Monthly Archives: June 2014

Why I Can’t Agree With the Bible: Genesis: Part 2

When I left off, Jacob had left his uncle’s land with his wives and household. Laban catches up with Jacob and tells Jacob that he has taken Laban’s gods, implying that somebody stole his stuff. This suggests a few things. First, that Laban, a descendant of Abraham’s doesn’t worship the same god that Abraham worshiped. This suggests a pantheon. Was the God of Abraham one god of many? And did the people see the idols (what was stolen) as gods? Or did they merely represent gods but were spoken of as if they were gods? Who were these gods? What did they look like? What did they do? It turned out that Rachel had stolen Laban’s gods, then Rachel lied about having her period so that they wouldn’t be found. Why did Rachel steal the gods? Did she worship them too? Or did she steal them to spite he father? Why didn’t Jacob’s God do anything to stop her? 

Jacob said he lived with Laban for 20 years. And Jacob said that he was protected by the God of his father. That suggests that Jacob doesn’t view this god as his. Did Jacob worship other gods? Did he worship any? Or is it merely because his father is assumed to still be alive so he’s still the head of the family? Can children have different gods from their parents? Laban calls a heap and a pillar witnesses when they make their covenant. How can a pillar and heap be witnesses? Did they use magic? Are they gods? Or by witnesses do they merely mean “this is the line, don’t cross it”? Why was only Abraham’s God called on to witness other than the heap and pillar? Did Laban trust Jacob’s God? Why didn’t he call on his own gods? Could he, since Rachel stole them?

One thing that I couldn’t help but notice is that they named a lot of places. If anything significant happens someplace, it gets a new name, and sometimes two people give the same place two different names at the same time. How can anyone keep track of where something happened with all the name changes?  They also see angles a lot. What do the angles look like? How do they know they’re angles? It never describes them or explains how they know they’re angles.

While waiting for Esau, Jacob wrestles with a man after he sent everybody in his household across the river. It doesn’t say anything about where the man came from or why they began to wrestle. Why did Jacob wrestle with the man all night? Why did he demand to be blessed? Why does the man change Jacob’s name to Israel? Why does Jacob wrestle with someone he doesn’t know? How does Jacob know he wrestled with God? He says he’s “seen God face to face,” but isn’t that supposed to be impossible? Why does God touching Jacob’s hip cause the Israelites to avoid eating that part of any animal? How do they know what happened?

Later, Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, is raped. The rapist claims to love her. What does this say about how the ancient Hebrew’s viewed rape and women? Why does it matter that he spoke tenderly to her? Jacob hears she’s defiled. What does that terminology say about the people? Then the rapist wants to marry her. The rape is considered worse because it was done to Jacob’s daughter in Israel. Would it not matter if it had been any other girl? Jacob’s sons lied and said no to the marriage, unless the men of the rapist’s family are all circumcised. The rapist’s family says okay. Dinah’s brothers killed all the males in the city after they were circumcised as repentance, then took all women and children. How is it okay for them to kill every man when only one committed the crime? Why do they take the innocent women and children? Jacob becomes scared that they would be killed, but his sons asked if their sister “should be treated as a prostitute.” Is that really the worst thing about what happened? That somebody might see their sister as a prostitute?

After speaking with God, Jacob told his household to get rid of all other gods (and rings). Does that mean just the idols? Or nobody is allowed to worship other gods? Jacob is once again told that his name is Israel. Why does he need to be told twice? Jacob is also told to multiply. This order is specifically to Jacob, so why do people assume applies to everyone? While still travelling Rachel died while giving birth. Jacob changed the child’s name. Why? Why is she told not to despair because she’s having a son? She’s dying.

Isaac lived 180 years.

Why do the lists of people matter when we learn nothing about most of them?

Joseph was loved by Jacob more than his other sons, so his brothers hated him. Joseph dreamed that his brothers sheep bowed down to his sheep. Joseph seems very arrogant. Israel keeps Joseph’s dreams in mind, then sends Joseph to his brothers who are grazing the sheep. Joseph’s brothers plotted to kill him. Did brothers often plot to kill each other in the ancient middle east? Rueben saves Joseph by telling his brothers not to kill him. The brothers instead removed Joseph’s fancy robe and threw him into the cistern, then they sell him to the Ishmaelites. This says a lot about the tribalism at the time. Then Joseph is taken to Egypt. The brothers then told their father that Joseph was killed and it was thought to have been done by wild animals. Israel said he’d weep for Joseph until his own death. Eventually Judah left.

