Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jeremiah 30-32

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

30:6 - "As now, and see, can a man bear a child? Why then do I see every man with his hands on his loins like a woman in labor? Why has every face turned pale?"
30:17 - "For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, says the Lord, because they have called you an outcast: 'It is Zion, no one cares for her!'"

31:4 - "Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel! Again you shall take your tambourines, and go forth in the dance of merrymakers."
31:8 - "See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, those with child and those in labor, together; a great company, they shall return here."
31:13 - "Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow."
31:15-17 - "Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more. Thus says the Lord: Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for there is a reward for your work. Says the Lord: They shall come back from the land of the enemy; there is hope for your future, says the Lord: your children shall come back to their own country."
31:21-22 - "Return, O virgin Israel, return to your cities. How long will you waiver, O faithless daughter? For the Lord has created a new thing on the earth: a woman encompasses a man."

Jeremiah 32 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

Sorry for the short (and late) post. This weekend was crazy busy between spending a day at a comic convention, helping my aunt move the stuff from her storage unit, and my body subsequently getting angry with me Monday for daring to do so much activity. Not to mention the craziness of my Friday where I had to rush the dogs to the vet before they closed so I could get them treated for kennel cough.

So I guess I'm a bit thankful right now that Jeremiah is still a vast nothingness on the woman front. There is STILL nothing interesting going on (woman related or otherwise), other than pointing out moment and verses where God is an exceptional dick. I cannot believe how long this book is. 30 chapters and NOTHING is going on, or at least nothing that couldn't be covered in 5 chapters or less.

We seem to now be leaving the wrathful and angry phase of God's abusive husband routine and seem to be moving into the apologies and flowers phase. Now God's forgiving Israel for being so wretched and horrible and calling her back to the land he promised. He promises he won't do it again as long as Israel continues to fear and worship him (something which I will probably address in my next post when I have a bit more time to write, since the concept of God-fearing has always confused me).

Hell, Jeremiah 32 is basically just a chapter where Jeremiah talks about buying a field. Really? Is that what we really need in our holy book? A brief intermission so we can listening to the RIVETING details of Jeremiah buying a plot of land? I really despise this book sometimes...

As a side note, this: "For the Lord has created a new thing on the earth: a woman encompasses a man." This is weird. The hell does this mean? Here's a site that claims to have an answer for this, but it's just... really, really weird.

Wednesday: More Jeremiah

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jeremiah 27-29 and An Opinion Piece

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Jeremiah 27 - No mention of any women.

Jeremiah 28 - No mention of any women.

29:2 - "This was after King Jeconiah, and the queen mother, the court officials, the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the artisans, and the smiths had departed from Jerusalem."
29:6 - "Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage; that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease."
29:23 - "[The people who leave the king of Babylon shall be cursed] because they have perpetuated outrage in Israel and have committed adultery with their neighbors' wives, and have spoken in my name lying words that I did not command them; I am the one who knows and bears witness, says the Lord."

My Comments

Nothing new here. So instead, I bring you something that is completely priceless. From the Christian Science Monitor: "For girls who hate their bodies: a spiritual crisis."

It's so good, I feel like breaking it down piece by piece, just so there's no real need to actually go and read the laugh/barf fest yourself. :D

Worried talk about the next generation of high-achieving, health-neglecting "perfect girls" is everywhere.

Girls Inc. just published the results of its depressing, nationwide survey called "The Supergirl Dilemma," which reveals that girls' obsession with thinness has gotten significantly worse in the past six years. Despite the efforts of the Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty – well-intentioned, though undeniably market-driven – and Love Your Body Day events sweeping every school from San Francisco to Syracuse, 90 percent of teenage girls think they are overweight today, compared with 24 percent in 1995, according to a recent ELLEgirl survey.

So what gives? Is it our celebrity-obsessed, extreme makeover culture? Is it the newest version of the age-old story of dysfunctional family relationships? Is it peer pressure – mean girls critiquing one another's every lunchtime indiscretion? Is it the $30 billion a year diet industry?

Okay, so far it's okay. We've acknowledged the fact that society as a whole is constantly telling girls that they are not pretty enough and we need an ever increasing amount of damage control (plastic surgery, makeups, creams, Spanks) in order to make ourselves look human and to not make others want to vomit every time they look at us. Nevermind there's no real mention of MEN (or patriarchy) in this section, seeing as it's usually MEN women are doing this for. MEN whom we want to date, MEN whom we want to hire us, MEN whom basically hold the power in the world and if we want to survive or thrive in it we need to tow the line to please them. The extreme make up culture, diet industry, and female peer pressure when it comes to eating is all a symptom of the patriarchy which makes us women constantly feel like less than, like we HAVE to conform and spend our income on items to get us ahead in the world.

