Scripture

Jesus is a Prick

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I constantly hear arguments from proponents of Christianity that Jesus is some all-loving, all-accepting (unless you are gay or vote Democrat) dude and no matter what I do in my life “He loves me and wants me to love him back.” Sure there are lots of verses and stories outlining those arguments in the Bible, but there are also tons that show otherwise. Take this one for starters:

Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, and a man’s enemies will be those in his own household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 10:34-39

Basically, Jesus is incredibly selfish and doesn’t even want you to love the people who raised you, who you have known your entire life, more than you love him- even though he bailed before you were born and left you with nothing but a book full of ridiculous stories. And, god forbid (pun intended) you find meaning to your life and are successful and love it. Jesus never got to do that because he was too busy dying for you and now he wants you to return the favor. Only if you die miserable, like he did, will he decide you are worthy of saving. Yep, Jesus is a prick. Here is another example from the book of Luke in which he describes his same intent for division as in the book of Matthew, but in a more I’m-going-to-throw-a-temper-tantrum-about-it kind of way:

I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” Luke 12:49

Both the book of Matthew and the book of Luke describe this desire of Jesus to make it known that he did not come to earth to make friends, he came to show-off a few miracles, die, and then proceed to hold it against us for the rest of time. But, before he dies, and alongside performing some of those miracles, he is going to go right ahead and take the opportunity to screw around with everyone. He does this by describing the desires of god and explaining how to utilize those desires to spend an eternity with him in heaven; the problem is, he refuses to just tell it like it is. He insists on using confusing parables that make no sense, setting most of his would-be believers up for failure. After being asked by the prophets why he speaks in such confusing parables, Jesus responds,

Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore, I speak in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” Matthew 13:11-13

When I read passages like this, it only further concretes my belief that religion was made up by man as a means to control the population. It is so blatant in this passage (there is also a similar one in the book of Mark) that in order to fully know and understand these teachings, one must never doubt, or look too deep into it. One must simply take the lesson at face value and interpret it as Jesus wants you to, not as you actually do. Because, in actually interpreting stories on your own, you are bound to interpret incorrectly and maybe, just maybe, you may begin to doubt the validity or the importance of the lesson. So, the less you think about it, the better off you (and the)y are. It’s genius if it actually works, and sadly, it does.

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Another reason I believe Jesus is a prick is because he has a horrible temper. Take the infamous story of the fig tree for example:

Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response Jesus said to it, ‘Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.’ And His disciples heard it.” Mark 11:12-14

He knew there would be no fruit on it because “it was not the season for figs” and yet he still got pissed at it for not feeding him in his time of hunger. To give him the benefit of the doubt, I have said and done some pretty mean things out of hunger, too. But, this man is supposed to be the savior! The healer! The prince of peace and love! He can’t have normal human instincts… and if he does, he certainly can’t let them get the better of him! Which brings me to my next point: If Jesus was real, and that’s a HUGE if,  how can we hold him on such a high pedestal? He is just like us! What makes him so different and so special? He is no god; sure he did some lame tricks turning water into wine and walking on water but, wouldn’t a real god simply create a fig on that tree to then pick and eat? Or summon a nice turkey dinner to appear on his table? How can we be so faithful to a god so human when humans are constantly failing us? Wouldn’t this then imply that either, A. This god would end up failing us as well, or B. That perhaps a god so human is that way because he was created by humans and is therefore whatever we want him to be? The Hindus certainly would never stoop so low; their gods are constantly doing far more miraculous, god-like things on a daily basis and would never submit themselves to petty hunger or any other human feeling for that matter. Hindus have textbook examples of gods. Why didn’t the creators of the Christian god/Jesus get together with the creators of the Hindu gods and exchange game plans?

But, I guess that’s the point of Christianity, isn’t it? That god sent his only son to us, made him as human as possible so that we could relate and see our children in him, just to then sacrifice him for us, even though we never asked him to, so that we may live in guilt of it forever. Therefore, god is also a prick. Like father, like son.