Why do they mention that the men make love to their wives? Isn’t that assumed? Why doesn’t God interfere with Joseph’s brothers? Why doesn’t he tell Israel what happened? Does he know?

Judah’s son Er is wicked in Gods eyes. Isn’t everyone? So he dies. How is he wicked? Or is it suggested that he must be, since he died young. Judah tells his other son to sleep with his brother’s wife to give her sons and do his duty to her. The children wouldn’t be considered his, so when he sleeps with brother’s wife he spills his semen on the ground. Why does Judah want to make sure his wicked son has children? Why not just move on to next son? Why wouldn’t the sons be his? The second son is also seen as wicked, so he’s killed. Why is he wicked for not providing children for someone who’s wicked? It says nothing about his spilling his seed being wicked. Instead it suggests he’s wicked for not doing his duty. So why do Christians say that masturbating is bad based on this? The daughter-in-law lived in her fathers household until the youngest son grew up (as a widow), but the youngest son is not given the daughter-in-law as a wife.

Judah wants to sleep with his daughter-in-law thinking her a prostitute. So being a prostitute is bad, but it’s okay to sleep with prostitutes? Judah impregnates his daughter-in-law, and she takes his seal. The daughter-in-law is to be burned for prostitution, but proves Judah impregnated her. She’s spared because that somehow made her more righteous than Judah (who didn’t give her to his son). The morality of this entire story makes no sense.

Genesis said “the lord was with Joseph” which enabled him to prosper in Egypt. This sounds like God can only be in certain places at one time, but not just anywhere. But, since God was presumably with Joseph and Judah at the same time, he can be in multiple places at once.

Joseph says that sleeping with his master’s wife is a sin against God. Why would God care who they sleep with? The master’s wife tries to get Joseph to sleep with her, she later claims that Joseph tried to rape her and she screamed. Why doesn’t God do anything to stop this? What is this supposed to say about women and sexuality since the women, up to now have only been interested in sex to have sons? Why is it supposedly necessary in the story for Joseph to go to Egypt?

“Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the kings prisoners were confined.” Prisoners in prison? You don’t say.

Why does God go to prison with Joseph? Why doesn’t he just keep Joseph out of prison. He’s already limiting Joseph’s free will by making sure everything goes right for him (except for the rape accusation, which seems to be a negative).

Why are the men sad because nobody can interpret their dreams? Why must they mean anything? Was it common to get dreams interpreted? Was it bad if dreams didn’t mean anything? Why does Joseph know what the dreams mean? Why does the baker only tell Joseph his dream when the cup barer gets a favorable interpretation? Why is this important to the story? What did the cup barer and baker do? Why was cup barer reinstated and baker impaled?

So far magicians, divination, dream interpretation, and other things related to magic have been discussed as if they are just everyday elements of life. Magic is not considered bad. So why are today’s Christians so worried about magic?

Why would God tell the Pharaoh that he’ll send 7 good years and 7 years of famine? Why is it suggested that Jacob’s God sends this knowledge, not the Egyptian gods? Why is the Pharaoh so quick to trust Joseph? Why would God randomly decide to send a 7 year famine? Why didn’t he tell others? Why didn’t he tell Israel about the famine? Couldn’t he have just protected them from the famine rather than sending Joseph to Egypt? Why didn’t his brothers recognize Joseph? What’s the point of Joseph’s test? Why did Joseph need an interpreter to understand his brothers? How old was he when he was sold? He didn’t seem that young. Why was the silver returned? Why did the money being returned scare everybody?

Why does Joseph need to leave the view of others to weep? What did it say about Joseph? The Egyptians refuse to eat with Hebrews. Would it be different if there was an Egyptian among the Hebrews? Why does Benjamin’s portions at dinner make the brothers trust Joseph? Why does Joseph frame Benjamin for theft (there are also more claims to divination being done)? What is the purpose of anything that he did? Why not just tell his brothers who he is? Why do people tear their clothes in mourning? Why does it matter that anyone hears of Joseph weeping?

Why would God send Joseph to Egypt? Is Joseph saying that Egypt is promised to the Hebrews? Why would pharaoh promise best of Egypt to the Hebrews when Egyptians won’t eat with Hebrews?

Why is Israel so easily convinced of Joseph’s life? Why is Jacob called Jacob and Israel at different times? Why do the Hebrews have a problem with marrying Canaanites but not Egyptians? Why are shepherds detestable to Egyptians? Why did Joseph need to buy the land and people for pharaoh? Weren’t they technically already his?