But, like I said, it's an OKAY look at what makes girls hate their bodies from a Christian (and very non feminist) website. But, of course, the author is about to tell us what the REAL problem is with girls' body image. Let's listen and learn, shall we?

It is, in truth, all of the above. But there is also another profoundly important – yet little noticed – dynamic at work in the anxious, achievement-oriented lives of America's perfect girls: They have a sometimes deadly, often destructive, lack of faith.

Oh, Dog! My entire frame for viewing the world has just been shattered! It all makes sense now! My constant critiquing of my not so slim stomach, the slight guilt I feel anytime I grab a second helping of cake (sometimes even with the first helping), the fear I sometimes feel that if I don't start wearing makeup right now my boyfriend of 6 years will suddenly leave me, the shame I feel because I haven't gone to the gym or done any "exercise" (we all know just walking doesn't count as real exercise) in 2 months. It's all because I just don't believe in an invisible sky daddy! It's not because of the patriarchy, which only values me based on my willingness to conform to impossible beauty standards (even if it's to a deadly degree) and my ability to tow the line and remember my lower status as female, at all! It's all about church and God and faith you guys!

Shoot, does it mean that when I felt like a weirdo and outcast for being a tomboy when I was young and believed and went to church every Sunday I was doing it wrong? Was I really not being faithful enough? And does this mean that you won't find a Christian anorexic or a Christian girl/woman who slathers themselves with makeup every morning? Are Christian women immune from the patriarchy? Or do such disorders and beauty regimens prove that they are not the believers that they think they are? Such wondrous secrets! We must read on so we can learn how to cast off our body shame shackles!

So many perfect girls were raised entirely without organized religion, and the majority of the rest of us – I reluctantly admit to my own membership in the perfect girl club – experienced "spirituality" only in the form of mandatory holiday services with a big-haired grandmother or unconscionably elaborate and expensive bat mitvah parties, where everything but the Torah is emphasized.

Overlay our dearth of spiritual exploration with our excess of training in ambition – never mind SAT prep courses; today, even community service is linked to college application brownie points – and you have a generation of godless girls. We were raised largely without a fundamental sense of divinity. In fact, our worth in the world has always been tied to our looks, grades, and gifts – not the amazing miracle of mere existence.

In this climate, we feel perpetually called to perfect our own "body projects" – the term used by historian Joan Jacob Brumberg. Thinness and achievement stand in for the qualities of kindness and humility. We think that our perfect bodies – not God's grace or good works – will get us into heaven. We have no deeply held sense of our own divinity, so we chase after some unattainable ideal. Perfect girls, as a result, feel they are never enough. Never disciplined enough. Never accomplished enough. Never thin enough.

Notice how the blame and emphasis is put on the girls themselves? THEY are the ones who care more about their looks than about God. THEY are the ones who half-ass faith and only go to service on major holidays. THEY are the ones who care more about SAT scores and community service (seriously, this author just said community service was not a GOOD or ALTRUISTIC activity, wtf?). THEY are the ones who let thinness and achievement stand in for kindness and humility (nevermind that it is often others who associate thinness with positive traits, ie. kindness, healthy, active, and fatness with negative traits, ie. lazy, dirty, unhealthy).

"Perfect girls, as a result, feel they are never enough. Never disciplined enough. Never accomplished enough. Never thin enough." That sentence is the truest one I've read in this entire article. Girls never feel like that are good enough for anything because, in essence, they really are never good enough for anything. We're always too fat, too skinny, too big chested, too flat chested, too short, too tall, too ugly, too pretty, too learned, too stupid, too blonde, too brunette, too accomplished, too unsuccessful. In the eyes of society and the patriarchy we are NEVER exactly what it wants us to be. Being ourselves isn't enough, we have to constantly be something different. Constantly changing and willing (and happy) to do so.

And I'm sorry, so many perfect girls were raised without religion? In a world where the overall majority of the people in it are religious in one way or another how the fuck can you say that with a straight face? Apparently she doesn't count people who only go to service "sometimes" as REAL believers, so that means now most of the world isn't actually religious? A no true Scotsman fallacy being used as a major foundation of the article? Really? So, I guess, the reason so many "perfect" girls are so messed up is because they may THINK they have faith and believe in God but really they are just fooling themselves. Look at them doing their community service. We ALL know they only do it for the college brownie points, am I right? This woman is basically right there saying that no girl can ever be altruistic because, presumably, she is ALWAYS doing it for her image! Holy woman-hating, Batgirl! Notice how this article now basically becomes one long piece about how girls just aren't doing good enough and need to change in order to be better people.

