Wednesday, September 28, 2011


The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

1:6-10 - "Therefore I will make Samaria a heap in the open country, a place for planting vineyards. I will pour down her stones into the valley, and uncover her foundations. All her images shall be beaten to pieces, all her wages shall be burned with fire, and all her idols I will lay waste; for as the wages of a prostitute she gathered them, and as the wages of a prostitute they shall again be used. For this I will lament and wail; I will go barefoot and naked; I will make lamentation like the jackals, and mourning like the ostriches. For her wound is incurable. It has come to Judah; it has reached to the gate of my people, to Jerusalem. Tell it not in Gath, weep not at all; in Beth-leaphrah roll yourselves in the dust."

2:9 - "The women of my people you drive out from their pleasant houses; from their young children you take away my glory forever."

Micah 3 - No mention of any women.

4:8-13 - "And you, O tower of the flock, hill of daughter Zion, to you it shall come, the former dominion shall come, the sovereignty of daughter Jerusalem. Now why do you cry aloud? Is there no king in you? Has your counselor perished, that pangs have seized you like a woman in labor? Writhe and groan, O daughter Zion, like a woman in labor; for now you shall go forth from the city and camp in the open country; you shall go to Babylon. There you shall be rescued, there the LORD will redeem you from the hands of your enemies. Now many nations are assembled against you, saying, 'Let her be profaned, and let our eyes gaze upon Zion.' But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD; they do not understand his plan, that he has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing floor. Arise and thresh, O daughter Zion, for I will make your horn iron and your hoofs bronze; you shall beat in pieces many peoples, and shall devote their gain to the LORD, their wealth to the Lord of the whole earth."

5:3 - "Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has brought forth; then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel."

Micah 6 - No mention of any women.

7:5-6 - "Put no trust in a friend, have no confidence in a loved one; guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your embrace; for the son treats the father with contempt, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; your enemies are members of your own household."
7:10 - "Then my enemy will see, and shame will cover her who said to me, 'Where is the LORD your God?' My eyes will see her downfall; now she will be trodden down like the mire of the streets."

My Comments

Okay, I can't seem to get over my anxiety about my Jonah post so I haven't worked on it anymore. I'm still gonna try to get time to sit and deal with my bullshit and finish it, but until then I'm going to continue to press on and cover more ground.

Honestly, I had no idea that so much of the Bible was dedicated to nothing but how much God punishes those who don't grovel every chance they get as his holy, all knowing feet. I'd gotten this idea from all my years of church and whatnot that the Bible was mostly a book about how cool and awesome God was, with a few stories and moral teachings mixed in for good measure. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it was filled with such hate and violence. Not only is it filled with hate and violence but it seems to REVEL in it. This all wouldn't be so bad if it kind of had a more somber tone. Instead it feels like it's almost enjoying it. Like a movie that claims to be making a statement about horrific topics but then takes every chance it gets to put those topics front and center on the screen. Kind of like Gamer (with Gerard Butler), if anyone ever bothered to watch those movie. It was a movie that seemed to have some notions of making a statement about violence and sex in video games and how gamers envelope themselves inside these twisted, violent fantasies. Of course, apparently to make this point they had to shove as much sex, violence, violent sex and unsubtle misogyny in your face so all it did was undermine their "point." Side note: If you ever do find yourself in the same room as that movie and you have any love for Michael C. Hall (like I do) there's a scene near the end with him dancing and singing with mind controlled inmates have a fight scene with Butler that is just the best scene ever. I hesitate to say that scene alone was worth the 5 dollars I paid to see that horrible movie in theaters, but it was really the only scene that was watchable.

But I digress! I have had some people imply that I went into this project hating the Bible. That all this I'm doing is just me going into it with anger in my head and with nothing but a motive to do as much bashing as I can. I don't think there's anything I could really say to those people to convince them otherwise, but I honestly went into this thinking, "Well, I'm sure it won't be that bad. I mean, it is the base for the religion I grew up in, and while some bits of it are troubling most services and whatnot had feel good messages. And if the majority of my church experience was fluffy God is awesome stuff then I'm sure there's at least SOMETHING to back that up in the Bible." I definitely didn't think in my wildest dreams that this is as bad as it is. I'm sure many people here haven't really read the Bible, and I'm sure a lot of you are taking this a bit like I am. Where you knew there were problems with it, but you never imagined they were THIS bad. My surprise and angry in any of my posts is my genuine surprise and anger, and my anger is only so strong because I do feel like I have been lied to my whole life about this. It's like finding out that not only is Santa Claus not quite the fat and jolly man you grew up loving but that he also murders children in their sleep when they've been naughty. Which might not be that far from the truth, really.

