Saturday, October 10, 2009

35: Four Legs You Say?

Leviticus 11-13
This might be my favorite section yet, because of the just plain crazy splattered all over the pages.

Leviticus 11 is about the foods that are clean and unclean. The specification for animals is that their hoof must be split, and they must chew cud. What does this have to do with anything? What does an animal's hoof have to do with it's edibility?

The next thing that we are to "detest" are any animals in the water that don't have scales. So, Christians, go out now and protest Sea World as God has commanded. Anyone who touches Shamu is unclean until the end of the day. Also, I hope there are no Christians out there trying to save the seals, because seals are detestable (says God).

This part is priceless. On the top of the list of birds we are to absolutely detest is the eagle. It's interesting that our "Christian nation" chose the bald eagle as the least detestable bird while the bible lists the eagle first on the detestable list. There are some other random birds, but there seems to be a focus on owls. What's wrong with owls? There are literally 6 different kind of owls that we have to hate. Also, storks and herons are nasty. So telling your child that the stork brought them is the same, in the bible's opinion, as telling them a vulture brought them. I'm not sure I have enough hate to spread around here.

The next section is insects we must hate. This is worth a quote, "All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be detestable to you". How many insects does that leave us with? ***Answer*** None, insects by their very definition have six legs. Did God, who created insects with six legs, momentarily forget what he'd done. Ok, so let's be fair here, "walk on all fours" could be some sort of expression, or even a typo. Oh wait, it says it two more times in this paragraph. The second time it specifically lists locusts, katydids, crickets, and grasshoppers as having four legs. I invite you to go to these links and count the number of legs for yourself. The third time it says that all the other winged creatures that "have four legs" you should detest.

The next section is about lizards. They're detestable, the end. At least this one isn't crazy, it's just arbitrary.

The final paragraph in Leviticus 11 says that any animal that moves along the ground isn't to be eaten. What? Ok, maybe it means like a snake moving along the ground. No, it specifically says that any animal that walks on all fours, on the ground, is detestable and should not be eaten. Isn't that every animal we just talked about that wasn't detestable (cattle moves along the ground on all fours)? So there it is, vegetarianism for all.

This is going to be a long post today, we've got more crazy in Leviticus 12. A woman that gives birth will be unclean for 7 days. It says she is unclean "just as she is unclean during her monthly period". Really? Is God in eighth grade? Eww, yucky, it's a girl on her period. Get over it, God's supposedly the one that's making this happen anyway. If the woman has a boy she is unclean for twice as long. Once her time is up, she has to bring a sin offering to the priest to be clean, why? What did she do?

Leviticus 13 goes into extreme detail about skin diseases. If a white rash is on part of your body you are unclean, but if it covers your entire body you are clean. Huh? Why does that make sense? The priest is also somehow supposed to know whether the skin disease is merely "skin deep" or something more serious.

After listing all of the things that make you unclean, at the end of the chapter it tells you what you must do if you are declared unclean. The bible says you must wear torn clothes and have unkempt hair. This person is supposed to walk around, as long as he or she has the skin disease and yell "Unclean, Unclean!" where ever they go. And they have to live alone outside of the camp.

Friday, October 9, 2009

34: Sons Burned

Leviticus 8-10
I thought today was going to be another repeat day. But finally we have some story in Leviticus 10.

Leviticus 8 and 9 are all about Aaron being consecrated and the starting of his ministry. This is just more animal slaughter that has already been described to us. I'm starting to think I should have read the abridged version. But no, this is the perfect word of God, so he must have a reason to repeat himself to the point of me wanting to gouge my eyes out.

In Leviticus 10, Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu take unauthorized fire before God. Oh no, how dare they! For this horrible crime of offering fire to God in an improper manner they are burned alive. I wonder if they produce a wonderful aroma like the lambs. Moses pretty much rubs it in Aaron's face saying (paraphrase) "this is what God said would happen". Aaron remains silent, I imagine that Moses is getting the evil eye (the holy eye?).

Moses tells Aaron that he cannot mourn or he will die (presumably at God's hand) and that God will be angry at the whole community (if Aaron mourns?). He also says that Aaron can't leave the tent or God will kill him because he has anointing oil all over himself.

God decides that this moment, right after he's killed Aaron's sons, is the right moment to pass along a few more orders. Namely not to drink alcohol in the tent of meeting or God is going to kill them. Way to have some tact, God.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

33: Conservapedia

Leviticus 5-7
The excitement in this book is hovering somewhere between watching grass grow and watching the continents shift.

The bible describes in detail how to slaughter animals again about five more times. There is more arbitrary, useless (unless you're a practicing Jew I guess) information about the types of offering you should give God. Wild animals are now off limits for eating, and fat and blood are still off limits as well. Is it very necessary to reiterate everything five times?

It says at the end of Leviticus 7 that this is the end of the regulations, hooray!

*****

Since I didn't write much today I figured I'd throw in some random bible news. The bible that I'm reading apparently has "liberal bias". So the great people at conservapedia have decided to translate the bible how they think it should be written. This would include removing the "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" quote from Jesus. This means I can translate the bible how ever I want too, right?

If you want to see their project (it's really worse than I've described) and/or make Stephen Colbert a biblical figure go here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

32: Offering

Leviticus 1-4
This entire section is about the kind of offerings you should give God (usually in the form of helpless animals) for your sins.

