Tuesday, April 27, 2010

234: Party Pooper

Jeremiah 35-37
"But they replied, 'We do not drink wine, because our forefather Jonadab son of Recab gave us this command: 'Neither you nor your descendants must ever drink wine. Also you must never build houses, sow seed or plant vineyards; you must never have any of these things, but must always live in tents. Then you will live a long time in the land where you are nomads.' ' " - Jeremiah 35:6-7

Finally, Jeremiah is producing some interesting stories.

Chapter 35 is a parable (I guess that's what you'd call it) about obeying your elders. God tells Jeremiah to invite a Recabite (is this a tribe I've never heard of?) family to his house to drink wine. They accept the offer, but when Jeremiah gives them wine to drink they refuse. They explain that their forefather (Jonadab) forbade his bloodline from ever drinking wine. Jonadab also said that they were never to live in houses or plant seeds. What was this guy's problem?

God goes on to say that he wishes the Israelites were more like the Recabites. He bemoans the fact that he can tell one generation of Israelites to do something, but within a few generations they are already disobeying. Sorry God, you should have picked the Amish if you wanted generations of loyal following (this may be a bad example, I've seen Amish in minivans).

In chapter 36 we have another story about Jeremiah annoying the king and his officials. God tells Jeremiah to write down all the disastrous things that are going to happen to Israel and have them read to the king. God has an interesting quote here, he says, "Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on them, each of them will turn from his wicked way; then I will forgive their wickedness and their sin." Perhaps? Doesn't God already know? *Spoiler alert* It doesn't work. So what was God's plan here? Does Jeremiah's failure to convince the Israelites to be "good people" somehow help God's cause?

Jeremiah, being a faithful servant, writes down everything God tells him to. He tells someone else to go read it to the king because he is afraid (probably for good reason). When the king hears what's on the scroll he asks why Jeremiah says that Babylon will take over Judah (we've obviously gone back in time again), and has the scroll burned in a fire pot. The king doesn't seem to be affected by these revelations. Again, what was the point of this? God seems to be showing an inability to predict Israelites' actions. That's not very all-knowing of you, God.

The last chapter for today is about Jeremiah's imprisonment (the same imprisonment that I mentioned yesterday). Apparently, instead of just being kept in a courtyard, he was locked in a dungeon for a "long time" (the bible's measurements of time are so clear and unambiguous). Only after this "long time" was Jeremiah allowed to come to the courtyard to be imprisoned. I'm confused, did the first previous chapter just forget to mention this? This is the convoluted type of storytelling I've ever read.

*News*
I usually wouldn't find a race for county commission in Ohio interesting, but the bible is involved.

The Cincinnati Right to Life passes around a questionnaire about abortion issues. Cecil Thomas (a Democrat) answered the questionnaire, not by simply answering "yes" or "no", but by sprinkling irrelevant bible verses in his answers. His first bible quote (on the very first question) is from the book of Jeremiah.
Question:
The 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton did more than just "legalize" abortion-on-demand; they prohibited virtually any federal, state or local laws from protecting pre-born children from death by abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy. [Not a question yet]

Will you support reversal of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton?

Answer:
Yes [*check*] No [ ]
Comments: Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Jeremiah 1:5
They don't even seem to hide the fact that this is a leading question. Unbiased abortion questions don't come with paragraph long intros about how terrible Roe v. Wade is. Anyway, like I said on the first day of Jeremiah, this quote is widely used as a "pro-life" quote from the bible. Unfortunately, the quote is only talking about Jeremiah. In fact, the bible doesn't mention that anyone but Jeremiah gets this special "before you're born" treatment.

His other biblical reference is from Genesis:
Question:
Will you support legislation prohibiting the killing of human embryos used for scientific research?

Answer:
Yes [*check*] No [ ]
Comments: And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and beheld behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, offered him up for a burnt offering instead of his son. Genesis 22:13 (God will provide a ram for research) (Stem Cell)
Yet another terribly misleading question. I'm starting to see why no other democrats answered this questionnaire. Anyway, this has to be the most vague, twisted reference I've ever seen. Cecil seems to forget that God ordered Abraham to kill his son. Does this mean God orders abortions? Well, we know he likes to cause people to eat babies, maybe that's close enough.

That's not to mention that, in some cases, embryos are "sacrificed" to the trash can when they could be used in stem cell research. Fertilized embryos are frozen in fertility clinics all the time. If the woman decides that she has no more use for the embryos (i.e. she has a baby and doesn't want any more) these embryos are unceremoniously thrown away. Why not use those for stem cell research? What sort of twisted morality allows embryos to be thrown in the garbage without protest, but disallows their use in life saving research?

(via Politics Extra) [Cecil Thomas's Full Answer Sheet]

3 comments:

  1. Leave it to Ohio to have screwy candidates...the creation museum might be in Kentucky, but the crazies definitely come across the river

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  2. I enjoy your blog very much, kudos on a horribly boorish task of reading the bible (disclaimer: Reading the bible critically is the leading cause of atheism, read at your own risk).

    Also, yeah, the problem is the linking of the word "embryo" to mean "baby", but I do agree, there is something morally bankrupt about this. Almost as morally bankrupt as NOT being an organ donor.

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  3. I would guess that Cecil Thomas and other anti-abortionistas are also opposed to throwing away fertilized embryos. Which means that they are opposed to IVF, right?

    ReplyDelete

 

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