Biblical Obscenity

The Uncredible Hallq has been doing one of those newfangled Twitter things where he tweets Bible verses, sometimes with commentary or paraphrasing. He posted the most recent collection on his blog, and wow, that’s some horrible stuff in there.

A lot in there about making people eat their own children, a fate I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Also a lot of talking about Israel as a female prostitute sleeping around with dirty foreigners and worshiping their gods. Of course, knowing the Bible and how modern day fundies speak, that could mean anything from actual intermarriage and conversions to merely tolerating their existence to only killing them on occasion. The misogyny seems quite a bit thicker than usual for the Bible, as expected for such a metaphor being dragged out.

One factor that makes it pretty bad is that it seems to be going for the idea of collective sin, again. Even if we pretend that marrying foreigners or worshiping different gods is evil, it’s a condemnation of the nation as a whole for the actions of some people in it. From the quoted passages, I don’t even know what the proportion of the population was. I’d expect such rhetoric from a fundie if it was just a handful of individuals. Where’s the justice in punishing the innocent along with the “guilty”?

One passage that sticks out to me:

Jeremiah 48:10 “Cursed is he who does the work of the LORD with slackness; and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from bloodshed.”

The first half is pretty bad, but the second, just wow. Bloodlust is a virtue and mercy is a sin. Throw in this passage:

Ezek 13:10 “They lead my people astray saying “Peace” when there is no peace, and when a flimsy wall is built they cover it with whitewash.”

The vibe kind of feeds into the mental image I have of people being condemned as the “whore” for merely tolerating the existence of foreigners. Of course, we’re jumping around books, and I haven’t looked up the context, so I’m willing to correct myself if I’m guessing incorrectly. It won’t surprise me if it’s even worse in context.

What really gets me is this feeds one fundie archetype I perceive: Some seem to think of these Biblical times as desirable, where sectarian religions warred with one another, shedding blood over the tiniest things. When the consequences of being warlike, like having hostile neighbors, come back to bite them, they blame the misfortune on not being warlike enough. Barbarians live among us.

5 responses to “Biblical Obscenity

  1. Even when I was younger and religious, I had a problem with the ‘aged’ themes expressed by the bible. When raising this issue with current believers i usually get a half-smile and mumbled comments about the age that the prophets lived in, the world around the people who recieved and interpreted the ‘revelations’ from god.
    I wonder what word or phrase these people interpreted as foreigner, if indeed the revelation used a different word than foreigner.
    Was god actually referring to alien beings? Was this mistaken as foreigner?
    Are these not fair questions?
    Am I not wise to be very wary of religion, more and more wary the more religious revelations I am exposed to? I cant seem to get reasonable (or even half reasonable) answers to my concerns from religious folks.
    And still many people see my distrust of ancient scriptures or anything created from them as unwholesome!

  2. “Of course, we’re jumping around books, and I haven’t looked up the context, so I’m willing to correct myself if I’m guessing incorrectly. It won’t surprise me if it’s even worse in context.”

    I had a similar thing when I sent a christian friend a similar list of Bibblickal obscenity. He pointed at the one from Deut. 28 aboot eatin yur yunguns and suggested I read the whole chapter as it is about “what could happen to you if you become destitute”.

    Zo, I reads it (again, 1st time aboot 40 years ago) and it is worse in context as the chapter is about what doG will do to you if you don’t worship properly. To him that’s just MY interpretation from being too literal I guess.

  3. my friend is more of the warm-fuzzy christian and thinks most of the wisdom within the book is metaphor/allegory which is wrongly taken literally by fundies/critics like moi

    BTW I quite enjoy your curmudgeonlyness

    • I should probably write a post about the plea of “metaphor,” sometime. They’re generally not as bad as the fundies, but it does get annoying when someone says a horrible story is a metaphor without explaining what it’s a metaphor for, or why the metaphor is a good thing.

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