So I'm still honestly surprised that we're still harping on God's punishment of his people. I mean, Micah SAYS that he's walking through the ruined streets, lamenting the fate of God's people who strayed, but it's hard to think he's all THAT upset when he's got florid prose after florid prose describing these scenes in detail. Am I the only one who sees it this way? I'd hate to think I'm overreaching here, but to me, reading all these books one after the other, it's starting to really feel like these prophets are really protesting too much about how horrible they really think these scenes are. If it had just been the one or two books, I would probably say that they just wanted to definitely make sure everyone knew what sort of punishment awaited those who strayed from God. But after 6 or 7? Now it's just enjoying the whole thing.

Anyway, we have more female punishment involving being "uncovered" for all around her to see. Of course, she is merely a prostitute so this is a just punishment because she takes her clothes off and lays bare for men for money so letting other use her body without paying her is okay. Or something. It's like when people claim you can't rape a prostitute, but then men will still use rape to harm and "punish" prostitutes.

Also love how Zion has "no king in her," if you catch it the Bible's single entendre. Again, Zion is laid bare for all to see. The metaphors involving undressing and being laid naked for others to gaze upon aren't seen when the cities are neuter or male. Why is nakedness only used as a punishment for women? Is it because gazing upon men is a sin so great that God will punish an entire line of decedents simple because on man happened to see his father naked while he was trying to cover him up and make him look decent? So since gazing upon a naked man is such a great offense to God is that why God seems to never use it as a punishment?

I would say something about how pain inf child birth is also used often as a descriptor for pain when it comes to these punishments, but seeing as childbirth is pretty much one of the major punishments given to all women because of Eve eating the apple, it is not at all strange that it is often used in this manner throughout the Bible. Not that I don't find it problematic that childbirth is seen as a punishment throughout the Bible even when (male) children are seen as the only real accomplishments a woman can achieve. It is problematic, but at least the Bible seems to be consistent in the fact that labor = horrible pain comparable to the pain suffered under God's punishment.

There is also a part where God gives Zion the tools to defeat her enemies, but these tools are only provided after Zion commits herself completely and unquestioningly to God's reign and law. Only in her complete compliance will God allow her some peace. Funny, that.

Friday: Nahum and I'll continue with posting as usual and continue trying to finish up my long winded piece on Jonah.

Monday, September 19, 2011


The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Jonah 1 - No mention of any women.

Jonah 2 - No mention of any women.

Jonah 3 - No mention of any women.

Jonah 4 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

So I had a really long post started for this book and then kind of got cold feet about it. I really want to finish it, so it's been sitting in the drafts since Thursday night waiting for me. I don't know if I'll have a lot of time to sit and work on it this week since my life is pretty much gonna be hella crazy for a while. I managed to land myself a new job that actually has benefits and paid vacations (along with better pay and a *hopefully* better work environment) so this week is going to be filled with general anxiety about forms and preparation to get security clearance into my new office building and then anxiety about handing in my two weeks notice to my current boss. I know I shouldn't be anxious about the second part but I have a great fear of letting people down so I can't NOT be stressed about telling my boss so suddenly that I'm leaving. And then, after that, it'll be good old new job anxiety that I'll have to push through my first couple of weeks at my new job.

Needless to say, the next month or so is gonna be a bit weird on the blog updating. I'm sure I'm gonna have plenty of days where the sheer stress of it all will just leave me so drained that I won't even have any energy to check up on my Facebook for a few minutes.

But I am excited about my new job even if I don't feel like I am. I don't do well with change and I overcompensate with worry and anxiety so I don't mess up while everything is busy testing my ability to adapt. After a couple of months I'm sure I'll be nestled comfortably in my new position and enjoying the fuck out of my paid vacation days.

TL;DR: I'm Anxiety Cat in human form and due to current random anxiety I have no new (completed) post and due to a new job coming up I'll have even more anxiety and thus shit will be crazy for a while for me.

Coming Soon *Hopefully*: An actual post about Jonah, even if there aren't any women in it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Obadiah - No mention of any women.

My Comments

Nothing, nothing, nothing, and more nothing.

I was feeling a bit nostalgic today, thinking back on all the fun I had in my college classes (yeah, I'm a nerd, and my personal college experience was not all that great so the classes are all I really look back on fondly) engaging my brain and learning new things. I often think about how much I miss engaging my brain while at work which is, to say the least, definitely not stimulating in any sense of the word. This made me think back to a class I took called Gender, Sex and Violence in the Bible. We may want to blame this class on my future atheism since this class was literally the first time the idea of QUESTIONING stuff in the Bible (not even questioning in a bad way, just the ability to ask questions about it at all) was shown to me as an option. Hell, asking questions was the point of the class.

I believe this was during my sophomore year of college (may have been early my junior year...), so it was still fairly early in my development into the huge dirty hippie I am now. I was still going to church more or less every Sunday at this point in time, more for a sense of regularity and normalcy than anything since I was still a bit homesick from time to time. So this class was a nice change of pace and, for once, I was actually reading and really looking at what I was supposed to be learning from all those church sermons I went to. Long story short, that was a rather enlightening semester in many ways and I'm honestly grateful that such a class was offered at my college.

