Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Feel The Love.

When I read this passage from the Christian Bible recently, my first thought was that the author simply got carried away with himself and went on a binge of hatred and spite, thinking of all the things he would like to do to people if only he had the power. One can almost picture the little man (and surely he is an example of small man syndrome), complete with bristling moustache, scribbling furiously away, getting redder and redder in the face.

The passage is from Leviticus 26. I actually still find it hard to read without starting to giggle at the thought of this hate-filled little man. I just hope he didn't make his unfortunate wife and children suffer by playing out his nasty little fantasies for real, though I doubt he would have the courage. One never knows though...

Here goes:

But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments (sic), so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant:

I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.

And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:

And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits. And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.

I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate. And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.

And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.

And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.

And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. [No! I'm not making this up!]

And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you. And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours.

And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.

Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.

And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth. And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies.

And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.

Leviticus 26:14-29 (KJV)

And this was supposed to be a story about something a loving, compassionate god was saying. Obviously it never occurred to the author that this god, if it were real, could (and would, if it really was as described) simply perform some convincing miracle again like it is claimed to have done with Moses and Abraham, and all those earlier prophets to whom it was said to have appeared.

But maybe the author knew that wasn't going to happen. Maybe the author just got carried away as his fantasy got the better of him and all that pent-up aggression and hate came pouring out. Or maybe the author just wrote to order for a boss who wanted to frighten the people into obeying him and used the threat of a god as a proxy. Being technologically backward and superstitious, it was probably easy to use this technique to control the people at whom this was aimed in those days.

Priests and preachers still use this 'persuasive' technique today, of course, and it still seems to work on some people.

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  1. Actually, I would think the main reason for going to such extremes is that it was _hard_ to control people, because they would easily switch whom to follow. It was, by this presumption, a constant battle to be more convincing than the next demagogue. Leave people alone for ten minutes and they would switch leaders and worship those guys’ gods.

    1. "A person doesn't have to be wise; he doesn't have to know what he's talking about; he merely has to appear to the ignorant to know more than the person who does know what he's talking about."-from Chaper 3 of "Nonsense'How to Overcome It'" by Robert J Gula

  2. If I may, my friend, this is Jaxzohn. The book of Lev is from the old testament, which is to say that it is, for all intents and purposes, the Torah. Now one of my favorite arguements to have with our Christian friends is the fact that the concept of the devil and hell, were added by them. The Jews believed that the god of Abraham, Yahweh, is not the benevolent being the Christians portray. To the Jews, god is the alpha and the omega, both sides of the coin. That being said, their god can be the most gentle, but the greatest evil.

    1. Hi. Welcome to my blog.

      Just going by the Pentateuch it would be impossible for a sane person to argue that the god described is benign. It's merely a tribal god which demands obedience and rules by threats and promises.

    2. The Holy Roman Church wiped out the Dualists and then needed an enemy(witches were thought of as merely harmless kooks until this book)and so commissioned Kramer and his buddy to write the Malleus Maleficarum, or the handbook for prosecuting witches(who strangely enough many were the wealthy landowners and so after they were killed for witchcraft, their property went to...you guessed it...The Holy Roman Church!!)(During the time of the St Bartholew's Day Massacre, that killed tens of thousands of French Huguenots, or Reformed Xians, at the behest and hands of Catholics, half of France was owned by the church). Dualists were all about a stick with good on one end and evil on the other, or Satan versus god. What came of this idea after they were decimated was that you could not just have a belief in god and be done with it, you also had to believe in Satan to be considered the 'proper' Xian, possibly why there were so many Xians killed in religious wars in Europe.(100 million estimated by some), and all about a disagreement of whose god was THE god, the one, the only. So, The Holy Roman Church killed off the Dualists, only to adopt their idea of good and evil, Satan and god. Sheesh!! As when catholic Bishops say Evolution is true, but so is the virgin birth, too. Lest we forget, the Divine Comedy was also commissioned by the Catholic church, as the Pope looked around and saw the peasants weren't very afraid of the church and began to disregard its authority so they needed the HELL scared from them by creating a Satan fantasy of eternal damnation in HELL and hellfire if you didn't tow the church line.
      Thnx Rosa. @jr_nash here posting as anonymous.

  3. Hi Rosa, I re-read this piece, and I wanted to add, that when I began early on thinking for myself(10 yrs old, or so)(always will there be a need to get better at it, I'm sure)on religion and stuff from the Xian Wholly Babble or Buy-BULL, it seems Xians would come after me demanding to know why I chose evil(i.e., simply my proclamation that, "from what I can tell, there is no god"), which would become for them, a time for prosyletising and a discussion of god's love and of god's great gift, that of Free Will to choose good(choose to be more god-like)or to choose evil, the choices which, BTW, was never resolved exactly.
    E.g., I proposed, that, if I have a choice between A and B, that is, between good and evil, either one being equal to the other,...uh...but wait a minute however, not so fast, and it's not so simple it seems, since they apparently, believe one side from the start is weighted and is by being incorrect, an 'of lesser judgment and so, the Free Will, good/evil choice, became problematic in a similar way to Palestinian's democratic elections, won by Hamas a few years back. Then, it seemed, Free Will was not what was important, as what was really important, was a specific choice or outcome of the supposed exercising of that free will(Bush did not want Hamas to lead the Palestinians, instead, he wanted a group more conducive to doing what Bush wanted(Fatah),a lukewarm group, closer to the Israeli normalising(which screws Palestinians)position. Hark! do I detect a rigged game here?Just like when god hardened the Pharoah's heart against letting the Israelites go(god, thereby, took back the Pharoah's Free Will), Besides, seems god says: "Here, you have now Free Will to choose, just be sure you choose the right way that I want you to, cuz' if you DON'T, I'll cast you into a lake of fire and brimstone, and burn yo' ass for all time, for eternity, even(it isn't clear to me how he/she is going to maintain the fuel supply, cuz' for fire to burn anything, you need oxygen, fuel, and a spark to start it all.
    Personally, seems/seemed easy for people like Jerry Fallwell, Bryan Fischer, Kenneth Copeland, and all those Religioturd Tele-Bangelists to spew their disgusting and evil hatred of others who are not like them, hell, it's not even possible for me to startup, let alone maintain such hatred and negativity about others.
    Keep up the good work, Rosa, and thnx for the forum space for me to share/enjoy my love of life, of those whom I meet, of my home, of the only planet Earth we all call home, and for all the animals, whether insects, creepy crawlers, reptiles, or even mammals.


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