How and why does Israel take Joseph’s sons? And what’s up with this family? The children were clearly raised to compete with each other, parents played favorites, family feared their own family members, etc. 

At Israel’s death, the 12 tribes of Israel are created. Great, more tribalism.

Why are Joseph’s brothers so afraid of him?

Joseph died at 110 in Egypt, but first it says that the Israelites will be given the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Why are the people so willing to trust this prophesy? Why is a date never given? How did we go from one people, who all came from two people, who separated into tribes after the flood, and only then began to speak different languages, and who populated the earth, to a smaller group who God favored above all others? Based on this genealogy, everybody is very closely related. So why does God favor this one small group? Why does he encourage the Israelites to kill their own relatives? 

Throughout Genesis they make claims along the lines of “and this still takes place” or “and it is still called that today.” This suggests that Genesis was recorded well after the events occurred. How can anyone know that all this really happened? 

Why I Can’t Agree With the Bible: Genesis: Part 1

After one of my recent posts, I have decided that I am going to go through the Bible and discuss why I do not agree with it. I’ve gotten about halfway through Genesis tonight, so I’m going to discuss it in two parts:

Genesis begins by discussing the creation of the universe, including the first man and woman. In that story, Adam and Eve were tricked into eating forbidden fruit by a serpent. After they had eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve immediately realize that they are naked and cover themselves. Why is nakedness evil? I can’t imagine why their first concern would be being naked. And if nakedness is evil, why did God allow them to remain naked for so long?

Throughout Genesis, God proves that he can’t be omniscient: first he doesn’t see the serpent tell Eve to eat the fruit, then he doesn’t see Adam and Eve eating the fruit, and later he doesn’t see Cain kill Abel. He also has to test people to tell if they truly fear him (such as when he tells Abraham to sacrifice Isaac). While the Bible doesn’t tell me that God is omniscient, Christians do. The Bible makes that claim unlikely by showing God as being otherwise.

The part with Cain and Abel makes no sense. Cain kills Abel, so God curses Cain, but he protects Cain to keep him alive. God clearly favored Abel because Abel sacrificed animals instead of plants, which made Cain jealous. God’s response is basically “What? If you’re good you’ll get my favor too.” Which clearly isn’t the case. Then Cain kills Abel, which God doesn’t see, and God’s reaction is to ensure that Cain lives a long life and has a lot of descendants despite being cursed. It’s kind of like grounding a child but letting them continue to do everything they’d do while not grounded.

And if Adam and Eve were the first people, and Cain, Abel, and Seth were their only children and all sons, where did their wives come from? Did God create other people but they weren’t allowed inside Eden? Did God create them for Cain and Seth?

At one point in Genesis, it states that people began calling on God. That means that people didn’t call on God until Adam and Eve’s grandchildren were born. So did God just come around whenever before then? Did Adam and Eve do whatever they wanted? Why did Cain and Abel sacrifice to God if they weren’t calling him?

People, according to the Bible, lived impossibly long. Adam lived for 930 years, Seth lived for 912 years, Enos for 905 years, Cainan for 910, Mahalaleel for 895, Jared for 962, Enoch for 365 (and that was because he was “a man of God.” Was he the first holy man?), Methuselah  for 969, Lamech for 777, and Noah for 950 years. If people actually lived that long, wouldn’t there be some written record of it outside of the Bible? And if good people died earlier, doesn’t that kind of reward sinning?

Who are the sons of God? Are they angels? Demi-gods? Holy people? If they’re gods, then the Bible isn’t monotheistic, and angels are commonly thought to be creations like humans, not children of God. But if they are holy men, how do you explain the implication that, while Enoch was a man of God, the rest of the people weren’t? And how do you explain the later claim that all people only ever have evil in their hearts? And why would they marry human women?

Nephilims are created as a result of human women sleeping with the sons of god, which suggests that they are supernatural somehow (otherwise why give them a special name?) They are said to be violent (why would holy people raise violent children?) and lead to God seeing that people only had evil in their hearts at all times. But if it’s the Nephilims that are violent, why not kill all the Nephilims? Why blame the humans? And how do people become violent? Is it a result of the Nephilim nature or is it original sin? It doesn’t explain how people are evil, what they do, what God is seeing, or why.

