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Author Naomi Wolf was challenged to read the Bible.  What she found blew her mind (her words) and probably not in the direction the challenger(s) were hoping.

She posted the results on facebook an hour ago:

Okay, so I was challenged below: "Read the Bible! God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people." So....I may get crucified for this but I have started to say it -- most recently (terrified, trembling) to warm welcome in a synagogue in LA: Actually if you read Genesis Exodus and Deuteronomy in Hebrew -- as I do -- you see that God did not "give" Israel to the Jews/Israelites. We as Jews are raised with the creed that "God gave us the land of Israel" in Genesis -- and that ethnically 'we are the chosen people." But actually -- and I could not believe my eyes when I saw this, I checked my reading with major scholars and they confirmed it -- actually God's "covenant" in Genesis, exodus and Deuteronomy with the Jewish people is NOT ABOUT AN ETHNICITY AND NOT ABOUT A CONTRACT. IT IS ABOUT A WAY OF BEHAVING.
Again and again in the "covenant" language He never says: "I will give you, ethnic Israelites, the land of Israel." Rather He says something far more radical - far more subversive -- far more Godlike in my view. He says: IF you visit those imprisoned...act mercifully to the widow and the orphan...welcome the stranger in your midst...tend the sick...do justice and love mercy ....and perform various other tasks...THEN YOU WILL BE MY PEOPLE AND THIS LAND WILL BE YOUR LAND. So "my people" is not ethnic -- it is transactional. We are God's people not by birth but by a way of behaving, that is ethical, kind and just. And we STOP being "God's people" when we are not ethical, kind and just. And ANYONE who is ethical, kind and just is, according to God in Genesis, "God's people." And the "contract" to "give" us Israel is conditional -- we can live in God's land IF we are "God's people" in this way -- just, merciful, compassionate. AND -- it never ever says, it is ONLY your land. Even when passages spell out geographical "boundaries" as if God does such a thing, it never says this is exclusively your land. It never says I will give this land JUST to you. Remember these were homeless nomads who had left slavery in Egypt and were wandering around in the desert; at most these passages say, settle here, but they do not say, settle here exclusively. Indeed again and again it talks about welcoming "zarim" -- translated as "strangers" but can also be translated as "people/tribes who are not you" -- in your midst. Blew my mind, hope it blows yours.

Originally posted to Clytemnestra on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:15 PM PDT.

Also republished by Anglican Kossacks and Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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  •  Tip Jar (570+ / 0-)
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    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:15:08 PM PDT

      •  Why single out Baptists? (9+ / 0-)

        Now, it's true that Baptist practice is thoroughly Christian, in that the deity of Christ is recognized and He is named the source of salvation, but that differs little from the practice of any other Christian denomination.

        It should be noted that the Southern Baptist statement of faith, The Baptist Faith and Message, specifically states that Christian salvation is available to all:

        Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour [...]
        I'm confused; why are you singling out Baptists?

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:56:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's an old joke (113+ / 0-)

          A new arrival in Heaven is getting the tour from St. Peter. He sees the area for the Holy Rollers and they're all singing and waving their arms and having a great time. Next, it's the snake handlers, and the snakes and people are mixing and hanging out and seem just as happy as can be. Next, they reach the area for the Quakers and nobody is talking, but they all look really happy. When they get to the area for Unitarians everybody is just doing their own thing and they're happy as clams. They pass the Catholics and they're sloshing around wine and having a good old time.

          Finally, they pass a room that's shut off with a curtain. The new arrival asks St. Peter who is in that area.

          "Shhh...," St. Peter says, "that's the Baptists. They think they're the only ones here."

          To tell the truth, when I first heard the joke, probably fifty years ago, it was "Methodists," not Baptists.

          Wealth doesn't trickle down -- it rises up.

          by elsaf on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:12:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  "Anyone can be saved if they do it our way" ... (14+ / 0-)

          is not really a message of salvation for all in the sense of the comment above. Nor is it the message of all Christian denominations. Since Vatican II it has not been the position of the Roman Catholic Church. Nor is it the position of more liberal Protestant denominations.

          "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

          by Demi Moaned on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:15:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Of course, it wasn't (7+ / 0-)

            the message of the early Calvinists/Dutch Reformed/Presbyterians as well, but for a different reason--Predestination.

            Either you were saved from birth or you were not, and you couldn't know for sure. But if you were destined to be saved, you were more likely to be a churchgoer.

            •  Presby for almost 30 yrs. now, raised Methodist. (5+ / 0-)

              Predestination is almost never even mentioned now, but here's a 1985 article about it: What do Presbyterians believe about predestination?

              Here's the summary at the end:

              Those of us who are called to faith can give thanks for God's initiative in dealing with us so graciously. But most contemporary Presbyterians are reluctant to assume that we know anything about God's purpose for those who seem to have rejected faith. We perceive it to be dangerous to move beyond the mystery of predestination to try to explain what God has not revealed.

              The whole history of theology reflects tension in relating a Biblical concept of calling or election or predestination with an equally Biblical doctrine of human responsibility. The Reformed tradition has held that sinners are responsible for their sinful acts even though they are unable to turn away from them without the gift of God's grace. But it has also insisted that God's grace transforms the will so that it can freely obey God's will, though not perfectly.

              The Christian is therefore responsible for finding God's will and living in accordance with it. We are free to obey God. We must continue to work theologically at relating God's calling or predestination with human responsibility.

              Personally, I recognize that millions of people of other faiths, or no faith, live lives in perfect accordance with the values Naomi writes about above. My own faith journey is full of stumbles, doubts, and self-absorption -- but I'm also in charge of the advocacy arm of our Mission ministry.

              Not much success yet -- congregation is too affluent, politically-connected, etc. and seemingly prefers the direct-aid kind of mission help. So our one-morning-a-week breakfast for the hungry gets lots of volunteers, but participation in advocacy efforts, not so much. Lots of other mission projects/partners, locally and internationally, so I give them props for that. But wish I could get the guy who goes to India to do dental mission work to add Wise, VA to his to-do list!

              "I think in America, the opposite of poverty is justice." Bryan Stevenson

              by gfre on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:42:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Could be because Westboro Baptist has given the (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lujane, Mopshell, janmtairy

          whole Baptist Church a lot of terrible PR.

          Some Christian Churches do teach that "salvation" is not exclusive to Christians or, "all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour."

          "Portion of the adolescent prisoners in solitary on Rikers Island who have been diagnosed with a mental illness: 7/10." Tell someone.

          by RJDixon74135 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:08:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Salvation is NOT Conditional (7+ / 0-)

            You don't have to "accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior".  That's a condition imposed by a religion on those that want to belong.  God's love is pervasive and constant -- You Are Saved No Matter What.  You don't have to believe certain dogma.  You just have to be.   The Fire and Brimstone of hell and threats of eternal damnation are Calvinistic teachings and are inherently wrong.  God NEVER said any of that.  
            Now, since you're already saved, what are you going to do with the rest of your life?

            •  That's what I say. (13+ / 0-)

              Whether I believe or not, Christ died for my sins. It is past tense he already died for me. So I can be awful and be born again or break the 1 first commandment over and over again but in my secret soul if I say...."Sorry!" . It is a done deal.
              LOL
              I am a bad one, but Christ always like the naughty ones. They were the fun ones to save.

              My religious practice is kinda what I learned in Kindergarten.  God is love. Jesus loves the little children all the children of the world. Red and Yellow, Black and White they are precious in his sight.
              So I think the best this is to practice true Christian love even if you are an atheist who prays to the Virgin Mary.

            •  Um, care to explain how your words comport with (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lujane

              the words of Jesus? Seems to me his message was pretty unimstakeable, e.g. "No one comes to the Father save through me."

              •  That doesn't necessarily mean what you've (5+ / 0-)

                been taught (or have assumed) that it means.  It doesn't mean one needs to be a professing Christian to be saved.

                Jesus is always doing the saving, but people don't always realize it, or acknowledge it, in this life.  That's okay.

                For centuries the Roman Catholic Church taught that only righteous Catholics went to Heaven.  But they gave up on that a long time ago, during the Vatican II convention in the 1960s.

              •  I understand that to mean (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lujane, andersr, wintergreen8694, kuvasz

                what Naomi Wolf describes, that the path to God is by living a life with compassion, caring for others, following the words of Jesus.

                The bible was rewritten so many times over the centuries, I wonder what the words are in the original manuscript. The "save through me" wording seems to me to be a revision intended to bind followers to a religion instead of to a way of life.

                Somewhere packed away I have some books by some scholars including Elaine Pagels, a professor of early Christian history and author of several books including The Gnostic Gospels, an introduction to the Nag Hammadi manuscripts (1500 to 2000 years old?). Pagels adds depth to the scriptures with explanations of customs of Jesus' time, and definitions/meanings of words in the original language. From that, a reader can perceive changes made to scriptures over time. Pagels is a practicing Roman Catholic. If I remember correctly, she also identifies some specific changes made by the Church  at times over the centuries.

                •  See also Bart Ehrman (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  True North, SoCalSal

                  Misquoting Jesus and other works in that vein.

                  Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                  by Mokurai on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 10:08:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Read Pagels (recommended by my mother) . . . (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SoCalSal, pvasileff

                  became an atheist because of the hypocrisy she pointed out (great writer).  Became a believer in science instead!!

                  "Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please" Mark Twain

                  by andersr on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 04:57:53 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Pagels probably didn't intend (0+ / 0-)

                    to create atheists, since she continues to be Roman Catholic. When I first read her books I also wondered how she could still follow her faith, knowing what she does about the changes through history. I think I understand better now how she might gain solace through her church (her son's death affected her deeply, for example).

                    I'm agnostic, not religious, but I still enjoy and appreciate attending a mass or some other church service for weddings, funerals. My personal interpretations run through my mind throughout those services, thanks in no small part to Elaine Pagels and some others.

                    •  Religion can help you to feel connected to others (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      SoCalSal

                      The rituals of life and death when performed together help  us feel close to one another.

                      When religion is mixed with politics or power it can be deadly. The Founders were wise to try to keep religion and politics apart.

                      Republicans are crazy, Democrats need to be useful and its up to us to save our democracy. Get to work.

                      by Citizenpower on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 10:23:19 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is a state o... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chakadog, Lujane, SoCalSal

                Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is a state of mind, action, and being, and is not and was never a contract with a particular religious belief. It is the behavior following his teachings that is the important part, not the acceptance itself. That "acceptance" to the church's satisfaction is a mere formality, levied by that particular church, and has nothing at all to do with salvation itself. The salvation extends to all people of all religions, or no religion, in all places and at all times. I would even suggest it extends to all people ever born, even prior to Jesus himself, going back into mists of history and ancestry turned dim with distance.

                I would hazard that nearly everything Jesus is said to have spoken carries a layer of much, much more important, deeper and intrinsically more valid meaning that is sometimes directly at odds with the words themselves.

                Christianity needs to regain that understanding. As things stand, and as it is practiced today, the entire religion is lost.

          •  Please realize that the "Westboro Baptist (6+ / 0-)

            Church" is really not a Baptist church.  They're not affiliated with any Baptist denomination.  They're just a one-family cult.

          •  My husband's father was a baptist preacher (0+ / 0-)

            who abandoned his mom with four small kids (having convinced her to marry him right out of HS rather than going to college). The way TeacherHubby tells it, the sort of thinking described goes a long way toward explaining what he grew up in 40+ years ago. So it's not just Westboro by any stretch. I'd even forgotten they call themselves Baptist. I'm sure churches differ greatly based on their location, but the Baptist churches in GA-10 (Paul Broun, now soon Jody Hice) are indeed hateful. I'd considered taking my kids to church until checking out a few and seeing how badly they seem to have missed the lesson on God's love and that little "judge not" bit.

