Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bible study - Beware of your family

Dear readers of UU A Way of life:

It may seem strange to some Unitarian Universalists that this blog has begun a bible study, but it is what it is and here it is. I hope you will read along and comment. It probably will take a year or more to get through it so fasten you seat belt, bring along your drinks and cheese doodles because this whole trip will be long. However, it will be fun, scary, adventuresome, and exciting. I hope it will be worth the trip.

I started at the beginning in Genesis and it is quite a book. I highly recommend it. It's certainly better than the crap on TV and in the movie theaters.

There are so many great stories in Genesis that it is hard to know where to begin the study: is it Cain killing Abel, or Noah and his big boat full of animals, or Joseph and his multi-colored coat who gets left in the pit, or Lot's daughters who get him drunk so they can screw him (yet you read that right, there's actually a story of females raping a male right in the first book of the Bible), or Onan spilling his seed on the ground which gave rise to Onanism, the sin of masturbation. I don't know if the kids should be reading Genesis. It certainly is R-rated if not XXX. It depicts murder and mahem at its wildest and some would say best.

But one of the biggest take aways is that you are mainly at risk from your own family. Families in Genesis are treacherous. They kill, rape, injure, steal, are unfaithful, lie, trick and belittle each other.

The main theme of Genesis is that family life is dangerous and hell on earth. In reading Genesis, I wonder where the religious right gets their ideas of "family values" because the families of the Patriarchs were not nice. Today they would be called "dysfunctional".

If Genesis has anything to teach modern generations, it is how not to be. Out of all of it, the most compelling story beyond Lot's daughters raping him is the story of Abraham who hears voices to kill his own son Issac. Genesis has us believing for awhile that killing one's own children is God's will. Now I must admit that I have had times when I thought this too. Thank goodness I didn't act on it, but it was close. I had the freakin altar built and everything.

In our modern age you read periodically how a parent has killed the parent's children, and sometimes the other spouse, and then oneself. Such behavior, while appalling in contemporary times, is very biblical.

People read Genesis for the same reason we like Jerry Springer. We like to look down on others whom we consider to be our moral inferiors. It makes us feel better like "I might be an asshole, but I sure as hell am not as bad as that!"

When I read Genesis it paradoxically makes me feel better. After all I did not kill my 3 younger brothers like Cain did. I haven't been raped by my daughters. I have not impregnated my wife's housecleaning lady although she is pretty good looking.

At any rate, for an exciting and simulating read, try Genesis. Just don't let the kids at it until they are at least 17.

This is article #1 in a series on Bible Study.

2 comments:

  1. Looks like your Bible study is off to a rip roaring start David. This is certainly one of your best blog posts yet.

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  2. I’m delighted that you’ve begun a Bible study! One of my New Year’s resolutions was to read the entire thing (minus apocrypha) this year, so I know exactly what’s in it, cover to cover. I’m up to Numbers, and let me just say HOLY SHIT! This book is CrAzY. It’s so crazy, I have trouble understanding why it’s the basis for ANY religion, but it’s fascinating nevertheless.

    The god of the first four books (the ones I’ve read so far) is an ass. Basically, his methodology seems to be "worship me or I’ll smite you -- you’ll have no descendents and all your crops will fail." Everyone who sucks up gets rewarded, and for everyone else, smiting ensues. And then there’s god’s micromanaging, power-tripping construction directions in Leviticus. Want to build a lamp stand? A tent? A box? Make sure you measure verrrrry carefully.

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