Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Genesis, Chapter 2 Say Whaaa?

Genesis, Chapter 2

Verses 2-3: I've just realized how funny the account of the seventh day in the Creation Story is. If you don't believe it's inspired by a god, as is my perspective, then maybe you imagine what I do: This poor guy has been tilling his fields all week. He's working for his dick of a brother-in-law. The only respite in his week is when he gets to work on his book! I mean, seriously, barely anyone can read these days, but this one is going to be a bestseller, he knows it. Granted, the royalties won't really compile until thousands of years later, sure. But his great-great-great-grandchildren are set, right? (Maybe I will have to flesh this out more. Right now I'm envisioning a class action lawsuit filed against god for plagiarism.)

Anyway, it's Friday night and ol' Mahalalel has been work this poor SOB like a dog. He's got blisters, callouses, funky feet, the whole nine yards. He kneels and gets ready to put a few pages down on papyrus before hitting the hay. He thinks, "Hmm, let's see, where did I leave off? Oh yes, God created the heavens and the earth and blah, blah, blah, it was pretty good. What did I have in my notes for the seventh day? Oh yes, next God needs to create the place for all the sinners to end up in. Let's see, what was my working title for this place? Oh yeah, 'Satan's Six Flags Over Tigris and Trade Show Emporium'? Nah, fuck it, let's leave that for another chapter. Ol' Mahalalel thinks he can push me around and make me work Saturdays, huh? Well not for long, buddy." He writes, " '...And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested....' And then I'll stick something in later on that refers back to this! That might fit in with that thing I'm planning by the mountain...."

Now, what if you do believe this is inspired by god and to be taken literally? Do literalists really believe that god couldn't handle a seventh day of work? I guess God is omnipotent, but he sure is a lazy fucker too, isn't he? He couldn't have come up with one more thing? One more cool little thing, right? Like maybe some automatic glitch repairs that would have covered plate shifting and plagues?

Verses 4-25: Ah, and here's the random and ridiculous retelling of the Creation Story which somehow made it past the editors. Somehow, during all of my time as a literalist Christian, I never knew that there were two creation stories told within the first breath of the Bible. I wonder how this is explained away?

Then we have what I always imagined to be the scene in which Adam stands in the middle of a humongous horde of animals and names them. When I was younger, I imagined lions, elephants, ants, dogs. I assumed that they all must have been temporarily infused with god's peace so that Adam could graciously bestow names like platypus and wombat upon them. Now that I have a better understanding of the vast array of species on the planet (and let's all keep in mind that this scene is pre-flood, okay?), I guess I should have imagined that somehow all of the underwater animals swam up the rivers just to meet Adam, every insect swarmed around him, and one of each "kind" of bird flew by to say hello.

Then, after Adam has named each and every animal ever to be in existence because evolution from "kind" to "kind" is impossible, god realizes that Adam still doesn't have a suitable partner. Oh really, god? You thought a fucking armadillo might have been helpful? Did you imagine we might have wanted to mate with the three-toed sloth? I mean, sure, it's not all that different from a couple of my ex-boyfriends, but really? Three toes? That's gross.

So now we get to the so supremely misogynistic part of the Creation Story that I'm not going to even comment on it because if I said everything I could and want to say about it, I'd be on this chapter for days. To be brief: Sleep, ribs, naked lady. Not that in that order, but it might as well have been a night at Pumps (I refuse to link to a strip club in my blog. If you want to know where it is, search for yourself, perv).

Random Notes:

1. Still no firmament. Is that not in here? Or maybe it's not in this translation? Hmm.

2. I don't have a second random note but I vaguely remember being taught that there's no point in putting a number one next to something if there's not a number two.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Genesis, Chapter 1 Say Whaaa?

For the time being, I plan to structure this project by creating a post for each chapter of each book. That may come to be incredibly tedious, but for now, this is how I'm rolling. To clarify: I grew up reading and being taught the Bible literally. This is the perspective from which I am coming, so my focus will mostly be on what my understanding of the Fundamentalist Evangelical interpretation of the Bible is. Onward!

Genesis, Chapter 1:

Verses 3-5, 14-19: The first set of verses contains the command, "Let there be light, mofos," [CLIT*]. This is the account of the first day. But! The second set of verses tells the creation of the stars, sun, and moon. This is the fourth day. So where the hell is the light from the first day coming from? Was this some sort of clap on, clap off system (Thank you, Mr. Deity)? Is this supposed to be a metaphor for something else? That can't be right, because when it comes to the creation story, there is one simple rule to follow when you are a Fundamental Evangelical: THERE ARE ABSOLUTELY NO METAPHORS OR SYMBOLIC PASSAGES.

Verse 27: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them," [NIV]. Okay... are we talking physical image? Even though Christians love their physical representations of god, I'm pretty sure most of them would say, if asked, "No, I don't believe God has a recognizable physical appearance." So what is this verse interpreted to mean? Is the Bible referring to a psychological or mental image? I can't imagine that's so, as god takes great pains in upcoming chapters to distinguish man from god. Perhaps an emotional image? That's probably not what is interpreted, but humans often seem to display a similar irrationality to what seems very characteristic of this Biblical god. Seems more likely to me that this is the case:

Random Notes:

1. Thus far I see no mention of a firmament. I can't remember, is that a Catholic thing?

2. This is strange, but I seem to be feeling a bit apologetic-y when I read this. I'm not saying I'm feeling in any way inclined to believe it again (I think that is close enough to an impossibility), but that I'm finding myself constantly attempting to assume the best possible interpretations of what I'm reading. I find myself making a lot of excuses, probably because I'm so used to doing so while reading the Bible. This is a little saddening. I thought I was past this. I'm not so much upset over it, though, as I am intrigued. I still feel this irrational pull to defend the Bible, even though I thoroughly disagree with what I know of it. I guess this is how deep the indoctrination can go, right? We'll see how this plays out.

*CLIT- Christy's Lame International Translation

Bible Say Whaaa?

Duh, nuh, nuh, nuuuuhhh! I'm back. I'm so sorry I've been gone so long. I mostly apologize to myself. My life has changed dramatically since I've last posted. I've gotten engaged and I am planning a move to Europe!

I have decided to start a new project and I will be using this blog to assist myself. When I was a Christian, I was assigned various passages of the Bible to read for school (Christian and Catholic), Sunday school classes, sermons, youth groups, etc. I'm sure I attempted to read the Bible for my own spiritual edification many times. However, I am fairly certain I have never read the Bible in its entirety and I know that I have never read it straight through.

I've decided to gain some atheist cred. by reading the Bible straight through, but I want a way to store and compile my responses, thoughts, and notes. That's where the blog comes in. Hopefully actually posting will inspire me to write about other topics again, so here's praying to the FSM that this blog becomes the hotbed of conversation it once was..... yeah.