            Dear GA, "Mad Men" was not intended to provide you male role models for emulation. You've missed the point.

            by Shuruq on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 04:46:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  If you lived in the Bible Belt, specifically in (19+ / 0-)

          the "buckle" as I do, then you would know why.  

          Maybe not all Baptists are this way (and they are not), but they are a piece of work where I live.  They are about as hypocritical as all get out and clueless about other cultures and religions.  They pick and choose their "Christian" practices.  They smoke, they curse, they commit adultry, many are racist, and the list goes on and on.....  I refer to them as "Cafeteria Christians":  They pick and choose just what they want to believe regarding their prophet's teachings.  But then again, they also firmly believe they are not perfect, but in the end will be "forgiven".

          This isn't game of Monopoly where you get a "Get Out Of Jail" card...

          Yeah, right.

          In fact, they don't even have any interest about learning anything outside of their dogmatic faith.  They nice people, but clueless and uneducated.

          Sad, but they are just sheep going to slaughter on the word of their "preachers" who haven't any formal theological training.  They even vote as their pastors tell them how to, an usually on social issues that will never advance their economic interests.  

          Gods, Guns, And Gays!!!!   And now Islamofacists, and Sharia Law.

          Heck, they even vote Republican thinking that their reward will come in the end days when they go to heaven where their suffering here on earth will end, and all the streets are paved with gold just for them, and ONLY for them.  Everybody else is going straight to Hell if they believe as they do.

          Welcome to "American Exceptionalism", where critical thinking died decades ago....

          “My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there." - Rumi

          by LamontCranston on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 04:09:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  LamontCranston... (4+ / 0-)

            I don't know where you live, but I'm thinking it is in my town.  Couldn't have said it better myself.  Hell, I live with this person.  :-(

          •  The bible tells you not to smoke? (1+ / 0-)
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            There is not an Establishment Party. There is not a Tea Party. There is only the Republican Party, and they all suck.

            by Fiddler On A Hot Tin Roof on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 04:30:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Dwight Lyman Moody, the 19th Century evangelist (0+ / 0-)

              was highly opposed to smoking, and the other usual vices.  He was often asked to cite the biblical basis for his position.  Moody would respond along these lines:

              "I must admit to you, brother, that there isn't a verse in the Bible that says you can't smoke.  In fact, Revelation 22:11 says you can smoke!"

              The wise guy would open his Bible to the last chapter of Revelation only to find

              he which is filthy, let him be filthy still
          •  With all due respect... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mamamedusa, artmartin

            ...I live in Kentucky.  I also happen to be a Baptist. **laugh** I don't think you want to go down this road...

            Say what you like, but I'll put my area up as "buckle of the Bible Belt" against all comers. I live roughly one hour from the flagship Southern Baptist seminary, my town was the site of the schism that split the Christian Church (Disciples) away from the Churches of Christ, Thomas Merton did some writing not too far away from me, I'm 15 minutes away from the renegade/splinter Baptist seminary, I'm about 25 minutes away from one of the larger megachurches in the state, and we even have a few KJV-only Landmark churches telling us that anyone who attends any other church (not another denomination, mind you, but any other church AT ALL) is apostate and destined for brimstone.

            Kentucky is home to those churches who think it a "witness" to hold Second Amendment rallies and raffle off firearms before the sermon.  We're also home to snake handlers, Primitive Baptists, splinter Anglican churches opposed to gay clergy, Pentecostals, Free Will Baptists, Independent Baptists...

            Seriously, I grew up in an area where even the Methodists were hardcore conservatives...

            The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

            by wesmorgan1 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:26:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You'll have to get in line (0+ / 0-)

              Bible Belt#Buckle

              Nine cities in eight states make this claim.

              Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

              by Mokurai on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 10:11:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You miss my point... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SueDe

                Here, it isn't one city--although Louisville, as noted below, could make a strong claim--it's the entire state.

                Louisville area? Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southeast Christian Church (20,000+ members, one of the 10 largest churches in the US), Bellarmine University (Catholic), Spalding University (Catholic, oldest Catholic university west of the Alleghenies), Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (PCUSA), International Circle of Faith (Pentecostal) US headquarters, Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) headquarters...and 700+ churches.

                Lexington area? Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, Southland Christian Church (13,000+ members, campuses in 3 cities, bought a mall to turn into a church campus), Asbury Theological Seminary (primarily Methodist), Race Track Chaplaincy of America HQ, Transylvania University (Disciples of Christ), Lexington Theological Seminary (Disciples of Christ)...and 450+ churches.

                Colleges/universities? Georgetown College (Baptist), Lindsey Wilson College (Methodist), University of the Cumberlands (Baptist), Thomas More College (Catholic), Midway College (Disciples of Christ), Brescia University (Catholic), Campbellsville University (Baptist), Clear Creek Baptist Bible College, Kentucky Christian University (Churches of Christ), Kentucky Mountain Bible College (Holiness), Centre College (Presbyterian), Kentucky Wesleyan College (Methodist), University of Pikeville (Presbyterian)...and that's off the top of my head; I'm sure I've missed a few. Most of these schools are 150+ years old.

                There are at least twenty megachurches in Kentucky, at least three of which are among the 100 largest churches in the US.

                Do I even need to mention the Creation Museum?

                All of this is found in a state with a population of just over 4 million persons. Regardless of one's location in Kentucky, one is never more than one hour's drive from a megachurch, a seminary, an explicitly religious college/university, or some combination of the three.

                The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                by wesmorgan1 on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 02:51:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Because modern Baptists have forgotten their (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zitherhamster, GreenMother, susanala

          roots and have embraced mammon and Pilate.  The politics of Baptist conferences are as close to the "House of Cards" as anything inside the beltway.

          Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

          by StrayCat on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:05:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Anybody who reads the Bible (3+ / 2-)
      Recommended by:
      Joffan, MrCornfed, kuvasz
      Hidden by:
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      for guidance on anything is a moral idiot.

      And Naomi Wolf is a discredited black hole of attention surrounded by "scholarship" and "research."

      I had hoped she and Christina Hoff Sommers had both somehow gone away for good.

      I see now that I am wrong.

    •  Which is why I've always been a Marxist (0+ / 0-)

      As Groucho said, I would never join a club that would have me as a member.

      "In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves." - Buddha

      by tazz on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 09:53:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  sounds so much like Matthew 35-46 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      avsp, mamamedusa, thea lake

      For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

      37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

      40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

      41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

      44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

      45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

      46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

      We kidnap. We torture. It's our policy. Embrace it or end it!

      by Mosquito Pilot on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 05:22:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not even close (3+ / 0-)

        to being a Christian, but this is my favorite Jesus quote, and I have always tried to live my life mindful of its message. It's the one I quote when my mother, a nominal Christian, starts talking about "THOSE people( ie, the poor) who are always trying to get something for nothing something something BOOTSTRAPS!!" I think Matthew 35-46 should be proof to real Christians that Christ was a liberal!!

        •  I wonder. (0+ / 0-)

          I wonder if that phrase "the eternal fire" is an accurate translation.  That's an ugly nugget in those passages, which lends support to the hellfire-and-damnation preachers.

          I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

          by tle on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 07:49:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's open to a lot of interpretations (0+ / 0-)

            Yes, there are lots of translations of the Bible -- literally in the thousands -- that scholars agree have "authority."

            Jesus spoke Aramaic, and the Bible was written in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, and translated from there. So it's important not to get too hung up on 20th Century, western, English-speaking definitions of the words.

            "Eternal punishment," the words used in this version, could mean a lot of things, from an afterlife of unending fire to a temporal life filled with chronic migraine headaches. Who knows?  Love yourself, love your neighbor, love your God and you never really have to worry about what that punishment stuff is about anyhow.

  •  Joshua's ethnic cleansing program (58+ / 0-)

    I teach Sunday School at a Christian church. My students are in the 11 to 15 year-old range. As part of the program we've been working our way in order through selected passages from the Hebrew Bible.

    When we got to the book of Joshua, I selected one story (not the battle of Jericho), and I suggested that if someone did that nowadays we would call it ethnic cleansing. I also drew a parallel to the European take over of North America.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:30:16 PM PDT

    •  Strange how Naomi Wolf missed all of the (33+ / 0-)

      god-ordered genocides.

      Maybe someday she should read the Bible.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:49:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, her reading is very tendentious (23+ / 0-)

        Certainly all the stuff she mentions is in the Torah side by side with guidelines to observe when selling your daughter into slavery.

        "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

        by Demi Moaned on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:55:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and paying the father of the girl you rape (19+ / 0-)

          thirty silver pieces so you can marry her.

          To keep her honor, dontcha know.

          Good enough for 1500 B.C., I guess.  

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:04:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, it's easy to feel superior to ... (28+ / 0-)

            people from another time and place. But the overarching goal of my teaching is to develop critical thinking. Even with the much more recent Greek writings that we call the New Testament, the writer is often making points that were obvious to a contemporary audience but almost completely opposite to the way they a modern American reads them.

            "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

            by Demi Moaned on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:14:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, I *did* include the rationale (12+ / 0-)

              behind the Law: it was to restore the honor of the woman (and her family).  Yeah, better -- if we can use our modern standards -- than killing her outright.

              The problem is when people start saying that a law like that could conceivably have been dictated by an omniscient and all-benevolent deity . . . whose word we should take on anything without several truckfuls of salt.

              Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

              by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:26:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And isn't that exactly what Demi Moaned... (22+ / 0-)

                is inviting her students to consider?

                The problem is when people start saying that a law like that could conceivably have been dictated by an omniscient and all-benevolent deity . . . whose word we should take on anything without several truckfuls of salt.
                Looking at the book of Joshua and invoking terms like "ethnic cleansing" is a pretty strong challenge to the idea that any and all views contained in biblical literature are moral and worthy of anyone's concept of a god.  Some pretty good teaching by DM, I'd say.

                Late Bronze and Iron Age mores are pretty shocking to us now, whether we read them from the Hebrew Bible or the Code of Hammurabi.  That's a good thing, no?  It also illustrates for us that our own moral views may not be the final word, but may evolve yet further.

                •  Gotta love half-baked ethnocentrism... (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  raincrow, Demi Moaned, mrkvica, Lujane, oslyn7

                  A lot of people don't recognize that many of the biblical laws were considered radically progressive at the time.

                  -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

                  by JPax on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:11:39 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Compare the Code of Hammurabi... (13+ / 0-)

                    to biblical law.  The latter is an improvement.  Still brutal in some respects by our standards.  But an improvement.

                    And consider the Jubilee.  You'd never find a conventional politician, even Bernie Sanders, advocating as economically progressive an idea as the Jubilee.  Only in Occupy did you hear the cry, "Jubilee!"  That's pretty radically progressive even by our standards.

                    •  inorite? (6+ / 0-)

                      I've been thinking for a long time that we should have Jubilee in America. After 7 years, debts are forgiven. Meaning no loan could be longer than 6 or 7 years (depending on how you count it). Even for homes, they can only be sold in shares that represent that timeframe. The benefit to homeowners is that once you finish that segment of a contract, you posses that equity and it can't be lost in foreclosure.

                      Of course, leave it to hypocritical and ignorant Bible-thumpers to demand increasingly punitive laws to make it harder for personal bankruptcy and to put it on credit scores for 10 years up from 7.

                      Some people only like the biblical laws that allow them to be assholes.

