god

America Is NOT A Christian Nation

Many Christians argue that America was founded on Christian morals and beliefs. I have never really been able to grasp that crazy concept especially given the fact that we were founded based on a collective agreement that religion in government is a bad thing and we no longer wanted to be oppressed by it. Religious oppression is the very reason America is HERE today! So, why circle back? Well, we are on track for doing just that.

From 1892 to 1954, god was not mentioned in our pledge of allegiance. It took the Communist scare of the early 50’s to get the word “God” added to anything. You see, at that time, communists were known atheists and since we did not want to align ourselves with communism in any way, we over reacted (weird) and added the word “God” to everything so that it was known that we weren’t atheist therefore we could not be communist either (this is a gross over-simplification of the entire ordeal, but you get the point).

“Senator Homer Ferguson sponsored a bill to add the words ‘under God’ to the Pledge. On June 8, 1954, the bill was approved as joint resolution and signed into law on June 14, Flag Day. That day President Eisenhower said, “From this day forward, the millions of our schoolchildren will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty.” The alteration made the Pledge both a patriotic pledge and a public prayer.” ( Buzzle )

Flag Day became a horrible, horrible day and a giant step backwards for Americans. But, I digress…

It is in America’s nature to be constantly in the pursuit of wealth and success.  Wealth means you succeeded in your pursuit of the “American Dream” and that monetary success is highly frowned upon in the Bible:

“And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24

We value individualism, free speech and the power of dissention. But the Bible says that we should submit ourselves to “every ordinance of man” :

“Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.” 1 Peter 2:13-14

Ok. Most of us abide by the law, even if we disagree. But what if our laws and values are contradictory to god’s laws and values?

The Ten Commandments, Exodus 20:3-2, 7-10, 12-17
1. “You shall have no other gods before Me.

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We idolize our favorite celebs.

 

2. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;

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These things sell like hot cakes!

 

 

 

 

3. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

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4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.

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35% of all working Americans work on the weekend and 51% of those working more than one job do, too. How much do you want to bet that one of the days they work is a Sunday?

 

 

 

5. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

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We have a culture of getting rid of our parents as they age and become bothersome.

 

 

 

 

6. “You shall not murder.

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7. “You shall not commit adultery.

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Yes, this is completely real. It actually exists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. “You shall not steal.

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9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

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Look at any magazine or newspaper rack in America (who am I kidding… look anywhere online!) and find stories of people blaming others, telling lies and living in deceit.

 

 

 

 

 

10. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey (I prefer to say ass. It sounds funnier and I’m really mature.), nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

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Plastic surgery is a BOOMING industry in the US. Everyone wants what they don’t have!

 

 

 

 

 

American values rarely align themselves with Christian values and for that, I am glad. Of course there are some virtuous Christian values and some awful American values, but, if it were up to me (and it is) I would pick American values over Christian values any day.

I value working hard and earning what I have while recognizing that others around me may not be so fortunate (and doing something to help!). I value education, growth and progression. I value the freedom to think and believe anything I want as well as to question anything and everything. I value equality and rights. I value accountability and being held responsible for my actions. Most Americans value these things as well.

I do not, however, value ignorance or submission. I do not value blind faith in things that may or may not exist. I do not value holding on to useless traditions that stunt growth and progress. I do not value needless guilt for things I cannot help. I do not value living to anyone’s standards but my own. And, unfortunately, these are the things most Christians do value.

America is NOT a Christian nation and I am proud of that. I refuse to stand by and watch it ever become one.

I’d Rather Be Godless Than Godly

Lately I have found within myself a strange, masochistic yearning to read through sermons. I say masochistic because, generally, they do nothing more than make me mad- someone actually taught this crap to an entire congregation of people?? But, I still enjoy reading them to a certain extent because they offer a sort of validation for me that I made the correct and logical decision in becoming and remaining an atheist, despite potential backlash from friends and family. So, this morning I came across a sermon entitled, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Godlessness” by Joel Smith, a pastor of a Baptist church.

You can read the entire sermon here, but basically it is about how easy it is to be an atheist. Now, I think that assertion is up for a whole different debate, but I want to focus on the part that disturbed me the most: He spoke of atheism as a way of life in which god is not present which, to a certain extent, is true. However, he claims that even though many of the congregate members sitting before him believe in god, they do not allow him fully into their everyday lives and are, therefore, atheists.

Holy shit did that offend me!

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an atheist as, “one who believes that there is no deity” NOT “one who believes there is a deity but does not welcome it into their daily lives like they should”. I am very proud to be an atheist and I will be damned (by no god in particular) if this pastor can just go around asserting that perhaps atheists do believe in god, they just do not welcome him into their lives! No sir. He is not welcome in my life BECAUSE HE DOES NOT EXIST.

