthew both have some memories on that subject to share with us. In Luke 12:51-53, Jesus says:

51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

52 For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.

53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

Are those words not a bit harsh! Was Luke hitting the bottle on that day? Did he write things down incorrectly? Well, perhaps not, for Matthew remembers the same thing. According to Matthew 10:34-36, Jesus said:

34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

Different words but the same meaning. So then, how am I to follow the word of Jesus? What division is Jesus talking about? Is this a mathematical problem or is he dividing families? If it's families that will be against each other, could we just play something nice like touch football? Or maybe team Monopoly? How about dueling banjos?

Must I always have three against two? Could I not even the sides up by inviting another into this fracas? What do I do if my family consists of more or less than five? What about the father-in-law? Why is it that he is apparently allowed to escape unscathed? Can he not join in to make it three against three? Or does Jesus consider him untouchable? Can I maybe invite some other in-laws? Could I perhaps get some cousins to wait on the sidelines in case someone needs a bathroom break? Am I allowed wildcard players?

What about the mother? Why has she been given the worst deal? She has not only the daughter against her, but the mother-in-law as well! Must the rivalry always be divided along the lines of gender? Jesus has dictated that it shall be females against females and males against males, but are we allowed to make deals and trade players from time to time? Can we have some days when it's father against daughter and mother against son? Could the mother-in-law sort of play the field, helping the underdog?

But what about this sword that Jesus will send? Will it be one of those soft, styrofoam ones? Or will it be a rapier or a sabre, or possibly something heavy like a longsword? Should it be the latter and it prove too heavy for someone like the mother-in-law, can I use a designated hitter?

Couldn't someone get hurt if it's a real sword? Is that the whole idea? Luke seems to remember Jesus saying something else, in Chapter 14 Verse 26:

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Won't all that hatred ruin the Monopoly game? How can I make a deal about Park Place with someone who hates me? Must I hate everyone at the same time? Can I even things out by loathing one and therefore just being piqued with another? Do I have to hate the players on my own team too? How can I plan any strategy with my daughter-teammate if I know she hates me? Maybe she's planning some strategy against me? And what if I hate my son and take a sword to him? Will that be child abuse or is there a religious exemption? Is Jesus saying that spanking is cool? How is a victor determined? Is it last man standing? Are those killed in these family feuds dictated by Jesus granted automatic entry into heaven?

And what about hating my own life? Must I hate myself, or just the life? Must I hate it to the point of taking it? If we all want to take our lives to be Jesus's disciples, then isn't this advocating mass suicide of the whole human race? Is this how it's all supposed to end? Is this the only way to be a disciple of Jesus? Were Peter and all those others full of hatred too? Is that why they couldn't agree and allowed Paul (Saul) to take over? But if I hate my life, why would I care if it's saved by Jesus? Is this not a paradox?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Death to the Infidels

Once again in Deuteronomy we see that God's hung up on the other gods. Chapter 13, verses 12 - 16 go like this:

12 If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the Lord thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying,

13 Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;

14 Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;

15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.

16 And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the Lord thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.

God really needs to work on this insecurity thing He has. Like, it's really messing up His relationships. It's not healthy to be so jealous. Maybe He just set too high standards for Himself. I mean, being an omnipotent being has got to be hard.

I think its His insecurities that bring on the attacks of jealousy, which is really a cry for more love. Sure it's within His rights to ask for more affection. After all, He's God! But when self-doubts arise, the indirect way that jealousy demands attention is counterproductive. Excessive possessiveness is simply inappropriate. Jealousy is a fast way to drive away the very people He may fear losing.

Maybe His health insurance doesn't cover psychiatric help. Now about this directive of His - wouldn't God be more suited to know if someone in some other city is worshiping other gods? I mean, He's omnipotent, right? Can't He just read everybody's thoughts and then rain down some fire and brimstone on the infidels? Why is He relying on us to hear some rumors?

