Tuesday, May 11, 2010

248: Rinse and Repeat

Ezekiel 21-22
"The word of the Lord came to me: 'Son of man' ... " - Ezekiel 21:1; "The word of the Lord came to me: 'Son of man' ... " - Ezekiel 21:18; "The word of the Lord came to me: 'Son of man' ... " - Ezekiel 22:1; "Again the word of the Lord came to me: 'Son of man' ... " - Ezekiel 22:23 [ ... to infinity ... ]

We have a very short an uneventful bible section today.

In chapter 21 God again says that he is going to use Babylon to destroy the Israelites. Not to open up an old thread, but this is just further evidence that God is using Babylon to destroy Israel, not just allowing Babylon to invade. Recall that, in the end, God destroys Babylon for being bad to the Israelites (i.e. following his orders).

The second chapter for today is God repeating all of Israel's sins. Oppressing aliens, mistreating widows, having sex with women on their period, and eating in shrines are among the offences listed. God says that, because of this, Israel is useless to him and will be destroyed.

I don't think a single new idea was brought up today.

I thought I'd switch it up today and give you an opinion letter from a Christian I actually agree with.
I truly couldn’t believe all three reverends published on an April 25 Opinion page were so condemning of homosexuals (“Bible clearly against homosexuality,” “Do not condemn, but gay behavior still a sin,” and “ELCA must repent for turning back on God”). Apparently they have forgotten that Jesus’ primary message was to love one another and to leave the judging to God.
I haven't gotten to the Jesus part yet, so I'll have to take her word for it. I don't think I would have such a problem with Christianity if there were more outspoken Christians like this one (it'd be nice if they threw out the old testament too).
And as far as Paul disapproving of homosexuals, he also felt pretty much the same way about women preaching. And that was Paul speaking, not Jesus. Jesus surrounded himself by women and treated women and all others equally. Paul’s teachings on women, homosexuals, et al, reflected the mores of the time and are no more relevant to us than many of the other first-century standards he addressed, such as dress, social etiquette and dietary rules. We cannot pick and choose which of Paul’s teachings to follow, as these three pastors have done. But we can follow Jesus’ teachings. And he never is quoted as saying that homosexuals are sinners.
I'm surprised at the massive disconnect between different Christians. Every time I talk to a new person/church I feel like I need 20 questions to determine who they are/what they believe. Some believe in evolution, some don't. Some believe homosexuality is disgusting and want to put gay people on the fast track to hell. Others, like this writer, think everyone should be loved equally and unconditionally.

This really speaks to the cognitive dissonance in the bible. Two people/groups of people can read the same book and come back with polar opposite beliefs. The only thing everyone seems to agree on is that Jesus existed and became a zombie.


  1. f*ck you very much!




    see, you degenerates have last names like first names...


    how about I believe in WHATEVER I want - even in the FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER! - and you have nothing to say!

    let me show you the end results of this particular *ONE-DIMENSIONAL SCIENTIFIC MODE*
    of thinking that is called *CRITICAL THINKING*, which is completely divorced from
    any human objectives...

    this style has been perfected by dawkins, pz, randi and the other *NEW ATHEISTS*
    THE BOOBQUAKE - 911!
    hey, atheists don't even BELIEVE IN BOOBIES!!!
    they thought BOOBIES had no effect... WRONG!

    see, I just want to make it clear to the rest of you:
    jen is unable to see that there is a CONFLICT BETWEEN EROS & SCIENCE....



    see how we take a term and convert it into its AUTHENTIC POLITICAL DIMENSION - THAT
    OF LIBERATION - not just merely harmless expression...

    Visit for the BOOBQUAKE:


  2. I thought these comments were being moderated.

  3. 1. Since you repeated that assertion about the Babylonians, I'll repeat this: Just because God was using the Babylonians to invade doesn't mean that they didn't choose to do so of their own free will. Since God is omniscient, she would've known that they intended to do so, and just chose to let them proceed. Of course, that makes her just as complicit in the destruction of Israel, but it doesn't absolve the Babylonians of their guilt.

    2. Israel will be destroyed for oppressing aliens? Then what will happen to Arizona? Plus, I would bet that there are men there who have sex with women during their periods, so that state must be in big trouble.