                      -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

                      by JPax on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 04:05:22 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Only one word: Amen, i.e. "truth" (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        TrueBlueMajority, Lujane, JPax, oslyn7

                        You're absolutely right.

                        Fundies generally don't like to read the bible.  Too scary.  There's that whole story in Numbers where the priest performs an abortion based on the husband's accusation of infidelity  (horrible but true and ignored by Fundies).

                        Proof-texting a few verses against people they don't like is what they prefer to do.

                  •  No, the problem is (4+ / 0-)

                    for me anyway, is as an atheist I am frequently told by Christians that I can have no objective morality.

                    I point out the horrors of the OT, and then I am told, well you have to look at the times....

                    To which I close with the fact that even biblical morality isn't objective, if it can change with the times.

                    •  Those aren't Christians, no matter how loudly (0+ / 0-)

                      they claim they are, because they reject the plain and unmistakable teaching of Paul.

                      Romans 2:14-15

                      14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

                      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                      by Mokurai on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 10:21:35 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  umm, to answer your title question, (0+ / 0-)

                  yes -- all I was trying to do was point out how much we agree with each other.

                  YMMV.

                  Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                  by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:17:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Let's hope so. (0+ / 0-)

                  Let's hope so.

            •  Christians Too! (12+ / 0-)
              We are God's people not by birth but by a way of behaving, that is ethical, kind and just. And we STOP being "God's people" when we are not ethical, kind and just.
              One could argue that Christianity is somewhat of a Jewish sect, given the Jewish consciousness of the founder - known in those Greek writings you mention as a Rabbi, and using rabbinical discourse and terms while teaching, and asking his followers "to take up his yoke." *

              So, the above quote most likely in Christ's thinking applies to Christians, also.

              * It was common for rabbis of Christ's time to refer to their set of teachings as their own particular 'yoke' to be accepted by his followers.

              God's preference is for more people to be included, (not excluded through doctrine),...whenever the circle is shrinking, where people are being excluded or disliked, God is not served. -Rev. Alice Connor

              by paz3 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:45:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I would also add , in response too (9+ / 0-)
              Strange how Naomi Wolf missed all of the god-ordered genocides.
              What Naomi is saying in her comment does address that issue imo , people used these biblical teaches to separate themselves from others and justified the killing of other people , when the exact opposite is being said in these writings and teachings

              You also will find Jesus giving the same commentary when he dealt with the leaders of the Jewish community , he nailed all of them down for only allowing certain people to worship in Jerusalem and at the temple , Jesus told them god welcomed everyone , and it pissed some of the Jewish leaders off

              Greedy people do greedy things

              Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

              by Patango on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:03:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I find it instructive (9+ / 0-)

              to keep the concordance on hand when reading the Bible - the original meanings of words is often very different from how the modern Christian is told they mean.

              Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

              by Gustogirl on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:03:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  On the other hand, corvo, Jubilee? (7+ / 0-)

            More progressive than any policy on earth right now, isnt' it?  All debts extinguished.  All slavery ended.  Land returns from the "winners" of the last fifty years to the people who lost it.

            Complete equality restored, since Israel was established on the equality-for-all initially (land alotments).

            And it's repeated every 50 years.

            Pretty advanced for when that "P" text was probably written (much later than 1,500 BCE)?

            Of course, that was probably never a reality.  Jeremiah did know about it and complained that it hadn't been implemented.

            Another dreamer wrote it, but a dreamer with a progressive point of view in the area of economic equality.

            •  Sure, on the other hand. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ezekiel in Exile, Arsenic

              Just because three-thousand-year-old holy writ is full of things that should fill any decent person today with revulsion, it does not follow that everything in said writ is of that quality.  

              Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

              by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:21:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I find it amazing... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                unfangus, Timaeus, mamamedusa

                that someone or even better and more likely, a community, back in 600-800 BCE, had a vision for humanity that would have fit in well with Occupy.  It is even more amazing that their writings were preserved in a world where preserving writings was so difficult.

                It's not terribly surprising that there were writers in the late Bronze and Iron ages who were homophobic, misogynists, apologists for the status quo.  That was the norm.  It's also not surprising that their writings were preserved since the power elites of that time and the times intervening largely controlled the transmission of texts.

                Aren't you a historian?  How would you explain the survival of certain biblical texts like the Jubilee, the story of Deborah, the story of Tamar?  These are subversive texts, yet they are still present today in the biblical texts after the editorial work of the conservative, ethnocentric Ezra and the later editorial work of the council of Jamnia and even later Christian editing.

                •  Force of tradition (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ezekiel in Exile

                  (and a disinclination to destroy too much of it), and one's own knowledge that an elite controlled the dissemination and interpretation of texts, certainly helped in the preservation of subversive texts.

                  The Soviets, for instance, had no trouble archiving primary source materials that would have embarrassed and exposed them.  They were regularly stamped "vechno khranit'" -- to be preserved forever.  Documents tend to be destroyed only when their subversive content is found threatening, for instance, the video footage of the murder of John Carlos de Menezes.  

                  It's certainly worth asking why the early Christian Church was so obsessed with destroying the historical record and the written records of conquered cultures.  Not being a historian myself, I can only speculate that it has something to do with a more robust history of often internecine schisms, something which, if I recall correctly, the Israelites had pretty much gotten out of their system after they dispached the Ephraimites.

                  Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                  by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:52:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Do you really think the Israelites... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Timaeus, mamamedusa, Joe Hill PDX

                    dispatched anybody?  Unlikely.  They more likely filled a void when the Ugaritic culture (i.e. Canaanites) imploded from its own problems.  Joshua is probably a grandiose fiction written in Ezra's time to instill national pride in the post-exilic period.

                    The Hebrew bible was written by losers:  losers in global politics who were repeatedly defeated by the greater powers around them; with some of the literature, "loser" communities within their own culture whose views were rejected; and with still some of the literature, personal "losers" lamenting their fate.

                    True, some of the Hebrew bible, like Proverbs, comes from the equivalent of the 1%.  The D history is written by the privileged of the culture, but the culture itself was an oppressed, loser culture trying to inspire its members to loyalty through aggrandizing its history.

                    Yet through all that crap, some humane, sane elements intrude and survive.

                    •  umm . . . (0+ / 0-)
                      Do you really think the Israelites dispatched anybody?
                      If they didn't, they'd be the only nation on the planet to have never done so, except perhaps the ever sui generis Swiss.  If you think this could possibly have been the case -- that every last story about acquiring or defending territory by violence was 100% wishful thinking on the part of Israelite scribes -- then further discussion with you isn't terribly useful.  Rather unpleasant wishful thinking too, I might add, although that certainly explains Psalm 137.

                      I might add that I don't award bonus points on the principle of "they never had the power to commit the genocides in their own historical record, but they sure as hell had a need to say they could and did commit them."

                      Again YMMV.

                      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                      by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 04:25:59 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Do you remember the circumstances... (0+ / 0-)

                        under which Psalm 137 was written?

                        By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
                            when we remembered Zion.
                        2 There on the poplars
                            we hung our harps,
                        3 for there our captors asked us for songs,
                            our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
                            they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
                        They were the captives of Cyrus.  That nation ended up at the gates of Greece (movie version--Sparta).  The Jews were a joke to them.  They were never a threat.  A subject nation.  It's awful, violent imagery in that Psalm at the end, but in reality, it's wishful revenge thinking of the powerless.

                        The Maccabees gave some grief to the Seleucids later on, but they were the underdogs and lost ultimately.  Freedom fighters more than oppressors.  The Zealots against the Romans?  Masada?

                        Before 1948, I'd challenge you to provide some evidence that the Jews ever conquered or oppressed anybody.

                        •  Yeah, the context excuses everything. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          petral, Arsenic

                          No thank you.

                          Meanwhile, I'll take your antihistoric "Land without a People for a People without Land" interpretation of history with several grains of salt. :-)

                          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                          by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:18:01 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

              •  Or look at Isaiah 3. (0+ / 0-)

                Here's a text that directly contradicts the views of Ezra, viewed as the most likely leader of the real community that produced the "first edition" of the Hebrew bible.  The whole view of that text condemns the ethnocentrism of Ezra and presents and view of humanity united, again pretty nice for 5th BCE.

                •  Contradiction isn't a problem (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BYw, Catesby, cachola

                  in a religious culture that can claim that contradictions in the Word of God exist only in the (faulty) eye of the beholder.

                  You could've just as easily asked why there are two separate and objectively contradictory creation accounts in the first chapter of Genesis.

                  Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                  by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:55:06 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  first two chapters, that is. (0+ / 0-)

                    One account per chapter!

                    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                    by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 04:08:03 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That's a good example... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Timaeus, Naniboujou

                      of what I'm talking about.

                      Why did those editors decide to preserve both creation accounts?  They're obviously not "consistent" the way our Enlightenment-oriented minds operate.

                      It's the same with the stories about Abraham and Sarah and another male.  That repetition looks silly to us.

                      There was obviously a different standard.  For the creation story, it is easier to see.  One story makes one point.  The second story makes another.  The first story seeks to establish YHWH's sovereignty over all--tough task given that the pitiful little nation/culture that worshiped YHWH didn't even really exist any longer.  The second story seeks to answer the question, "If there's a beneficient god, why are things so fucked up?"  Always a tough question for theists.  YMMV on the story.

                      Ultimately, I think it's pretty tough for us moderns to understand why editors would include two inconsistent stories, one right after the other, and seek to peddle it as the history of the beginning.  Similarly, I think it's hard for us to understand pseudonymity in the Pauline epistles in the same way as it was understood by the earliest readers of Ephesus, etc.

                      •  They were both preserved (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        cachola

                        because they were both considered divine writ.  If they contradicted, that was the problem of the person claiming they contradicted.

                        Loath as I am to repeat myself . . .

                        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                        by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:19:04 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Contradiction is a huge problem... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Timaeus, Catesby, TrueBlueMajority

                    if you're a Fundamentalist.  If one reads the bible as some Word of God dropped from heaven, a single contradiction collapses the whole house of cards.  There are extraordinary amounts of effort by "scholars" among Fundamentalists to "resolve" the very obvious issues in the biblical text.  Some are pretty comical.

                    Reading the bible with open eyes, however, reveals a marvelously complex text, constantly contradicting itself, commenting upon itself, revising itself.  Again, an interesting historical question is why did both religions based on the bible, Christianity and Judaism, decide to reject texts as "inspired" early in the Common Era?  It seems to me that's a question best answered by anthropologists like Graeber, etc. who understand the impact of centralized power upon culture.

                    •  Enjoying your learned comments in this thread. (0+ / 0-)

                      But what does this mean?

                      Again, an interesting historical question is why did both religions based on the bible, Christianity and Judaism, decide to reject texts as "inspired" early in the Common Era?
                      •  Is there a book in the bible written... (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Catesby, DeminNewJ, mamamedusa

                        post 100 CE?

                        Neither Judaism nor Christianity recognize anything written post Council of Jamnia as canonical.  Did prophecy cease?  Who proclaimed that end to prophecy?

                        How did written prophecy go on for more than a millennium and then cease completely and suddenly?  Did the god of Judaism and Christianity depart?  Was someone proclaimed the final word (remember that all the Greek bible is post-Christ and Paul never met Christ--at least pre-crucifixion).  

                        It's an interesting question involving theology, anthropology and political behavior.

      •  The most "fervently believing" people... (7+ / 0-)

        ...I know lean almost exclusively on the interpretations of the "trending" man of the cloth.

        Interpretations take less time and effort than reflective reading.

        Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:28:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sadly, you're correct. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          raincrow

          The most vibrant, most...alive churches I've experienced are those in which the pastor/leadership encourages the congregation to study Scripture for themselves.

          The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

          by wesmorgan1 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:58:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Standing on "received opinions" instead of (0+ / 0-)

          standing on the "Word of God."

          Of course, isn't it an old sales gimmick to tell people to look something up, knowing that they won't bother if you appeal to their personal sense of superiority.

          -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

          by JPax on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:17:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed . . . (9+ / 0-)

        Let's start with Deuteronomy 2

        32 When Sihon and all his army came out to meet us in battle at Jahaz, 33 the Lord our God delivered him over to us and we struck him down, together with his sons and his whole army. 34 At that time we took all his towns and completely destroyed[c] them—men, women and children. We left no survivors. 35 But the livestock and the plunder from the towns we had captured we carried off for ourselves. 36

        and 3

         Next we turned and went up along the road toward Bashan, and Og king of Bashan with his whole army marched out to meet us in battle at Edrei. 2 The Lord said to me, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have delivered him into your hands, along with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.”

        3 So the Lord our God also gave into our hands Og king of Bashan and all his army. We struck them down, leaving no survivors. 4 At that time we took all his cities. There was not one of the sixty cities that we did not take from them—the whole region of Argob, Og’s kingdom in Bashan. 5 All these cities were fortified with high walls and with gates and bars, and there were also a great many unwalled villages. 6 We completely destroyed[a] them, as we had done with Sihon king of Heshbon, destroying[b] every city—men, women and children. 7 But all the livestock and the plunder from their cities we carried off for ourselves.

        And it goes on and on. Eventually they are commanded to rape the girls and women.

        •  And now for the money shot, (7+ / 0-)

          Deuteronomy 7

          When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you— 2 and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally.[a] Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. 3 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4 for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. 5 This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles[b] and burn their idols in the fire. 6 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

          •  But on the other hand, "D" is quite progressive: (8+ / 0-)

            Compare the original 3rd Commandment (RC/Lutheran counting) in Exodus--the older text--to Deuteronomy:

            Exodus 20:

            Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
            Deuteronomy 5:
            But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.

            15 And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.

            See how the emphasis and viewpoint have shifted?  YHWH's resting justifies the Sabbath in the older text.  In the D text, the rationale is more human-centered and more oriented to being an underdog/slave in Egypt.  D is consistently like this.  In Exodus, slaves must be released in the 7th year.  In D, they must be released and compensated for the value of their labor.  D includes blessings and curses based upon moral quality (in an Iron Age context).  Luke, in the Greek bible picks up on that and not only blesses the poor in his version of the Sermon on the Mount but curses the rich.

            The Bible is a very complex document composed by multiple ethnic groups liiving in various places over the course of nearly 1,500 years.  There are lots of arguments between different authors, some of them explicit.  There are lots of inconsistencies.

            But it remains, along with other ancient documents we are lucky enough to possess,  a fascinating look into the history of humanity.

          •  When I studied Deuteronomy (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            raincrow, Timaeus, Susipsych, Vicky, mamamedusa

            My professor pointed out that Deuteronomy has a much later writing date than the other 4 books of the Torah, both by legend and by the fact that the linguistics are different.

            Short version is that this section was added to the canon after the fact - these peoples no longer existed as national entities - to chastise contemporary Jews for not following G-d's commandments... after all, these genocides never actually occured in the historical record.  His premise, and the premise he stated was shared by biblical scholars, was that this section was added to justify the hardships that the Jews had faced in the past, under the greater context of not following the laws that had been given to them.

            "If you don't stick to your values when tested, they're not values! They're hobbies" - Jon Stewart

            by LivingOxymoron on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:28:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Jesus didn't say this Old Testament kill 'em all (0+ / 0-)

            80 % of Success is Just Showing Up!

            by Churchill on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 09:10:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  G-d: genocide-DESTROY THEM ALL, nope, not me (0+ / 0-)

            80 % of Success is Just Showing Up!

            by Churchill on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 03:31:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Context! (0+ / 0-)

          Why is it that whenever you hear about genocide and rape, nobody ever takes the time to put it in the proper context?

      •  Judging Bronze age peoples by 21st century (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Patango, Demi Moaned, JPax, Vicky

        hipster standards is really ludicrous.

      •  All of the god-ordered genocides? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timaeus

        Just how many of them do you count in the Bible? To my knowledge there is exactly one, and it was a total failure.

        Somebody challenged Naomi Wolf to read the Bible....

        Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

        by Boundegar on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:35:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm rec'ing that, hoping it's true. (0+ / 0-)

          It's been a long time since I read the whole Bible.

          Could you please elaborate?

          •  Sure, I don't have chapter numbers handy, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Naniboujou, Timaeus

            But in the Book of Joshua - not the most well-known book - God brings Moses to the promised land, puts Joshua in charge and tells him to kill all the Caananites. Those are the indigenous people.

            So Joshua kills all the Caananites. Except, a little while later Israel has a war with the Caananites. And then, centuries later, Jesus has a chat with a Caananite woman. She seems pretty lively, considering.

            Scholars today think Israel's relationship to Caanan was very complicated and often changed, and the Joshua account was... well... let's just say it's the simplified version.

            Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

            by Boundegar on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:01:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Oh well, that's OK then (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cachola

          only one attempted genocide.

          He gets to keep his title as a god of love and morality.

          There's someone else who had one failed attempt at genocide.

      •  Didn't Miss (0+ / 0-)

        I don't know that she missed any of that. She answered the challenge that the bible says god gave Israel to the Hebrews only with citations showing it wasn't given to an ethnic group like "Hebrews". The god-ordered genocides might extend that, but they don't change it.

        Would you rather that extremist zionists insisted that god orders genocide for today's Jews to live in Israel without anyone else?

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:59:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I am aware of no civilizations in the near east (0+ / 0-)

        that sat around all day in Atlanean Togas discussing philosophies and finding new and better ways to be peaceful proto-hippies.

        Yes, that is important to note, because it must not be forgotten. It goes to show that any civilization is capable of becoming monsters.

        But it's also important to not forget what these people faced. Other villages and civilizations that practiced brutality that was just as bad.

        I don't care for this historical document as used for a social template either, for the same reasons, but I never forget that history shows us this was but one civilization of many throughout the centuries that used women as chattel and wiped out neighboring people to gain resources and to consolidate power.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 09:26:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think her comment is (0+ / 0-)

        specifically about the initial covenant where the Jews get given the land of Israel.

        She's right about that.

        As far as god-ordered genocides, there are, of course, plenty of those. But they're not part of the establishment of the covenant, unless you're counting the one where God kills the Egyptians in Exodus--and there He kind of takes care of the genocide on his own, what with turning the Nile to blood and killing all the first-born and such. He doesn't tell the Israelites to do it. And that's theologically significant:  just because God does something doesn't, in the terms of the holy books, automatically mean it's ethical for human beings to do.

        So, no: the Israelites are not "given" Israel as an exclusive property;

        and yes:  it certainly looks like inheriting the country, whether exclusively or not, depends on something called "being God's people" and whether or not you are "God's people" depends on how you behave;

        and no:  God isn't giving you carte blanche to massacre everybody who lives, or wants to live, in Israel with you.

        A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame/Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name/Mother of Exiles.

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 12:13:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  OK, now that sounds like a reasonable position (19+ / 0-)

    for God to take (if there were one). Thanks for bringing this to dKos.

  •  So this message, God's message, (30+ / 0-)

    is basically what the Reverend Barber is saying which is that if you're not taking the high road you're taking the wrong road. That's what happened to Israel. They started out as contenders for a utopian democratic state and they ended up a terrorist state.

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

    by slouching on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:39:45 PM PDT

  •  "we as jews were raised with the creed" (21+ / 0-)

    bullshit. she may have been, but many of us were not. that she only now is learning what many jews learned as children is on her or her parents. the standard reform jewish bilingual torah makes explicitly clear that it is about a way of being, and not special privileges.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:51:03 PM PDT

    •  and served a people without a homeland (8+ / 0-)

      very well.  there is room for creative thinking when you don't have to 'believe' something wacky that takes up useful brain space.  

      There needs to be a new Zionism.  One that isn't exclusive but is permissive.

      plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

      by anna shane on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:54:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Laurence, she says she read those three books (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      petral

      in Hebrew.  Cut her a break.

      Perhaps because I'm not Jewish, I have no idea what your last sentence means.

      •  it means (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kentucky DeanDemocrat

        that reform judaism- by far the largest denomination in the u.s.- has a standard torah, with commentary by scholars of the reform movement. and that commentary makes clear- as does any credible reform rabbi- that the "creed" wolfe claims to have liberated herself from is flat wrong. misunderstanding of it also is a significant cause of animosity and derision toward jews. i have no idea whether she was raised in the reform movement, but that misinterpretation from which she is so proud to have awakened herself is not one held by most even minimally educated american jews.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:28:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Bible is a book to read... (18+ / 0-)

    ...but it is NOT a book written by G%d himself/herself that must be followed to the letter.  

    First, there are different versions of the Bible and there are multiple interpretations.

    Nowadays only the Christian fundamentalists in the US promote the idea of biblical inerrancy and/or infallibility.

    The Christian right, mostly Repug, aims for a form of totalitarian Christianity.

    I read much of the Bible decades ago.  I found it interesting from a historical point of view and somewhat entertaining. But if G#d wrote it we have a very flawed divinity.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:53:43 PM PDT

  •  And the New Testament says -- (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, elsaf, alypsee1, The Marti

    -- if you ignore the book of James -- (another story) -- when you're created you're already predestined to Heaven or Hell, so it doen't matter what you do.

    Go figure.

    Best Scientist Ever Predicts Bacon Will Be Element 119 On The Periodic Table

    by dov12348 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:56:13 PM PDT

  •  Entitlement is a secular concept - (7+ / 0-)

    By virtue of birth or birthrights don't exist. "By your actions you shall be judged" is a religious concept.

    The time has come to repair this country and care for its' veterans.

    by llbear on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:59:19 PM PDT

  •  And the sh*tstorm beings in 3..2..1.. (4+ / 0-)

    Because that is NOT what the fundamentalist conservatives want to hear.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:59:25 PM PDT

  •  Keep in mind the Bible is an anthology (25+ / 0-)

    What we know as the collections of writings codified into the Bible came from a set of meetings to create it around the third century.  

    There was an editorial concept which meant that some things were included and some things were excluded.  

    Meanwhile, the Dead Sea scrolls were undiscovered.  

    Some of it was meant as a way of achieving political control over society, and some it was meant as well intentioned instruction as to ethical behaviour.  

    Consider the history of people burned at the stake over this, or wars fought over who had rights to what land.  

    If God were here among us, He would probably be agnostic, given the humans he would find himself dealing with.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:05:25 PM PDT

    •  ^This^ -- and more specifically, the Old Testament (9+ / 0-)

      is a potpourri of texts, written (or consolidated) for the most part during and after the Babylonian exile of the Israelites, and most definitely answering to the political and cultural imperatives of that period--including a struggle for authority between the former priestly ruling caste of the Kingdom of Judea (taken into slavery in Babylon) and the remaining Judeans who'd gotten along ok without them.  

      Backing up from this, while it is well attested from surrounding cultures' records that the two Kingdoms of Judea and (Northern) Israel existed--and each doubtless had their own versions of Israelite origin stories, etc--it is not even certain that these had devolved from any United Kingdom of Israel, or that the latter was more than very fleeting or notional.  Certainly nothing in the O.T. narrative prior to the reigns of David and Solomon can be taken as historically grounded--that includes Moses and the whole Egyptian Captivity/Exodus story, to say nothing of Abraham and this original 'covenant' at issue in the diary.  Indeed it's much more likely that the self-identified Israelites evolved out of the Canaanites, rather than being some previously distinct, antagonistic people Chosen By God.  