Wait, isn't that the exact kind of thinking that the article is supposedly speaking against, that girls need to stop thinking about how they need to change and be better and should instead just be thinking about loving themselves? Have I stumbled into opposite land? No? Wait, does that no mean yes? Wait, does that yes mean no? Oh, my poor brain!

The worst of this can be seen in the frightening websites that purport to be support groups for girls with anorexia and bulimia. Such sites claim that these two disorders are a religion, not a disease, and pray to false gods named after them: Ana and Mia. Though highly deluded and dangerously ill, girls who frequent these sites have taken the black hole at their centers and filled it with an obsessive faith in the power and purity of thinness. In essence, they are crying out to our godless culture, showing us just how damaged a child can be who is thrown to the wolves of advertising and amoral media without any spiritual armor.

I want to nominate this has possibly the worst paragraph to ever exist, ever.

First, I just want to do a general scoff at the author's claims that we live in a godless culture. Typical religious persecution complex there. We are not even CLOSE to being a godless culture. Should I go outside and count the churches I can see just from my front door? Well, I can try, though I may need to take an abacus with me for fear of losing count. Our media and advertising may be godless, I may concede to that, but there really is nothing godless about our culture (Note I speak for the US, I don't know enough about other countries to try and make claims about them).

Also, the whole paragraph confuses me. She begins by talking about support websites for girls and women suffering from anorexia and bulimia but then mentions how they turn these diseases into a religion and give the "goddess" diseases names like Mia and Ana? Is she actually talking about Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia sites? Because those are NOT support websites for these girls. Those are inspiration sites used to continue the desire to starve yourself, the inspiration usually gained through pictures of thin women and girls. I have never once heard of an actual support group for these women refer to their conditions as anything other than a disease, and definitely NOT as a religion. Did this woman even do any research here?

So let's assume that she is actually talking about these Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia sites (Google these if you want to see them, I don't want to link to any of them since I do think they are very unhealthy and they are really very easy to find through a simple Google search), since that seems to be what her tone implies, even if her actual words don't. Where does she get the idea that what these girls need is religion to cure them? Is there some sort of research she found that states this? Does she know any girls battling with an eating disorder that she talked to? Did she watch any shows about eating disorders or even just a documentary? I'm gonna assume no, because even with the limited amount of documentaries and shows and articles I've read about eating disorders I can see that this is just pure unmitigated bullshit. Plus, in her entire opinion piece she sites ZERO articles. An opinion piece, indeed.

Yes, some eating disorders develop because a girl/woman wants to look like the pictures in the magazine and so she takes on an extreme diet in order to try and become that ideal. But eating disorders can be the result of a girl or woman trying to gain some control over her life, or a response to trauma or abuse in her life (note: sexual and physical abuse of girls and women happens often in religious homes, so I fail to see how religion is supposed to HELP here). Eating disorders can even be a result of or a part of an anxiety disorder (or in small part to genetics). I don't know if they run the show anymore, but A&E had a show called Obsessed which looked into the lives of people with OCD and other anxiety disorders. I noticed during these shows that some of the women had anxiety disorders that would impact their relationship with food and how much they ate or exercised (Also note I love this show, it's very moving and such a personal look into someone's life and hardships. Just letting people know that I highly recommend it if you're looking for some interesting documentaries to watch). Hell, even MTV did a True Life episode on eating disorders which can tell you more about the disease than this article can, which I'm starting to think is more and more based on the author's stereotypical view of women/girls with eating disorders as vain and completely self involved people.

You know what's great about that? That took me less than 15 minutes to find all those links and information on eating disorders. In that 15 minutes I learned that eating disorders can be caused by body shame, past sexual or physical abuse, anxiety disorders, lack of control, or even simply genetics may have a small influence on the possibility of you developing the disorder (like alcoholism). I've learned that people who actually HAVE eating disorders describe their eating disorder in terms of control of their bodies or body shame, but the one thing they NEVER say is that it's 100% their choice and that they LOVE to be afraid/anxious about food or love to vomit after every time they eat. And once they do realize they have a problem they can't just stop having an eating disorder, it takes time and therapy and a lot of work to overcome it. Of course even one who suffers from it is different and has different reasons and life stories, but there are patterns and studies that can be used to at least inform people who know nothing about the illness so they have at least some understanding of what is going on. None of this information seems to even remotely inform this paragraph or any of this article. Anorexia and bulimia is a serious disease that can often result in death and treating it as if it's just the whim and choice some self obsessed teenage girls is wrong and does way more harm than good.