God decides to kill all the humans as a result of their being Violent. Cool, let’s end violence with violence. I wonder if God considered the possibility that humans are violent because they were made in his image. And he decides to kill all the animals because he’s angry at humans. How does that make any sense? Why not just kill the humans and let the animals take over? Or are they evil too?

Despite God saying that all humans only have evil in their hearts, he determines that Noah is good.Was Noah not human? And if God’s just going to determine that we’re all evil no matter what we do, why bother trying?

What are clean vs unclean animals?

Noah only took two of every animal, a male and a female, and the purpose of doing this was so that they could procreate (did he only send the godly pairs to Noah?), but Noah used some of the animals to sacrifice to God when they found land. Well there goes those “kinds.” And God smelled the pleasing aroma from the sacrifice. That’s a very human quality that he has. And it’s the smell that convinced God to allow a violent creation that was evil to survive and thrive. Wait…Noah’s good, and only his family, who is presumably also good since they were allowed on the ark, has survived, but all humans still bad? Wants to repopulate and won’t kill all people despite evil? And he’s going to give humans everything? And, despite the apparent high rate of violence (and Cain killing Abel) murder only becomes punishable after the flood? Was it perfectly acceptable before then? Given how few people could have existed, how were there any humans left?

We go back to the nakedness being evil thing again when Ham, Noah’s son, sees Noah naked. So Noah curses Ham’s son Canaan (oh look, the Hebrew Canaanites) for Ham seeing him naked, and he praises his son Shem for covering him (though both of Ham’s brothers apparently covered him, so why did only one get praised?). How does Noah know what has happened to him since he seemed to immediately wake up and curse Canaan? Why is Ham seeing him naked (by accident) so bad that Noah curses his own grandson as punishment? Why does he curse Canaan instead of Ham?

Now we get to some interesting contradictions. First we learn that, from Noah’s family, the Hebrew people split into clans and spread over the earth. We also learn that the people in the separate clans had their own languages (this is stated twice). But later it says that all the people of the earth spoke the same language until the tower of Babel. They also apparently stuck together. The Bible claims that the people wanted to build a tower into heaven to stay together, but God decides to confuse their languages (who does god say “come, let us…” to?) and spreads people across the earth because he’s afraid they’ll be able to do anything. Why does he decide to spread them out if he’s going to make it impossible for them to speak to each other? If all the people on earth are God’s chosen people, why does he tell some to kill others and take their land?

Before the flood, God said that humans were only to live 120 years. But after the flood Shem lives 600 years, Arpachshad  lives 300, Shelah lives 500, Eber lives 500, Peleg lives 300, Reu lives 250, Serug lives 200, Nahor lives 150, and Terah lives 205 years. Apparently God sucks at keeping his word.

The story of Abram is an odd one. Sarai, Abram’s wife, is unable to conceive. And God promises to give Abram a nation if he goes where God tells him to, so Abram agrees. God promises to give Abram’s descendants the Canaanite land (as punishment for Ham seeing Noah naked?). At one point Abram lives in Egypt, and he tells his wife to lie and say she is Abram’s sister. God inflicts harm on the pharaoh because he takes Sarai as his wife. Why does God punish the pharaoh but not Abram. Abram is kicked out of Egypt. How did the pharaoh know that Sarai was Abram’s wife? Nothing mentions God talking to the pharaoh. Lot, Abram’s nephew and ward, is told to go to keep the shepherds from fighting. He goes to Sodom (Jordan). Meanwhile, Abram lived in Canaan. Once again, God promises the land to Abram’s descendants (how much land do Abram’s descendants need?). It seems odd that God keeps telling Abram his descendants will get the land (I’d suspicious of the promise that the lands would go to my descendants when I was doing all the work), but Abram doesn’t have any descendants and God has yet to say how Abram’s land will be passed down.

