Tuesday, December 13

Have You Read the Bible?

For the record, I haven't read the entire Bible.  I haven't read most of it.  But I bet I've read passages that you've skipped over!  Your pastor has read these passages, skimmed them, whatever– and figured out the "message", taught it to you, and expected you not to actually read it because, really– how many people actually read the entire Bible from cover to cover, right?  He's not expecting you to find flaws.  He's expecting you to listen to him, and maybe read Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus, and maybe the Proverbs and Psalms (which, by the way, I've read a lot of).

So, anyway, I came across a quotation of a Bible verse on my favorite foundation's website yesterday (The Freedom From Religion Foundation) that more than somewhat disturbed me.  [And yeah, I know you're probably sitting there thinking, "Damn!  Why does she make everything sound so complicated?!"  Apologies, that's just me drawing everything out.]

I just love how Christians (the ones who actually believe in God (more on that later)) talk about their "holy" book.  (DUN-DUN-DUN) The Bible.  "It's the word of God!"  Okay, first of all, the book was written by dudes, not a supernatural deity.  And these "children of God," "Christians," et cetera just preach and preach about the "word of God"– but have they actually read the book they call holy?  I know, I know– YES!  They have read it!  That being said and acknowledged– WTF IS WRONG WITH THEM?!  Apologies for coming across so strongly, but, really people– think about it.  Do you actively read?  'Cause I do.  I question as much as I can, and when I read this passage from the Book of Numbers, I was absolutely appalled.
In case you don't know what happens before the aforementioned passage, Numbers 25:16-18 says,
"Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 'Harass the Midianites, and attack them; for they harassed you with their schemes by which they seduced you in the matter of Peor and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a leader of Midian, their sister, who was killed in the day of the plague because of Peor,'"
and 31:1-3 says,
"And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 'Take vengeance on the Midianites for the children of Israel. Afterward you shall be gathered to your people.' So Moses spoke to the people, saying, 'Arm some of yourselves for war, and let them go against the Midianites to take vengeance for the Lord on Midian.'"
Basically, Omnipotent God, who could've just stricken the Midianites dead with a wave of His hand if He was really that pissed at them (assuming He has hands), ordered Moses and the Israelites to go and fight them.  In essence they kill all the men, all the male children, and all the women who were not virgins.  He allowed the Israelites to keep the virgin women and female children to themselves– 32 of which were saved especially for the priest, Eleazar.  Don't believe me?  Read this.
"The Division of the Prey [King James] Booty [New American Standard] Spoils [New International Version]
"And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take the sum of the prey that was taken, both of man and of beast, thou, and Eleazar the priest, and the chief fathers of the congregation: And divide the prey into two parts; between them that took the war upon them, who went out to battle, and between all the congregation: And levy a tribute unto the Lord of the men of war which went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves [cattle], and of the asses [donkeys], and of the sheep: Take it of their half, and five it unto Eleazar the priest, for an heave offering of the Lord. And of the children of Israel's half, thou shalt take one portion of fifty, of the persons, of the beeves, of the asses, and of the flocks, of all manner of beasts, and give them unto the Levites, which keep the charge of the tabernacle of the Lord.
"And Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses. And the booty, being the rest of the prey which the men of war had caught, was [675,000] sheep. And [72,000] beeves. And [61,000] asses. And [32,000] persons in all, of women that had not known man by lying with him. And the half, which was the portion of them that went out to war, was in number [337, 500] sheep. And the Lord's tribute of the sheep was [675]. And he beeves were [36,000]; of which the Lord's tribute was [61]. And the persons were sixteen thousand; of which the Lord's tribute was thirty and two persons. And Moses gave the tribute, which was the Lord's heave offering, unto Eleazar the priest, as the Lord commanded Moses."  –Numbers 31:25-41, King James Version [Amplified Version]

Everyone I have ever spoken to about Jesus, God, or the Bible, claims that sex outside marriage is a sin.  They also say (with the exception of members of the LDS church) that polygamy is a sin.  (Mormons do not practice polygamy anymore because they believe in following the laws of the land on which they dwell.  Joseph Smith and Brigham Young both had multiple wives; polygamy was not a sin in the very beginning, until it was outlawed in the United States.)  Being that polygamy and any sex outside outside of marriage is a crime against God, why is it that these warriors were each given virgins as a tribute for their glory?  It's not like they could just have sex with all of them without sinning, unless they married each of them.  Which, according to all these priests, preachers, pastors, et cetera, is a sin because they couldn't have multiple wives, right?

