I’ma Talk at You Now

Holy fuck balls, guys. I just tried to reread everything I had written, because I intend to sum up the history portion of the Old Testament, but fuuuuuuuuuuck, that’s a lot of reading! I only made it to David. I don’t know how anyone has kept up with this nonsense! Thank you, though. You deserve that at the very least. Thank you for following me on this journey. I don’t know about you but I have learned a lot. 

So, first and foremost I feel the need to point out, once again, that this has been a journey for me. It may seem like I’m having a jolly time poking fun at the holy book of a major religion, but that is not (and has never been) the point of this blog. I decided that I needed to read the thing for myself, so I could know exactly what is and what is not in the damn thing. Poking fun has just come naturally, because of how ridiculous the stuff in it is.

That said, the most interesting part, so far, hasn’t even been what I’ve read but how people react when they find out I’m reading it. It always starts with praise, “Good for you!” And then the inevitable questions like, “Where do you go to church?” When I’m not writing a blog that I’m pretty sure next to no one will read, I actually do try and be respectful to those around me, so I politely answer that I don’t attend church. Of course, the natural assumption is that I just haven’t found the right church, so then I get invited to this particular person’s church. Seriously, I’ve been invited to be a Catholic, an Episcopalian, a Methodist, and some other one I can’t remember. I even have a brochure for one! When I point out that I’m really just reading to know what’s in it, the answer almost every time has been that they haven’t read the Bible themselves. In fact, more than once I’ve been told that it is too complex for our little brains, so we just have to trust what others tell us about it. One man pointed out that his church goes strictly “by the book,” but after five minutes of questioning him about his beliefs, he didn’t even know what was in the thing! He just trusts his pastor to help him live “by the book.”

This blew me away! I couldn’t believe it! This man is a die-hard Christian who spouts self-righteous regurgitation at every available moment. He lives “by the book,” preaching disdain for those around him, without knowing what is actually in the damn book!

Well, now that my blood is good and boiling over that memory, to anyone who would like to judge me or get angry at anything I’ve posted, suck it. At least I’m reading the stinking book. That said, it has  probably become obvious to anyone who has read a single post, that I’m not an expert Bible historian, or whatever they call themselves. Preachers? I’m just a curious person who decided to read it. I’m probably not getting little piece of meaning that can be pulled out of this thing by those who have spent their lives studying it, and I don’t pretend to! However, I do believe that words are words, and in general they mean the same thing no matter how you read them. You can take what those words say and twist them into thousands of different meanings, but those words and their underlying meanings don’t change. So if you try to tell me I’m wrong, and that the Bible doesn’t treat women like shit, I can point you to at least 20 different passages that word-for-word prove you’re wrong. The end.

Onto the stories we’ve actually been reading. Obviously, right from the beginning the stories are full of holes and often straight up contradict themselves. So… that’s difficult for me. While this makes it really hard for me to believe that the Bible is the word of God (seeing as how God is all-knowing and should actually have the story straight), it doesn’t 100% mean that the stories are wrong. Humans suck at keeping good records. We just do; we can’t get the history of yesterday straight, let alone thousands of years ago. So if man wrote the Bible, it makes sense for these irregularities to pop up. God, not so much.

As for the stories themselves, I admit I went into this doubtful as hell that the Bible recounts actual history. I enjoy, nay revel, in ancient history. It’s a weird obsession no one understands, myself included. And I happen to know enough about it to know that many of the stories in this sucker are borrowed from other cultures. Don’t believe me? Look up the origins story of the Zoroastrians. Actually, you can compare a lot of Zoroastrianism to various bits of the Old Testament. Read about the Epic of Gilgamesh. Compare the words of Jesus to the words of Buddha. Plus, many of the Ten Commandments appear to come directly from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. And compare the book of Proverbs to my personal favorite (half of the thesis I never finished was written about this baby) the Instruction of Amenemope. The list could seriously go on and on. Not to mention the similarities that arise between dates and meanings of various holidays. We just recycle that shit from pagan stuff and put a new face on it. Like putting lipstick on Sarah Palin.

Love of ancient history rant over. I thought I would be able to go back over the things I’ve read bit by bit, summing it all up with a nice bow. But I just can’t do it. It’s late, I’m tired, and I already admitted that I couldn’t even read all that crap I wrote. So here’s my big take on the Bible thus far. Notice that I emphasize thus far, and that is because (I’m hoping) that is going to get better. What do I mean? This thing is depressing as hell. It’s one of those movies where everyone sucks, and you can’t figure out whom to root for.

I mean seriously, God is an angry, vengeful dude. And sometimes when he kills a lot of people, he’s really just keeping his promises. But most of the time, God is just causing chaos. I mean, I’m still pissed about the Tower of Babel. Seriously, He wants us not to be a bunch of little shits, but He makes it as difficult as possible. He is constantly putting evil into people’s hearts, and testing His people. All because He is a jealous, chaos-causig turd. There is no other reason. And His chaos causes untold amounts of death and despair. I find that hard to get behind. God is a bully who forces people to bend to His will, and then punishes those same people for doing so. And what the hell happened to free will? So far, everything evil in this book happened because God willed it so. Therefore God is behind good and evil, and following that logic, you can’t get too mad at people like Manson, because God put evil into their hearts.

That said, the Israelites and various Israelite main characters are little better. Even David, who is the can-do-no-wrong guy, does a lot of wrong! He kills people (lots of people); he gets his dick wet with everyone, whether or not he should. Yet he always plays the damn victim. And that’s the guy who is supposed to do no wrong! I mean come on. The Israelites cannot follow basic rules, even when faced with certain death. So who exactly, in this book, is supposed to be a damn role model?

Women are little more than chattel throughout the book. They are brutalized and victimized and shown little to no mercy by anyone. Oh, I’m sorry, women tempted men into evil? They seem to have damn well deserved it. People are little more than chattel. People can be sold into slavery, left and right. You can sell your daughter into it for goodness sake. Where is the humanity toward one another in this book? There seems to be so little of it. The blood and the violence are unrelenting. Entire territories of the earth are murdered whole sale. For what? Worshipping the wrong god. Not for being gay, not for being sorcerers, not for being rapists, thieves or murderers. For building an altar to the wrong entity. And don’t forget, those people worshipping the other gods? They weren’t chosen by God, so what choice did they have? Did they even have one?

And yet, people tell me that what we need in this country is God and the Bible. Now granted, I haven’t read the whole book yet, and this opinion is based on just the part we’ve been over, but. It seems to me that a book that preaches war, murder, machoism on a fucking ridiculous scale and treating others like less than humans may not be what we need to further our nation. I hope we get to Jesus soon. He sounds like a decent guy. I’m hoping that section makes me less angry.

Until then, onward.

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One thought on “I’ma Talk at You Now

  1. That was awesome. You are awesome. To take on a task this ambitious and to do so well is to be enthusiastically and loudly applauded. To have such genuine and honest opinions about it – expressed so eloquently – is absolutely wonderful. Those who would promulgate a creed with which they are so clearly and shamefully unfamiliar are guilty of a dangerous hypocrisy, considering the havoc they wreak in the name of it. People who elevate the meaning and spiritual value of a religious text they won’t read are essentially guilty of a form of idolatry. They are making an object the focus of their worship. That’s plain ol’ idolatry. Your efforts to illuminate a dark, weird, self-contradictory text to the very best of any human’s ability to do so is heroic. You inspire people with your curiosity and determination. I love that you are doing this. I think you’re very fair in your treatment of the material. Some of it is beautiful, like the story of Esther. Some of it sucks. Hard. You are exceptionally judicious in you reflections about it all. The way people have treated each other in the name of God is horrible. The things that people have done and then recorded for history as the “will of God” are blasphemous. If people who cherish this stuff so much knew more about it, they might temper their fervor for their absolutes with a little humane wisdom. The people of the Old Testament are no different that any other people of any other culture. They’re vicious and greedy and misogynist and vain, but also occasionally kind and altruistic and compassionate and humble, The Bible captures some of the better parts of our human nature, but it also shows people at their absolute worst. You, nichols448, are bravely and indefatigably plowing through it all and presenting your observations with wit and insight. I love your thoughtful opinions. I admire your tenacity. You challenge and inspire me. I want to do something noble and valuable like this! I want to be like you, and I happen to know (since you told me) that I’m not the only one. How’s that for having an impact? You are making ripples on a pond. Your hard work is flowing out and away, out into the world, into people’s thoughts and hearts. Your writing is excellent, you are fun to read and funny. You make a difficult thing a pleasant. I can’t praise you and your efforts enough. Thank you, thank you, thank you! May God bless your sparkly mind, your warm heart, and your lovely soul.

    Like

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