Meanwhile, Lot and his possessions are taken by warring kings, so Abram followed the kings and frees Lot. Then he takes everything that the kings had taken, so king of Sodom praises Abram and Abram gives 10% of everything to the king. The king of Sodom tells Abram to keep the stuff and give him the people, but Abram tells Sodom “no” because God doesn’t want any man to be able to say that they got Abram rich. How could Sodom’s king say that when clearly Abram got all the stuff himself? Abram gives the rest of the stuff to his men. Once again Abram is promised land for his descendants, but he still can’t get Sarai pregnant, so God promises children for Abram ( once Abram sacrifices animals of course). Abram makes the deal despite being told that his descendants will live as slaves in land not their own, and then will come back to the Canaanite land and take over (seriously, what did the poor Canaanites ever do to Abram?). Sarai, who seems to be unaware of the deal, tells Abram to sleep with her Egyptian slave, Hagar (if the Egyptians were slaves to the Hebrew’s then why do the Hebrew’s keep getting so much attention for being slaves?). When Hagar runs off after being raped and abused an angle tells her to go back and submit to Sarai (because that’s the message we want to send to abuse victims). Ishmael (Hagar’s son) is supposed to go against all men, but I’ve seen nothing to indicate that. Then, at 99 Abram is told to change his name to Abraham, and is told that every male must be circumcised by 8 days old (and male slaves too), and, if not, then Abraham’s descendants have broken the covenant with God (so I suppose Christian’s have broken the covenant. What’s the penalty for breaking the covenant?). Sarai then becomes Sarah and is blessed to become mother. Why does God bother with the name changes? What do they accomplish? Abraham wonders if he’ll become a father at 100 years old, but his ancestors often became fathers at over 100, so it is odd that he’d bother to worry about it.

Isaac (who isn’t born yet) is given the covenant, though what that means hasn’t really been explained. It seems to merely suggest that he’ll be given the land promised to Abram, but that doesn’t happen. So…he gets the promise of the promise? And Ishmael is  blessed and given a nation (which is what Isaac is supposed to get, so how is it any different?). Abraham immediately circumcised every male in his household, including himself. For the promise of the promise of land? That he’d never see? Later on, 3 men go to Abraham, and Abraham runs over to them and begins speaking to them as if they are God, or God is among them (he knows what god looks like? God is human-like?). All 3 men answered “yes” when offered shelter and food, so Abraham fed the men. One tells him they will return and give Sarah a son in a year (that one is labelled as the lord, and he says nothing is too hard for him). So does God look human? If he merely possessed a human, how does Abraham know he’s God? The human “lord” then tells Abraham that he’s going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, but he says he will spare Sodom if there are 50 righteous people, then he goes down to 10 people. Abraham is concerned that God will kill all the people, so why doesn’t he do more to stop him? 

In Sodom, Lot bows down to the angles that appear (how does he know they’re angles, since it’s implied that he does?) and invite them to stay in his house (why does it specify that he bakes bread without yeast?). But the people in Sodom want to gang rape angles (I know these people are supposed to be really bad, but why? Why rape strangers just to rape them? There actions are non-sensicle), so Lot offers up daughters instead. Lot is supposed to be the good guy. The person worth saving. But he offers up his daughters to be raped. How is he any better than the people who want to rape the angles? The angles blinded the people and tell Lot to take his family out of the city, so he takes 2 daughters and wife and leaves. The angles tell Lot to flee to the mountains, but he says no and is allowed to flee to small town instead. Burning sulfur reigned down on Sodom, and Lot’s wife is turned to salt for looking back (who wouldn’t look back? It was her home and it was being destroyed).

Lot then took his daughters to the mountains to live in a cave (because now he was okay with living in the mountain). His daughters get him drunk to sleep with their father because it is custom for women to sleep with men to preserve their family name and they are afraid not to. This is viewed as sinful behavior on their part, but other instances of incest are okay. 

Abraham again lies about Sarah being his sister, and again Sarah is taken. God again comes and tells the man not to sleep with Sarah because it is a sin and he will die otherwise (Abraham is protected because he is a prophet). Abraham says that Sarah truly is his sister through his father (which makes this incest okay). Sarah is told that Abraham will be paid off for what was done against her. Because the only reason the harm matters is because it affected Abraham. Because only men mattered. As a result, for some unexplained reason, Sarah has Isaac, and he’s circumcised at 8 days old. Ishmael is sent away because Sarah’s jealous, and God tells Abraham to listen to Sarah because Ishmael will be given his own nation. Wasn’t it Sarah’s idea to have Ishmael? Why is this okay because Ishmael will get a nation?

God tests Abraham by telling him to sacrifice Isaac. Isaac asks where the lamb for the offering is, and Abraham lies and says God will provide it (this guy lies a lot). As Abraham is about to sacrifice Isaac, an angle stops him. This is supposed to prove that Abraham fears God. Abraham offers a ram instead, and God (again) promises that Abraham’s descendants will be as numerous as the stars (has said this many times and seems to be moving the goal posts around). God blesses all the nations because Abraham obeyed him. Why does God still need to test Abraham after Abraham has moved away from home, sacrificed many animals, built many shrines, changed his name, and circumscribed himself and all the males in his family? What more proof could God possibly need? And why does he want Abraham to prove he’s afraid? Why not loyal? How is any of this moral on either God’s or Abraham’s part? Sarah lived until she’s 127, Abraham, who’s older, is still alive. Apparently God still hasn’t mastered the “human’s will only live until 120” thing yet.