So am I obligated to hang around in bars and supermarkets listening for such rumors? And what if I hear a rumor and go to a city. What gods is God worried about here? Is it only the ones which we have not known which upset Him? What about the ones we do know, like Hercules, who had his own Saturday morning cartoon, or Trident, who was the Little Mermaid's dad in the Disney cartoon? Are they cool?

How lengthy an investigation must I conduct? Do I need character witnesses for my informants? Should I be slipping some twenties on the side to get the facts? And if it's true that they are serving other gods that they have not known, can I try to convert them? Or must I smite them even if they repent? Can God just not live with someone who's been unfaithful? Is it because the trust is gone?

What happens if during my interrogations I learn that the worshipers are Jews or Muslims? Can I breath a sigh of relief, since we all worship the same God? Can we peacefully coexist? Or am I morally obligated to smite them too since they don't worship Jesus as God's Son? And if so, when they hear rumors that Christianity is being preached in my town, are they obligated to smite us as well? Is the worship of Jesus the same as serving another god? What happens if the people from my town go forth to smite them at the same time they go forth to smite us? We'd all look pretty silly arriving in the other's town with no one there to smite. To eliminate that embarrassing situation, perhaps we should all just stay home and smite ourselves.

But if I must go and smite them, must I do it only by the edge of the sword? Can I use the tip of the sword if that would be more appropriate? Must I smite the whole town if only a few have been worshipping like crazed infidels? And what kinds of cattle must I smite while I'm there. Is God talking only about the bovines? Maybe he wants any animal that chews the cud to get the edge of the sword. Does this include rabbits too? And how can I destroy the town utterly if I'm only armed with a sword? Is it permissible to bring along a couple of M1 tanks?

After everyone has been smitten, what kind of spoils must gather in the street and burn with fire? Is God only referring to valuables and objects of culture and taste, or does He want everything piled up? What about the tacky furniture or the cheap crap from the likes of Walmart? Am I allowed to keep some of these spoils to offset my traveling expenses?

How shall I ensure that the city will remain a heap forever without ever being rebuilt? Should I make a tire fire? Maybe ignite a coal mine beneath the town? What if years from the date of utter destruction, someone tries to rebuild it? Should I smite them as well? Should I keep guards posted? Am I allowed to use nuclear weapons to discourage the rebuilding?

And who the hell is Belial?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

O Come All Ye Hypocrites

Week after week, those who call themselves "blessed" invite me to come pray at their church. But with so many different Christian churches, how can I tell which one God approves of? So I searched the Bible for Jesus's teachings on praying in church. In Matthew 6:5-6 Jesus says:

5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

So what's Jesus trying to tell us? Do people only go to church to be seen by other people? Are their only thoughts on what others think of them? Do they get big rewards for praying in front of others? There sure is a lot of rewarding going on every Sunday from what I can see! Is this why America is the world's richest nation? Is this how people are surviving the recession? Why do they not share their rewards?

Why do people do this if Jesus spoke against it? Do they seek their rewards at church because church income isn't taxed? Why are the churchgoers so proud of what they do if Jesus isn't? Why does the Church not teach the people the words of Jesus? Better yet, why can the people not read it for themselves?

So is Jesus saying that I should only pray in the closet? What will God think when I come out of the closet? Does God not speak out against homosexuals in the Old Testament? Should I take a girl in the closet with me so God will know I'm straight? What all does my Father see in secret? Does He work with the CIA? MI6? KGB? Mossad? What kind of open reward will I receive? Will I be taxed on it? Does the IRS see in secret too?

Would Jesus be pissed at me if I went to church for the big rewards sometimes? Is Jesus more tolerant of the grand reward seekers during the recession?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Shit Happens (Keeping Army Camps Holy) aka No Shit

Deuteronomy 23:9 tells what God expects to be done in Army Camps:

When the host goeth forth against thine enemies, then keep thee from every wicked thing.

Have our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan been keeping themselves from every wicked thing? Is war itself not a wicked thing? Are our politicians who visit our Army camps not wicked things? What wicked things has God ordained our soldiers to keep themselves from? How can they keep from every wicked thing?