Amazingly enough religion isn't what cures their eating disorder nor is religion a reason for someone to NOT have an eating disorder or body shame. At least, it isn't mentioned in most of the articles or documentaries or personal stories I've ever come across. It may play a factor for some people, but it is definitely not the penultimate cure all for anorexia and bulimia. It's actually insulting to not only treat eating disorders as if they are a choice made flippantly by a girl/woman that one should be admonished for having (and that these diseases are WORSHIPED, no less), but to also insinuate that these people are this way because they have a lack of faith in God. I bet that just makes the girls and women who suffer from anorexia/bulimia and consider themselves religious and faithful feel really good about themselves.

Again, I ask, do religious people never suffer from anorexia or bulimia? Or, in her mind, if someone is anorexic or bulimic does that automatically mean that they were never faithful or religious to begin with (kind of like how religious people say those atheists who used to be religious just never had faith in the first place)?

Anyway, let's move past that. Onwards to the end!

I'm not calling for a return to conservative religion or restricting dogma. I'm envisioning an inspired movement toward community where girls are nourished with dinner-table conversations about the values of kindness and charity; where girls undergoing puberty are encouraged to embrace the miraculous, complex, and perfectly imperfect bodies they possess; and where girls can find inspiration – not condemnation – in religious texts.

Again, the fact that this woman so easily equates body shame with a lack of kindness or charity is astounding to me. Body shame is not a choice! Body shame is pounded into girls from the second we are born until the second we die! We are constantly told over and over and over again by EVERYONE that how we look affects how we are treated and what people think of us! How the fuck does reacting to that reality mean that women and girls who care about their looks can't be kind or charitable?! HOW?! Oh, I'm sorry, this is the woman who apparently believes that any girl/woman who gets a manicure and then goes out to the soup kitchen to feed the poor is a fucking ditz who is only feeding the hungry to make herself look good. My bad, I forgot logic does not exist here. Carry on.

For starters, the Bible has something to teach the perfect girl who calculates beauty in terms of pounds and dress sizes: "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment…. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight" (I Peter 3:3,4). (New International Version)

And Buddha, the man often portrayed as blissful with his belly, has a paradigm-shifting message for the average American woman accustomed to self-hate: "You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection."

In the age of the skeletal celebrity-filled US Weekly and shrill sound bite commentators such as Ann Coulter, these are the kinds of deep reflections and recommendations we perfect girls need most.

The Bible also says that women and girls should physically hide themselves from everyone when they have their monthly period, that girls are worth MUCH less than boys, that first born girls do not count as first borns and are not valued by God, that pregnancy and birth is an unclean act that also requires being sequestered from society at large, and that girl children DOUBLE the unclean period (as compared to boy children). The Bible also says that women and girls are free to be taken by men as spoils of war, to be raped and married by the same men who just came through and slaughtered their families and loved ones. The Bible also says the only value a girl has is in her virginity and she is, quite literally, not worth as much if she has had sex with a man (and also that sex with a man that isn't her husband will pretty much result in her violent and gruesome death). For reference please see the blog sections on uncleanliness, spoils of battle, rape, men rule, and property. I'm sure these sections will really uplift your spirits and see just how valued you are as a woman to God.

Yes, I can TOTALLY absolutely see how the Bible would definitely work to increase self esteem and decrease body shame in girls and women. -_- Not that the verse she picked isn't just as insulting. God is basically saying girls and women are stupid and focusing on the unimportant because they dare to let societies pressures alter their behaviors; that women and girls dare to tow the line when it comes to the beauty standard because doing otherwise is very likely to leave them jobless and penniless; that women and girls may focus more on the outside than what is on the inside because, for the most part, the world could care less who we are on the inside since we will be mostly be judges based on the outward and no on the inward. Would she advocate going to a job interview (or to a current job) wearing no makeup, in an ill-fitting button down shirt and hair haphazardly put up in a pony tail? Because, you know, if I really didn't have to care about how I looked and could just be myself (focus on the inward more than the outward, as God would want me to) I would pretty much be lectured to shape up (or sent home or fired) and be guaranteed to never get another job or keep my current one unless I went back to the nice hair, makeup and pencil skirts with tailored shirts. What exactly is the message here, because I think it's safe to assume that she wears makeup and heels and nice business attire to the office. If so, is she even qualified to give this kind of advice? Does she actually understand that the outward IS important in society, but she wants to make black and white statements without regard for the complexity of the real world so it's just easier to ignore stuff like we have to care about our appearances in order to function in the world as it is right now? It's all so complicated and complex and yet the author waves it off as if it's just a given that one should stop caring about the outward, as if this would have no real life consequences so of course everyone should do it if they want to be a selfless person.

