Thursday, November 5, 2009

61: Don't Forget Morality

Deuteronomy 8-10
Ok, I take it back, Deuteronomy isn't as boring as I originally thought. And by not as boring, I of course mean crazy.

Deuteronomy 8 is titled "Do Not Forget the Lord", to which I would say don't forget morality and human decency, God obviously has. Anyway, we're changing our story a bit here. Remember how God was mad at Israel for being afraid of their enemies inhabiting the promised land, so he sent them out into the desert for 40 years? Well that wasn't really why he sent them out into the desert. He really did it to humble them and test their hearts. God needed to test their hearts to know "whether or not [they] would keep his commands". Because God isn't all knowing. Wait... Yes he is, never mind. So did he send them out into the desert to test them or because he was mad at them?

The paragraph goes on to say that God disciplines Israel like a father disciplines his children. Really? Fathers kill their children as punishment on a regular basis? Fathers punish their children eternally for momentarily questioning their authority? Right.

The last paragraph of Deuteronomy 8 makes sure to remind you that if you do forget about God, that he's going to kill you. Thanks, I'd almost forgotten.

Deuteronomy 9 again attempts to explain why the Israelites were the chosen people. I think the attempted explanation makes it worse. God is gladly driving out the people before Israel, because Israel is the chosen people. However, God is only driving these people out because of how bad they are, not how good Israel is. I'm more confused now. So Israel isn't righteous, but they are still the chosen people. And these other people aren't righteous either, but they aren't the chosen people, so God is going to kill them and let Israel take them over. It makes perfect sense?

The rest of Deuteronomy 9 just recounts the story of the golden calf. Moses leaves out the part where he makes the people drink the ground up golden calf. Moses lies and says that he ground up the calf and threw it into the stream. This is a direct contradiction with Exodus 32:19-20 (compare with Deuteronomy 9:21). I mean, the bible has no contradictions, never mind.

The beginning of Deuteronomy 10 is just a retelling of the ark of the covenant story. The end of Deuteronomy 10, however, is titled "Fear the Lord". This is the most important thing, you are to be afraid. Where is the all loving, all accepting God? I must be missing him. I may have spoken too soon, there is one group of people God loves. It must be the Israelites right? No. God loves foreigners. This isn't correct, because God kills aliens too. But it's interesting that the bible specifically points out that you should feed and clothe aliens. I'm pretty sure those of Hispanic descent apply as well, sorry Christians.

One last thing for today. This might be a little nit-picky, but it bothers me. It is repeated again and again that the Israelites are as numerous as the stars in the sky. "As numerous" would imply approximate equality. Now, we can either take this from the Israelites perspective, or God's perspective. God, of course, would know that there are trillions of stars (more than that, according to a current study) in the universe. There obviously aren't trillions of Israelites, so we'll give them the benefit of the doubt and take it from the Israelites perspective. I googled extensively to try to find an estimate of the number of visible stars in the night sky. I found anywhere from 1000-6000 based on several factors (light pollution, atmospheric dust, etc.). But we're giving them the benefit of the doubt, so I'll take the largest number I could find (6000) and they are still off by a factor of 100. So no, God did not make the Israelites as numerous as the stars in the sky, stop saying it.

*Bible News*
This has pretty much been talked to death already, but I can't find anything else terribly interesting. Yesterday Maine voted 53% to 47% to ban gay marriage. Unfortunately, this is probably as a result of rampant homophobia in the bible (approx. 80% of Mainers define themselves as Christian). It pains me to think that anyone is basing any sort of life decision, especially a vote, on this book. Remember, the bible says not to work on the sabbath too, we should outlaw that. I won't say too much more about this, because I'm certainly not the first blogger to jump on this story. One of many stories on this issue is here.

If you don't support gay marriage, don't get one!


  1. There used to be laws throughout the US banning all manner of things on Sundays.

  2. Indiana still has a law prohibiting the sale of alcohol on Sunday.

  3. And speak of the devil - here's another example of "promise land."



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