Deuteronomy 23:12 says:

Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad:

So what the hell does this mean? What is meant by "whither thou shalt go forth abroad?" Couldn't God have been a little more clear here? Is He trying to say, if you need to take a dump, don't do it in the camp? Is defecation the wicked thing that soldiers must keep from? Are military toilets wicked? Should they be shunned? Is crap only wicked when it's in the camp? What if the Army camp is within a city? Can the soldiers storm the civilian houses to use their toilets? Should we have port-o-potties set out outside the fences?

Deuteronomy 23:13 tells us:

And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee.

Why can't the soldiers use toilets? What the hell is a paddle upon a weapon? Is this something to spank children with or to propel a canoe? What kind of weapons did they use back in Deuteronomy's day? Are our soldiers to use this paddle on their weapon to dig therewith? Is this God's way of saying "shovel?" Can they use their bayonets in an emergency?

How deep must they dig therewith? What is to be done if a soldier digs therewith and comes upon that which has cometh from another soldier? Can he deposit that which cometh from him on top of that which has already cometh from another? Or must he shit where no man hath shit before? Should the soldiers mark the spots where they have dug therewith and covered that which cometh from them? Can more than one soldier use the same hole at the same time for that which cometh from them? What must the soldiers do if they're under attack and cannot leave the camp to dig therewith? Must they hold it? Are special provisions made for tose with the runs? Should they be banished or stoned? If one has an accident and that which cometh comes where it should cometh not, should the others smite him?

Deuteronomy 23:14 explains why this is important:

For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.

Why is God walking in the midst of our Army camps? Will He be in uniform? Should we give Him a 21-gun salute? Will He offer to take command? Why can He not just smite our enemies for us instead of worrying about where we crap? Is feces the only unclean thing God's worried about seeing? Is He squeamish? Will He look in the toilets? Will He do the white glove test?

What happens if God walks in the midst of my camp and the camp of my enemy too? Will He choose the cleaner of the two? What if they're both clean? Will He wait until somebody shits on the ground to choose a winner? Should I try to scare the shit out of my enemies to secure a divine victory?

A Little Knowledge is a Bad Thing (Original Sin) aka Paradise Lost / Trouble in Paradise

Genesis tells the story of creation, and how God created the first man, who was known as Adam. In Genesis 2:15-17 we learn what God did with that man:

15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

Okay, a couple of questions here. First, who was writing this? There wasn't anybody around except God and Adam, right? That means that one of them was writing about himself in the third person, which is just weird.

Second, if God had this special tree that He didn't want Adam to eat from, why the hell would He put Adam right next to it? Couldn't He have put Adam in one garden and the forbidden tree in another? I mean, He had the whole planet at His disposal, didn't He? And why did God even need a tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Didn't He just build the whole planet like a week prior? God must have known good and evil before that, even without the tree. So who was the fruit of the forbidden tree for?

Genesis 2:18 goes on to say that man shouldn't be alone. Does this mean that Adam wasn't taking care of his bachelor pad? Was he leaving trash scattered all over the place and dishes undone? Whatever the reason, God decided to create a woman, who was later known as Eve. Genesis 2:25 tells us:

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

So were Adam and Eve just running around naked, eating freely from every tree but one with not a care in the world? What kind of other good things did God have growing in the Garden of Eden?

Anyway, all was well and good until one day Eve met a snake, as stated in Genesis 3:1 :

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Could all animals talk back then? Was the serpent the most subtil <sic> because he could talk? Who taught him, if not God? Did the same person teach Eve to talk? She not only understood the serpent, but she answered it as well. Genesis 3:2-3 tells us:

2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

Did Eve get different restrictions than Adam? Why was Adam only forbidden to eat the fruit, but Eve was forbidden to touch it as well? Was this the first case of sexism?

In Genesis 3:4-5 we learn of the serpent's response:

4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Was the serpent calling God a liar? Was the serpent saying that God was keeping the really good stuff from the humans? How did the serpent know this? Had he eaten from the tree? Did he know good from evil? And why did he say "gods" in the plural? Were there some other gods out there writing this all down. It would eliminate the problem of someone referring to himself in the third person, but who were these other gods?