When Abraham’s slave is looking for a wife for Isaac, he prays to God as “my master’s god.” This suggests that, while this slave believes in this god, they don’t worship him. Why is that? Is it because they simply don’t have religious beliefs? The praying makes that unlikely. Does this slave pray to another god? That seems far more likely. So which god do they pray to? Why don’t they share the beliefs of their master? I found it interesting that the Bible mentioned Isaac meditating, because I read a post by a woman who was afraid of her child meditating in school because it was a sign that the occult was entering her school system.

Abraham dies at 175. It is mentioned that he had concubines who had children. So clearly sleeping with multiple women and having children out of wedlock wasn’t a big deal. So why is it a sin now? What changed? Did God change his mind?

Ishmael died at 137. When are people going to start dying at under 120 years old? Why do ancient nomads with poor health care get to live so long but our (comparatively) awesome health care can’t keep many of us alive to 80? That hardly seems fair. Or likely. 

Rebecca , Isaac’s wife, had twins. God says that the older will serve younger. Esau, the older one, was a hunter, and was most loved by Isaac. Jacob, the younger, preferred books, and was most loved by Rebecca. Esau sold birth right to Jacob. At one point Isaac is told to stay on the Canaanite land, and not to go to Egypt (yet God told Abraham that his descendants would not stay on their land, and would live as slaves in a land not their own). Isaac lied, like his father, and said that Rebecca was his sister, and when he was discovered he was told “what have you done to us? One of the men might have slept with her” (which suggests that rape was common, and not really a problem if the girl wasn’t married, men can sleep with multiple women even when they’re married, and can marry many women or just one and can still sleep with others, but women were not to sleep with anyone but their husband, and men were not to sleep with the wives of other men, basically, women were a commodity). Neither Abraham nor Isaac were ever punished for lying. Isn’t lying a sin? Why didn’t God care before the 10 commandments were written? Isaac moved farther and farther away from the land where he was told to stay because he was told he’s too powerful. Isaac is later told that he will be blessed and have many descendants (God really likes this promise, doesn’t he? I wonder if it’s because it’s easy to fulfill but doesn’t actually have to be fulfilled). 

Rebecca uses Jacob to trick Isaac into giving Jacob a blessing meant for Esau. Isaac somehow can’t tell the difference between Jacob and Esau by voice and requires touch (though he’s easily tricked by goat fur), and Jacob is made the ruler over Esau. Esau swears to kill Jacob, so Rebecca tells Jacob to flee to his uncle, and is told to take a wife from his mother’s brother (Canaanite women are said to disgust Rebecca, and displease Isaac) So now we have acceptable tribalism/racism. It’s better that Jacob marries his cousin than a Canaanite, even though they are still distantly related to the Canaanites. And they live with the Canaanites and clearly have to deal with then daily. Esau already had Canaanite wives, but took a woman from his parents clan to please his parents. God comes to Jacob and makes the same promise to him as he made to Abraham and Isaac, and says the lord will be his god if he comes back from his journey (his vision is enough to change the name of the land). So Jacob didn’t worship the same god as his father and grandfather? And he didn’t worship him while being away from home for more than 14 years? He only worshiped God when when he got home?

Jacob’s uncle tricked Jacob into marrying his older daughter when Jacob is meant to marry the younger. Leah, the older, is allowed to conceive because Jacob didn’t love her after he married Rachel (after another 7 years), but Rachel remained childless. Rachel becomes jealous of Leah, so Rachel has children through her servant. Leah also used her servant to have children after she stopped conceiving. Rachel and Leah made deals with each other to sleep with Jacob (Leah has more children as a result), and Rachel is finally able to conceive after years. This is the weirdest family dispute I’v ever heard of. And why does God encourage it?Jacob’s uncle learned that he is blessed by Jacob’s presence through divination. I thought that was considered a black magic. Isn’t it part of the occult? Or is it okay if you do it while worshiping the right god?

Jacob gets strong animals to mate in front of branches so they are striped or spotted. What kind of magic is that? How does it even make sense? So he gets the wealth from his uncle (and says that God has taken it away from his uncle for cheating Jacob). God calls himself the god of Bethel (not god of Abraham). It seems to be an odd word selection. It seems to suggest that this isn’t the god of Abraham but a different god, the god of the town of Bethel.