    3. If Paul's teachings are just his own opinions that are a product of their times, and thus can be ignored, then why can't we just do so with any other parts of this book, which was after all written by humans? Why would God let the personal opinions of humans with which she didn't agree creep into her book? For that matter, why can't we just ignore whatever decrees of God and Jesus we don't like, since they, too, apparently are a product of their times?

    In some ways I have more respect for the most extreme Fundies, in that at least they are consistent. Moral cripples, yes, but consistent ones.

    4. You're going to love tomorrow's readings. I'm pretty sure I can guess what quote you will use, too.

  4. I'm so glad I caught up to everything in Ezekiel - this is by far my favourite book of the bible. You can't get much more crazy than this. Though I hear revelations is a bit of a giggle-fest too. And I have to disagree with gmal about the Babylonians - God is not only omnicient, but omnipotent and perfect - he could have created the world any way he wanted and he chose to do so with a timeline that would include murderous Babylonians intent on invading Israel. Regardless of their intent, it all comes back on God. If a doctor creates a virus, then makes a cure for it, he can't claim absolution of guilt on the grounds that it was the virus that actually did the killing.

  5. you guys are going to learn the HARD WAY that even to talk about GOD is going to cost you your lives...

  6. Then why are you talking 'bout Him?

  7. You misunderstand me. I still am arguing that God is guilty. I'm just saying that the Babylonians are too, or at least, they *could be* (since we really don't have enough information to judge their motivations).

  8. My apologies for the misunderstanding, though I don't think there's cause to argue any free will in a universe of which an all powerful creator can't be wrong. God had already made up his mind about how history would play out - what could the Babylonians do? As Bryan has previously pointed out, with God we're dealing with an absolute - so either everything is God's plan or nothing is. I know that looks like a false dichotomy, but if we have the power to change God's plan, then it's more "God's intervention" - rather a semantic argument, but as God spoke everything into existence, semantics feels appropriate.

  9. I think people who argue the free will case would say that even though God knows exactly what will happen, and even though he may intervene periodically to shape events, people still make choices that God knows, in advance or otherwise, and we will be punished or not for them in our own temporal sequence, even though God doesn't experience the universe that way.

    But I would question whether we really have free will at all in a universe where you have an omnipotent and omniscient creator who can shape events at any time. Clearly, if God intervenes sometimes, and has the power to intervene at any time, then any time when she doesn't intervene is by choice and itself still part of her plan. In other words, the exact disposition of everything in the universe at all times has already been preordained by God. Moreover, God has created the exact circumstances of each person's life - when they were born, what their genes are, their family life, everything that they are exposed to, every chemical reaction in their brains, every idea that has ever entered their heads from another source, even the exact positions of every subatomic particle in their brain (quantum uncertainty wouldn't apply to God), etc. Under these conditions, could one say that anyone really has free will, considering our decisions and actions are probably perfectly determined by all these factors (and others) that are all under God's control?

    Maybe that's what you were trying to say. If so, I'm sorry for belaboring the point.

  10. Karl Bruno GattiMay 12, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    I have written a fictional memoir of the apostle Thomas of all he can remember Jesus teaching and doing the three years they spent together. It is called Tales of the Master and is available through Amazon. After 25 years studying the historical Jesus it turned out that my book is a fictional account. It was easier to include all of Jesus and exclude all of Paul, who never met Jesus, heard him preach, or saw him heal anyone. Paul invented Christianity but a close reading of the four Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas takes the teachings back. In anycase, my book is made up of 144 vignettes and comes to some 380 pages. Check it out if you are interested in the true teachings of the historical Jesus.

    thanks. Karl

  11. Pretty much hit the nail on the head :D

  12. The point of the author here is to show that no way in hell there was divine intervention in the writing of the bible by the simple stupid, ignorant, sexist, warmongering content of it. There is no God. If there be one, he would have written it himself, in all languages, in plain, direct, easy to understand language. No translation. No errors. No contradictions. And that is assuming we would have been born reading! Since we are not, what the hell is the point in 'inspiring" goat herders to write his teachings in some ancient extinct language when most people didn't know how to read? And what was the point in writing it in such confusing ways that he needed less intelligent beings to "interpret" the damn thing for us? Hello?! Wake up! No god, that's why. When you read the bible it gives you the sensation that it was written by ignorant men of 3000 years ago. WAIT...IT WAS WRITTEN BY IGNORANT MEN 3000 YEARS AGO.



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