Verses 6 and 7 tell us what happened next:

6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Does this mean that the serpent had been truthful? More truthful than God? Were Adam and Eve complete morons until they ate the fruit? Were they really too stupid to know they were naked? Did they even notice that the other was naked? Did they care? Would the human race have ended with those two? Were they just prancing around like the animals? Animals with no sex drive? Is this how God wanted humans to always live? Did God never want us to have any wisdom? And who taught the man and the woman to sew? Was that the serpent too?

Genesis 3:14-19 tell of God's reaction, and to say that He was pissed is putting it mildly:

14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

God didn't cut anyone any breaks, did He? But why was He so pissed? Did He take any blame on Himself for putting the tree there unnecessarily? Why did he want humans to be stupid? Did He never intend for us to have any wisdom? Why did He think it bad that we know good from evil? How could we worship Him if we were no different in intelligence than the animals? Why did He curse the snake for helping us? Why did He take Adam and Eve's disobedience out on all of us? Did the snake have legs before it was cursed to eat dust? God doesn't mention taking its power of speech, so why can't today's snakes talk?

Why does the Church teach that the serpent was Satan? The Bible doesn't say so, does it? Did the snake not help us in the long run? Would we all not just be running around stupid and naked if not for the snake? Why did God lie to Adam about dying on the same day he would eat from the tree? The Bible says Adam live for 930 years! And what happened to this husband ruling over the woman curse? Did that one just fade away?

Then in Genesis 3:22 we learn that there was a second tree that was pretty cool too! :

And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Had Adam and Eve eaten from that tree too, would we all live forever? Would we be indestructible? Where would we all live? What would we do with the cemeteries? Why didn't the serpent mention the other tree? Why didn't the talking snake live forever? Who was God talking to when He said, "The man is become as one of us"? Was God talking to those other gods that the serpent mentioned? Were Thor and Hercules from the old Saturday morning cartoons real?Does God still live with His family? Why have we never met the others? Is God embarrassed by us?

A God Among Gods (The First Commandment)

Back when Moses was wandering around Sinai, God decided that we need ten commandments to live by. The first one, found in Exodus 20:3 and Deuteronomy 5:7, goes like this:

Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.

Now, just what the hell does God mean by "other gods"? What other gods? Isn't He the only one? Isn't He the one that our money says we trust in?

So if He's the only one, what's He so worried about? How could anyone have any other gods before Him if there are no other gods? Shouldn't God just have written something like, "Worship Me because I'm the One and Only!" Better yet, why did He write this commandment at all? If He's the only god, then there couldn't be any other gods to put first, could there? Did He just want to make an even ten commandments? Did he have a blank space on His stone tablet that He needed to fill in? Couldn't He have used this space for some other good Christian commandment, like "Thou shalt tithe" or something?

But since this is The First Commandment, isn't it the most important to God? Isn't this the first one He was thinking of when he got out His stone tablet and chisel? So if He wrote it that way, are there really other gods out there?

Well, Exodus 12:12 says:

. . . . and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord

And Exodus 15:11 says:

Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods?

And then Exodus 18:11 says:

Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods

Does all this mean that there are other gods? God is not alone up there? So if the Bible is telling us that there are other gods, how are we supposed to act towards them?

Exodus goes on to say that Moses threw a fit when he came back with The Commandments, and smashed the tablets. Well God wasn't going to do all that writing over again. He figured that since Moses smashed them, he could write them over himself. Maybe then he'd appreciate the hard work that goes into writing on stone tablets. So God just dictated. In Exodus 34:14 He tells Moses to write:

For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

So in His dictation God cleared up one small grey area: no worshiping other gods. But are we supposed to just ignore them entirely? Is God on friendly terms with these other gods? Are we being rude to God's friends? Are we embarrassing God in front of some other deities? Should we at least be doing a little venerating of the others? If so, is there a hierarchy of deities? We know that God wants to be at the top, but who's second? And third? And fourth? What if we get the rest out of order? Will the whole gang be pissed?