For general offerings you are supposed to burn a male goat, sheep, or bull without defect. What exactly is God getting out of this (besides the "wonderful" aroma)? What does this animal's death have to do with your sin?

You can also offer grain. But nothing with yeast in it. I don't know what God's aversion is to yeast, but he apparently hates the stuff. Also, you must remember to add salt to your offerings. You wouldn't want to waste less than you have to.

The "lasting ordinance" at the end of Leviticus 3 is never eat anything with fat or blood. I'm fairly certain it's impossible to eat things completely devoid of fat.

I see absolutely no coherence of thought behind any of these commandments. It all seems extremely arbitrary and random. Burn your animals in this way but not that way. Eat these things but not those things. My question to all of this is why? Why does any of this make sense? Oh, I forgot, God works in mysterious ways, so I should just accept everything at face value.

Leviticus 4 is what you do for specific sins. The majority of this section is what you do for unintentional sin. And, of course, if you sin unintentionally you're still guilty (and generally deserve death).

I'd like to say more, but there's only so many different ways I can say that slaughtering random animals is stupid and pointless. Especially if you have no intention of eventually eating them. And that's essentially all this section is.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

31: Inspection & Exodus: In Review

Exodus 39-40
They make the priestly garments as instructed, and Moses inspects everything to make sure it's right. Then they actually set up the tabernacle, as God commanded Moses.

God then came down, and hung out in the tabernacle I guess.

Exodus: In Review
In Exodus, God really begins revealing his character. He starts the book by forcing the Egyptians to resist him to further his "glory". He continues his trend of punishing people by association. When the Pharaoh will not let the people go (keep in mind that God wont let him set the Israelites free) he punished everyone that was an Egyptian. What was the crime of the average Egyptian? Being born in Egypt? Then God "the destroyer" kills every Egyptian firstborn child. This would presumably include babies and small children. What could they possibly done to deserve death?

The Israelis leave Egypt finally. God takes his chosen people into the dessert and they camp for an indefinite period of time. As a side note, why is he only choosing one people to be his "chosen" people? They are obviously not any better than anyone else in the world (as shown by their constant rebellion against a God they fear).

A final question as I leave Exodus. Is it more consistent that an all knowing God would choose this obviously flawed and disloyal people as his "chosen people", or is it more consistent that a flawed people would declare themselves the chosen people and back it up by writing a book about all the miracles they supposedly witnessed?

Monday, October 5, 2009

30: Under Construction

Exodus 36-38
It looks like today is going to be pretty unexciting. The Israelites are just building everything God already told Moses to build (and I have therefore already talked about it).

They construct the tabernacle. Make the ark, table, lampstand, and altar of incense. They also make the perfume and incense. They construct the altar of burnt offering, the basin for washing, and the courtyard.

Was it really necessary to repeat all of these things in extreme detail? This entire section could be summed up with "they did what God told them to do."

They list all the materials they used (again, stolen from the Egyptians) and the section ends.

As a side note. Why are they staying here and building when they should be leaving like God told them to in Exodus 33? Are they being stubborn? Because we've already established that God kills stubborn people.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

29: Blogrolled

Exodus 33-35
God tells Moses to go to the promise land. I don't know why they've been loitering in the dessert so long anyway. He says that he is going to send an angel ahead to clear out their enemies. Ok, we'll see if that happens. God says that he cannot go with the Israelis because they are stubborn, and he apparently kills stubborn people. As far as I know, from this point to the end of Exodus, they never leave where they are camping, God doesn't seem to remember telling them to leave.

Moses makes his meeting tent. Apparently he is meeting God. It says specifically in this paragraph that God is speaking to Moses face to face as a man speaks with his friend in the meeting tent. However, the very next section says that whoever sees the face of God will surely die (specifically including Moses). This is a contradiction between not only the previous paragraph, but the beginning of Genesis, where God is walking through the garden and presumably speaking face to face with Adam and Eve.

Moses goes back up to mount Sinai and makes some more stone tablets (he had made stone tablets before but he shattered them upon seeing the golden calf). While he is up on the mountain the second time, God tells him something interesting, "The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation." Slow to anger? Really? Forgiving wickedness? Where is that? It seems to me that he only forgives you after he kills you. Was he slow to anger when he heard about the golden calf? Or was he more than ready to slaughter everyone? This punishment to the third and fourth generation thing is really starting to bother me. What does your great great grandfather's sin have to do with you? I don't even know who my great great grandfather is, I've never seen his face, how can I possibly be responsible for his actions?

God again reiterates that he is going to drive out the infidels before the Israelites get there. He also throws in, as a paragraph and verse by itself "Do not make cast idols". I think we got that one. The first born of anyone "belongs to God". You must sacrifice a lamb for anything that is the firstborn. The example given in the bible is that you must sacrifice a lamb for a firstborn donkey. This begs the question, do you sacrifice a lamb for a firstborn lamb? Again, what's the point? How much sin can a newborn donkey have to atone for?

It says specifically (it's said this before I just haven't mentioned it) that you should not cook a goat in it's mothers milk. Because that would be sick. Dismembering, burning, slaughtering various animals is totally cool, but cooking a goat in it's mother's milk, that's where the line is.

God says again to kill people who work on the sabbath, got it. Heard you the first time. Exodus 35 ends with the Israelites building the tabernacle. Are they ever going to break camp and leave as God commanded at the beginning of Exodus 33?

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