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God Loves Killing Children, Part 2

God loves killing children, but he wants you to believe that other gods love it more. In doing this, he is attempting to assert himself as the less blood-thirsty of your options. But, I’m not buying it. Here’s why: In the midst of all this child killing going on throughout the bible, god says this:

When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘ How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.” Deuteronomy 12:29-32

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He is using the example of burning children to convince people that other religions/gods are bad; a fear tactic, if you will. And yet, god himself is guilty of this very action. He has allowed it and even welcomes it as a tribute and offering. I give you the story of Jephthah:

And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, ‘If you indeed will deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.” Judges 11:30-31

God holds up his end of the bargain, so…

When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, there was his daughter, coming out to meet him with timbrels and dancing; and she was his only child. Besides her he had neither son nor daughter. And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he tore his clothes, and said, ‘Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low! You are among those who trouble me! For I have given my word to the Lord, and I cannot go back on it.’ So she said to him, ‘My father, if you have given your word to the Lord, do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, because the Lord has avenged you of your enemies, the people of Ammon.’ Then she sad to her father, ‘Let this thing be done for me: let me alone for two months, that I may go and wander on the mountains and bewail my virginity, my friends and I.’ So he said, ‘Go.’ And he sent her away for two months; and she went with her friends, and bewailed her virginity on the mountains. And it was so at the end of two months that she returned to her father, and he carried out his vow with her which he had vowed. She knew no man.” Judges 11:34-39

So… how is this offering of a burnt child any different from the offerings to the other gods he warned his followers about? Oh, that’s right- it’s not.

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God Loves Killing Children, Part 1

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It seems that once god got a taste of killing children in the book of Exodus for the tenth plague, he just couldn’t help himself- he had to kill more. The bible is full of stories depicting god’s demands to kill children, his preference of death as a consequence for children that misbehave and his allowance and acceptance of those that kill children in his honor or in his name. Here’s a fun example about a man killing a bunch of kids in the name of the lord for making fun of him:

Then he (Elisha) went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, ‘Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!’ So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the Lord. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.” 2 Kings 2:23-24

This passage is almost comical to me. Some kids call you baldhead so you send bears to maul them to death? Gnarly. I mean, it can’t really be an insult if it’s true, right? Why not ask for a new head of hair in the name of the lord instead of a gruesome death sentence for a bunch of brats?

This is an interesting take on what we should do to those nations we are at war with. I wonder how the UN would feel about this:

Everyone who is found will be thrust through, and everyone who is captured will fall by the sword. Their children will also be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished. ‘Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, who will not regard silver; and as for gold, they will not delight in it. Also, their bows will dash the young men to pieces, and they will have no pity on the fruit of the womb; Their eye will not spare children.” Isaiah 13:15-18

In these three verses alone, there is a clear message that the children will die. In fact, it is mentioned four times! What is with his obsession with killing children anyways? Wouldn’t he have just spent all that time molding them and making them into his perfect little images? Planning their lives for them as so many modern-day Christians believe? What would be the point in killing them all off? Could it be that he is so adamant about killing them so that they don’t grow up and hate him for killing their parents?? Hmm?? Scared are we, god?

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Here is another example of god using the death/eradication of children as punishment for the actions of adults he doesn’t like:

As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird- no birth, no pregnancy, and no conception! Though they bring up their children, yet I will bereave them to the last man. Yes, woe to them when I depart from them! Just as I saw Ephraim like Tyre, planted in a pleasant place, so Ephraim will bring out his children to the murderer. Give them, O Lord- what will you give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts! All their wickedness is in Gilgal, for there I hated them. Because of the evil of their deeds I will drive them from My house; I will love them no more. All their princes are rebellious. Ephraim is stricken, their root is dried up; they shall bear no fruit. Yes, were they to bear children, I would kill the darlings of their womb.” Hosea 9:11-16

Here’s what I am having a really hard time grasping: Weren’t these people his creation, too? Didn’t he already know that they would betray him? If god has a plan for us (“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11), why would he make this his plan for them?