And is God's name really "Jealous?" Should our money say, "In Jealous We Trust?"

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

It appears that God is really obsessed with cleanliness. In the Book of Leviticus He calls a meeting with Moses and Aaron and just goes on and on about it. I really give credit to poor old Leviticus for writing it all down. Anyway, in Chapter 15 God goes into this great spiel about bodily discharges. Apparently these upset Him to the point where He felt compelled to give detailed instructions on how to deal with them. Right now it's the instructions concerning women that have given me reason for concern. Leviticus 15:19 tells us:

And if a woman have an issue and her issue from her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days; and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the evening.

Is God really serious about this? Where the hell are we to put these issuing women apart at for seven days straight? Are we to put them apart together, or does apart mean apart from each other too? Are we supposed to build some sort of internment camps for these women with "issues?" What do we do if they don't go voluntarily? We can't touch them or we too become unclean. Are we to find one woman with an issue who is willing to go, and get her to round up all the others? What difference would it make, since she's already unclean?

Another problem we have is how are families to survive if the women are put apart for seven days at a time? I mean, the women would be able to get along fine in these camps; they may even look on it as a time of rest and relaxation. But what the hell are the rest of us to do? I'm not saying that cooking and cleaning and laundry and such are women's jobs; I'm just saying that, in general, men screw them up royally when they try to do them. So will the Church send out some "clean" women who are void of issues to help any families who are lacking in competence when their women are put apart?

Also, how the hell can I know if a woman has an issue. In all my experiences with women, it's generally not a thing they freely speak about. Never once have I asked a woman how she was, only to have her reply, "Oh, I'm having an issue from my flesh today which is blood." Could this be that they fear being put apart for seven days if it becomes known that they have issues? In that case, how can I know for sure? Should I tell women that I need to know on religious grounds? Should I just avoid the ones who are bitchy? Will I be held unclean if touch an issuing woman if I didn't know she had issues? Is ignorance of issues a valid excuse? Should I just hang around with pregnant girls or really old ladies?

And what about this unclean until the evening thing for whosoever toucheth her. What the hell does that mean? If I touch a woman with an issue early in the morning, I'll be unclean all day long, but if I touch her at around 5:30 in the afternoon, my uncleanliness will only last 30 minutes or so? Does the uncleanliness magically go away when the evening comes? Can I cross time zones going east to become clean even faster? Does anyone whosever toucheth a woman with an issue have to be set apart until evening as well? Do we need male and female camps of internment, or can families stay together in their uncleanliness?

God doesn't stop with just one verse when it comes to women with issues. He just keeps going, through verses 20 - 23:

20 And every thing that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean; every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean.

21 And whosoever toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening.

22 And whosoever toucheth any thing that she sat upon shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening.

23 And if it be on her bed or on any thing whereon she sitteth, when he toucheth it, he shall be unclean until the evening.

God seems to have got a little verbose here. So what's He trying to say? That not only is a woman with issues unclean, but everything she touches is unclean too? Is it like an anti-Midas Touch thing? How can I know what an issuing woman has touched if I go out into public? Is there a surefire way to know where such a woman has sat? Maybe back in the days of Moses, there was visible evidence if a woman with issues had sat on a bus seat, but what can I do in modern times? In these days of extra absorbency and multiple barrier protection, it's pretty much a secret. Did Satan create such feminine hygiene products just to thwart the will of God?

What about this washing clothes and bathing in water thing? God says that I'll be unclean until the magical onset of evening anyway, so what's the use? On the other hand, what if I use holy water?

And then, verse 24 says:

And if any man lie with her at all and her monthly discharge be upon him, he shall be unclean seven days; and all the bed whereon he lieth shall be unclean.

So now what? If a man wakes up and his wife is having issues, he's just screwed for seven days? Does this mean that not even evening can help him? Will he be put apart too for a week? Who'll take care of the kids? Do workplaces offer paid "uncleanliness" leave? Will it count against my vacation time? Why the hell does God even care about this?