      So to my mind, Naomi's reading of Genesis etc, while I don't doubt its validity, seems sort of beside the point--except to a school of Old-Testament literalists who may or may not be a significant force within the Jewish faith.  FWIW, I was always taught (and have taught) that the relevant Covenant was about keeping the Law, more than being about the state of your matrilineal chromosomes...    

      •  Not sure I agree with much of that, but I rec (0+ / 0-)

        it as a wonderful, learned comment.

        •  well thanks, I guess :-) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          petral

          There's probably a Mark Twain saying to the effect of "It's better to be thought learned than...than...something something."  Can't channel Twain tonight.

          The historical/textual stuff above is pretty much straight Wikipedia, though I understand that no claims about anyone's scripture are going to be uncontroversial to all parties.  S'cool.

          •  Consistent with Finkelstein & Silberman's (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Timaeus

            "The Bible Unearthed."

            This isn't my area of expertise, so I have to rely on secondary analysis. The content of "Bible Unearthed" is consistent with what I'm learning about the archeology and early history of the Fertile Crescent region, though.

            The details they discuss about the walls of Jericho were my own mind-blowing moment. Jericho may have been the first walled city on Earth and it had walls when the texts that became the Old Testament were put in writing, but it didn't have walls during the period when Joshua was storied to have passed through.

            •  Check. Most mind-blowing to me (though can't (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Timaeus

              remember if it's in "Bible Unearthed" or elsewhere) is the total lack of evidence that large numbers of 'Israelites' were ever in Egypt, enslaved or otherwise--or indeed that anyone at all was identified as 'Israelite' during the supposed period of the Egyptian captivity, ie 1600-1300 BC.  Of course I'd never taken the Red-Sea-parting thing literally--or anything in Genesis prior to maybe Abraham, but it was sort of crazy how much of the whole narrative seems to be whole-cloth fable.  Though why should it be surprising, since most other traditional cultures have done the same thing with their origin stories?

    •  It's a perverse concoction formulated by (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cachola

      thoroughly evil men with the sole intent of subjugating those dumb enough to pay them any attention. Look at the Counsel closely and their intent is quite clear. to anyone not looking for an excuse.

      Giving this childish confidence scheme credence out of some perverted concept of respect for other's delusions is counter-productive at best and has yielded incalculable death, pain, and ignorance for centuries.

      There are only two infinities, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not entirely sure about the universe.

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

      by Greyhound on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:46:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  re: control of society (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stuart Heady
      Some of it was meant as a way of achieving political control over society
      i wonder if one of the things that was excluded was something like what the koran left in: "man can only have sex with his wife and that which the right hand possesses"

      the scholars are having a problem with that in modern times because in the old days they interpreted it to mean slaves and captives- easy to rationalize in the old days but how would it be interpreted for/by all those people who couldn't afford slaves and captives or wives?-and what about today? if they were going to use their hand for sex (the hand possesses five fingers) it must be the right hand.

      the right hand, the sword and hammer hand, the tool hand,  is connected to the logical (and mathematical) side of the brain.

      when the sexual impulse for satisfaction gets routed through the logical side of the brain, logic gets a craving for conclusion and finality- certainty. it is supposed to be patient and objective to find the truth. now certainty is the currency of all major religions and dictators and kings. the need for certainty is the need for god. the uncertainty of nature, or whatever uncertainty the rulers create, pushes the frightened toward god and church.

      church explains all in simple, absolute and binary terms and wraps it in order and ritual- all to satisfy that irrational need for certainty. good evil, black white, right wrong, order disorder. here's your certainty, and we'll show you how to use the creative side of the brain to rationalize it, and when logic opens the gate to the creative side to receive the simple easy answer some of the sex energy escapes to the pleasure centers on the right side.

      that IMO is the  basis for the worst of organized religion and its authoritarianism and racism, and the secret of maintaining control of society and creating a warrior class for the civilian oligarchs they serve and command.

      it started when human populations began to control the age of reproduction and the serious masturbation began, and that faulty wiring got burned in.

      maybe the editors knew that if they kept a reference in then it might eventually lead to questions as to why the right hand only.

      maybe it was edited out of jesus's teachings?

      whereas 'primitive' 'religion' was something used to pass down useful lessons related to survival, civility, and not abusing the natural world they depended on, controlling society through sexual repression became the major goal of religion.

      and today they're still at it, making sure a president can't pass a surgeon general who suggests sex education should include masturbation.

      so, i'm wondering, if there is still evidence outside the koran, maybe in the old stuff, of this 'secret of power'.

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 05:46:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is why (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti, chipoliwog, Timaeus

    female rabbis and priests should be encouraged. We will all be better off for it.

    •  I don't think this has anything to do with gender. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow

      It has more to do with the lens by which you look at the text.  I know many male and female Rabbis who would come to the same conclusion, or a completely different conclusion.

      "If you don't stick to your values when tested, they're not values! They're hobbies" - Jon Stewart

      by LivingOxymoron on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:31:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  FWIW, as a Catholic, I've long thought that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Susipsych

      there should be female priests, and that priests should be able to marry.

      The prohibition against marriage of priests didn't happen until about 1100, by the way.

      And there are actually quite a few Roman Catholic priests who are married with children.  How is that possible?  They were Protestant ministers who converted to Catholicism.

      I don't understand why the Vatican accepts those priests while forbidding all other priests to marry.

      And I don't understand why the Vatican is opposed to female priests.

      I think both of those rules will probably change very soon.

  •  How I wish I could read Hebrew (11+ / 0-)

    ... or Greek or Aramaic. I think there's a lot in the translations in use today that is probably in error. The King James version reflects the culture of 17th century Europe (and Britain). Other, newer versions reflect the Zeitgeist of the time and place they were done.

    I think the Bible is sort of a spiritual Rorschach test. Everybody who reads it comes away with what was in their own heart to begin with. That how you can have Gene Robinson and Fred Phelps read the same book and come away believing it said opposite things. Desmond Tutu and Bob Jones believe they based their philosophy on the same writings.

    When I was young, and I asked my father why there had to be so many different churches if everybody was Christian, he explained (in his characteristic, teacherly way) that ancient Hebrew was written without vowels. So even if you can read Hebrew, it's not always possible to know exactly what the writers really meant. A lot in the Biblical translations are just guessing. (Which, of course, doesn't really answer my childhood question, but which satisfied me at the time.)

    Wealth doesn't trickle down -- it rises up.

    by elsaf on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:09:48 PM PDT

    •  I can (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow, Timaeus

      And you don't necessarily need to be able to read the Hebrew as much as have a solid understanding of Biblical Hebrew grammar and syntax.  If you know that even looking the word roots up in a dictionary allows for a whole new level of understanding.

      "If you don't stick to your values when tested, they're not values! They're hobbies" - Jon Stewart

      by LivingOxymoron on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:33:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And don't forget the multiple texts. (8+ / 0-)

      Most people don't understand that "the Bible" doesn't exist.  There isn't one book, perhaps locked up in the Vatican or Fort Knox, that is "the Bible."

      There are many ancient texts.  They don't agree with each other in details.  Sometimes, these details are differences in spelling here and there.  Sometimes, entire stories (like Jesus and the the woman about to be stoned) appear in some ancient texts but not in others.

      The King James was translated out of Erasmus' edition of the Greek bible.  It was a good effort, but modern scholars would find his edition went against the evidence in many instances.  For example, the Protestant ending to the Lord's Prayer:

      For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
      is almost surely a later addition to the text.  Probably just somebody putting in his own improv on the original tune.

      I think it's amazing that human beings passed down ancient texts.  Biblical texts, for the most part, were written on perishable media, and had to be copied and recopied to be passed down.  They're not like the Hammurabi stele that was incribed on stone.  Nor are they like the clay tablet texts in Akkadian that come down to us from Babylonia and Assyria.

      It's natural that there were editorial additions (and more interesting--subtractions) along with human error.  But they're the best we have when it comes to probing some aspects of human history as recorded by human themselves.

    •  Matt Dillahunty said this once. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow, BYw, Catesby, Naniboujou, chancew

      The Bible is the big book of multiple choice.  People generally take what they like out of it and discard the rest.

    •  Actually, good Bible translations are not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow

      hard to find.

  •  well, religious conservatives will treat those (7+ / 0-)

    verses just like they treat the red words in the New Testament.  

    They'll ignore them.

    elipsii: helping the masses express aposiopesis for...

    by bnasley on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:21:46 PM PDT

  •  God is crafty (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    goodpractice

    "and perform various other tasks."

  •  The Bible I have Read (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shawn87, raincrow

    Is not the Bible that the Far Right have read.

    I guess making room for pictures so they can use their crayons made for a lose in translation.

    I am a statistician, not a magician although we are easily confused. I guess that explains why people keep trying to tie me in chains and place me under water.

    by Edge PA on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:29:42 PM PDT

  •  The Old Testament is a contract - (13+ / 0-)

    between the people of Israel and their god. They basically went out in the desert and said "hey, we'll worship a god that will help us win battles. In return we'll sacrifice the fruits of the field and the best of our flock in your name." All the civilizations around them at this time had their own theologies - Sumerians, Egyptians, Romans, Greeks - so they wanted a god on their side. They wanted some of that theological pie, so to speak.

    So many of the Old Testament stories are actually lifted wholesale from other civilzations. The story of creation is from the Sumerians, with quite a bit from the Egyptians. It's no coincidence that the stories of resurrection and rebirth are similar to the Egyptian stories about Osiris and Isis.

    One of my favorite books of all time is Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett. In it, the Great God Om takes on the body of a small tortoise, and is trapped there because of the lack of belief in his followers. He finds his only true believer, Brutha, who helps him become a great god again.

    I see you drivin' 'round town with the girl I love / And I'm like / Please proceed, Governor. - Dave Itzkoff

    by Jensequitur on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:30:17 PM PDT

    •  Event he tale of the virgin birth of Jesus (0+ / 0-)

      was plagiarized from a now mostly lost play by Aeschylus. To the ancients that was simply a way of saying Jesus was a real Mensch yet for centuries to say that out loud would have been a sure fire way to get burned at the stake. Even today that won't make you any friends in some quarters.

      “You think You're frightening me with Your hell, don't You? You think Your hell is worse than mine.” --Dorothy Parker

      by Ice Blue on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 04:55:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Aeschylus's lost play? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kascade Kat

        I think there are said to be many other sources.

        One either believes in apparently supernatural events, or one does not.  I have good reason to believe.  So I'm an orthodox Catholic.  I believe all of it.

        The great Doctor of the Church Tertullian, more than 1500 years ago, famously said "Credo quia absurdum"--"I believe because it is absurd."

        Most atheists (and most Christians!) have no clue what that means, but I do.

        •  The priest who taught my father (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Timaeus

          his catechisms defined faith as belief without proof. If you have faith who can stop you?

          “You think You're frightening me with Your hell, don't You? You think Your hell is worse than mine.” --Dorothy Parker

          by Ice Blue on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 08:24:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Wait til she finds out Moses was a tad genocidal (3+ / 0-)

    Okay, more than a tad.  He was all for it. Numbers 31:9-18.  You don't have to read that in Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic to find out what happened.