I do agree with Buddha, we do have to learn to love ourselves. Loving yourself is pretty much the base for happiness in your life. But, there is a difference between learning to love who I am and dressing myself up to go outside into the world. Women and girls will not be able to fully cast off the need to constantly police our dress and eating behaviors until we disassemble the patriarchy and society as a whole learns to love women for whom they are. I can love myself every which way, but until the patriarchy is gone and the constant reinforced message that I am never good enough is silenced, there will always be that body shame there and there will always be a need to tow the line to some extent in order to survive.

A supermom of an elite college hopeful told New York Times reporter Sara Rimer, "You just hope your child doesn't have anorexia of the soul." While she is spot on in her fears, she seems woefully shortsighted about her responsibilities. It is we, all of us, who have the power to resurrect a society that values spirit above skinniness. We have to start doing it – one prayer, one family hike, one heart-to-heart discussion about what really matters – at a time.

Oh good, we didn't leave out the mom blaming either. This article just has everything, doesn't it?

So, story time. The other day my mom was regaling my little brother and I with stories of our childhood. As background, we lived in a home where my mom was the bread winner and my dad stayed at home and cooked and cleaned and took care of my brother and I. You would think, living in such an environment, that my brother and I as children would be very egalitarian in our view of the sexes, if not have it completely backwards from the societal norms. If people like the author are to be believed, all you need is the correct home environment and voila, perfect children who have learned all the right things and will never be influenced by the ugly sexism or racism or classism of the world outside the home. And yet, almost as a perfect example of how this is completely not true, we have one evening at our house long ago and far away. We were all watching TV and I (maybe 10 at the time, making my brother around 6) went to the kitchen to get something. When I came back, my brother ordered me to grab him a drink. When I refused he exclaimed, "But your place is in the kitchen." much to my parents displeasure and my rage. My mom and dad corrected my brother and chastised him for saying that. I love this story because it is pretty obvious proof that no matter what the home environment is like, we cannot escape the forced of our culture and society. We will be taught how a woman is a woman and how a man is a man no matter what, the best we can hope is that we are at least taught to question it so we can hope to escape as much of it as we can. Hell, even I, as a small child, noticed that girls were supposed to be one way and boys were supposed to be another. I HATED what girls were expected to be so I did my best to shun anything girly (going so far as to always insist my favorite color was blue, even though it was yellow). My home life never taught me that I couldn't be sporty and active, but I heard loud and clear what the rest of the world wanted me to be, even though most people would assume I was too young to really understand it. My brother and I have since grown up and learned to question the sexist thinking we learned as children, but we were still influenced by it all the same. No one person is an island. By all means, try to make home environments more egalitarian and warm and loving. Have parents teach and show kids how the world SHOULD be. But never for a second think that that is all it takes or that the culture will never undo the wonderful things taught at home.

But, to point out, religion would make that a fairly useless endeavor since religion almost always teaches separate roles of submission and dominance for a wife and husband (respectively) and that is very non conducive to a well balanced and woman-loving home. Can't build up a girl's self esteem and self image if she's learning from an early age that she is always less than men and always will be, no matter what she does. So again, I fail to see how religion will help in this situation as well. For an article that is meant to show me how religion is supposed to help girls' body image issues it REALLY doesn't ever state exactly HOW it's supposed to help. The article could have basically been one sentence, "Religion and faith is what girls need to get over their body image issues." and it would have been just as helpful. Telling me that it is true doesn't make it true. You need logic and reason and some evidence or facts to back up your assertions. Just saying.

So there you have it. A wonderful piece about hoe all girls need to get over themselves is one hour of church every Sunday and a few family meals a week. No, really, that's it! Take two of those and tomorrow body shame will be gone for good!

Or maybe I'll just present this article with the *facepalm* award, presented by Patrick Stewart:

Presented for having an entire article about body shame and eating disorders without ONCE mentioning the patriarchy or men. Also for having an entire article about body shame wherein girls are constantly shamed for even caring about how they look (or perform on the SATs?) and told that because they dress up or put on makeup that they are selfish, selfish people who really need to learn how to be kind and charitable to other around them. Yes, even those girls who do community service should really learn to stop being so selfish and just think about someone other than themselves for once. Also for managing to have this entire article where opinions are stated as fact with not one single outside source linked or quoted to back any of the author's bullshit up.