Fun With Deuteronomy, Part 3 (Women’s Edition)

“When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God delivers them into your hand, and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and desire her and would take her for your wife, then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails. She shall put off the clothes of her captivity, remain in your house, and mourn her father and her mother a full month; after that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. And it shall be, if you have no delight in her, then you shall set her free, but you certainly shall not sell her for money; you shall not treat her brutally, because you have humbled her.” Deuteronomy 21:10-14

There are many verses in the Bible about war and how men must only kill men but are free to plunder and take all the women and children they desire for slaves. This one in particular really bothers me because it not only involves the kidnapping of a woman, but also forcing her to be your wife- if, after you have your way with her, you still desire her. The good news for the captured woman is that he has to wait a month to let her mourn before he can even think about touching her (a nice enough gesture for the Old Testament Bible) but after that, game on! The strangest contradiction in this passage is that the woman is taken and treated as an object (finders, keepers) and yet she is given time to grieve like a human. Well, which is it? Human or object? The passage contradicts itself again at the end stating basically that once you have had your way with her, you have two options: 1. You liked her and you would like to keep her for yourself (objectify-ing) or, 2. You decided that you don’t like her after all and you set her free (objectify-ing). BUT, don’t beat her or sell her because you are the one that ruined her after all (humanizing). Huh? The god of the Old Testament (aka a group of slimy dudes with a need to satiate their worldly, sexual desires and fantasies) seems to be constantly making it OK for a man to put a woman in the position he desires so that he can have his way with her while she sits back and enjoys and is grateful. Another example is this:

“If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days.” Deuteronomy 22:28-29

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So basically, you can rape any unmarried virgin (I am not sure how they always know who is a virgin and who is not… Word of mouth?) BUT, you will have to marry her and pay for her and you can never be divorced from her.

I imagine my father’s reaction in this instance:

Rapist knocks on my father’s door.

RAPIST “Hello, sir. I have recently raped your daughter. Here is the fifty shekels I owe you- she was great!”

MY FATHER “I’ll be right back…”

My father goes into his house and returns with a loaded shotgun pointed right at the rapist’s face. He shoots and keeps the money.

-End Scene-

First of all, what kind of father would ever be OK with this? and second, is the payment and requirement never to divorce the man’s only punishment for doing something so horrible to someone? Is it even supposed to be a punishment? To me, this is a more disturbing version of licking something as a child to call dibs; the idea being that no one will want it after you have licked it, so it’s yours! To me, this is yet another instance in which that group of slimy, perverted men (or the god of the Old Testament) are giving themselves permission to take anything or anyone they want and do what they please to them without consequences- in particular, women.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but it boggles my mind how women can accept this objectification and irrational hatred of and for women. Why can’t they see through all the god bullshit and see it for what it really is- a feeble (yet disgustingly successful) attempt by men to feel more powerful and to satisfy their desires and fantasies. Luckily for Christian women, there are laws in the US that trump religious law and prevent these sort of actions from actually playing out. Would women still be Christians if we allowed religious law to take over? I sure hope not.

Fun With Deuteronomy, Part 2

I HAD to post this passage next because I just think it is hilarious. It’s a little long, but stick it out- the best part is at the end.

5 “If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the widow of the dead man shall not be married to a stranger outside the family; her husband’s brother shall go in to her, take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. 6 And it shall be that the firstborn son which she bears will succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. 7 But if the man does not want to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate to the elders, and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to raise up a name to his brother in Israel; he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.’ 8 Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him. But if he stands firm and says, ‘I do not want to take her,’ 9 then his brother’s wife shall come to him in the presence of the elders, remove his sandal from his foot, spit in his face, and answer and say, ‘So shall it be done to the man who will not build up his brother’s house.’ 10 And his name shall be called in Israel, ‘The house of him who had his sandal removed.’ Deuteronomy 25:5-10

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“The house of him who had his sandal removed”?? Who comes up with this stuff?! I’m guessing, based on context alone, that this is a name you should be offended by. Call me crazy, but I just don’t see it! Ok, all hilarity aside, I have some huge issues with this passage.