After Joel introduces his new definition of atheism, he goes on to explain how to be an atheist:

“Why does Genesis tell us that Cain built a city?  Nice info, but so what?  The reason Cain built a city was protection.  Prior to this he killed his brother Abel and God cursed Cain for it.  He was cast out of the area where his family dwelt and into a harsher, crueler world.  He would have even less of God’s provision and protection than his parents.  Therefore Cain built a nice little fortified wall around a collection of houses and other buildings – the first city.  It was the absence of God in his life that led him to this.  Keep in mind that Cain believed in God, but he lived his life apart from the Him.  In his mind he was a believer, but in his practice he was an atheist, without God. This gives us our first principle in becoming a practical or practicing atheist. Focus on insulating yourself from the harsh realities of life on earth… Not only do the godly refuse to insulate, they refuse to worry about the harsh realities of life.  They look to and call on the God who is more than adequate to meet their needs.  They live lives of adventure as God takes them from one assignment to the next.”

Atheists “focus on insulating themselves from the harsh realities of life.” Just let that stew in your brain for a bit… After that stews for about 2 minutes, add this next ingredient:

“That’s the outworking of godlessness: self-reliance rather than dependence on God.  The godless person relies on their own wisdom, experience, skill, and strength to navigate life.  The godly person, on the other hand, admits their inability and seeks God’s help more and more.”

Now, let that cook for the rest of your life and take pleasure in knowing that you are self-sufficient and can rely on your “own wisdom, experience, skill and strength to navigate life”. (For extra sweetness, add a dash of uncontrollable laughter and disbelief- I did and it turned out great!)

Before I end up disclosing all of my secret recipes in this one post, I’ll move on by saying that this guy is completely bat-shit crazy. Since when has it become a bad thing to live your life based on experience and wisdom and skill? Shit, you can’t even get a job without skill and experience! And how are addicts supposed to accept the things they cannot change without the wisdom to know the difference?? Now, don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for admitting inability. If I ran into someone on the street needing emergency brain surgery, I would immediately admit my inability to perform that task and then proceed to wonder how this person even knew they needed emergency brain surgery to begin with. Although, given the rationale of Mr. Smith, perhaps if I just prayed that I could help this person, my hands would magically know what to do!

“I sometimes think God probably love[s] my wife Laura more than any other person I know.  She constantly cries out to Him.  If she has a big or little decision, she seeks Him.  She teaches Drake and Anna Gray to cry out to God if they’ve lost something.  If it’s dark or rainy at Wal-Mart she cries out for a parking place and gets it.  She even cried out for His direction on which watermelon to buy.  Two summers ago she cried out when we were at a financial and emotional breaking point and God gave me a new job.  God answers people who admit their need. “

God gave this guy a new job, gave his wife a good parking space so she wouldn’t get too wet and he even offered his almighty guidance on which watermelon is best. Now, I know what you are thinking: “But, Missy! What about those poor people out in the rain that day down the street from that Wal-Mart with no car or no home to run to for shelter?” The answer is simple, my friends: they are not praying correctly. They may believe in god, but they are not asking him to be present in their everyday lives, therefore he is turned off to them. Instead of filling out job applications and wasting time in interviews, they should be praying and leaving it in god’s capable hands! Until then, he has more important things to worry about! He can’t just let Laura buy that dingy looking watermelon!

This is where the masochism comes in to play. SOMEONE ACTUALLY SAID THIS TO A BUNCH OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE PUT THEIR TRUST IN HIM TO SHOW THEM THE WAY TO BE CLOSER TO GOD AND UP THEIR CHANCES OF GETTING INTO HEAVEN (yes, I just screamed that at the sermon). Joel Smith says it is godless to depend on your wisdom and experience or on your skills and strengths and advises that they do none of these things, that instead they rely solely on god. For to be unknowing of the world is to be closer to god. This kind of teaching is EXACTLY why people trash the earth and remain ignorant to the horrible things happening in the world today. Not only ignorant, but uncaring and unyielding. THIS is why there are churches out there teaching their children to protest dead soldiers. Sure, they are extremists, but aren’t sermons like these where it all starts??

The Gold Calf

The story of the Gold Calf in the book of Exodus has to be one of my favorites. It is a story of an incredibly jealous god and a ridiculously stupid group of people, which ended up raising a ton of red flags for me about god and Christianity.

It starts off with a group of people waiting around for Moses to return to them from the mountain conversation he is having with god. They are getting a little antsy and are starting to think that Moses will not return. They clearly have no other purpose in their lives but to praise and blindly follow anything and everything because, after a while, they approach Aaron begging him to make them a new god since this one is taking so long. Aaron, who is one of god’s newly appointed priests, says, “Sure” and tells them all to break off their gold earrings for him. They do so and Aaron then proceeds to melt it all down and shape the gold into a calf. The people then immediately start praising this calf, dancing, giving it burnt offerings and proclaiming that it is the savior of their people.