So there you have it, the Christian Science Monitor is clearly the leader in feminist discord. All you feminists just need to turn your minds to God and surely all of our sexism problems will be solved! The article is never really very clear on exactly HOW faith is supposed to help but I'm sure this person obviously learned in the realm of body shame and feminism could NEVER be wrong! The article is also not very specific on exactly how you are supposed to be a REAL believer and not one of those fake ones or weak ones that she talks about at the beginning of her piece. Do I have to go to church every Sunday to get best results? Every other day? Is this going to require constant prayer or can I just get my praying done and church and then have the rest of the week off... and do I need to pick a specific religion and god or will pretty much any do? Oh! Except for Ana and Mia, I totally can't worship those, right. Almost forgot about that. Should I just shoot off an email asking to make sure I do this right because I would hate for my body shame to spiral out of control simply because I'm not practicing faith and religion EXACTLY how I need to to battle off the evils of advertising and media... hello? No? Not gonna get anything specific here? Is it possible you just pulled all this out of your ass?

Hm, maybe I'll pass on the whole religion and faith thing. I think I'll just stay where I am and use actual data and actual reality to inform my discussions and continue working my ass off to break down the patriarchy as best I can because, as any good feminist knows, the patriarchy is the root cause of sexism and woman-hate in the world, not a lack of faith in a god. I'm fairly certain I'll be doing more for those girls you claim to care so much about than you ever will. But thanks for the laugh! XD

(H/T to my friend on Facebook who posted this article and I'm sure was expecting a different kind of response to it)

Friday: More Jeremiah

Monday, May 23, 2011

Jeremiah 23-26

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Jeremiah 23 - No mention of any women.

Jeremiah 24 - No mention of any women.

25:10 - "And I will banish from them the sound of mirth and the sound of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp."

Jeremiah 26 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

I will never enjoy the length of these whiny books in the Bible. Jeremiah only needs to be 3 chapters MAX. One chapter for whining about how everyone hates him because he loves God (boo-hoo), one chapter for how much God hates Israel cheating on him and maybe another about just how much God is going to punish (read: torture and abuse) Israel for having the audacity to not love him as much as or in the exact way that he wants them too (boo-fucking-hoo).

There isn't even anything to really talk about anymore. I might as well just start copying and pasting previous posts because that' pretty much exactly what the Bible is doing. Why should I put more effort into my writing than God is willing to put into his One True Book?

I may start accelerating the reading process to try and rip this Jeremiah bandaid off more painlessly...

Wednesday: More Jeremiah

Friday, May 20, 2011

Jeremiah 19-22

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

19:9 - "And I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and all shall eat the flesh of their neighbors in the siege, and in the distress with which their enemies and those who seek their life afflict them."

20:14 - "Cursed be the day on which I was born! The day when my mother bore me, let it not be blessed!"
20:17 - "[Let my dad hear my cry] because he did not kill me in the womb; so my mother would have been my grave, and her womb forever great."

Jeremiah 21 - No mention of any women.

22:3 - "Thus says the Lord; Act with justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place."
22:18 - "Therefore thus says the Lord concerning King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah: They shall not lament for him, saying, 'Alas, brother!' or 'Alas, sister!' They shall not lament for him, saying, 'Alas, lord!' or 'Alas, his majesty!'
22;23 - "O inhabitant of Lebanon, nested among the cedars, how you will groan when pangs come upon you, pain as of a woman in labor!"
22:26 - "I will hurl you and the mother who bore you into another country, where you were not born, and there you shall die."

My Comments

19:5 - "And gone on building the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it enter my mind."

I'll just leave that there for future reference to the hypocrisy that is the Biblical God.

Also, be sure to add cannibalism to the list of things God is totally okay with using as a punishment. Because, you know, making people eat each other (along with raping and slaughtering) is "just" and "righteous." But again, this really isn't anything new.

Seriously, this book is almost as horrible to read as Job was. If it's not waxing poetic about the torture and massacre of God's chosen people it's Jeremiah whining incessantly about how he is just so burdened with having to live among these horrid people and how he just wishes he was never born. Sounds like Jeremiah and a few other emotionally tortured dudes in the Bible should get together and start an emo band or something. I must say, though, I second his sentiments about wishing he wasn't born. If he wasn't born I wouldn't have to sit here and read this crap. -_-

Monday: More Jeremiah

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Jeremiah 16-18

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

16:2-4 - "You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place. For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place, and concerning the mothers who bear them, and the fathers who beget them in this land; They shall die of deadly disease. They shall not be lamented, nor shall they be buried; they shall become like dung on the surface of the ground. They shall perish by the sword and by famine, and their dead bodies shall become food for the birds of the air and for the wild animals of the earth."
16:9 - "For this says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I am going to banish you from this place, in your days and before your eyes, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride."

Jeremiah 17 - No mention of any women.