The point of this trip down memory lane, though, is to give a bit of back story to the video I am about to link to.

See, at the end of the semester we had to do a big project for my Gender, Sex and Violence in the Bible class. I decided to do mine over our discussions on Genesis. We had classes where we pondered if Adam was sexless/hermaphroditic when he was first created (before Eve). Or whether God bringing the animals to Adam before Eve was implied bestiality. It was good times. And since I had spent a lot of that semester in my free time playing with Macromedia Flash (a program I desperately miss and didn't get as much time to play with it as I would have liked) I decided to make an animation of Genesis with ideas from our discussions mixed in. I gotta say, I was damned impressed with the video at the time and I got a really good grade on it. Rewatching it now it's still hilarious but oh how I wish I still had a copy of Flash so I could fix stuff like timing and slow animations. I also want to reiterate my youth and naivety at the time. I may not have made the same jokes today that I did when I made this. Please let your judgments be gentle on my youth. :x

So since our reading for today has given me nothing, I present to you my flash animation of Genesis - when Adam met Eve.

Friday: Jonah

Monday, September 12, 2011


The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Amos 1 - No mention of any women.

2:7 "...they who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth, and push the afflicted out of the way; father and son go in to the same girl, so that my holy name is profaned..."

Amos 3 - No mention of any women.

4:1 - "Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who are on Mount Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to their husbands, 'Bring something to drink!'"

5:1-2 - "Hear this word that I take up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel: Fallen, no more to rise, is maiden Israel; forsaken on her land, with no one to raise her up."

Amos 6 - No mention of any women.

7:17 - "Therefore thus says the LORD: 'Your wife shall become a prostitute in the city, and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword, and your land shall be parceled out by line; you yourself shall die in an unclean land, and Israel shall surely go into exile away from its land.'"

8:13 - "In that day the beautiful young women and the young men shall faint for thirst."

Amos 9 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

Will there ever be a book in the Bible that does not deal with the severe punishment of God's people for reasons that are long forgotten because they are rarely (if ever) mentioned? Seriously, how many books do we need that go on and on and on and on about what exactly shall befall God's people for their terrible sins of... adultery? Is it still just adultery? Amos had some bits about how God's people were supposedly greedy and took bribes and left the poor to rot. So maybe we've added avarice to the list of Godly no-nos? It's really vague about it either way and I can't be sure if it's some sort of general badness that is used to just kind of show why God's people are, in fact, evil or a serious infraction that adds to pile of sin that isn't just all around whorish-ness.

The addition of greed to the sins and the lack of mention of the whoring around may be a reason why there is very little gendering of the towns/tribes in this book.

What I can be certain about is that I am really, really, really getting tired of book after book of just general nastiness and hatred towards God's people. To end with something interesting, here's Amos 4:5-13 -

"O people of Israel! says the Lord GOD. I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and lack of bread in all your places, yet you did not return to me, says the LORD. And I also withheld the rain from you when there were still three months to the harvest; I would send rain on one city, and send no rain on another city; one field would be rained upon, and the field on which it did not rain withered; so two or three towns wandered to one town to drink water, and were not satisfied; yet you did not return to me, says the LORD. I struck you with blight and mildew; I laid waste your gardens and your vineyards; the locust devoured your fig trees and your olive trees; yet you did not return to me, says the LORD. I sent among you a pestilence after the manner of Egypt; I killed your young men with the sword; I carried away your horses; and I made the stench of your camp go up into your nostrils; yet you did not return to me, says the LORD. I overthrew some of you, as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a brand snatched from the fire; yet you did not return to me, says the LORD. Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel! For lo, the one who forms the mountains, creates the wind, reveals his thoughts to mortals, makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth-- the LORD, the God of hosts, is his name!"

God just can't seem to understand why his people would leave him or not want to return to him. Imagine that. -_-

Wednesday: Obadiah (spoilers: I skimmed ahead a bit and thankfully it's incredibly short but I'll give you one guess as to what the theme of the book is...)

Friday, September 2, 2011


The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

1:6 - "For the nation has invaded my land, powerful and innumerable; it's teeth are lions' teeth, and it has the fangs of a lioness."
1:8 - "Lament like a virgin dressed in sackcloth for the husband of her youth."

2:16 - "Sanctify the congregation; assemble the aged; gather the children, even infants at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her canopy."
2:28-29 - "Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even in the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit."

3:3 - "[They have divided the land] and cast lots for my people, and traded boys for prostitutes, and sold girls for wine, and drunk it down."
3:8 - "I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, to a nation far away; for the Lord has spoken."

My Comments

I need a small break from the blog so there will not be any posts next week. Just need a bit of time to let my brain rest a bit.

Next Monday: Amos