Friday, February 26, 2010

174: I'm Vile... Like David

Psalms 51-57
The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good. - Psalm 53:1

All the Psalms today are written by David.

Psalm 51: David pleads with God to forgive him after he sleeps with another guy's wife and then has him killed. David says that he would give offerings to God, but God apparently doesn't like those anymore.

Psalm 52: God is going to bring everlasting ruin on bad people. Except David.

Psalm 53: Again, you are a fool if you don't believe in God. You are also corrupt, and your ways are vile. Just think, those atheists could go sleep with people's wives, then kill their husbands. Oh wait, that's what David did.

Psalm 54: David prays to God to save him from Saul.

Psalm 55: David prays to God some more. He also says how wonderful he is for (sometimes) saving David from his enemies.

Psalm 56: David trusts God. I guess he doesn't trust him to remember that David would really like him to be merciful. This is evidenced by the fact that David repeats this almost every chapter.

Psalm 57: And to finish out the day, David again asks God to be merciful. I think he gets it David. He probably even got it the first time, being "all knowing" and all. David promises to sing to God a lot.

As some of you may have heard, a trainer at SeaWorld was killed this Wednesday by a killer whale (imagine that).

But wait, what does this have to do with the bible? I naively thought this wasn't bible related, until I saw an article titled "Bible ignored, trainer dies". Oh, so that's why it happened! Wait, what?

Of course, this is one of those situations where the Old Testament should be acted out to the letter. This is the passage they quote mined:
If a bull gores a man or a woman to death, the bull must be stoned to death, and its meat must not be eaten. But the owner of the bull will not be held responsible.
Sorry, did I say "acted out to the letter"? I meant "changed a little so the rule applies to all animals instead of just bulls". By the way, Orca are detestable animals according to the Old Testament, so we probably shouldn't be keeping them anyway if we were trying to be biblical. I'll quote a little from the article:
So, your animal kills somebody, your moral responsibility is to put that animal to death. You have no moral culpability in the death, because you didn't know the animal was going to go postal on somebody.

But, the Scripture soberly warns, if one of your animals kills a second time because you didn't kill it after it claimed its first human victim, this time you die right along with your animal.
Whoa, wait a minute. This isn't the first time this orca has killed someone, so we should put some SeaWorld staffers to death (seems a little counterproductive considering the theme of this article)? If we take the killing of the animal literally, then don't we have to take the killing of the human literally? This is a classic example of taking the bible literally until it sounds crazy, then you don't.

Moral of the story: Bulls = Orca. Killing = Killing, unless you're talking about killing humans, then Killing = Calling someone naughty. Makes sense to me.

(via RenewAmerica)


  1. Bryan,

    Your diligence/discipline in reading everyday and writing is still amazing!

    I would be interested in your take on why you think the Psalms feature David so much--his struggles, his trust, his praise, his pleas, his confessions.

    Also, you didn’t mention that Psalm 53 not only calls atheists corrupt but all of mankind….”God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there is anyone who understands, Who seeks after God. Everyone of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.” -An equal opportunity condemner.

    On the ox/orca thing…The “ox goring” laws of the OT are examples of case law regarding personal liability. Let’s say an owner has a pit-bull that is a habitual mauler and maimer of children. The owner refuses to do anything about his pit-bull. What should be done?

    But an even broader question….Since we are apparently all of common descent from these animals in some way, have you thought about what justifies valuing a homo sapiens’ life over a pit-bull or an ox or an orca?

  2. @brent because we're of the same species, that and we're the most sentient animal.

  3. Nyax,

    I really like this diagram of the "tree of life"...

    Notice where man is on the chart compared to every other entity. It would be interesting to define "sentient," explore from where did it come, and why does it carry value over all the other life represented by this chart. If I understand my evolution correctly (and this chart) orcas (orci? :) have been around much longer than sentient man.

  4. Bryan Fischer is a fucking idiot. Well, anyone who thinks Old Testament scripture should be applied to modern life is an idiot, but nonetheless, that trainer knew EXACTLY what she was doing when she got into that tank with Tillikum. When you deal with exotic and dangerous animals, you accept the risks associated with it. I personally keep snakes and work with venomous fish, and I understand that all the animals I work with are WILD ANIMALS, and they could at any time turn against me. My boa constrictor likes to sit around my neck while I read, and she's usually calm, but I understand that at any moment she could forget her symbiosis with me and strike. Granted, it won't be deadly, it'd just hurt... but I won't blame the snake. No exotic animal handler would blame their animals for doing what comes naturally to them, and the SeaWorld trainers are no different.

    If you want to talk to me about how orcas belong in the ocean and not crammed into tiny tanks where their life expectancy is much shorter and they're not able to behave as they would in the wild, fine. But don't act surprised when a six ton seal eating machine momentarily forgets who's on his side and kills someone who understood the risks but took them anyways. I feel for the Brancheau family but this is life, and shit happens.

    And how about we leave the Bible out of our decisions now that we're in the 21st century... this blog has enlightened me to what a shitty book it truly is and we don't need a Saudi Arabian legal code here.



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