18:21 - "Therefore give their children over to famine; hurl them out to the power of the sword, let their wives become childless and widowed. May their men meet death by pestilence, their youths be slain by the sword in battle."

My Comments

You know what? Maybe it was the almost month long hiatus, maybe it's just because the idea is just so ridiculous, maybe it's because I just do not want to acknowledge that millions of people read this book and see it as something holy and good and therefore, on some level, they think God's actions here are thus holy and good. Whatever the reason, halfway through chapter 17 it just struck me. Struck me really hard, actually, and you can tell from all the ranting in large letters I did on the pages for chapter 17 (I usually only write on the pages when something has severely pissed me off). I know I've touched on this before, but it bears repeating over and over and over again, simply because of the sheer stupidity and cruelty the Biblical God shows towards his chosen people whom he supposedly loves above all others. Whom he created with the utmost care. For whom he crafted an entire UNIVERSE. Yes, let us once again look over the asshattery of God towards his chosen people of Israel.

Why is God punishing Israel? What has she does that is so heinous that it would require not only chapters but BOOKS dedicated to talking about how severe the torture and punishment would be for Israel for her egregious crimes and transgressions?

Was it murder? Rape? Theft? Genocide? Cruelty? Torture? Lying? Killing kittens? Anything that you could think or that would even remotely warrant this kind of punishment?

No. We've already established that God is pretty much okay with any of the aforementioned "sins." He has no qualms with murder or mass genocide or torture or rape or lying.

Israel deserves this torture simply because she was not completely loyal to him. That's it. Simply because some of her people decided to worship other gods this warrants, "they shall die or deadly diseases; they shall not be lamented, nor shall they be buried; they shall become like dung on the surface of the ground; they shall perish by the sword or by famine; and their dead bodies shall become food for the birds of the air and for the wild animals of the earth."

Does that sound like a just and loving God? A jealous God, sure, but even he calls himself jealous. But loving and just? How can anyone even remotely kid themselves with a lie like that when books like Jeremiah and Isaiah are right there, plain as day, not even trying to hide the fact that God is a jackass simply because he isn't the center of attention.

I guess he created the universe simply so he could be the center of it?

Whatever the case, let you never forget that the whole of the Bible is not to tell you how to live your life. It's not a code of morals or even stories which explain good behavior to you. No, the Bible is here to remind you that if you are not COMPLETELY 100% faithful to the Biblical God, if you do not think of him every single minute of your pathetic life on this planet, if you do not thank him for every gasp of air he allows you to have, if you do not praise him in a way he deems worthy or if you, in your human weakness, turn to someone or something other than the Biblical God in times of need, then God will. ruin. your. shit. period. Even if God is purposefully ruining your shit right now in order to prove some point (be it a dick measuring contest with another god or just because he happens to be having a crappy day) you STILL have to praise him and have faith in him 100% or else he will never, ever make your life better. Even if the Biblical God rescues you from slavery and then makes you wander a desert for 40 years (during which you have to obey every teeny-tiny law and rule he makes up lest he make it longer than 40 years or simply throw you to your enemies) you are not allowed to lose even an iota of faith.

The moral of the good book (so far)?

Out of every evil in this world: rape, genocide, murder, torture, child abuse, sexual assault, stoning, racism, sexism, classism, etc. The only one God cares about is adultery. He cares so much about adultery that ANY adultery is pretty much the worst sin you could ever do. He has books dedicated to the hell God puts Israel through for not being fully faithful to him at all times. And books before that have been dedicated to the exact way sacrificing rituals are to be performed in order to please God because doing them wrong proves you do not completely love him. And books before this have been dedicated to the evils of adulterous women, who call to helpless men and trick them into laying with them. Adultery. Adultery. Adultery.

I'm sorry, anyone who calls this the good book or uses it as a moral code of any sort is fooling themselves. There is no moral code here. Only verse after verse of a jealous man ranting about not being loved as much as he wants to be and punishing those he wants to love him.

Bonus picture.

Friday: More Jeremiah

Monday, May 16, 2011

Jeremiah 10-15

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Jeremiah 10 - No mention of any women.

11:15 - "What right has my beloved in my house, when she has done vile deeds? Can vows and sacrificial flesh avert your doom? Can you then exult?"
11:22 - "...therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: I am going to punish them; the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine."

12:8-9 - "My heritage has become to me like a lion in the forest; she has lifted up her voice against me - therefore I hate her. Is the hyena greedy for my heritage at my command? Are the birds of prey all around her? Go, assemble all the wild animals; bring them to devour her."