    "When puzzled, it never hurts to read the primary documents—a rather simple and self-evident principle that has, nonetheless, completely disappeared from large sectors of the American experience." -- Stephen Jay Gould

    by 8ackgr0und N015e on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:31:04 PM PDT

  •  Now that's the God I worship. Thanks. N/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Timaeus, Pale Jenova

    Find out about my next big thing by reading my blog. Link is here: http://bettysrants.wordpress.com

    by Kimball Cross on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:37:57 PM PDT

  •  Even if Jehovah did give Israel to the (4+ / 0-)

    Hebrews, he ended up taking it back several times when they pissed Him off.  Might there be another "repo" coming in the near future?

    "What are we afraid of, and why are we holding back, when nobody's gonna listen to this shit anyway?" -- magic mitch

    by oldmaestro on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:59:03 PM PDT

  •  Just a courtesy reminder.. (4+ / 0-)

    Religion is a hoax. An ignorant evil hoax.

    God couldn't even get slavery right.

    What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

    by Cpqemp on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:01:24 PM PDT

    •  You are over-simplifying. (6+ / 0-)

      Who knows what any god thinks, but the Hebrew bible has varying views on slavery.  Exodus requires all slaves to be released after seven years.  Most likely, it's talking about the common ANE practice of debt slavery.  When you had no other collateral to borrow money, you sold your kids or even yourself into slavery.  It was this limitation that the slavers and slaveholders in this country had to finesse their way out of back in Jamestown.  Of course, they had no problem doing so on the basis of race.

      The D source not only limits the term to seven years, but requires that the slave be compensated for the value of his labor.

      The P source prohibits debt slavery for fellow Israelites.

      Note that debt slavery is universal in the ANE based on the written laws we have from other cultures.

      The P source also institutes the Jubilee which not only ends any term of debt slavery but strips all property for "gainers" since the last Jubilee and restores it to its "losers."  Every 50 years, everything was rendered equal.

      Of course, that was likely a pipedream of some writer/community.  Jeremiah complained that it had never been implemented and was thrown into a well to die for it.  (But he didn't, not yet.)  Hey, some things never change.

      Would that we had so progressive a policy as the Jubilee in our world.

    •  Some people honestly believe it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timaeus

      I don't think it's fair to call religion a hoax.

      •  Religion isn't necessarily a hoax (0+ / 0-)

        but it certainly is a method of social control.  So, in that respect, it's not entirely genuine.

      •  What does the fact that some people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cpqemp

        believe it have to do with whether it is a hoax?

        •  It implies the believers promoting it lie. (0+ / 0-)

          Granted, they claim to have knowledge of something that they don't actually have knowledge about, and so that's a lie in a technical sense.

          But most people are kind of shaky on the epistemological grounds of things like what knowledge is, and basic philosophy anyway, so I don't really consider that a point against them.  Most people just don't think about philosophy very much.  Including atheists.

          Lying implies a malicious or deceitful intent, and I don't think the majority of religious people promote their religion for that purpose.  Some do, but I suspect the people who do knowingly lie are people who don't believe and just use religion as the helpful tool of control it can be.  So they can get money.

          Delusion is probably a better word, generally.

          If nothing else, consider that we're in a community here in which there's going to be believers reading what we say.  We ought to at least make a consideration for how they'd react to our declarations.

          Delusion simply means they're mistaken.  I'm pretty sure they consider non-believers to be delusional, so they'd probably be okay with that.

          Whether or not the foundation of the religion in question is a hoax is also a claim.  If, for example, the original story of Jesus was told as Jewish fanfiction, then it would hardly be fair to call that a hoax.  The fandom just got a wee bit out of control.

    •  I just love it when others give me the REAL scoop (0+ / 0-)

      on my reality. Shades of "Homosexuality is a CHOICE."

      Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

      by raincrow on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:36:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for the reminder (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timaeus

      That the belief system I've based most of my adult life upon, and that has brought me comfort and a tremendous amount of joy, is a hoax. That was a DICK comment.

      "Because we are all connected...."

      by Shawn87 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:52:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  a lot of people here feel that way (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shawn87

        i no longer take it personally

        no one has the right or the ability to judge y/our reality.

        Cpqemp saying it is a hoax does not make it so

        and does not deny or redefine all the truth of y/our personal experience

        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:25:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't say so.. (0+ / 0-)

        The evidence says so. Evidence, reason, common sense, all on my side. Look into it.

        What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

        by Cpqemp on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 12:46:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Evidence, reason and common sense, (0+ / 0-)

          Also would suggest that being a DICK doesn't help a person win friends or influence people. It just makes whatever point you're trying to make fall upon deaf ears. Look into THAT.

          "Because we are all connected...."

          by Shawn87 on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 04:18:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It i a social construct that helps humans lived (0+ / 0-)

      together.
      pretty much the ten commandments are about how to live in groups.
      Cave dude goes and has sex with which ever female he can catch uncompanied. Maybe keep a few around cause he is good a bringing meat with his brothers.  And the sisters say, "Eh, ok he'll do for now."
      But then cave dude and his brother settle into a particularly nice place . But then the brothers have a big fight over the lastest ripe girl and they both do bad shit to each other and everybody is in a bad way because no not meat and have to share veggies with freaking cave dude and his stupid brother so babies get less.  Plus cave dude and brother really stink so having to use up herb oil to cover it up. ugh

      So then to keep the peace ya got rules. Cave dude don't kill you bro he helps you catch meat. Leave your bro's stuff alone, leave your bro's woman alone, be good to mom and dad, don't lie cause then your bro won't trust you to do the first two things and if you do those things a scary bigger dude will get you cause he is magic!

      Pretty much rules for closely related people living closely together.

    •  Aren't you precious? (0+ / 0-)
    •  If you mean organized religions I agree with you. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timaeus, petral, bigjacbigjacbigjac

      But if you mean the OT and NT are crap I disagree. If you remember it was written by all-too-human humans with all-too-human flaws you will find they contain a lot of wisdom. Just remember the meaning of the word parable.

      “You think You're frightening me with Your hell, don't You? You think Your hell is worse than mine.” --Dorothy Parker

      by Ice Blue on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 05:16:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My dear Cpqemp, religions are a mixed bag. (0+ / 0-)

      But I love the Bible.

      I am an adamant non-believer,
      but I love the Bible.

      See my comment downthread,
      for my explanation of why.

      Famine in America by 2050: the post-peak oil American apocalypse.

      by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 01:14:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  it still shouldn't matter at all (7+ / 0-)

    promises of land grants made by mythical beings thousands of years ago should mean fuck-all today. really, what is the deal with still acting as though these ancient texts should have some bearing on our lives today? we can't go around allotting land to this group or that group based on the folklore of the Bible (or the Torah, or the Koran, etc). we already know how to treat people respectfully, how to ethically conduct business, etc, we just often refuse to do it. but whether specific ethnicities, or people who behave in this manner or that are promised land in a biblical allegory should have no bearing at all on decisions people make in the real world today.

    all decisions that get made now based on folklore end up having terrible repercussions. and that includes the many, many people who, in the backs of their minds, believe there is a superior being powerful enough to stave off man-made catastrophes with a sweep of his magic beard. people who keep this crap up will be the death of us all.

    Shout golden shouts!

    by itsbenj on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:12:03 PM PDT

  •  That's my kind of G*d! The kind Naomi (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Ice Blue, Timaeus

    discovered in the real, uncensored, unaltered, original word.

    Thanks for sharing, C. Had not seen this and celebrate Naomi's enlightenment.

    I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it's for or against. ~ Malcolm X -8.62 -8.36

    by 4Freedom on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:16:49 PM PDT

  •  She's wrong on one count... (10+ / 0-)

    It's not "Zarim" its "Gerim."  She's correct when she says it usually translated as "strangers," but a more correct term is "sojourners."  That is, people not native to your land who live there but who are not permanent residents... this would cover migrant workers, immigrants, etc.

    "If you don't stick to your values when tested, they're not values! They're hobbies" - Jon Stewart

    by LivingOxymoron on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:17:47 PM PDT

  •  The choosen thing and the land thing still require (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow

    you to get along with your neigbors, not that the neigbors are that friendly in this instance.

  •  what complete and utter bullshit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexMex

    "god" did not "give" any land to anyone.

    period

    in fact, the first 5 books of the bible were written by a pharaoh of Egypt who took the reed people together in an army and campaigned with them into the levant to drive out the Canaanites.

    so whenever it says, "the lord commanded them to go into the land and kill every man woman and child" it is talking about pharaoh

    not "god".

    read up on

    Thutmose(s) III and the dating of the ruins of Jericho
    thutmose III first campaign

    Be the change that you want to see in the world

    by New Minas on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:24:07 PM PDT

  •  Funny what happens when (14+ / 0-)

    you read the authoritative source material.

    This actually means if you are an atheist, yet behave in the manner prescribed, you are one of God's chosen people.

    And if you claim to be holier, more favored than thou, but do not behaved as described - God does not recognize you as His Chosen one(s).

    Maybe they should read the book before they go to war over it.

    (and by this I mean both literal and non-literal war)

  •  And that is why (4+ / 0-)

    Episcopalians emphasize orthopraxy more than orthodoxy.



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:38:14 PM PDT

  •  Hmmmm...... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nuclear winter solstice

    I recall reading the sorry of Jericho as a child.  There is really no room for interpretation.  However, ethnic cleansing and ethnic self interest is a story as old as time and not exclusive to Isreal.  One should not take these claims of ethnic superiority seriously.

    I do think the patriotic thing to do is to critique my country. How else do you make a country better but by pointing out its flaws? Bill Maher

    by gtghawaii on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:39:54 PM PDT

  •  Dude (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, jqb

    If I'm understanding what she's saying then...

    I think I might be Jewish!

    "this level of stupid snark should be upgraded"

    by Chuckling Quietly to Myself on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:41:45 PM PDT

  •  Excellent analysis and I am going to steal it (2+ / 0-)

    I say quite often, that IF we could follow the words of "God" and interpreted by men, and the words of Jesus, [either God's son or a prophet], then the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN will be our . . . her on EARTH.  Because we will find peace, compassion, kindness, empathy, forgiveness and goodwill for ourselves and strangers who may come to be among us.

    IMHO

  •  In the Kebra Nagast... (4+ / 0-)

    It tells the tale of how the Arc of the Covenant came to leave Jerusalem and come to reside in Ethiopia (where it sits, to this day, in a temple outside of Addis Ababa).

    It is more or less exactly as this author notes.

    The covenant of the chosen people is transactional. And when Solomon turned against the faith - his own priests knew it was broken, and so stole out in the middle of the night, caught up with his son Menelik in the desert, and then revealed what they had taken, and why.

    Ethiopia became Jewish, in that moment, the moment of its founding - as a result. And remained so until the Apostle Mathew arrived.

    To keep the covenant, or to regain it - your perspective here depending... requires acting according the rules of the covenant.

    OMG, like, gag them with a multi-colored spoon. Like, ya know.

    by Jyotai on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:47:53 PM PDT

    •  I'm not sure I agree with all of that, but I (0+ / 0-)

      think you're probably correct that the Ark (not arc, by the way) of the Covenant was moved to Ethiopia.

      I've wondered about traveling there, but you can't get in, and, of course, if you did, it might be dangerous.  (Channeling Raiders of the Lost Ark.)

      •  Pointed out for context... (0+ / 0-)

        I brought it up not as a claim of "absolute truth" - but to show that there is Biblical era support for the notion that the covenant is transactional.

        The Ethiopians, and the Jewish Priests that converted them - held that Solomon's sins lost his people the covenant.

