Genesis 9, Noah invents slavery

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Genesis 9, Noah invents slavery

We see some great family-friendly entertainment in this chapter.

God decides to make all animals afraid of humans, so that humans can eat them more easily. Violence, and the fear of violence, seems to be the main motivation for most of what happens in the Old Testament.

Apparently, God does postmortem interviews with all animals to find out how they were killed. If people eat animals that still has blood in them, it’s a big no-no (for some ungiven reason). And killing humans is right out. Genesis 9:6 (KJV) says:

"Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed "

This is probably how some people who are pro-capital punishment justify it. Problem is, there are many, many times that God commands people to kill other people for crimes less than murder. And times when people kill other people and aren’t put to death (Cain’s murder, for example). If God really wanted murderers killed, couldn’t he do so himself instead of letting imperfect humans decide who should and shouldn’t be put to death? Not to mention that God kills plenty of people himself, meaning he should kill himself (maybe that’s why we don’t hear from him much anymore?).

God also promises (again) not to flood the earth and kill everything again. How nice of him not to kill off his creation! Rainbows remind him not to kill everyone in a flood again. It would be better if the rainbows came BEFORE the rain, so maybe he would remember to spare people in the non-global but still lethal floods that are increasing around the globe.

Then, we have something funky going on between drunk Noah and his family (9:18-28). It’s not clear what on earth happened other than Noah got drunk, one of his sons (Ham) sees him naked, two of his other sons go in and cover him up, and then after Noah sobers up (and is probably hung over) he unilaterally curses Ham’s son Canaan slavery. Why would Noah curse Ham’s son because Ham saw Noah naked and told his brothers? You could argue that Noah would want to curse Ham for seeing him naked and spreading the word to his brothers without covering him up. But what does this have to do with Ham’s son?!?

If God disapproved of this behavior (both the lying around naked and the seemingly randomly making his grandson a slave), he certainly could have said or done something about it. But no such thing happens. Noah condemns his grandson to slavery. A "righteous" man (Genesis 7:1) indeed…

Christians tell their kids about how Noah built the ark, but never explain that he invented slavery.

I am…really busy

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Currently Listening
The Gospel Truth
By Susan Werner
"Probably Not"
see related

I am…really busy

No, I haven’t been sent to hell or drowned in a heaven-sent flood. I was out of town and have since been  "inundated" with work. I will hopefully be posting again either today or tomorrow. Godless-speed to all!

(btw since there is no God, would "godspeed" be really slow, or possibly standing still?)

Genesis 7-8 — What a cute children’s story!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Genesis 7-8 — What a cute children’s story!

I’m continuing with Genesis 7-8 right away since it continues the flood story. Noah and the Ark is considered a fun kids’ story. I used to think so, too, when I was a kid. God saving all the animals! One of my favorite songs was (and is, for different reasons now) "Rise and Shine". But how does the sanitized song compare to the "real" thing? Let’s see!

(PS I can’t find authorship for this song, and there appear to be a number of variations out there; if I find the original or the authors, I will list them here. Here’s a similar version on YouTube. )


CHORUS:
Rise and shine, and give God the glory, glory
Rise and shine, and give God the glory, glory
Rise and shine, and give God the glory, glory, children of the Lord.

Yes kids, you are God’s special children! … What did you say, Timmy? Are children of the Lord the same as sons of God in Genesis 6? Where did that question come from? Well, I guess so, we’re all sons and daughters of God because he loves us! Okay, let’s continue with the song now!

1. The Lord said to Noah, “There’s gonna be a floody, floody.”
Lord said to Noah, “There’s gonna be a floody, floody.”
“Get those animals out of the muddy, muddy, children of the Lord.”

Wasn’t it nice, children, for God to warn Noah about the flood? Otherwise Noah and the animals would have gotten all wet! …What’s that, Timmy? Why was there a flood? Couldn’t God have stopped the flood and eliminated the need to build an ark and save the animals? Umm…be quiet and sing!

2. So Noah, he built him, he built him an arky arky
Noah, he built him, he built him an arky arky
Made it out of gopher barky, barky, children of the Lord

Noah was a great builder! Do any of you like big boats, too? … What’s up now, Timmy? … No, I don’t know what gopher bark was, the Bible doesn’t say. It must have been some magical material because it was strong enough to hold all the animals, and Noah and his family! … No, it’s not impossible to build a vessel like the one described in the Bible, and even if it was God can help people do things that seem impossible! Okay? Now, let’s go on!

3. The animals, they came on, they came on by twosies, twosies,
Animals, they came on, they came on by twosies, twosies,
Elephants and kangaroosies, roosies, children of the Lord

Wouldn’t that be fun to go on a big boat with all those animals? It would be tons of fun, just like a big old zoo! … Now what, Timmy? … Yes, it does say in Genesis 7 that Noah took seven of clean animals and birds. That’s a pretty smart question for a 5-year-old! …What does "clean" mean? Well it means that they weren’t dirty, I guess. Just like you’re supposed to be nice and squeaky clean before you go to church! …No, God wouldn’t have drowned you if you forgot to clean behind your ears, don’t be silly! Moving on…

4. It rained and poured for forty daysies, daysies
Rained and poured for forty daysies, daysies
Nearly drove those animals crazies, crazies, children of the Lord.