13:18 - "Say to the king and the queen mother: 'Take a lowly seat, for your beautiful crown has come down from your head.'"
13:21-22 - "What will you say when they set as head over you those whom you have trained to be your allies? Will not pangs take hold of you, like those of a woman in labor? And if you say in your heart, 'Why have these things come upon me?' it is for the greatness of your iniquity that your skirts are lifted up, and you are violated."
13:26-27 - "I myself will lift up your skirts over your face, and your shame will be seen. I have seen your abominations, your adulteries and neighings, your shameless prostitutions on the hills of the countryside. Woe to you, O Jerusalem! How long will it be before you are made clean?"

14:2-3 - "Judah mourns and her gates languish; they lie in gloom on the ground, and the cry of Jerusalem goes up. Her nobles send their servants for water; they come to the cisterns, they find no water, they return with their vessels empty."
14:5 - "Even the doe in the field forsakes her newborn fawn because there is no grass."
14:16-17 - "And the people to whom they prophesy shall be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword. There shall be no one to bury them - themselves, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their wickedness upon them. You shall say to them this word; Let my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease, for the virgin daughter - my people - is struck down with a crushing blow, with a very grievous wound."

15:8-9 - "Their widows became more numerous then the sand of the seas; I have brought against the mothers of youths a destroyer at noonday; I have made anguish and terror fall upon her suddenly. She who bore seven has languished; she has swooned away; her sun went down while it was yet day; she has been shamed and disgraced. And the rest of them I will give to the sword before their enemies, says the Lord."
15:10 - Jeremiah Complains Again and is Reassured

"Woe is me, my mother, that you ever bore me, a man of strife and contention to the whole land! I have not lent, nor have I borrowed, yet all of them curse me."

My Comments

Well, we're moved in and settled and it's back to blogging. And what a mess I have started back with!

It's been a while since I've even bothered reading the Bible (go figure I don't pick it up for light reading) and I forgot how much abuse female Jerusalem (or the feminized realization of God's people) gets. She is a vile woman cast out of her master's house. She is a loud and proud lion, whose voice her master HATES to hear, and she is a greedy hyena who is best set upon by wild animals which will consume her (not the first woman punished in this way). She is raped as punishment for her indiscretions, her skits lifted up so that she may be violated by her enemies and her shame shown to all. Jersualem is sullied by her adulteries, her prostitutions, her abominations and her master wonders if she shall ever be clean again. She is dried up and laid open for all those who wish to enter (more rape imagery?) She is compared to a fawn that is left by her mother because there is little grass to eat (if you take it the way I did, Jerusalem/Israel is basically God's abortion, which I admit may be stretching it but that's the basic concept there).

And yet the author has the nerve in 14:17 to say, "Let my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease, for the virgin daughter - my people - is struck down with a crushing blow, with a very grievous wound."

Oh, Israel, look what you have made God do. You were his virgin daughter and it so pains God for him to punish you with rape and wholesale slaughter. But, you know, you made him do it. A man cannot tolerate a vile woman in his house or a woman who would raise her voice to proclaim her own individual thoughts/complaints or a woman who has been so dirtied by her sexual indiscretions. Nevermind that God hasn't been the most attentive husband/father to you which may have led you to seek other support in your times of need. Nevermind God has constantly repaid your devotion and loyalty with 40 year long exiles into the desert or pestilence or mass executions enacted by waring tribes. No, it's the virginal daughter's fault and God will cry himself to sleep at night after condemning her to rape after rape and slaughter after slaughter.

It's really what any loving husband/father would do.


Jeremiah complains again and is reassured?

So I guess a man can complain over and over and over again and he will get reassurance and not condemnation and punishment? Heaven forbid a woman be a lion and lift up her voice against her master. But if one of God's chosen MEN happens to sit around most of the day gritching and whining he'll get a nice pat on the back and some reassurance that evil lady Israel, who is of such concern to Jeremiah, will get her comeuppance.

Wednesday: More Jeremiah

Monday, May 2, 2011

Update on Hiatus

We are officially moved into our new place. And now that it's been a few days, my stress levels have gone down significantly. Though I have to say my hair did not make it through unscathed, since I had clippers taken to it yesterday and now I have a totally bithin' and stress reducing mohawk. At least my mode of stress reduction is punk rock. So other than getting the people to come out and repair some broken stuff in the house and hopefully getting something worked out in the yard for the dogs, pretty much all the big stuff is handled and done with. So just to let everyone know I'm still alive and haven't exploded from anxiety. :)

The blog will still be on hiatus until the 11th because that is when our internet is supposed to be hooked up. So if all goes well expect a new blog post up that Friday. Until then. :P