I have finished going through the last 10 chapters of Leviticus. I have discussed more of the laws this time because they are more pertinent to my disagreement with the Bible.
Again, a good portion of the book talks about sacrificing animals and proper conduct for the Israelites. It begins with discussing anyone who kills an animal for any reason. Any kill is owed to God. If anyone kills an animal and doesn’t sacrifice it, they are cut off from their people. So basically, if you eat, you must first feed God. This seems quite selfish of God.
God again shows his jealousy in Leviticus. Worshiping other gods is considered prostitution. I don’t really see any problem with prostitution in and of itself, but, assuming it’s wrong, I don’t see how worshiping other gods is equivalent.
We are finally told why God doesn’t like the people touching blood. Life is blood apparently. I don’t know why that makes touching blood bad. It’s also an inaccurate statement, so, again, God isn’t all knowing.
No sex with relatives because…God is the lord? It was okay before, but now it’s a no no. This makes sense for the fact that the more you sleep with relatives the more likely your children are to get a genetic defect. But God’s reasoning is silly. “Do it because I said so,” basically. Though other similar laws are just plain silly. Don’t sleep with your wifes sister while your wife is still alive. You can marry other women, but they can’t be your wifes sister, and you can sleep with other women as long as they’re not your wife’s sister. But that only applies when your wife is alive. Once she’s dead, you can sleep with her sister…unless her sister is married. This shows women as mere property, which I don’t like. But there is no real reasoning for this other than that you’ll disgrace your wife. But what if the wife’s fine with it? And why wasn’t it wrong for Jacob? He married two sisters. Don’t have sex with a woman during her period. Because blood is icky…or life…or something. This is silly. The blood has nothing to do with the woman’s life. It only really makes sense if you have no understanding of how reproduction works.
Then we get to the bit about sacrificing children. Don’t sacrifice your children to Molech…whoever that is. Can’t we just leave it at “don’t sacrifice your children”? That seems like the most moral option.
And of course I couldn’t skip Leviticus 18:22: “Don’t have sexual relations with a man as you would with a woman.” See, this doesn’t say don’t have sex with a man, it says don’t do it as if that man were a woman. That sounds much better than “homosexuality is a sin.” Though it could be taken as transphobic, but that depends on how you define man and woman.
But God just seems to be getting weirder as we go: “Even the land was defiled, so I punished it for its sin.” WTF? Seriously, WTF?
And then we get to the treatment of foreigners. When discussing how people should behave once the Israelites have taken over the Canaanite land, God says “The native born and the foreigners must not do any of these things.” I’m sorry God of the Bible, but you’re not my god. How is it okay to go into somebody else’s land and start telling them how to live? I mean, historically this has happened a lot, but don’t people complain about this very thing a lot now a days? Of course it’s usually in the form of “If you want to come live in my country, you better learn to speak my language and follow my laws,” but we still see it as morally problematic to go into someones country and then tell them how to behave. Though there is some level of equality that people today seem to struggle with: “The foreigner living among you must be treated as your native born.” But they’ll steal all our jobs! And they don’t know English! How could I ever show respect to any foreigner? And then there’s this: “Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart.” Anyone else is fine though.
Though many of these new laws contradict what was previously just fine. “Do not lie.” But…but…Abraham got to! “Do not practice divination or seek omens.” Why is that only wrong now? It wasn’t wrong in Exodus. “If a man has sexual relations with his daughter-in-law both will be put to death.” Didn’t that very act make a woman righteous in the previous book?
Many of these laws I just don’t understand: So if you go into a new land and you plant a fruit tree, you must wait five years to eat it. Why? How will your harvest be increased? “Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists.” What’s a spiritist? Why are these things bad? I doubt it’s because they’re scammers…
Also, God really hates this Molech…
Why is it that when it discusses men having sex with animals the Bible talks as though the man is responsible for the action and must be punished while the animal is only put to death because icky, but when it talks about women sleeping with animals it talks as though the woman and the animal both have the same level of ability to consent so they are both equally responsible?
So God is going to drive people out of the land because they did things that God didn’t like. The Israelites did the same things, but they get to inherit the land. They just have to stop doing the things. Did God ever tell the others not to do these things, because the Israelites are just now being told?
Witch hunt! Kill the mediums!
God doesn’t like people who don’t look “normal” or are sick, or if they just have crushed testicles. What an example of morality. Seriously, he doesn’t want them anywhere near him. He doesn’t even like animals that are any way not normal. Why?
“This is to be a lasting ordinance to the generations to come.” Again, sacrificing animals is supposed to keep happening.
God, I get it: you like to eat and smell cooked meat. And God likes presents.
“Anyone who blasphemes the name of the lord, whether Israelite or foreigner, is to be put to death.” Does that include those that don’t worship this God? Because that seems to be exactly what is meant? Personally, I’m glad that’s illegal because I shouldn’t be held to the religious standards of others. Seriously, can you imagine if we all had to follow the doctrines of religions that we don’t follow? That would be impossible.
“An eye for an eye” is not a moral justice system.
We don’t do very well with following God’s laws today: The land is God’s so it can’t be sold permanently. Tell that to the government. Don’t take interest from the poor. Tell them that too. And the Christian (political) right. They suck at understanding this one.
The Israelites can’t be made slaves, only foreigners. They can be made slaves for life. Foreigners are supposed to follow the slave creed of the Israelites. How did that work for them? Why would they give any special credence to Israelite laws? Especially when the Israelites were fine with making them permanent slaves.
God promises to let the Israelites destroy all their enemies. Great, so now they can violently take over. How moral.
God is a controlling, sadistic bastard. “If you don’t do exactly as I say, I will punish you 7 times worse than you deserve. I will starve you and kill you. I will hate you forever.” Does this scream abusive to anyone else?
“I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies, the sound of a wind blown leaf will put them to flight. They will run as though fleeing the sword. And they will fall even though no one is perusing them.” Is this where the “help, I’m being oppressed” attitude and belief comes from? Because if so, yes, you are, but God is your oppressor.
Women are worth half of what men are worth.
I hope no one reading this is hoping that reading the Bible will make me Christian, because it’s only having the same effect that it had last time: it’s making me more sure that the God of the Bible doesn’t exist. Or, at the very least, isn’t worth worshiping.