And if anyone tries to say I edited this or fabricated it, please– get out your own Bible.  Read the passage.  32 virgins given to the priest as a tribute for the war.  And I don't know if anyone has realized this, but in the Old Testament, God was very controlling.  He was always telling the people what to do.  They were executed for worshiping other gods.  And the thing that pisses ME off the most is that everyone talks about how God sent us to earth so we could "find our way back to him through free will."  And if anyone wanted to stay behind instead of fighting, they would be executed.
The biggest problem I have with religion is that it makes good people feel like they are bad.  "People are all sinners."  "God is all good."  "Sin makes us dirty inside."  It kills people's self esteem, and makes perfectly normal people feel unnatural, evil, wrong.  How is that fair?  Unless you believe in reincarnation, we have only one life to live.  Why live it feeling like we're bad?  The second biggest problem I have is that it turns women into property.  Genesis 3:13-16:
"'What is this you have done?' The woman said, 'The serpent deceived me, and I ate.' So the Lord God said to the serpent: 'Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than ever beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.' To the woman He said: 'I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you."
And despite what I said before about Preachers denouncing polygamy, a man could have as many wives as he wished, "Then Lamech took for himself two wives: the name of one was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah." –Genesis 4:9.  And in Genesis 16:2, Sarah (formerly Sarai) tells Abraham (Abram, who was 86) to go to her maid Hagar so that Sarah could "obtain children" through Hagar, who later begot a son by Abraham named Ishmael, and began to hate Sarah.  In Genesis 19:8, Lot offered his two virgin daughters to be gang raped by the men of Sodom rather than two visitors, whom he has taken into his shelter.
"'See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.'"

Besides Genesis, there are several other passages that disregard women.  1 Corinthians 11:3, 5-7,
"But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.... But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man."
1 Corinthians 14:34,
"Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. (35) And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church."
Deuteronomy 25:5-6 says,
"'If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the widow of the dead man shall not be married to a stranger outside the family; her husband's brother shall go in to her, take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her. And it shall be that the firstborn son which she bears will succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel.'"
The woman had no choice in this matter.  Say she actually did love her husband.  She had to marry and produce a son (no matter how many daughters it took to actually bear a son) with her dead husband's brother.  Further in Deuteronomy, (25:11), it says,
"'If two men fight together, and the wife of one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of the one attacking him, and puts out her hand and seizes him by the genitals, then you shall cut off her hand; your eye shall not pity her.'"
1 Timothy, 2:8-14,
"I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression."
Sorry for the lengthy quotations.  If you want more, consult your trusty Bible.  God must really be a man, though.  If He weren't a man, then explain why He's always on their side!  He hates women!  But you know what I will never understand?  Some of you are, no doubt, thinking, "Well, that was in the old days!  There are new ways to interpret it!"  The Bible was not written just for the old days.  It was intended to go through the times the same way.  Priests/Preachers will say things like, "We don't do things that strictly."  Or, "We know that men wrote the Bible, and we do not believe that God wanted to be so harsh towards women."  Or, "We don't practice that today."  Really?  They preach that the Bible is "God's Word" and that it is 100% true, but when confronted, "Oh, no, not that part!"  They are too selective.  No one will ever know which parts of the Bible "should" be read or "shouldn't" be read, because a) there is no God, b) you can't invent a time machine and ask those idiots who wrote it.

I suppose God hates me and I'm going to Hell.  Sometimes I think to myself, "What if there is a God?  What if there is a 'Satan' around, making you question everything?  What if God wants you to question things and then find him anyway?"  But I'm not going to believe in something just because I'm scared Well, you know what?  Even if there is a God, I'd rather be in Hell than anywhere near someone who thinks I am unworthy because I'm a woman.  Eve lived thousands of years ago.  I'm supposed to be punished for one dumbass's mistake?  No way, José.
As always, please tell me how you feel about all of this.  I love opposing opinions!  Although I'd love to hear from someone who agrees with me (:  Thank you, good-day, and good-riddance!

*Where unspecified, quotes are from the New King James Version of the Bible.*

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