        For these reasons Ethiopia became a land very sensitive to keeping the covenant it felt it had earned - and that caused a different kind of leadership to evolve.

        While Ethiopians have fought internal wars to wrest control from one religion to another (as recently as the early 1900s) - they maintained general religious / minority tolerance above that seen elsewhere.

        The idea that Ethiopia's kings are descended from Solomon's first born, and that they were the first Christian nation - those can be debated. But that they believe these things to be true... heavily influenced how they behaved.

        Because while Israel has always held that the covenant they think they have is an inborn right... the Ethiopians have always felt that they could lose their covenant if they allowed their leaders to take them into wrongful paths.

        OMG, like, gag them with a multi-colored spoon. Like, ya know.

        by Jyotai on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 01:44:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Which would mean (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, TexMex, TrueBlueMajority

    that the Reverend Barber has a better grasp of what it means to be a "Christian" than many of our brothers and sisters on the right! What a concept!

  •  Speaking as someone who is not religious (8+ / 0-)

    the shrill nails-on-blackboard quality of the hostility to religion and the religious (esp Christians) spewed by some at KOS is counter-productive and kind of repulsive. Not every Christian handles snakes and speaks in tongues and obsesses about lady parts, you know. Not even in America.

    •  It's especially annoying.... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow, Mayfly, skymutt, Emmy, DrTerwilliker

      ...when folks with a religious viewpoint are having a conversation about it in a diary, the hostile unbelievers need to chime in with "It's all a lotta rubbish" rather than just quietly let the religious folks have their conversation without sniping....

      I TRY to be be polite towards people who believe stuff I don't, as long as they aren't trying to take over the country for Gee-Zizz...then I'm rude.

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:40:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You mean (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Johnny Q, jqb

        as opposed to the treatment people who oppose wars and bombing get when spotted by "pragmatic centrists" around here, yes?

        Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

        by ActivistGuy on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 04:30:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well we have had 2,000 years (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jqb, chancew

        of getting executed for our lack of beliefs, so I think it's just fine that you just have to put up with people disagreeing with you and not taking your beliefs seriously.

        Fair's fair.

      •  Yeah, we should be quiet and let you speak (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chancew

        cuz in greater society we get all the air time and you have to remain silent.

        Yeah, right.

      •  No I mean you shouldnt insist upon disrupting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DrTerwilliker

        someone's diary about religious issues by TROLLING, like the three rude people did right here; it's no skin off your noses what people are discussing in some diary, but you jerks insist upon going all "Waaaah! We get to chime in on anything we want because FREEDUMB, don't tell US we can't troll someone's diary!"

        Believe me, I have no patience with fundamentalist frogwash and I'm currently being screamed at because I said mean things about Tony Dungy and people who want to shove their crap down our collective throats, but at the same time, people oughta be able to have a discussion without rude jerks trolling the comment thread.

        I respect people's religion until they want to use it as a basis for running the country...

        "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

        by leftykook on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 04:22:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The difference between liberals and progressives (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow, faerywings

      At least to me, is that liberals like to take liberties to offend on an equal basis to conservatives. Progressives want to move forward and progress beyond that false dichotomy.

      Of course, I could be wrong. After all, I'm a centrist. When people tell me that means "moderate" I hit them over the head and tell them I can be very immoderate, but that doesn't change my centrist position on the issue. :-)

      -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

      by JPax on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:41:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sure. But then try and be a religious minority, or (0+ / 0-)

      gay, or a feminist, enter into conversations with Christians, and find out that they might not drink kerosene and dance with snakes, but they sure as hell want you silent in church, think marriage is between only a man and a woman, and often wonder why anyone would be anything other than a Christian, because you know--all those others are going to hell if they "don't get right with god"

      Then send your kids to school with their kids and watch this happen on a smaller, meaner scale.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 09:31:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not all Christians (0+ / 0-)

        want women to be silent in church, think marriage is only for heterosexuals, or believe people who take other spiritual paths (or disavow anything spiritual) are going to hell . . .

        Is there a CITIZENS CLIMATE LOBBY chapter near you? http://citizensclimatelobby.org/ccl-chapter-locations/

        by thea lake on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 10:28:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So tired of the religious-splaining (0+ / 0-)

          If you are so dense that you have missed the last 40 years of the Moral Majority, morphing into the Christian Coalition and then into the Bagger Movement, then that's one you.

          So glad they ain't all like that, I sure am.

          But you know--membership definitely comes with its privileges.

          Just ask a Woman, a Muslim or an Atheist.

          So if you will excuse me I have to deal with a noisy but powerful "minority" intent on taking away my rights as a woman regardless of my beliefs, who happen to be Supreme Court Justices, Owners of Closely Held Corporations, Leaders of Mega Churches, Televangelists-com-king makers, Tax Cheats, and of course revisionist historians who want to remake America in their own image.

          Ever notice for every one Bill Moyers you all have what---15 hateful political pundits or leaders out spreading the "good News" for you? And don't you find it ironic that you are mad at those directly affected negatively by the antics of this alleged minority that use Christianity as the justification for their bigotry, rather than perhaps looking inward to your own faith group and wondering why your voice as a non-Bigoted Christian, isn't being heard or represented?

          Is that my fault or yours?

          I am curious, not being a Christian at all.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 03:02:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "So dense," GreenMother? (0+ / 0-)

            Let me just say that I am a retired university faculty member, that for 30 years I taught Literature, Composition--and Women's Studies.

            So I'm neither ill-informed nor uninformed . . . nor am I "mad at those directly affected" the frightening rightward surge as you assume--not least, because I AM one of those so affected; neither do I claim to be Christian.

            However, as you have clearly made up your mind on the matter, I will leave you to the comfort of your anger.

            Is there a CITIZENS CLIMATE LOBBY chapter near you? http://citizensclimatelobby.org/ccl-chapter-locations/

            by thea lake on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 08:35:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  AMEN (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Teiresias70, Leftcandid

    Here's to a world where everyone chooses this ethic, no matter their God or no-God.

    Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

    by raincrow on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:17:41 PM PDT

  •  my personal believe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jqb

    What I gather from reading the Bible is an embellished history of Jews, written by Jews, and filled with myths and superstitions. Much if the Bible comes from stories and myths of earlier civilizations.  I believe the God of Israel is a God created by Jews to justify their actions of murder and other crimes against other cultures and societies. The prophesies that the Bible say are fulfilled are "hindsight bias". Hindsight bias is an event that is misattributed to past predictions. In other words, I told you God would destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for their behaviors when the destruction was actually because of natural causes.

    •  A bit simplistic (0+ / 0-)

      Obviously it was written in large part for propagandistic reasons, but it's unfair to characterize ancient Israelites and Judeans as only evil. There are very inspiring and peace-loving parts of the bible, and some that are not so much. Every society has its self-justifying myths, including ours.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:50:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks for your response (0+ / 0-)

        From my perspective, there isn't much inspiring about the Bible. The Bible says many things about a God who is loving and protecting however I don't see it. According to the Bible, God is supposed to protect his children and creation. Instead millions of innocent men, women and children suffer and die from wars, hunger, disease, natural disasters and neglect. My experiences with the Bible and Christianity have been disappointing. Prayers aren't answered---I've done well without asking for help from mythical creator and invisible being. The world is becoming more dangerous without intervention from a Higher Power.   Judaism is the only major religion in which humans are intrinsically sinful and men, women and children take on the consequences of death because of original sin.

        •  If you read it literally, you will be disappointed (0+ / 0-)

          Do you read the Greek myths literally? Even as a child, I didn't really expect Zeus to figure in my life one way or another. But there are parts of the bible that are worth reading, even inspiring, e.g. Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 06:00:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  He didn't say that. (0+ / 0-)

        He said Israelites and Judeans created their God to justify crimes against other societies, he didn't say they were only evil.

        very inspiring and peace-loving parts of the bible
        Not for me.
        •  ALL cultures do that (0+ / 0-)

          The New Testament could be interpreted as Paul's manifesto for world domination and justification for the oppression to come.

          And unless you're an expert on the ancient history of this region, you're not qualified to weigh in on the true reasons the bible was written. It just strikes me as a backdoor way of saying "See, these people have ALWAYS been massacring their neighbors!". Well, show me a people that hasn't. If purity of intentions and actions was the qualifying factor in whether a given people deserve a country of their own, then no people would deserve one.

          And don't even get me started on the millions slaughtered under the banner of the New Testament. Religion is universally used to justify evil.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 06:07:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Non responsive. (0+ / 0-)
            And unless you're an expert on the ancient history of this region, you're not qualified to weigh in on the true reasons the bible was written.
            Oh please. I usually like what you write, but sometimes you fall down a hole.
            •  Unless he or you are experts in the topic (0+ / 0-)

              or can cite expert backup, you would have no way of knowing that

              Israelites and Judeans created their God to justify crimes against other societies
              Would you say this about ancient pagans, Muslims, Christians and others, or is it just us evil Jews past and present who like to commit evil and justify it with religion and god that we created just for that purpose?

              I don't doubt that this is PART of why humans invented god and religion, but it's not the only reason, plus it's universal and not limited to just Jews.

              "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

              by kovie on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 04:43:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting, but no, "god" doesn't grant land. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, jqb, Pale Jenova

    At least not in the modern world.  From my own experience, unconditional giving (of self, of care, of nourishment, of love) in the name of religion is the only good religion does for the world.  The taking, reclaiming, fighting, dividing, demonizing, killing, and destroying in the name of religion (including what's in religions books) is simply evil.

    America, where a rising tide lifts all boats! Unless you don't have a boat...uh...then it lifts all who can swim! Er, uh...um...and if you can't swim? SHAME ON YOU!

    by Back In Blue on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:41:26 PM PDT

  •  Exodus 19:8 = consent of the governed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nuclear winter solstice

    That's really all you need to argue against people who want to force their idea of biblical morality down your throat.

    If you didn't agree to it, it doesn't apply to you. He may not let you into Heaven, but that's your choice.

    -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

    by JPax on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:45:06 PM PDT

  •  I really wish more people would actually (5+ / 0-)

    read the Bible.  The whole thing.  And then thought about it in it's entirety instead of picking a quip or two that supports their beef-of-the-day.  It's not an easy tome to get through, takes some real effort to read and digest it.

    Most of the political discourse that claims basis in the Bible is utter bullshit when taken in context, something that the spewers of bullshit hope their listeners never do. Glad this author took the time an realized that.

    The Bible is WAY more often used as a weapon than a serious guide to a feasible spiritual path.  The fact that so few actually read it, preferring instead to believe what they've been told about it, makes turning it into a weapon popular.  That makes me sad.

    If you don't like it, attack the message, not the messenger. The former may convince me that I am wrong, but the latter will always convince that I am right.

    by nancyjones on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:48:27 PM PDT

    •  It's clearly not a coherent and consistent work (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jqb, bigjacbigjacbigjac

      Written by different people at different times with different experiences and agendas, it's more a compendium than a single book. There are good parts, bad parts, meh parts, parts that make sense and inspire, parts that don't. I'm ok with taking the parts you like and not the ones you don't like so long as you don't try to impose it on others or use it to prove your superiority.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:47:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  See my comment below. (0+ / 0-)

      Famine in America by 2050: the post-peak oil American apocalypse.

      by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 01:02:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've found her evolution to be fascinating. (0+ / 0-)

    She opened the box to look inside and ended up learning more than she ever wanted to know.