Forty days is a long time to be in a boat, isn’t it kids? But I bet it was still fun! … What do you want now, Timmy? … Well, yes I guess you could say the verses about the flood give different numbers that seem contradictory, who told you that? And where on Earth did a 5-year-old like you learn the word "contradictory"? You’re driving me crazies-crazies with all these questions! … Well, yes all the other animals that weren’t on the ark did die in the flood … Well, no the animals didn’t do anything wrong. … Yes,  all the people died, too, except Noah and his family, because God saved them! … Why’d he kill the rest of humanity? Because they were bad and God wanted to teach them a lesson, but Noah was a good man. … What do you mean he was a drunk who liked to lay around naked? Where do you get such crazy ideas?!?! …Stop crying, Sally, Timmy doesn’t mean it! Now just be quiet kids and listen!

5. The sun came out and dried up the landy, landy
Sun came out and dried up the landy, landy
Everything was fine and dandy, dandy, children of the Lord.

After the flood, God sent us a beautiful, sunny day to show us everything was okay!! You again, Timmy? … I guess there would be dead carcasses everywhere after the flood dried up. … Yes, and dead people everywhere. … Yes, I’m sure it smelled really bad. … Well, besides that, it was fine and dandy, and it was nice and sunny again! Stop interrupting!!! And Sally, quit pinching your nose!

6. The animals, they came out, they came out by threesies, threesies.
Animals, they came out, they came out by threesies, threesies.
Dogs and cats and chimpanzeesies, zeesies, children of the Lord.

You see kids, then all the animals could come out and play again! … Yes, Timmy? … They came out by threesies because all the mommy and daddy animals had a baby! … Um, you can ask your mom how that happens. … Is that why God had Noah put seven storks on the ark? I guess that would make sense, thank you Timmy! … You were being sarcastic? How do you even know the word "sarcastic"? We’re almost done, so just be quiet!!!!

7. Now this is the end of, the end of our story, story.
This is the end of, the end of our story, story.
Everything is hunky dory, dory, children of the Lord.

That’s the end of … What it is NOW, Timmy?!?! … Yes, it was honky dory, why do you ask? … Well, the Bible says God did feel bad about the flood, yes… No, that doesn’t mean he made a mistake! God is perfect! … Yes, God did promise never to flood the planet again. See how nice God is! … Well Katrina was different. … No they didn’t deserve it because they were all gay, where did you hear that? … Your mom said that? Well, you’ll have to take that up with her, then.

Well, that’s it, kiddies! Time to go out and live like God’s little children! … This is the last time, Timmy, now what do you want to ask? … Well, yes, people still sin. … So what did it solve to kill all those people and animals, then?!?

I give up!!! I’ve had it!!! Either you go Timmy, or I go! God, where’s a flood when you need one? Calgon, take me away!!!

Genesis 6 — Sons of god, weird His floody word

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Genesis 6 — Sons of god, weird His floody word

The "perfect" Bible in Genesis 6 starts out with a bunch of nonsense that still hasn’t been completely deciphered by anyone. I’ll cite the NIV this time, so its language is an easier read for modern English speakers:

"When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. […] The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when
the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them.
They were the heroes of old, men of renown."
(Genesis 6:1-2, 4)

So what’s going on here? The Bible does not tell us who the "sons of God" are (some say angels, though the Bible doesn’t support this), who the "daughters of men" are (human women?), or who these "Nephilim" are (the KJV calls them "giants"; are they tell humans or a different race?), or what their offspring were (half-angel-half-humans and half-giant-half-humans; were they demigods???)

Most translations also hide the fact that there is strong evidence for Hebrew polytheism in the Bible: the word "Elohim" is being used here for God. This is a word that is contrasted with the word "Yahweh" in Job. Many Christians are aware of the quote "Let us make man in our image "
(Genesis 1:26, KJV). Well, Elohim is used there and here in the original Hebrew. It’s a plural and is distinct from Yahweh in other parts of the Bible (e.g. Job 1).

In any case, no one knows for sure what on Earth (or heaven) Genesis is talking about in these verses. An informal discussion of these beings (also in relation to God and Satan talking in Job) can be found here in the SAB blog, Dwindling in Unbelief. My comment goes into more detail about what I’ve been able to figure out about these beings from among this biblical nonsense.

Maybe this is why God decided to order a flood, he/they just had too hard a time keeping all these crazy different beings straight and decided to start over?!?

But the reason given is that man was just too evil, and there was too much violence on the planet. God’s solution to this problem, like many others in the Bible, involves…violence. Fight fire with fire, I guess. Or in this case, water. God wants to start off with a clean slate, and decides to kill offf humanity. Nothing solves a problem like a good mass murder. He chooses though to save one family: Noah’s. Noah apparently was "perfect" (KJV) or "blameless" (NIV) and the best human God could find at the time — so good, that God "walked" with him. So we are all directly descended from the late, great Noah, according to the Bible.

God commands Noah to put his and his children’s families in a big wooden boat, and to bring two of every animal as well as all food. Reasonable people realize it would be impossible to put two of every animal and all their food into one boat for a number of reasons (space, weight, etc .). There are some people though who are too endoctrinated and honestly believe it must be true somehow, despite explanations.

I guess if you believe the rest of the Bible, this isn’t too hard to accept. With God, all things are possible, including a physics-defying boat and viciously killing nearly all humans, animals, and other life on Earth in a flood.

PS Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved.