Tuesday, May 4, 2010

241: Cruel and Unusual Punishment & Lamentations: In Review

Lamentations 3:37-5:22
"Why do you always forget us? Why do you forsake us so long?" - Lamentations 5:20

The remainder of chapter 3 from yesterday is the writer saying how God has destroyed everything. However, towards the end of the chapter the writer goes back to saying how wonderful God is because he eventually came to his rescue. I don't get it. How is God still good if he destroys an entire nation, but saves one person?

Chapter 4 is more explaining how God has destroyed everything. And you can't have a good God killing people section without women eating their babies:
With their own hands compassionate women
have cooked their own children,
who became their food
when my people were destroyed.
It's still unfathomable to me how an all loving God can force people to eat their own children. Is there no such thing as cruel and unusual punishment? I don't care how many sabbath days you've broken, or how many people you've had sex with, nothing warrants this kind of punishment.

The entirety of chapter 5 is the writer lamenting the fact that they have to scavenge food from Egypt. Everyone has to toil in the hot sun for food and water, and slaves rule over the Israelites. Hey, at least you're not eating each other anymore.

Lamentations: In Review
There's not too much to review here. This book seems to be a condensed version of all the other complaints the Israelites have had throughout the bible.

All of these complaints bring up the same issue over and over. Do the Israelites deserve the punishment they've received? My answer is no, and I'm sure I'll never convince anyone that says yes. I feel like you could almost make an argument out of this if God were just painlessly killing these Israelites, but that's certainly not what's happening. I just can't picture an all loving God prolonging someone's torture and forcing them to do terrible things to stay alive, even if they did deserve punishment.

I found something thoroughly terrifying on the internet today, JewsForSarah.com. Yes, that Sarah.

The creator of the website wrote an article for The Sun:
Christian evangelical women in Louisville, Kentucky on April 16, guess which book she mentioned as the one she reads to her daughter at bedtime?

Try the biblical Book of Esther.

That’s right — Sarah Palin, mocked and pilloried by Jewish liberals as a danger to world Jewry because of her Christian beliefs, reads to her 8 year-old from a book that most Jews should probably spend a little more time with.
The book of Esther? You mean the only book so far that doesn't mention God once? Yes, that's probably the only book that's appropriate to read to an eight year old from the Old Testament. Anywhere God is mentioned he's slaughtering thousands, that doesn't make for a very good kid's story.

The writer goes on to quote Palin:
And then, you know, hearing any leader declare that America isn’t a Christian nation, and poking an ally like Israel in the eye, it’s mind-boggling to see some of our nation’s actions [in] recent days, but politics is truly a topic for another day.
But America isn't a Christian nation. Even if you can convince me that the nation was founded on Christian values by Christians, that doesn't mean we're currently a Christian nation. As soon as 100% of the people in the country are Christians you'll be able to convince me that America is a Christian nation.

Also, why should Israel get some kind of special treatment? Your bible tells you? I don't know about any of you, but I don't want a leader that bases his/her foreign policy off of this book. We might end up trying to invade what used to be Babylon or something. Oh right, that's Iraq.

(via The Sun: New York)
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