The first one is with the overall basic premise (weird, huh?). It solidifies (for the umpteenth time) what the Bible so lovingly thinks of women- that we are objects. To say that a “woman shall not be married to a stranger outside the family” does not seem protective and endearing to me, it sounds more like this family has invested time and money into this woman and they aren’t going to let her go just because her husband is now dead. I say this taking into consideration the entire context of the book (something Atheists are commonly, and almost always mistakenly, accused of not doing.) On top of that, it assumes that the woman would want nothing more than to remain in the family to now sleep with her brother-in-law and hold him accountable if he does not wish to be with her. It seems to be a very distorted view of women, if you ask me.

My second issue is with the verse that says, “[…] her husband’s brother shall go in to her, take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her”. What exactly is that duty? Ask anyone around and they would most likely offer suggestions like, “check in on her every once in a while”, “offer to help with any house or automobile repairs as needed”, or “invite her over for Thanksgiving dinner.” I bet you won’t get a single one that says, “Sleep with her and name your first child after your dead brother. Everyone knows that.” But that is exactly what this passage is telling you to do. I would like to point out that perhaps whoever holds the copyrights to the Bible should consider suing the writers of the movie Pearl Harbor for using their idea (though maybe a little tweaked) without permission.

It seems to me that standing up for yourself and declaring that you will not sleep and bear children with your dead brother’s wife should be commended, not condemned. Any good man should be proud to live in a house called, “The house of him who had his sandal removed”. I wonder where I can get a door mat that says that….

Fun With Deuteronomy, Part 1

If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city to the gate of his city. And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all of the men in his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.” Deuteronomy 21:18-21

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Many Christians argue that passages like these in Old Testament books like this one are irrelevant to modern-day Christianity and that, therefore, all arguments made referring to any of them are moot. I say that is a weak excuse to try to cover up the awful stories, advice and traditions that in today’s modern world seem harsh and unappealing. I say it is weak because it is not rational to base your entire life, your entire faith on one book just to then turn around and say that some of it doesn’t matter. If that is the case, then what’s to say that all of it doesn’t matter? And who determined which parts mattered and were relevant and which parts weren’t? I would say the above passage is irrelevant because murder is against the law and many faithful Christians would agree with me. But, there are plenty of passages in Deuteronomy that were declared law but are not considered to be against the law in our “real” world. For example, Deuteronomy 25:13-14 says, “You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a heavy and a light. You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small.” Neither of those things are against the law so why do you carry your cell phone and your iPad in your purse? Why haven’t you sworn off measuring cups in your house? I’ll tell you why: Because it’s STUPID. So, explain to me how the rest of the Bible isn’t stupid. Please. I would LOVE to hear it. And while you are at it, explain to me how one can, in clear conscience, live their life by a book in which they throw out more than half of it, cling to a few parts of it and claim that it is the guidebook to living as a decent human being on this earth?

Contradictions

By this we know love, because he laid down his life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for our brethren.” 1 John 3:16

You shall fear the Lord your God and serve him, and shall take oaths in his name.” Deuteronomy 6:13

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7

For the Lord your God is a jealous God among you, lest the anger of the Lord your God be aroused against you and destroy you from the dace of the earth.” Deuteronomy 6:15

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! For his mercy endures forever.” Psalm 118:1

Then if you walk contrary to me, and are not willing to obey me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins.” Leviticus 26:21

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures to all generations.” Psalm 100:5

I will also do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart.” Leviticus 26:16

Wait a minute… am I reading from the same book?? What poor character development… Am I supposed to like this guy or hate him? If the Hunger Games trilogy was this confusing they sure as hell wouldn’t have made a movie out of it let alone used it to try to convince an entire population that it was based on warnings from a time-travelers first-hand experience in the future. Although, because it is not so poorly written, I’m sure I could start by drawing parallels to the god of Christianity, lure in some innocent believers and then eventually create my own religion. Hmm… there’s an idea. I could probably get a real following from that….

51DR7yj7OeL__SL500_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-big,TopRight,35,-73_OU01_SS500_Oh, damn. Someone already beat me to it.