That took way too many hours. This is going to be a long project. As you can see, there are many problems just with the first half of Genesis (and I ignored the entire creation bit because that’s been criticized so much). This isn’t looking good for the Bible. 


Breast Ironing

I just learned about a practice in Cameroon called breast ironing. It is where the family of a young girl who is starting to develop breasts will take a grinding tool, heat it and “iron” the girls breasts. It is a painful practice meant to prevent her breasts from growing larger. And it is preformed by parents who are worried about their daughters being raped or assaulted. Apparently many men in the culture think that it is okay to have sex with a woman, or girl, simply because she has visible breasts.

This is a terrifying practice. It is painful and it can cause permanent damage to the girl. But it’s also terrifying that parents find it necessary to hurt their children in order to keep them safe. These girls are seen as sexual objects and not as people. That is not okay. These girls deserve to know that they will be able to go to school and get a good education, and that they will not be raped and forced to marry at a young age. They deserve to know that they can grow up and be who they want to be. Instead they grow up knowing that large breasts are bad and that men will violate them if they do something as provocative as walking the street while having breasts. Hopefully these girls will not always live in a culture where they are second class citizens.

Pro-Life Terrorism

Rachel Maddow reported on the history of violence within the “pro-life” movement. There has been a number of members responsible for a lot of terrible things. One group tried to keep people out of an abortion clinic by parking cars in front of the doors and trapped themselves inside the vehicles. That same group later held celebration for someone who a year earlier murdered a man who was trying to get a doctor into the clinic safely. There have been a number of murders. There have been bombings. There have been people who attempted to crawl into the buffer zone to physically stop people from entering the clinics. Sadly, many aren’t happy with holding signs and yelling at people. Many are willing to do whatever it takes to stop people from having abortions.

But, despite the history of violence, the US supreme court doesn’t believe a buffer zone is necessary. Do they not care that women and doctors could be in danger? Are they trying to make it easier to make abortion illegal?

I’m so glad I live in Canada…

Hollywood Transphobia

The Dallas Buyers Club, Amanda, Hit and Miss. What do all of these have in common? Despite the fact that the first two are movies and the third is a show, that is. They all have transgender characters played by cis actors. 

I’m sure that doesn’t seem like a big deal to a lot of people. Jared Leto won an award for playing a trans woman and it is only now becoming okay to have trans characters in the media. But it shows a problem within the movie/TV industries: they still aren’t willing to hire trans actors. I’ve heard people say that there just aren’t any trans actors who wanted to play those roles. I highly doubt that. Have trans people portrayed in the media normalizes trans people. That is a good thing. They could have found trans actors, but I doubt they actually looked.

I want to see trans actors playing trans characters. 

What other movies/shows have these same problems?

Do Doctors Have the Right to Prescribe Based on Their Personal Morals

I posted the link to an article from my city at the bottom.

To me, this is a very interesting case. There is a doctor in my city who is refusing to prescribe birth control to patients based on her personal beliefs. This is unheard of, which is why it is making headlines. If you want to know the details, I suggest reading the link.

But what interests me most is people’s responses to the article. Most people are of the opinion that this doctor is there to help people. Her job is to prescribe medicine to those who need it. It is not her job to push her moral values on other people, and, if that is what she is going to do, she should not be a doctor. I agree with these people. If prescribing certain medications goes against your religious beliefs, then you should not be a doctor.

But this is not the response that you would get everywhere. While most Canadians that I know would say that if you have moral obligations that prevent you from doing your job you should find another job, I’ve spoken to many Americans who are of the opposite opinion. That’s not to say all Americans believe one thing and all Canadians believe another, but it is a trend that I have noticed when interacting with different people. Many Americans that I have spoken to would say that she has the freedom to believe what she wants and she cannot be forced to do something that goes against her religion.

Personally, I think this is a result of how both countries view religious freedom. The United States makes a lot of noise about the separation of church and state. It’s in the constitution. There’s a lot of court cases revolving around the separation of church and state. But in Canada, we have no such separation. In fact, the Anglican church is the established church of Canada. But we have a culture of religious belief is private. It tends to not be something we discuss openly and it is generally thought that religious beliefs belong at home and at church. There are certain problems with this, but it does generally mean that people won’t use their religion to avoid doing some aspect of their job. And we also don’t generally have to worry about religion being taught in public schools.