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…Huh??

If these people are so easily persuaded into praising anything that comes their way, what does that say about god at this point?Clearly he is no more impressive than a little golden calf or any other god for that matter. Most Christians will look at this and say that this is not a reflection of god’s power but a reflection of the stupidity of people- and I would agree. However, I would take it a step further in saying that the stupidity of people is also to blame for the praises given to god as he “exists” today. These people were so ready and willing to offer their praises to anything because they were desperate and needed something to look up to and something to believe in. This part of the story says to me that god is interchangeable with any and everything. The only common denominator is a group of desperate, weak, like-minded people ready and willing to listen to anything anyone has to say- anything that will make them feel better, or give them an excuse for being or acting a certain way. Which is why there are so many different factions within Christianity.

Are you really inspired by the Virgin Mary? Join Catholicism! Do you sort of like Catholicism but don’t love the idea of all those saints? Well then perhaps Lutheranism is the religion for you! Or, do you enjoy the Old Testament and finding a good sale? Give Judaism a try! Maybe you really hate celebrating your birthday, or any holiday for that matter, and you could see yourself talking to people door-to-door? Jehovah’s Witness would be perfect for you! Or, perhaps you believe there was more to the Bible and you are thankful that Joseph Smith discovered those missing parts? Well then I think Mormonism is for you! Whatever your fancy, feel free to choose your religion and your god. And don’t let that pesky religion you were raised on get in the way of your choice; what do your parents know anyways?

Ok, back to the story. As these people are praising this calf, god sees them (of course) and it infuriates him:

And the Lord said to Moses, ‘I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! Now therefore, let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.’ ” Exodus 32:9-10

God is a very jealous god and now he wants to kill them all- after he insults them first. Sort of like when your ex finds out you have a new boyfriend/girlfriend and the jealousy consumes them. They have invested so much time into you and now you have just simply moved on? No way Jose! (Jesus??)

Well, Moses sees that god is angry and is going to kill all of these people and he’s like, “Woah. Wait a minute! I just dragged these people through the desert and the sea for christsake! And now you just want to wipe them out? Hell no.” Well, actually he says it a little more like this:

Then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God, and said: ‘Lord, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’ ” Exodus 32:11-13

Basically, Moses uses the old, ‘What will the neighbors think?’ number on god to talk some sense into him and to not let all of his earlier efforts go to waste and it works! Really?! The supposed omnipotent, all-powerful, all-knowing god just listens to Moses?? Couldn’t he have come up with that reasoning himself before he let his anger get to him? Wasn’t it Jesus, not god, that was supposed to bear all the human characteristics so that we could relate to him/it? And, what good is a god if he has no sense of reason? It seems to me that god is the hot-headed, jealous type. The type you can’t break up with because you might end up in a battered women’s home. (But, he loves you!)

The story continues with Moses returning to the people and dividing them up, asking those that are with god to join him and those that aren’t to leave. Then, with the group of followers, proceeds to murder thousands of people.

“And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let every man put his sword on his side, and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his companion and every man his neighbor.’ So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day.” Exodus 32:27-28

Then, to add injury to insult after they just murdered everyone they knew, Moses tells them that they still have not satisfied god and that they will need to atone for their sins. Moses summons god and ask him to forgive them and god says something like, “Fine. You go and take these people to the place I told you to take them, as planned.” But he adds this,

” ‘Nevertheless, in the day when I visit for punishment, I will visit punishment upon them for their sin.’ So the Lord plagued the people because of what they did with the calf which Aaron made.” Exodus 32: 34-35

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Is that a threat? It sure sounds like a threat to me… If you are a god, why threaten at all? Why not do something? And, more importantly, isn’t god supposed to be all-loving? Or, is it just that we haven’t gotten to that part yet? How can I believe that god “loves us” when he goes around acting like that? Why the crazy jealousy, the temper, the fits of rage, the controlling, the anger, the threats if you leave and the threats even when you stay? Again, I refer back to the angry ex and the dangerous, jealous relationship- If we are taught that when humans treat us this way it is bad, then why is it OK for our god to do the same?

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.

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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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

wtf-cat

“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

deuteronomy-21-18-211

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?

Interpretations

” You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:28

My Tattoos make me a sinner.

“For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. His blood shall be upon him.” Leviticus 20:9

Every teenager should be dead.

“For any man who has a defect shall not approach: a man blind or lame, who has a marred face or any limb too long, a man who has a defect in his eye, or eczema or scab, or is a eunuch. He has a defect; he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God.” Leviticus 21:18-22

Didn’t “God” create man in his image? Didn’t he give them these defects, or at least allow it? How can he defect someone and then cast them out? Is my grandfather, who has been a pastor for decades, now no longer allowed to preach “God’s word” because his skin cancer was discovered too late and they had to remove his eye?

How can I agree with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John when they can’t even agree with each other?