    Now, it's her career.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

    by Greyhound on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:48:29 PM PDT

  •  I could never worship this (3+ / 0-)

    Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

    by ActivistGuy on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:52:28 PM PDT

  •  she's just now discovering this? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority

    She describes the concepts I was brought up with in my Jewish education

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 04:20:26 PM PDT

  •  God's people not by birth but by a way of behaving (3+ / 0-)
    "my people" is not ethnic -- it is transactional.
    Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. John 15:4

    at least this is how I've always thought of "the kingdom of God is within you"

    We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

    by nuclear winter solstice on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 04:22:24 PM PDT

  •  Somehow I've been ducking this diary all (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clytemnestra, jqb, thea lake, ronlib

    day, misunderstanding the title.

    But I'm sure glad I read that.  That's powerful.

    And, of course, she doesn't need to spell out how that applies to current Israel and Palestine.  It's obvious.

  •  are there accurate searchable translations of the (0+ / 0-)

    old stuff available on line?

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 04:45:39 PM PDT

  •  We all need to read this, Ms. Wolf's own (0+ / 0-)

    rebuttal, and it's POWERFUL:

    http://nymag.com/...

  •  Nere's support for Wolf's understanding (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego

    The word for Hebrew could mean "laboring class" or "outcasts." Gerald LaRue of USC has put forward this idea.

    If so, Exodus makes a lot more sense. In this formulation, the children of Jacob have been placed in Egypt to develop a sense of commmunity and compassion. As they are led out of Egypt, they become Israelites.  

  •  Religion is only fun when you get to tell other (0+ / 0-)

    people how to behave.

    My son-in-law hates 'have a blessed day' sayers.  I told him to answer back with 'Jesus loves you anyway'.

    Child forgotten in car? -- Use open source E-Z Baby Saver -- Andrew Pelham, 11yo inventor E-Z Baby Saver

    by 88kathy on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:39:37 PM PDT

  •  there is love, kindness.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jqb

    empathy, honesty...and then there is religion.  

  •  Perhaps basing foreign policy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jqb, ronlib

    on the laws of nomadic tribes who lived hand to mouth 2000 years ago is not the best choice we could be making right now?

    I don't care what the bloody Bible has to say about anything.  Turn the page and it says something else.  Point out the contradiction and you are condescendingly told that there are mysteries beyond our mortal understanding.  Question why this benevolent Lord would allow, for example, little kids to be butchered by machine guns, you are told "The Lord works in mysterious Ways."

    In short, you can take your precious Bible and stick it up your jumper.  It isn't worth the trouble it has caused.

    "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

    by Reepicheep on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:23:45 PM PDT

  •  Sounds kind of like the teachings of Christ who (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ronlib, WakeUpNeo

    read the same thing and saw it the same way.

    It's not that I am comparing the two faiths, Christians, as a group have misused the texts just as much - it's that Hebrew's teachings and Christian's teachings are of a stern but accepting God to wants the peacey lovey stuff.
    You are a child of God if you act in a Godly way.  It's a rule.

    All I can say is Thank God when people who can have some influence say that aloud and very publicly because too many dishonest people miss use a beautiful message.  By ignoring the message and relying on the history of violence and barbarity that is all too often how people behave and claiming that is the word of God.  Dudes.  You are soooo very wrong.

  •  The "better angels" moral core of all religions (3+ / 0-)

    is what's important. In fact IMO it's the only thing that's important. Everything else, from the made-up miracles meant to appeal to the unsophisticated, to the whole my god can kick your god's ass silliness, to that whole fire and brimstone nonsense, to men being better than women and all that crap, is just BS IMO, a combination of propaganda and behavior control.

    Just be a good person. The rest is just filler.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:44:04 PM PDT

  •  I'm working on my own version of the Bible. (0+ / 0-)

    I'm pretty sure they got a lot of translations mixed up.

    Instead of being born in sin. The book of Adia Written by Saint Sarah McLachlan. will state.

    "We are born innocent"

    Instead of a talking Snake tempting Eve with eating from the "Tree of Knowledge" and cursing women for ages.  

    It will be a Reich Wing radio host tempting her to stay home ignorant, barefoot and pregnant. But my Eve eats from the tree and that is where women as all men know will be recognized through eternity as the smarter being. She ate from the Tree. Worth more than their weight and gold. While being given damn near God status for being the mother's of human life.

    Jesus. He would be more like this Jesus.

    If your a conservative your either an ignorant bigot or ignorant of their bigoted polices and views. Either way your ignorant.

    by SharksBreath on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:48:30 PM PDT

  •  Hold on I'm getting message traffic... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    edwardssl, jqb, Buckeye Nut Schell

    What's that? It belongs to me now? Really?

    OK, I'll tell them, but they're not gonna like it!

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:56:13 PM PDT

  •  Naomi finds the teachings of Christ in Genesis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pale Jenova

    In other words they are the same as the teachings of Genesis.
    So he read it right too.

    I've said all my adult life that most of the Christian Bible is about what Christianity isn't.  And that God knows how dumb we are and made rules that even dummies could follow.

    On the one hand it makes sense that 90% of human's efforts to try to understand an ineffable essence is wrong 90% of the time,  so everybody who claims they are the only ones who get it right are wrong from the git go.  They may have bits of it right, but 100% understanding. -  no way

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Namoi and Clytemnestra

  •  WOW!! Now that's a smack down on many levels. (0+ / 0-)

    Pick on people who are smarter, better educated, and probably look better than you at your own peril .  A would also add that her interpretation is consistent with my understanding of the fundamental message of that other Jewish rabble-rouser.  You know.  Jesus.  

    A bad idea isn't responsible for those who believe it. ---Stephen Cannell

    by YellerDog on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 08:12:08 PM PDT

  •  This is exactly (3+ / 0-)

    what I was always taught.

    The "chosen" is not a birthright. It is a responsibility.

  •  Even if you're an athiest, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pale Jenova, thea lake

    this is incredibly beautiful. We are all "chosen" only of we choose to respect the rights and beliefs of others.

    Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

    by SamanthaCarter on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 11:44:16 PM PDT

  •  Zionists are not God's people. (0+ / 0-)

    And don't you dare HR me for disagreeing.

  •  I am a non-believer. (4+ / 0-)

    However,
    I love the Bible,
    at least some parts of it.

    however,
    to read the bible correctly,
    as it was intended by the various human writers of it,
    you must realize that for a very long time,
    it was fashionable
    to write and teach in parables.

    Parables.

    In the Bible,
    bread is never bread,
    water is never water,
    a tree is never a tree,
    a man is never a man,
    a woman is never a woman,
    land is never land,
    a widow is never a widow,
    and orphan is never an orphan,
    etc., etc., etc.

    So.

    The promised land written about in the Bible
    is
    not
    land.

    Not land.

    Not real estate,

    Not soil, with rivers and trees and houses.

    Not
    land.

    The "promised land"
    means
    the understanding of some important point of philosophy.

    Or,
    if you truly understand what I just wrote,
    you have reached the promised land,
    with regard to that important piece of information.

    When you see that evolution is simply a fact,
    you have reached that promised land.

    When you see that the big bang is simply a fact,
    you have reached that promised land.

    When you see that the golden rule
    is not so great,
    because you need to figure out
    what others want and need,
    which may be different
    from what you want and need.

    When I realized
    that I need monogamy,
    so I can feel like a good husband,
    truly giving a good life to my wife,
    I reached a certain promised land.

    The loving, just, and merciful
    behavior
    listed in the Bible,
    is,
    in itself,
    as you experience it,
    your promised land.

    You cannot own or control real estate;
    the floods and storms will blast you off,
    and other disasters will make it clear,
    you cannot own the land.

    But you can own a moment,
    a moment in which you love your wife,
    in such a way,
    that you find peace.

    Go,
    and love,
    and find your promised land.

    Famine in America by 2050: the post-peak oil American apocalypse.

    by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 12:54:02 AM PDT

  •  Why would any of this be mind blowing? Anybody ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ronlib, shaharazade

    Why would any of this be mind blowing? Anybody who even remotely takes the time to read and ACTUALLY comprehend these books should have been able to tell you "Yeah. This has nothing to do with your genetics."

    Religion is usurped by rightwing, racist, intolerant nutjobs the world over because of how damned easy it is to create the "us vs them" mentality from religious teachings that reward good behavior and threaten to punish the bad.

  •  Be with mercy and welcome strangers, then you will (3+ / 0-)

    be my people, God's people,  and you will dwell in peace.  Amazing, to contemplate, with the current bloody fighting in this small strip of land claimed by so many.

  •  great (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up!

    by Churchill on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 03:21:47 AM PDT

  •  Hosea 1-2 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pale Jenova

    She's right, of course, and one only needs to read the prophets. They say, over and over and over again, "The land is gone because God has withdrawn his protection from you because you have engaged in idolatry." The easiest place to see this is the very short, blistering Book of Hosea.

    Oh, and Amos has plenty to say about engaging in ripping off the poor.

    "for all the murders, rapes, and thefts,/ Committed in the horrid lust of war,/ He that unjustly caus'd it first proceed,/ Shall find it in his grave and in his seed." -- Webster, "The White Devil," IV i 8-12.

    by The Geogre on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 05:46:12 AM PDT

  •  Haven't got that far in my Jewish Study Bible yet (0+ / 0-)

    but I'm going to look that up.  

  •  it's refreshing to read this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pale Jenova

    Jews are warned in the bible that if they don't behave "the land will spit you out".  There is NO GUARANTEE of safety in Isreal (or anywhere else for that matter), and I tire of people trying to promote that.

  •  Sometimes I think of the major and minor (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thea lake, shaharazade

    religions and their various splinter groups as corporations that have evolved over time to encompass and take over most of the inhabited planet.  "Eden" is the pre-corporate world.  History is another word for heaven and hell on earth.  We are living in it and death is the only way out.
    Choose a religion, follow the precepts, the company line, that appeals to your acquired belief.  Find happiness, or not.  Be a good person, or not.  The consequences of your actions are real.

  •  when I consider the whole Earth (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, Apost8

    wouldn't "God's land" be like...Hawaii? Or the Pacific Northwest? Or parts of the Mediterranean?

    Israel would most definitely be very low on the list.

  •  I know who Clytemnestra was but why did you (0+ / 0-)

    choose her name for your pen name?

    Thank you

    •  By the way, I was raised in a town called Liberty (0+ / 0-)

      New York in the 1940's and 50's and all my friends were Jewish and they taught me the same things you have written here.

      This time period was the absolute epitome of the antisemitism movement in this country.

  •  Did God give a deed? (0+ / 0-)

    In a real world, Germany, Poland, and Austria would have been carved out for a Jewish Homeland.  We are fighting wars for sixty years over this?  We could dig up the Wailing War and whatever and move it to North Dakota cheaper.
    Bottom line if you support Israel, you must demand we give America back to the Indians.

    I am a Liberal. I am not a Progressive. If you are a Progressive you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    by LemmyCaution on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 04:56:25 PM PDT

    •  Oh and don't forget (0+ / 0-)

      The USS Liberty incident was an attack on a United States Navy technical research ship, USS Liberty, by Israeli Air Force jet fighter aircraft and Israeli Navy motor torpedo boats, on 8 June 1967, during the Six-Day War.[3] The combined air and sea attack killed 34 crew members (naval officers, seamen, two Marines, and one civilian), wounded 171 crew members, and severely damaged the ship.[4] At the time, the ship was in international waters north of the Sinai Peninsula, about 25.5 nmi (29.3 mi; 47.2 km) northwest from the Egyptian city of Arish.[1][5]

      I am a Liberal. I am not a Progressive. If you are a Progressive you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

      by LemmyCaution on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 10:14:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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