So, should this doctor be allowed to use her personal morals to avoid doing some aspect of her job, or should she have to find another line of work?

CFI Calgary made a statement.

Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone

Apparently a number of US states are going to be required to get rid of their buffer zones around abortion clinics. This is ridiculous. Nobody should be allowed to go onto the property of abortion clinics with the intent to do harm. The people who go up to women and tell women that they are murderers and are going to hell should not be allowed anywhere near their victims. Those women are already struggling emotionally. They are dealing with something that nobody wants to have to deal with. The US government should not be allowing this. It is their job to protect the citizens. Those women deserve their protection. 

There is so much wrong with how the government in the United States deals with sex and contraception. It is scary to read what has been going on. Companies allowed to break the law by not offering birth control for its employees because they are religious, schools that don’t teach children about sex and punish them with expulsion for getting pregnant as a result of poor education, abortion clinics being shut down, women being forced to go through torture and jump through hoops to get an abortion even if it’s medically necessary, and now this. I’m so glad I live in Canada.

Canada is not perfect. It can be hard to find an abortion clinic if you don’t live in one of the bigger city centers. While it is legal to have an abortion up to 24 weeks most clinics will only allow it up to 12 weeks without a doctor’s say so (which means there needs to be a medical reason to have an abortion), then it is possible to get one at up to 20 weeks. But, even with an Evangelical Prime Minister, it is unlikely that the “Pro-life” lobby will have any where near the same success as the US lobbyists have. 

Here, the “Pro-life” protesters have to stay across the street from the clinic. It makes them very easy to miss and it makes it impossible for them to hold massive protests. They can’t do much in the way of confronting people either. They can only hand pamphlets to people who want them and they can only discuss abortion with people who approach them. The most obnoxious thing about their protests is their signs. And even the country’s most conservative universities don’t like dealing with the “Pro-life” groups. 

250 Follows

We now have 250 followers. Thanks for the support everybody :). Please let us know if there is anything that you are interested in us writing about.

On Variety and Hobbies

Well it’s about time I post something. I’m the teeth from the shared name, but fear not! Withteeth is just a pseudonym and not a reflection of any personality traits.

Some of what I’ll be focusing many of my posts on is my varied past times and interests.

I’m the sort who can get board, but generally that just makes me go off and get a game or something enjoyable that largely gets me nowhere. That’s why it’s important to keep something around that I can work on so that I have something tangible after a few hours of work.

So where I started was like any child drawing, painting, and doodling in class and playing out elaborate stories in my head. But those aren’t hobbies, so my first real drive into the world of art and hobby was good old Warhammer 40’000, which I refer to as 40K. Painting, building, and an expansive universe with great depths largely untapped even though the game’s been going strong for over two decades. Really anything an eleven year old me could want. Well I have learnt to dislike painting quite a bit since then, but I’m not half bad at it.

Why Christians Should Stop Telling Atheists to Read Books When You Yourself Have Not Yet Read Them

Subtitle: Yes, This Includes the Bible.

There are two major reasons for not doing this. The first is that you have no idea what you’re telling them to read. Many christians do this to atheist family members. Often they have heard that the book is highly recommended or got high reviews, and sometimes it merely has a famous name on the cover. But if you don’t know what you’re sending or recommending, don’t do it. Make sure that the book is actually worth recommending before you recommend it.

The second reason is that it shows a blatant disrespect for the person’s beliefs. You cannot convert someone by simply convincing them to read a book. What if the book that you recommend doesn’t address their reasons for being an atheist? We are not all atheists for the same reason and not every christian author addresses all the possible reasons. In fact, I don’t think any do. If you want to recommend that we read something that will convince us that your god is real, first find out why we are atheists and what it would take to convince us otherwise, then find a book that addresses what we have told you. That tells us that you actually care what our beliefs are and are genuinely concerned. 

I think a lot of this problem stems from our societal belief that we can cure anything by reading a book. Want to become rich? Read this book. Want to get rid of your cancer? Read this book. Anxious? Depressed? Over weight? There’s a book for that. Books don’t solve everything. They can be useful guidelines, but they are still just books. We need to realize that if we want to help someone we must do more than simply recommend a book. This goes for atheists too. Reading A Manual For Creating Atheists will not turn you into a christian-converting expert. And recommending Richard Dawkins and Richard Carrier books will not convince christians to become atheists. 

%d bloggers like this: