Posted by: edhensley | June 9, 2010

God Discriminates Against the Handicapped


Leviticus 21

16 The LORD said to Moses, 17 “Say to Aaron: ‘For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God. 18 No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; 19 no man with a crippled foot or hand, 20 or who is hunchbacked or dwarfed, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles. 21 No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the offerings made to the LORD by fire. He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God. 22 He may eat the most holy food of his God, as well as the holy food; 23 yet because of his defect, he must not go near the curtain or approach the altar, and so desecrate my sanctuary. I am the LORD, who makes them holy.

This verse speaks for itself and shows that the God of the Old Testament is nothing more than an invention of the people of that time. This law would discriminate against Franklin Roosevelt, Stephen Hawking, Benjamin Franklin, Hellen Keller, Louis Braille, Galileo Galilei and all people who wear glasses, Peyton Manning, Troy Aikman, and many others that can be found here: http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/article_0060.shtml.

It is a shame that so many Christians still willingly worship an invisible being that is so obviously a product of the imaginations of the men of ancient times.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Redeeming Grace, Deacon Admill. Deacon Admill said: God Discriminates Against the Handicapped « Bible Verses Rarely … http://bit.ly/brQZW3 […]

    • The verse is talking about cripples from the line of “Arron”(aka the tribe of the priests) not being able to make sacrifices to God or enter the holy of holy’s in the temple(which doesn’t exist anymore). Last time I checked Christians don’t sacrifice goats and sheep, don’t have a special tribe that all priests must come from, and don’t follow the vast majority of things in the Old Testament.
      In other words, your smeer against Christians is lacking in thought.

      • Orthodox Christian theology claims that Jesus and the god of the old Testament are one and the same. Judaism and Christianity both center around animal sacrifices, with Christianity claiming Jesus as the ultimate animal sacrifice. While most Christians admit they no longer follow the Old Testament, they claim that the New Testament is a fulfillment of the Old Testament. Your comments display a serious ignorance of Christian theology.

  2. How did you arrive at the conclusion that the verse shows “the God of the Old Testament is nothing more than an invention of the people at that time”? Is it not possible that God is as was depicted and also not an invention of the people at that time?

    • If the God of the Old Testament did not want descendants of Aaron who are are “blind or lame, disfigured or deformed…” to serve as priests, then he or she could have made certain no descendants had these deformities. Is god in control? Obviously not. He has to have men inforce these rules that discriminate. If God were in control, he could just make sure no potential priest was born with deformities.

      Many ancient cultures believed there was something “unclean” with deformed people. This is an example of a cultural belief becoming part of a religious code.

      • Do you have any thoughts on why the people at that time would have invented a god who was not in control? If I were to invent a god, I would invent one who was in control; otherwise, what’s the point?

      • Why did Joseph Smith invent the gods and other supernatural beings in the Book of Mormon? Why did the Egyptians invent Isis and Osiris? The Greeks and Zeus? The Hindus and Vishnu? The American Indians and their many nature gods? L.Ron Hubbard and Scientology? Mohammed and the Koran?

        The answers to all these questions are different, but they all invented gods who were not in control. The ancient Hebrews are not alone.

        In the case of the ancient Hebrews, they wrote/edited the Old Testament while under Babylonian captivity. They answered these questions. Why were they (Hebrews) under captivity? Because they did not follow the teachings of their god. As punishment, god has permitted them to be taken captive. It looks like god is in control, even though it is the Babylonians who have control of them.

      • God’s word is His word. Whether we understand it or not is our problem, or yours in this case. He does not say that He does not love the handicapped, only that they are not to provide this particular service in the temple. Just like drunk people are not supposed to drive. My mother is disabled, please note “handicapped” is an outdated discriminatory term, and God has been her strength through all her challenges to carry on and be an inspiration for others. I pray that He will someday do the same for you. In Jesus name, Amen!

      • Allah’s word is His word. Whether we understand it or not is our problem, or yours in this case. He does not say that He does not love the handicapped, only that they are not to provide this particular service in the mosque. Just like drunk people are not supposed to drive. My mother is disabled, please note “handicapped” is an outdated discriminatory term, and Allah has been her strength through all her challenges to carry on and be an inspiration for others. I pray that He will someday do the same for you. Allahu akbar!

    • Dont you think its a scam that one family has exclusive rights to being Gods priests ? Perhaps Aaron earned his position but one can hardly say all future first born sons in the future will be equally worthy.

      We today have separated blame from individual to individual. I dont inherit or go to jail if my father commits a crime and vice versa and yet we have this exact mentality in the OT where the Amalekites are condemned for ever and ever. We are also never told why except with the only fact presented that they are a different people.

  3. Perhaps this is why Ezekiel closed the loop and stated that God was in control of the Babylonians. Be that as it may, we’re getting far away from the original post about Leviticus, which I think most scholars agree was written well before the Babylonian captivity.

  4. Let’s not forget Lance Armstrong.

  5. This seems very offensive until you realize one thing… God chose to discriminate against everyone except a very small caste. Yes, a member of the priest or levite caste could not serve in the temple if they were handicapped, but neither could a common Israelite. So is this anything more than a slimming of the pot of people who could serve in the temple? It would be one thing if it was just the handicapped, but the number of people who could serve was narrow already. I couldn’t serve even if I didn’t wear glasses, despite being a perfectly healthy Jewish male. Neither could a priest with scoliosis. As far as the temple service is concerned, he is left out no more than I am.

    • So this “offensive” discrimination is OK because there is already discrimination?

      My major point is that there is no logic behind any of these rules.

      Which is more offensive: 1) Jews are God’s chosen people, and all others are not; 2) Whites are God’s chosen people, and all others are not; 3) Christian will go to heaven, and all other people will burn in hell;

      All three statements are forms of discrimination that are believed by various people. In truth, all 3 statements are forms of racism or religious bigotry.

      The solution to racism and religious bigotry is not more bigotry.

      • I suppose you are right that there is already discrimination, much like I discriminate between my saw and my hammer when trying to knock a nail into the wall. God chose a specific group to do a specific task. Why? I don’t know, because I am not God.

        On your second point, I will grant you #2 and #3, but number one shows a clear misunderstanding of the verse. To say that Jews believe that they are the chosen people is not incorrect, but you have to then ask, what are they chosen for? The viewpoint that I hold, and I know that many in Judasim hold, is not a Calvinist view of predestination of damnation and salvation, nor is it the Born Again view that only believers get to heaven. It is merely the view that God chose the Jewish people to spread His message of morality and goodness to the world. By where the world was when monotheism was a new concept and where the world is with the help of monotheism, I’d say it’s a good start, although the mission is not complete. I don’t believe that it’s impossible to live favorably in the eyes of God without believing in God. I think that at the end of one’s life, if he can honestly tell God that he tried his best to seek truth and do good, then God will understand that people do not automatically know the truth. I don’t think that is bigotry any more than believing you are correct on any issue is bigotry.

        I don’t begrudge your world view, nor do I hold any preconceived notions about it. Why do you begrudge and judge mine? Wouldn’t you call that bigotry?

      • Let’s look at how your god revealed his or her message to the world. He told a few prophets at different times. They write down his message. Then everyone else in the world must believe the prophet or written word without any evidence to support that this message came from god.

        This is true for the ancient Hebrew religion, it is true for the Islam, it is true for Mormons, it was true for the Branch Davidians, and it is true for Scientologists. I am assuming that you do not believe the messages from Mohammed, Joseph Smith, David Koresh, and L. Ron Hubbard are from god. You fail to show that the messages you believe in come from god, while the messages from these other prophets are not from god.

        The bible and the god in the bible are not moral. The bible says Jews could own people from foreign countries as slaves for life, passing them to their children as inheritance. God threatens to rub shit on the faces of his priests. He orders another priest to marry a whore. Then there are the genocides. The test for an unfaithful wife, and many other bizaree and immoral laws and stories.

        When I reject the claims of astrology, I am not being a bigot against astrologers. I am saying that astorlogers have not demonstrated that they can accurately make predictions based upon the stars. Likewise, when I reject the bible as the literal word of a perfect god, I am not being a bigot. I am simply saying that I have not seen any evidence that the bible is moral or of god.

    • Only the descendants of Aaron who were handicapped couldn’t offer God food. ANd since i don’t know who is, they jipped everybody

  6. So you consider this discrimination? Is it discrimination that only women can enter the miss universe pageant? Only single women even? Or are those the rules? I think God can make whatever qualifications He deems neccessary…..it’s His temple after all. You did notice the rest of the verses, right….where He did not leave those unfit for duty out of the feast, just out of the duty roster.

    • The Miss Universe pageant has nothing to do with these verses. But since you brought it up, the reason that only women can enter is that most men like to look at women rather than men. There are male competitions as well, if you have the desire to look at men in swimsuits. Here I have another one. The FAA does not let blind people fly airplanes. However there is, I think, a pretty good reason for that. I am trying to get you and others to investigate the reasons behind these insane verses rather than blindly accepting them. If you can not come up with any reason, then perhaps you should reconsider your faith. Blindly saying “god can do whatever he wants” does not make god’s actions in the bible moral.

      • I tend to subscribe to the viewpoint of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook on this question. Why would God disallow certain things and allow others? Because it was the only way of allowing the religion to survive. God, I’m sure, understands the human mind. If He were to provide a rule book to the people that would be so radically different from what they were used to, or provide a rule book that did not keep them from what was viewed as improper, then the religion would be rejected, much like the Miss Universe pageant would not be as widely viewed if men were contestants. The idea is, therefore, to keep the religion alive so that the moral and Godly message can be transmitted properly. For example, if God had allowed for handicapped people to serve in the Temple, there would have been times in history where it may have been outrightly rejected due to the perceived disrespect it would have shown. Alternatively, at other times, such as when Egypt worshipped the blind and handicapped, it would show that such worship is not the correct manner in which to relate to God (I am not sure which is correct, or if both are correct at different times, I am just making the point). Things like that can change in time, in Rabbi Kook’s view. Rabbi Kook believed that the Torah is a tool which in time would allow for the unfolding of righteousness. He believed that slavery, the marraige to the captive of war, and even the eating of meat are all things that in time are/were phased out of religious practice as part of the design of the Torah, and not in spite of it (by the way, this is also the view of Maimonidese as put forth in the Guide to the Perplexed). What you view as wrong or immoral, at another time was viewed as an absolute, and to have followed your view would have meant that the Torah would never be passed down to our time to convey the messages within it that God truely wanted to convey.

        My point is that selecting only women for the Miss Universe pageant has a specific purpose. It’s not discriminatory, it’s neccessary. The same thing with many rules in the Torah. They are neccessary or were at some point to make the religion last and to convey the message properly.

      • Slavery is wrong. The bible or the Torah should have said it was wrong thousands of years ago. The bible should have promoted human equality, gender equality, and other human rights. The rights that you mention as “unfolding” from the Torah are not in the Torah. These “human” rights come from humanism, which has fortunately infected many religions. The Christianity of today is different than the Christianity of 500 years ago thanks to humanism.

        “What you view as wrong or immoral, at another time was viewed as an absolute, and to have followed your view would have meant that the Torah would never be passed down to our time to convey the messages within it that God truely wanted to convey.”

        If the Torah wanted slavery to end, it could have simply said “All forms of slavery are wrong.” Because it permits slavery, we had to wait thousands of years to get rid of it (which is not yet completely done world wide).

  7. The priests couldn’t have a defect not for arbitrary or hateful reasons, but because they were foreshadowing the ultimate priest, Jesus, who is the High Priest who offers HIMSELF as a sacrifice to God, and was the “lamb without blemish and without spot”. THAT is why they couldn’t have defects. The entire Law was a “shadow of things to come”. God doesn’t discriminate hatefully against the handicapped. That’s why the book is understood spiritually. Otherwise, people can walk away with very inaccurate conclusions.

    • These verses do not include any references to Jesus. Your rationalizing is after the fact and based upon theology that evolved hundreds of years later and was officially formulated at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. Your rationalization is not based upon these verses.

      • The Orthodox Christian understanding of the Scripture is that it should be always interpreted in the context of the whole Scripture, and not partially.
        Your interpretation is a partial one, you expect the passage you quoted to contain the whole truth on the matter. That is just not how the Bible was written, and that is not how God revealed Himself to us.
        Author “Someone” has offered a perfect explanation.

      • “Out of context” is the reply of Christians who can not defend the various verses in their bible. You totally ignored these verses and their immorality.

        You did not specify which “Scripture”. The Catholic bible, the original protestant bible with Apocrypha, or the current protestant bible that was not completed until 1885. For example, if you include Maccabees, your interpretation of scripture and doctrines would be altered.

        You did not define Orthodox Christianity. You assume that your beliefs are orthodox. However, you probably have many beliefs that would have unorthodox 500 years ago. Othodox Christianity was not invented until 325 AD. Prior to that you had Ebionites, Marcionites, Gnostics, and proto-orthodox groups, plus other Christian groups you would call unorthodox. Some groups believed Jesus was a man but not god, some believed he was god but not man, some accepted the Old Testament, some rejected it, etc. Your beliefs would have been unorthodox in many Christian communites in 40 AD. I highly recommend you learn about early christianities.

        The interpretation to which you refer (Someone) is not valid. Nowhere do these verses refer to Jesus. This is your interpretation based on theology not establised until 325 AD and a set of scriptures not established until 1885 AD. It is a shame that you are justifying these verses at all.

  8. edhensley,
    to answer your claims, one would have to go into a terribly long discussion which was already done a thousand times. I have neither the time, nor the interest to do so so this will be my final reply.

    It is obvious that this entire blog was founded because of your hatred towards God, or at least – hatred towards God as Christians see Him. Well, let me tell you that if your goal is to make people see that God is “evil”, you are doing a poor job.

    You did not answer and you failed to defend your claim that Lord Jesus had to be mentioned in the passage quoted for our interpretation to be true. For example, in the “Narnia” books for children, Jesus is also never mentioned, but everybody knows that the lion king Aslan is an allegory of Christ.

    If that passage was never a problem for Christians, and also it wasn’t a problem for Jews who had lived in a time when “Jesus still wasn’t mentioned”, why is it a problem for you? Do you seriously believe that modern atheist are the first people who are able to see and comprehend an “obvious immorality”?

    The reason is that, until the modern age, people weren’t obsessed with the idea of equality under any cost and alleged “discrimination”. Of course, these ideas produced some excellent results in the modern time, but we are pushing them too far. I assume that you are one of those people who believe that Church is discriminating against women (because they can’t be priests), and against homosexuals, etc. God has assigned different roles for people, and not everything is left to our choice. The typical example is the fact that only women can give birth to children. Now, for Christians, this is one of the proofs that men and women, equal as they may be, have different roles in the world, and those different roles are respected. People who are obsessed with the idea of equality try to diminish all differences between men and women down to zero, if it were possible. Why don’t you say that God discriminated when He created humanity because He didn’t give equal opportunity of giving birth to both genders?

    I don’t have any ideas which would be considered unorthodox 500 years ago, or 1900 years ago. Read about the Orthodox Church if you wish, or the Eastern Orthodox Church (as people in the West generally refer to it). You have a wrong idea about the first ecumenical council in 325. That was the first time that certain truths of the faith were explicitly formulated, but it doesn’t mean that the Church didn’t believe in those same truths before the Council. The heresies you mentioned as an example were dealt with in the Church even without an official condemnation by the Ecumenical Council. For example, Marcion was excommunicated from the Church for threatening to make schisms in the Church. After excommunication, it was obvious that his teachings were heretical, and it is ridiculous to consider his heresy as an equally important Christian teaching as the official one.

    Or, to give you a different example. There are many things which are considered to be impolite and rude in every day life, even though it is not written anywhere. For example, writing online in ALL CAPS is interpreted as shouting. Everybody knows that, even though it is not written anywhere (maybe it’s written somewhere now, but we all knew it was impolite even before someone declared that to be a rule). If someone writes a new edition of a book about etiquette, and includes this rule, it doesn’t mean that this rule didn’t exist prior to being written. In the same way, teachings of the Church are the same ever since the founding of the Church, even though it took centuries to officially formulate them. BTW, in the Orthodox Church, the official formulation of a certain teaching is made only when a serious challenge appears to the teaching which was simply implied until that point (when the challenge appeared). If you take a look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_Palamas you can read about a so called Hesychast controversy in the 14th century Orthodox Church. The Hesychast teaching was declared as official in 1351, but it doesn’t mean that it was something new.

    • Once again, you fail to justify the verses discussed, only agreeing with me that modern humanism and its obsession with human equality “produced excellent results in modern time.” So we both agree that the morality of modern humanism is superior to the ancient morality of the bible.

      However, some or your analogies are very flawed. The Chronicles of Narnia were written AFTER the birth of Jesus. The verses of this discussion were written hundreds of years BEFORE the birth of Jesus. We know the author C.S. Lewis was a Christian and his numerous comments on Narnia make it clear that it is an analogy. We do not know who the author of these verses was (and it was NOT Moses), but we do know when these verses were written. Since they do not mention Jesus or make any reference to any future messiah or sacrafice, no reasonable person would conclude that these verses are in reference to Jesus.

      I do not hate God. Do you hate Zeus, Allah, or Isis?

      As far as my success, I have been very successful in de-converting Christians. The fastest growing religion in the USA is non-religion. As people examine the entire bible and not the cherry picked words of preachers, they realize that the bible is not the word of a perfect god.

      teachings of the Church are the same ever since the founding of the Church, even though it took centuries to officially formulate them

      You are so naive! This is the fairy tale that your church teaches you! It is not what is known by biblical scholars!

      I highly recommend you read Lost Christianities by Bart Ehrma, religious professor at UNC Chappel Hill. You could also read Jesus Interrupted, Misquoting Jesus, the Apostolic Fathers volumes 1 and 2, and other books at http://www.bartdehrman.com/books.htm.

  9. I completely disagree with all of your conclusions.
    First of all, I did not say that morality of today is superior to morality of the Bible. I said that some excellent results were achieved, for example, slavery is forbidden. The issue of slavery, being an important social issue, is almost a non-issue for Christians, since the Lord has repeated numerous times that His kingdom was not of this world. If the Church had emphasized fight for social freedom, that would take the Church off of her main mission – salvation of people for eternal life. And stating that morality of today is superior to the standards which the Lord has set in the New Testament is flat out ridiculous.

    Second, I have read the teaching of the holy fathers of the first centuries. New Testament commentary, written by Saint Athanasius the Great, or by Saint John Chrysostom (both in the fourth century) is still used in the Orthodox Church today, and there is nothing in them which contradicts what the Church teaches today.

    As for your protestant and atheist scholars, I have very little (actually, none whatsoever) interest in reading them, for the following reasons. First, protestants and even you (who come from the protestant circles, even though you don’t believe in God) have a very flawed view of the Bible. Bible is not a direct word of God – it is a written testimony of God’s revelation in words of people who experienced His revelation to them. It absolutely requires interpretation. It was always so in the Orthodox Church. Second, there are scholars who, trying to disprove Christianity, make an analysis which isn’t objective and impartial. For example, I have recently read claims that the town of Nazareth didn’t even exist when Jesus lived. The authors presented some very solid arguments, it looked like a proof for their claim. However, after additional research, I found other experts who have thoroughly debunked all of the atheists’ claims.

    As for my comparison with “Narnia”, you are too literal and narrow sighted. The only point I was trying to make was that Jesus did not have to be explicitly mentioned in a passage of text in order to be in some way related to that text. It should be expected that allegories in the Scripture would be more difficult to decipher than those in a children’s book. The fact that God in the Old Testament gave the command about handicapped centuries before Jesus was born doesn’t prove anything for your case. Many events from the Old Testament were understood in their full meaning only after Christ came to us. As for the people who lived before, they were expected to simply believe and to do as God tells them to do. Why don’t you comment on the event with the forefather Abraham, who was asked, by God, to sacrifice and kill his son? And the Bible teaches us that the fact that Abraham had such a strong faith in God was what made him righteous in the eyes of God. Of course, God didn’t really expect Abraham to sacrifice his son, as we know, but his strong faith was what made him a great man.
    This was a pedagogy of God. Relationship between God and people is similar to relationship between parents and a little child. A little child can’t always get a satisfactory explanation why he or she isn’t allowed to do something. The child is expected to obey his parents simply because they are his parents! The same is here.

    As for atheism growing in the States – why would that be of importance? Christ has implied that Christians would be a minority, and it is even a question whether He would find faith on Earth once He returns. By the way, Orthodoxy is also growing in the States, but those people in the West who accept it say that it is “the best kept secret in the West”. Protestantism is not true Christianity and it never was, and when I hear or read what kind of nonsense is often preached by protestant pastors I am not surprised that people are leaving it. But your claim that the Church is hiding parts of Bible which are not “politically correct” is simply not true.

    As for you hating God, I will repeat: “your hatred towards God, or at least – hatred towards God as Christians see Him”. Maybe you would say “God of the Bible”, well that is the God you hate. In a way, I pity you. Not because you are not a Christian, but because you are devoting your life, time and energy to something you hate. It’s obvious that you have read a lot about Christianity (even if it is from the wrong sources). Why don’t you find something you like? I, for example, have read just enough about Islam to know that I don’t believe in it and I have no intention to become a Moslem, but it wouldn’t make sense for me to read dozens of book on Islam to reinforce my opinion. And I also have no intention to start an anti-Islamic blog. What a waste of my life would that be…

    See, I have answered again even though I said I won’t. Please let me be and don’t ask me further questions. I have a life to live.

    • You once again claim that I hate god. Once again, I ask if you hate Allah, Zeus, Thor, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

      As far as Catholicism goes, my deceased wife (Amyloidosis) was Catholic. She married my knowing I was an atheist. My current wife is an atheist. However, she once considered Catholicism and was in RCIA (left during priest abuse revelations and rampant coverup by Catholic heriarchy). She grew up Church of the Nazarene, left after reading the bible, learning church history, and studying about Christianity in Trevecca (sp) University in Nashville (Church of Nazarene). She tried Catholicism to consider apostolic authority as a substitute for scriptural authority. She found that to be just as nonsensical, and more corrupt. There are not atheist priest scandals, because if an atheist harms a child, we put him in jail instead of shipping him to another church due to his magic powers as the vicar of Christ. But all that aside, we are both well versed on Catholic arguments, and often use them against protestants. Protestants want to skip church history from 33 until 1541 CE. Catholics want to omit the many Christianities that did exist between 33 and 325 CE. Orthodox theology did not exist in 33 AD. It was forged and evolving over time.

      Your comments about Athanasius and another John Chrysostom are interesting. Athanasius wrote the first list of books in the New Testament in 367. However, in the Synod of Hippo in 393 did not include Hebrews. This is just one example of the lack of consistency in the church. Your claims about “consistency since the fourth century” are clearly falsified even before the end of the fourth century!

      You should relaly investigate the canon prior the fourth century, especially the rediculous reasons why Iranaeus selected the four gospels and eliminated all others. The period before AD 325 is most interesting.

      I mentioned my success in de-converting and the growth of atheism in response to your claim about me not being successful. Non-religion is growing faster than any religion, including orthodxy. But your orthodox Catholics did show their scholarship recently nearby in South Bend, IN, at the Galileo Was Wrong, The Church Was Right conference. Perhaps you were there! Here is the website of this conference: http://www.galileowaswrong.com/galileowaswrong/. Using writings from the same church fathers you champion, they try to claim the earth does not rotate on its axis, but rather, stars and planets rotate the earth once a day. Of course, I can go to the Louisville Science Center and watch the Foucault pendulum prove them wrong every day! Of course, you may disagree with them, but by doing so, you are disagreeing with dozens of Catholic church fathers and popes. And you have the audacity to say protestants make stupid statements! Jesus said it best in Matthew 7:5. “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own [Catholic] eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your [protestant] brother’s eye.”

      “Many events from the Old Testament were understood in their full meaning only after Christ came to us. ” The followers of Nostradamus make similar claims: “The events of Nostradamus’ prophecies were understood in their full meaning only after the events happened.”

      It is a shame that you choose to attack me personaly instead of discussing the issues. Your next to last paragraph is filled with ignorant assumptions about me. I have a wife, four wonderful children, have traveled the world, work as a software engineer for a fortune 500 company.

      Lastly, I encourage you to read the opposing arguments once again. If your fellow Catholics at the Galileo Was Wrong conference would look at the overwhelming evidence of the opposition, perhaps they might learn that the earth rotates on its axis. Maybe you could learn something by reading the works of biblical scholars. Or perhaps you will choose to remain as ignorant as those who do not know the earth rotates.

    • Have you ever read any of Lee Strobel’s books? The case for Christ, the case for faith… I’ve had a lot of people tell me to read them. I bought both, but haven’t checked them out yet. He was an athiest trying to scientifically prove that God wasn’t real and while writing the book and doing research, he ended up finding God and became a believer himself. I haven’t read the books myself, but I’ve been told that they’re pretty good and inspirational.

      • I read Strobel’s book The Case For Christ years ago. First of all, his claim to be an atheist is not well substantiated, unlike that of Dan Barker’s claim that Barker was a former Christian minister and believer. There are many Christians who claim “I used to be an atheist” when a more accurate description would be that they were not living the lifestyle promoted by their faith. Secondly, his stated approach was that of a journalist, not a scientist. He interviews 13 Christian apologists and does not provide any information from any other point of view, which is not a good example of journalism. I was not convinced by his arguments which had many logical fallacies, nor was my wife who was required to read them as a child while she was still a believing Christian. You can read a good review of his book here: http://infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/strobel.html.

        I have not read The Case For Faith, but when someone resorts to faith as the reason for their belief, they are abandoning science completely.

  10. I am not a Catholic. For a person who claims to know a lot about Christianity you are making a very basic mistake. I have explicitly stated that I am Eastern Orthodox, and we believe that Catholicism, with their ridiculous teaching on papal infallibility, etc is also a heresy. The heresy has slowly evolved during the few centuries prior to the great schism of 1054.
    As for the other arguments, Orthodox Church does not claim that all holy fathers were infallible. Infallibility belongs to the Ecumenical Councils. However, careful reading of the fathers reveals that they agreed on vast majority of issues.
    You did not answer my question – do you hate the Christian God? It’s irritating to see how confident you are that your arguments are rock solid, while in my opinion, they don’t carry any weight.
    Orthodox theology exists in its entirety from the day of the Pentecost, described in the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles. I clearly explained that and I see no counter arguments in your post.
    I am not a professional theologian, but I have many friends who are. They read many of the works of the fathers before 325 and none of them sees anything contrary to what I am saying here. While slight differences could have existed between local churches, those differences weren’t big enough to threaten the unity of the Church.
    Astronomy is of no relevance to the issue of salvation. Therefore, it’s no surprise that some fathers could have had wrong ideas about it. Theological knowledge given to them through theosis is related to the issues of salvation, and not to general knowledge about everything. If that were the case, we should have expected the fathers to start constructing airplanes and nuclear power plants in the fourth century.
    I have no idea why the synod in Hippo in 393 didn’t include Hebrews, nor do I think it is of any importance for this discussion. The synod in Hippo didn’t declare that book as heretical. If it did, then we could talk about an important inconsistency.
    After you read an Orthodox interpretation of the Old Testament, then you can say whether our approach of interpreting the Old in the light of the New Testament makes sense or not. By the way, this idea is mentioned many times in the New Testament. The meaning of many Old Testament verses which relate directly to Messiah wasn’t properly understood until Christ came.
    Your claim doesn’t prove anything, only that you are obsessed with the idea that every book of the Bible must be completely self explanatory and self sufficient. Our claim is that they are not self explanatory, even the entire Bible is not some self explanatory system.
    I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but English is my second language and discussing theology in it is not easy for me. And this is really losing its point, I believe that I have clearly answered your arguments.

    • No, I do not hate the Christian god. You did not answer my question. Do you hate Vishna, Allah, Isis, and Thor? I did answer your question with my question. It is not possible to hate something that you do not believe in. I don’t hate ghosts, and I don’t hate unicorns.

      Orthodox means different things to different people. I did host an Eastern Orthodox exchange student from Serbia during the late 1990s. He was drafted by the Serbian army while in our house, and if he returned to Serbia he would have fought against the USA. To make a long story short, Congress granted extensions to all J1 visas from that area, including Serbia, with only a couple of weeks before immigration would have sent him back to fight our troops. From him, I learned a little about the Orthodox religion. He, however, had abandoned the faith and described himself as agnostic. I do not know as much about Orthodox religions as the Catholic religion.

      I am glad you admit that some of your church fathers had wrong ideas about astronomy. They had wrong ideas about many things.

      The ultimate question is who gets to interpret the bible? The Orthodox Church? The Pope? Martin Luther? John Calvin? Billy Graham? The Jews? The person who runs the Creation Museum in Kentucky? Is it scripture alone, or is it scripture, tradition, and authority? Who decides when the bible is literal and when it is metaphor? Who decides when it is historical or when it is legal? The bible does not say “this part is metaphor” or “this part is literal.”

      You insist that your church is the only Christian church. You believe in the fairy tale that your church has the one established on the day of pentecost. However, biblical scholars have shown otherwise. I have read works from early church fathers, such as Eusebius. I have also read the works of scholars on Eusebius. I recommend you do the same.

      • I said that you hate God or God as Christians see Him. This other option can be interpreted as an idea. You can believe that the Christian God does not exist, but the idea, the philosophical concept of Christian God does exist, and you hate that idea. This is very clear and I don’t understand how you can pretend not to understand what I am talking about.
        You hate this idea, and you are dedicating your time (and a lot of it) to disprove something you hate, rather to develop and promote something you like. You have a negative orientation.

        Eusebius is not a father of the Church. His teachings were close to Origen (which is hardly a recommendation), his proposal of the creed of faith wasn’t accepted at the council in 325, and he was later an opponent of Saint Athanasius the Great (who is one of the greatest Church fathers). Obviously, this Mr. Eusebius was on a verge of heresy and his writings can’t be considered as authoritative.

        My statement about theology existing from the day of the Pentecost is all but naive, yet you don’t know what I have in mind. Theology is “knowing God” (in as much it’s possible), and God has revealed Himself to the apostles on that day. We don’t have a better knowledge of God that apostles had on that day. In fact, a Christian life is a struggle of trying to get to that point where God would reveal Himself to us as He did to the apostles, which is the experience of theosis. This is such a long subject that I don’t want to even start to write about it. Google theosis if you are interested.

        You are totally right when you say: “The bible does not say “this part is metaphor” or “this part is literal.” Bible is interpreted by the Church. Sources of our faith are Bible and Tradition, which includes the Ecumenical Councils and writings of the holy fathers. Ecumenical Councils have authority which is of the same importance as the Bible itself. As for the authority of the Church fathers, that is more difficult to explain. Once again, you would have to investigate for yourself. Most of these questions, especially about the authority of the Bible and who interprets it, are answered here: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/whichcamefirst.aspx

      • Your last two paragraphs contain really bad circular reasoning. God revealed himself to the apostles. How do we know this? The Church says so. Where does the Church get the authority to interpret scripture? From the apostles.

        The Catholic church claims same the exact same thing that you do. What makes you right and them wrong? Rather than have you answer that question in this blog, I will look at your website. However, I do not think there is any valid reason why your church’s authority is any greater than any other church’s authority. I will visit your website with the hope that you will read Bart Ehrman on the history of the Christian church.

        It is interesting what you have to say about Eusebius and Origen. Origen lived 185-254. Eusebius lived 263 – 369. Both lived prior to 325 CE. Yet, you say they are both not Orthodox! They were prominent writers on the Christian church of their day. What does that tell you about the status of the Orthodox church? To me, it says there were prominent non-orthodox Christian communities thriving in the Middle East during this time. Think about it.

        I will leave you with a quote from Mark Twain that I believe is appropriate:

        In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.
        – Autobiography of Mark Twain

    • Have you ever read any of Lee Strobel’s books? The case for Christ, the case for faith… I’ve had a lot of people tell me to read them. I bought both, but haven’t checked them out yet. He was an athiest trying to scientifically prove that God wasn’t real and while writing the book and doing research, he ended up finding God and became a believer himself. I haven’t read the books myself, but I’ve been told that they’re pretty good and inspirational.

      • I read Strobel’s book The Case For Christ years ago. First of all, his claim to be an atheist is not well substantiated, unlike that of Dan Barker’s claim that Barker was a former Christian minister and believer. There are many Christians who claim “I used to be an atheist” when a more accurate description would be that they were not living the lifestyle promoted by their faith. Secondly, his stated approach was that of a journalist, not a scientist. He interviews 13 Christian apologists and does not provide any information from any other point of view, which is not a good example of journalism. I was not convinced by his arguments which had many logical fallacies, nor was my wife who was required to read them as a child while she was still a believing Christian. You can read a good review of his book here: http://infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/strobel.html.

        I have not read The Case For Faith, but when someone resorts to faith as the reason for their belief, they are abandoning science completely.

    • You can’t argue about the bible and pick and choose which topics are or are not important. It’s all or nothing. Besides, opinions are like assholes and everybody’s got one! Besides, why are there sooo many replies from you? You keep saying that you will NOT reply anymore, yet you can’t stop. Seems that you’re the one who’s wasting time and energy nagging about everything. Annnnnd, you never asked IF he hated God, you just keep accusing him of it. I bet you sit online everyday searching for blogs and whatever you can find to comment on and nag people. You bore me.

      • Just in case you weren’t sure sweetie, I was talking to you Nemanja. I didn’t want you to get confused so I thought I’d clarify. =) Don’t forget your helmet before you go outside and play today. ❤

  11. “Let’s look at how your god revealed his or her message to the world. He told a few prophets at different times. They write down his message. Then everyone else in the world must believe the prophet or written word without any evidence to support that this message came from god.”

    Not according to the Torah. You seem to be forgetting mass revelation at Mt. Sinai. I grant you that there is no proof beyond the Bible of such revelation, except that most of our understanding of history comes from similar type artifacts. We believe the histories of Thucydides with regards to the Peloponnesian Wars, why not the Torah with regards to what happened in the Sinai desert? It is not the view of one person, it is the view of approximately 2 million men, women, and children. To try to bring that up later with no precedent would be bold indeed. Many of the writings following the Exodus were brought up as they happened, which means that it could not have been accepted had it not happened. I grant you, it still requires a leap of faith, but a smaller one than you seem to imply. (By the way, it is my belief, as is the veiled view of Maimonidese when doing a careful reading of Guide to the Perplexed, that the Genesis story is mostly to all allegory.)

    “The bible and the god in the bible are not moral. The bible says Jews could own people from foreign countries as slaves for life, passing them to their children as inheritance.”

    Again, this fits into Rabbi Kook’s view that a careful reading of the text in original Hebrew shows this to be a compromise on the part of God, meant to be reversed when the time was right.

    “God threatens to rub shit on the faces of his priests. He orders another priest to marry a whore.”

    I am not aware of these, but I am interested to learn about them.

    “Then there are the genocides. The test for an unfaithful wife, and many other bizaree and immoral laws and stories.”

    I admit to being bothered by the genocides. The one I looked into at length is the genocide of the Midianites. While I have heard all the justifications, it does not sit right with me. The best I can do is say that it is how one had to function as a nation in the ancient world. It was kill or be killed, and the genocide may have been necessary to warn off future would be attackers. The test of the unfaithful wife was not immoral, and I wonder why you believe it was. In the best case, it would allay a jealous husband’s fears, and in the worst case, an adulterer would be punished. If that doesn’t meet the satisfaction of your 21st century secular view of morality, well then, guess what, it wasn’t meant for you. It was meant for a man 2000 years ago who had a completely different mentality than you do.

    “When I reject the claims of astrology, I am not being a bigot against astrologers. I am saying that astorlogers have not demonstrated that they can accurately make predictions based upon the stars. Likewise, when I reject the bible as the literal word of a perfect god, I am not being a bigot. I am simply saying that I have not seen any evidence that the bible is moral or of god.”

    But then, you do not call astrology immoral, only silly. You call my religion immoral.

    • God orders Hosea to marry a whore:
      Hosea 1:2 The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.

      God threatens to spread dung on Priests’ faces
      Malachi 2:3 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.

      You may look up the context. Both verses center around Israel and/or the priests not obeying his commandments (like every single minor prophet book).

      As far as god revealing himself to more than one in the torah/bible, another example is the parting of the Red Sea. However, that is assuming the stories are true. I doubt you believe the stories of the virgin Mary appearing to young girls in Fatima, Portugal, or the miracle cures of Christian TV evangelists. Most people do not see miracles. They have to believe the words of a prophet of some kind, or the words written by prophets. If I were God and I wanted my people to know me, I would simply appear to everyone all of the world and say something in their own language that would clearly be a miracle.

      Regarding the genocides, I read a story about a professor in Israel who gave students a genocide story straight from the torah. With one group, however, he changed the names to Asian names so that the story did not appear to by from the torah. He then had the students approve or disapprove of the genocide. Numbers approximately like 93% to 7% approved it from the torah version, but the opposite was true of the Asian version. I have know reference to this, but may google it later.

      I don’t believe you are immoral. Your comments on genocide and slavery affirm that. The texts of the bible/torah, however, have some stories and laws that are immoral. I recognize that morals have evolved over the years. My main point is that I see no reason to believe that the bible/torah is anything more than the views of the people (not God) of ancient times.

  12. “If the Torah wanted slavery to end, it could have simply said “All forms of slavery are wrong.” Because it permits slavery, we had to wait thousands of years to get rid of it (which is not yet completely done world wide).”

    The Torah’s aim was to create a religion that was to carry through for thousands of years, and thereby bring its message to generations of people. Had it attempted to abolish slavery at that time, the religion would not have lasted. There was no nation at the time that did not practice slavery, nor was there any egalitarian society. However, the protection in the Torah for both women in the form of guaranteed payments upon divorce, and slaves in terms of laws of how they are to be treated, were unmatched for the time period. Slavery laws by the Talmudic period were stricter in favor of the slave than the surrounding Romans. And the rules provided by Judaism in ancient times for slavery were more humane than the American slavery practices of the 1800’s.

    To claim that if the Torah wanted slavery outlawed, it should have outlawed slavery, shows no historical or sociological perspective. No nations at the time outlawed slavery, and by the 1800’s, slavery was still crueller throughout the world than the rules of the Torah allowed. Not only that, but had the Torah outlawed slavery, it never would have succeeded. It was difficult enough to get the people of the period to treat slaves in a more humane manner, as a reading of Jeremiah would show. You simply cannot expect to change a culture overnight, especially with something so strongly embedded in the ancient cultures. Life is not as straightforward as you or I would like it to be, and sometimes one has to work towards something gradually.

    In addition, your belief that abolition came from humanism is incorrect. Abolition, both in Europe and in the New World came from the Christian movements of Quakers, and Mennonites.

    • The simple fact is the OT is very much like Hitlers Nazi ideology.

      * Both claim their people are special and above all others.
      * Both believe their neighbours are lesser peoples who have been destined to serve them as slaves or should be killed.
      * Both believed it was ok to kill others because of race to steal their women, animals and gold.

      Notice the laws of OT is written were written to the advantage of rich mean. The correct reading of the last commandment of the Ten Commandments is of course no Hebrew should steal the property of another, which is why women and animals are grouped together. The slavery pronouncements located nearby reiterate this where they discuss different rules for Jews and people of other races.

      The BIble is of course an attempt for the elite in those past times to establish control over their subjects and of course justify their whim and laws. If you disagree, and think the 10 Commandments are good and God given, then one has to ask why God who was forceful about worshipping idols couldnt do the right thing and ban slavery.

      The only reason idols were banned is because religion back then was a business, and Levites wanted exclusive rights. Remember in those days the best educated who could read and write were the priestly class and scribes. They didnt want to share their lucrative business of sacrificing etc with the competition. There are countless scriptures where the priests and their family get a share of the sacrifice. Sacrifices were not only the best animals but also included grain and other produce such as wheat.

      Why would a GOd who created the universe need such gifts from puney man ? The simplest answer is of course the intermediary, the priest benefitted most. Religion has always been a business, just look at the Catholic Church. Its no concidence that the church was established in Rome. Dont forget all churches always ask for money or tithes, which of course was also established in the OT. Those priests knew how to drain the local population for the benefit. The other advantage to the system was the priest could manipulate people to do work for the King, saying it was GOds will or perhaps to go to war. Both arguments are of course easily challenged, by simply asking why didnt god use his infinite power and do the work or prevent the enemy.

  13. “You once again claim that I hate god. Once again, I ask if you hate Allah, Zeus, Thor, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster?”

    No, but then, I don’t have a blog dedicated to disproving Allah, Zeus, Thor, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. None are important enough to me to do so. Why do you spend so much time disproving something you do not believe in? If you do not believe in God, why would it bother you if others chose to? If you do not believe, does it truely bother you that I am happy believing?

    • Because in my state, Kentucky, there is a law requiring two government officials in two different offices to affirm the existence and dependence on “Almighty God” in annual reports. I sued the state and won, having this law declared unconstitutional, but the state is appealing.

      Because in Kentucky, there is a Creation “Museum” that teaches the most absurd nonsense as science.

      Because in Kentucky, the state is giving $37 million to a Noah’s Ark theme park, complete with dinosaurs on the ark!

      Because in Kentucky, the word “evolution” does not appear in science curriculum standards.

      Because in Kentucky, we are greeted with billboards that say HELL IS REAL.

      Because in Kentucky, we have billboards from Christian groups that claim Jesus will return in May, 2011.

      In summary, the founding principals of our country are being destroyed by religious nuts. You may believe in secular government and may be happy believing in something for which there is no evidence. I will never deny your right to do that.

      I am continuing in the tradition of Thomas Paine, Robert Ingersoll, Thomas Edison, Mark Twain, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and other great people who spoke openly about the evils of religion and the ridiculous nature of religions.

  14. “God orders Hosea to marry a whore:
    Hosea 1:2 The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.”

    I believe this is God trying to create a condition, i.e., developing a condition in Hosea so that he feels what God feels as His representative to the people of Israel. You can insist that it is wrong for God to do so, but then, how do you know? God wanted to move the people to act, and this may have been a method of doing so. I think you are looking at this as black and white, but in fact it is not so.

    “God threatens to spread dung on Priests’ faces
    Malachi 2:3 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.”

    This is not immoral at at all. It’s an allegory. God is saying that He will bring harm to those who are desecrating His temple and leading His people astray, and will embarass them. God’s punishment is not immoral any more than we would call “acts of God” immoral.

    “I doubt you believe the stories of the virgin Mary appearing to young girls in Fatima, Portugal, or the miracle cures of Christian TV evangelists. Most people do not see miracles. They have to believe the words of a prophet of some kind, or the words written by prophets.”

    the succession of miracles and revelations were there, and not by people looking for miracles and revelation as the people in Fatima and the evangelists. It was people looking for reasons not to accept. The Torah does something in its historical recordings that no other religion and writtings of the time did. That is, it pointed out the flaws of its heroes. If the Torah were merely attempting to convince people of the greatness of Israel or of God, the heroes would not have these flaws. Jacob was sly, Isaac was naive, Jacob’s sons did all sorts of crappy things, Moses had a temper that caused him to sin, Aaron was too eager too please to the point of sin, David came from questionable backgrounds AND sinned rather gravely due to sexual desires. Heroes in the Torah are severely flawed at times. That is not something the ancients chose to write about in their religious heroes. I don’t believe in stories of perfection, and I don’t believe that miracles are simply performed. But I do believe that the world was created by a God, and that God would want to have a relationship with His creations. Judaism simply makes the most sense to me for a bevy of reasons (some of which I have thrown at you already).

    “If I were God and I wanted my people to know me, I would simply appear to everyone all of the world and say something in their own language that would clearly be a miracle.”

    Would you? Why? What if there were a reason not to do so? If God made His presence known to you 100% and His presence were everpresent, could you do anything BUT God’s will? Would that destroy your ability to utilize your free will? Would you become immobile and dependent of God for everything? What if your ability to use free will has a very specific purpose in moving the world towards something? If I were God, I would kill all mosquitoes (I hate mosquitoes) but would that really be a good idea? If my five year old were God, she would probably make all food taste like lollipops, but again, probably not the best idea. How do you know what you would do if you were God and knew everything God knows?

    “Regarding the genocides, I read a story about a professor in Israel who gave students a genocide story straight from the torah. With one group, however, he changed the names to Asian names so that the story did not appear to by from the torah. He then had the students approve or disapprove of the genocide. Numbers approximately like 93% to 7% approved it from the torah version, but the opposite was true of the Asian version. I have know reference to this, but may google it later.”

    Did the professor give ALL the facts? Like the fact that this group would constantly be attacked and risk thousands of lives if it did not do this action? Like the fact that these people were attempting to commit genocide to them?

    “I don’t believe you are immoral. Your comments on genocide and slavery affirm that. The texts of the bible/torah, however, have some stories and laws that are immoral. I recognize that morals have evolved over the years. My main point is that I see no reason to believe that the bible/torah is anything more than the views of the people (not God) of ancient times.”

    I have explained one very important reason above, and that is the very intellectually honest way that the Torah approaches its heroes as opposed to other texts throughout that time period and beyond. Another is the mass revelation, and another is that the stories within it often have come true. Now, as I said, it makes the most sense to me, but it may not do so to others. I understand and accept that.

    • Your excuses for the behavior of the god in the bible/torah are based upon your justifications, not based upon the verses themselves. Many of the genocides were perpetrated for the occupation of land, not because of attacks from the outside. For example, the following passage comes from Judges 18. There is no menion of any threat from the people of Laish, who were described many times in these verses as “peaceful.”

      And in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking a place of their own where they might settle, because they had not yet come into an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. 2 So the Danites sent five of their leading men from Zorah and Eshtaol to spy out the land and explore it. These men represented all the Danites…
      7 So the five men left and came to Laish, where they saw that the people were living in safety, like the Sidonians, at peace and secure. And since their land lacked nothing, they were prosperous. Also, they lived a long way from the Sidonians and had no relationship with anyone else…
      9 They answered, “Come on, let’s attack them! We have seen the land, and it is very good. Aren’t you going to do something? Don’t hesitate to go there and take it over. 10 When you get there, you will find an unsuspecting people and a spacious land that God has put into your hands, a land that lacks nothing whatever.”
      27 Then they took what Micah had made, and his priest, and went on to Laish, against a people at peace and secure. They attacked them with the sword and burned down their city. 28 There was no one to rescue them because they lived a long way from Sidon and had no relationship with anyone else.

      Your comments about god “creating a condition” regarding Hosea marrying a whore is your interpretation. However, he could have created a condition many other ways.

      So the feces is allegort. The bible never says “this verse is allegory, this verse is metaphor, this verse is literal.” When people decide the nature of these verses, they are becoming god, or transforming the god of the bible/torah into their own beliefs. Thas is what you are doing, whether you realize it or not. That is what many others do as well.

      • My “excuses” for God’s actions, are not excuses at all. They are based on a combination of an understanding of the text in its original language, an understanding of the life led be ancient peoples, and a philosophy that places those words at that time. You choose to look at the verses and see the bad based solely on the viewpoint of someone living in 2010 CE. If you do that, you will certainly be very confused and you can only see things negatively. I admit, I have had issues with these same verses that you do, but it is for the same reason that you have these issues. They were not written recently, and they were written in a practical manner. I would argue that my understanding of the verse is much more valid than yours because I place it in historical context. You can’t truely understand any peice of literature without understanding historical context; not Shakespeare, not the US Constitution, not John Locke, not the Odessy, and not the Bible. You choose to look at it and see immorality in what was pretty much just an ancient practice, which is pretty much like asking why Hamlet didn’t just go to psychotherapy, or why Homer didn’t just use his UZI.

        As far as Judges 18, that one is an easy read. Can’t you tell that the text does not look favorably on these people attacking Laish? It shows right in the previous chapter that the reason that this happened was because there was no leader after the death of Samson, and “each person did what was right in his own eyes.” The text repeats the refrain in the begining of the chapter in question that there was no king in those days. The chapter talks of idolotry, anarchy, theft, and genocide of a peace loving nation, all as being bad. In fact, God plays no part in this episode. This is clearly not seen as a good thing by anyone. You can’t use an episode that is looked at with disaproval as proof of God’s immorality. Again, context.

        Regarding Hosea, I wonder how you know how God could have created the situation in a different manner. Do you know how things would turn out? I don’t. For that reason, it is enough for me to know that it had its purpose. I don’t have to ask if another mode could have served that purpose. I don’t know if it could have. I was not Hosea, and Hosea clearly had enough trust to do it. Besides, I’m not sure what is so immoral about this anyway. God asked one person with enough faith to do something. The person did it. nobody was hurt, and Hosea became a prophet of God. Why is this so bad? Why does this bother you?

        You say that it is wrong to say that the dung is allegory. I suppose you are right. I suppose God really rests his ACTUAL foot on the earth, God has an ACTUAL face, God used His ACTUAL hands to form the earth, and Moses saw God’s oh so hairy back. Do you see how silly this is? When God talks in human terms, it is always allegory. I don’t decide this. It is crystal clear because all terms of God’s actions when expressed in human terms is allegory.

      • “I admit, I have had issues with these same verses that you do, but it is for the same reason that you have these issues.”
        Fine. Let’s not go any further repeating the same comments using different words.

        “I wonder how you know how God could have created the situation in a different manner.”
        Any being who supposedly created the entire universe certainly has the power NOT to order one of his priests to marry a whore.

        “When God talks in human terms, it is always allegory.”
        When HUMANS talks in GOD terms, it is always allegory.

    • @JewishInsurgent

      We think of whore as a woman of low social standing, while in old times the opposite is quite true. Women priests were often prostitutes for a god or godess helping men followers get closer via sex.

      THe Hebrew language has two words which map to prostitute one of which is Kadesh. Funnily enough Kadesh is also very much related to holy which establishes the fact the two were very close concepts in ancient Hebrew.

      There are countless passages in the Bible which acknowledge that this. Most passages in the BIble only talk about important people such as kings, prophets, priests and so on. It rarely includes something from a nobody. Many of the women in the Bible that are labelled whores were actually priestesses which were very important people in those times, eg Rahab, Jezebel. Jezebel was Queen which also meant she was a priestess. Her crime was of course being involved with the wrong “god”.

  15. Regarding your comments about Kentucky, your qualm seems to be with the constitutionality of these laws with consideration to the separation of church and state. I agree with you 100% that there is no place in US government for the institution of religious practice. However, I do not do so on the grounds that religion is wrong. I do so based on the fact that religious institution within government leaves minorities at the mercy of the majority faith. As history has shown, doing so is a very dangerous incline towards religious persecution (I would argue that denial of gay marriage, insistence on teaching “intelligent design, and using tax dollars on nativity scenes are all forms of religious persecution, albeit minor in comparison to others).

    I think using the arguement that religious entanglement of this sort is a slippery slope is a much more effective arguement and protest, as you are more likely to get people of other religions to agree with your viewpoint. As an Orthodox Jew, I feel that denial of gay marriage is a threat to my practice, as a religious definition of marriage could, in the future, deny Jews the right to marry outside a church or without a Priest. If I would have to confirm allegance to God to serve in public office, who is to limit that to God and not then insist later that I swear allegance to a Christian god that I do not believe in, thus precluding practicing peoples of other faiths from serving? Who is to say where the arm of religion ends if not at the doors of our legal institutions? Therefore, not just athiests, but all minority theologies have a stake in your issue. Unfortunately, many have yet to see the issue in this light.

    If that is the arguement that you choose to make, I believe you can gain quite a following with it. However, I am afraid that by selecting the arguement the religion should not find its way into government because religion is silly, you run the risk of harming your cause by turning off those who would otherwise support it. I can support a strict separation of church and state, but I cannot support an argument that religion is silly, and I suspect many would agree. But your qualm within the confines of this blog is not the imposition of religion on your life, but the selling of atheism, to which I still have to wonder, why do you care?

    • I agree with your comments on separation of church and state. There is a Baptist minister who is also a KY legislator. Currently in KY, only ministers and justices of the peace can perform weddings. A bill was introduced to expand performance of marriages to KY congressmen and senators. This Baptist minister opposed this, saying the state has no business getting into marriage, which should only be recognized by churches.

      I once remember being in a temple for a bar mitzvah. I attempted to pay a compliment, by noting how nice a “church” they had. I had about 5 people instantly say “temple!” I laugh about this now, but I can see the worry in your point about a legislator limiting marriage to “churches.”

      I think that religion is serious to those who believe. There are cultural references. However, I think that the religions taken seriously today are just as correct as the religions abandoned by mankind centuries ago.

      • My point is not the fear that I have, although it is there. I agree with you on the practical aspects despite my disagreement with your theological viewpoint.

        My point is that I can support you if you are in search of a practical outcome in seperation of church and state, or even a secular government. However, I cannot support you if your goal is to tear down all religion. My point is that your method accomplishes nothing. So again, if you truely do not believe in God, why are you so bothered that others do, to the point that you feel the need to point out its flaws in publication?

      • My goal for this blog is to promote human reason. Human reason can not exist when bound by religious dogma.

  16. I read of all of this. Good stuff by everybody. I agree with Ed, I’m just by no means an atheist. I believe Jesus was God in flesh and I feel there are some specific ideals God wants us to find in the Scriptures. But I’m also not afraid to dismiss 100% the part about God commanding a man be killed on the Sabbath for gathering wood and say that God never commanded this. And I admit there may be no consistent “logic” behind why I dismiss verse A in the Bible and keep verse B. So I don’t believe certain laws ever came from God in any capacity and any attempts to understand those certain laws via Jesus is futile.

    But the best part of this was the comment about the HELL IS REAL billboards. LMAO! I saw one of those in Indiana for the first time over Thanskgiving and my wife and I have been joking about these ever since. In their defense, the other side says JESUS IS REAL… lololololol!

  17. The apologizing for the text on here must be clarified by what one believes about God. As I believe God is all knowing and all powerful, the comments about God seem to suggest that God has no choice in the matters of discimination and genocide and senseless murders for minute issues. JewishInsurgent, you present your case as if there are laws that are dictated TO God concerning God’s behavior, rather than God choosing God’s own reaction. So to say that God knows that the Israelites would be killed if they didn’t genocide first is silly to me because I believe God has the power to stop that. The text suggests God fights with them in battle and helps them win. God protected them from the Egyptians, but is powerless against the other tribes? God is helpless to figure out a non genocidal way to protect the Israelites and give them usable land? I’m not saying God couldn’t have ordered mass murders. Is that possible? Sure, but I think the only reason people entertain such nonsense is because it appears in the Bible. Therefore, the goal is not to seek God and understand God, the goal is to defend at all costs, the assumption that every verse and story in the Hebrew Scriptures where God is mentioned is an accurate reflection of what God wants. We have to be honest and open about the high probability that God is merely a character to be used for their own justification of conquest. It is only until they start losing battles and getting conquered do they start “realizing” they have sinned against God and are being punished. So it seems much more likely that, while God “could” be doing all those things you claim, it is NOT God and just the Israelites doing what they think is necessary because they want to avoid pissing God off – even it means killing someone or even groups of innocent people.

    Ed – Judges 18 will probably be used as evidence by the latter prophets that the northern kingdom’s wickedness caused them to fall to the Assyrians. That story has them taking an idol to Laish, which becomes Dan. I understand your point, but apologists have legitimate Scriptural evidence that God was not a part of this particular genocide – although, murdering all inhabitants (men, women, and children) of a peaceful town is probably secondary to potential idol worship.

    • “murdering all inhabitants (men, women, and children) of a peaceful town is probably secondary to potential idol worship.”

      It is not secondary to the peaceful men, women, and children being murdered.

  18. “Any being who supposedly created the entire universe certainly has the power NOT to order one of his priests to marry a whore.”

    Certainly, but that still does not answer the question. How do you know that A) the situation did not call for specifically this action, and B) it was immoral for God to command this of Hosea (who, by the way, was not a priest, but a prophet)? God’s purpose was for Hosea’s life and relationship to reflect the current state of the relationship that the Jewish nation was having with God. There was no other way for that to happen. This command was actually a more moral way for it to happen. God allowed Hosea to enter the relationship with eyes wide open, in that, instead of God causing Hosea to marry a woman who would then cheat on him, God commanded Hosea to find a woman who would cheat on him, thereby causing no surprises for the prophet. Again, my point is that there was a purpose and the purpose was brought about. So I don’t buy that it was either immoral or that there was a better alternative (I’m sure there were alternatives as you argue, but none that were better).

    When HUMANS talks in GOD terms, it is always allegory.

    True, but what I was referring to was the fact that in order to understand God as best we can, allegory is necessary, and that is what the “dung” threat was about.

    • The purpose this blog is to educate people about the bible. You admitted in an earlier blog that you were not aware that god ordered Hosea to marry a whore and threatened to rub dung on the faces of his priests. Now you are aware. You can continue to believe that these are the actions of a perfect god (or whatever you believe about god), or you can open your eyes.

      You make many assertions in your responses, such as “God’s purpose was for Hosea’s life and relationship to reflect the current state of the relationship that the Jewish nation was having with God. There was no other way for that to happen. ” You are writing this as if it were a proven fact, when in your earlier posts you admitted that you did not even know this verse existed! Suddenly, you are an expert, knowing the mind of god in every situation and having a perfect interpretation of scripture, after admitting earlier that you were unaware of such scripture. You have provided no evidence that “There was no other way for that to happen.” Your posts are simply filled with such statements, yet you do not realize it. You think your interpretations are accurate, but they are based on assertions that you seem to make up on the spur of the moment.

  19. “My goal for this blog is to promote human reason. Human reason can not exist when bound by religious dogma.”

    First of all, I never said said anything about dogma. I believe in reasoned religion, and I don’t believe that God would give us an intellect for us to avoid using it. Doubting and disputing religious views is a foundation of the religion that I follow. That’s the reason I found your blog in the first place. I don’t believe in any type of belief without reason, intellectual honesty, and internal (and even external) debate.

    However, I see a certain dogma in your views that is not unlike the dogma followed by many Christians, Jews, and Muslims. You firmly believe that there is no God, which is fine. But you seem to come up with reasons why everything in the Bible is immoral. Don’t get me wrong, I have my questions about the Torah that I (mostly) follow. I don’t understand a great deal of the book of Genesis, and while I have my theories, they diverge from many of those taken by many of my co-religionists. Despite the reasons I gave for the Midianite genocide, it still tears me appart, and I argue with others about this from your side regularly. How King David remained king after the Batsheba debacle confounds me, regardless of his apologies (although it seemed to confound King David as well). Those are just some examples of where I question and debate and struggle.

    But you seem to be doubtless. You argue vehemently that religion is silly, and God is immoral. You refuse to see that there may be a well reasoned other side, and insist that it is all dogmatic and illogical. You point to specific examples of what you consider immorality and refuse to see any alternative view of what happened. You refuse to look at historical context, which is a staple of biblical criticism. Instead you look at today’s moral standard as if it is absolute, and allow for no relativism at all; a sure sign of dogmatic “reasoning.” You choose to look at how humans behave today as how they always did behave, and how humans react to things today as how they always did react. That is simply not the case, and is not logical.

    You talk of human reason as though what you speak is reason and what anyone with religious views says is dogma. In fact, what you say includes every bit as much dogma as any religion, if not more. You express no doubts, and dismiss those who disagree with your viewpoint (not just those who refuse to reason). That is not reasoned understanding. That is dogmatic atheism.

    • “My goal for this blog is to promote human reason. Human reason can not exist when bound by religious dogma.”
      I posted this answer becuase you kept making false statements about me and my purposes for this blog. You kept asking me to stop doing this, to do something I enjoy. I enjoy doing this, I find meaning in discussing these issues with religious people.

      Reason, to freethinkers, is acquiring knowledge using facts, logic, and evidence. Dogma is blindly following religious doctrines and ignoring any facts logic and evidence that are contradictory. You accuse me of being dogmatic, but that is only your ignorant assumption. I am willing to believe in a god if you can provide evidence. For example, if I were told where to point a telescope and view angels, pearly gates, and golden streets, I would admit that the Christian heaven exists. If the DNA of American Indians showed they were descendants of Hebrews (proven false), I would admit that this lines up with Mormon theology (which was changed after this analysis). If scientific evidence started showing that the world was only 6,000 years old, I would openly accept it and modify my beliefs on the age of the earth. If Christians could really tell a mountain to move and it would move as the New Testament says, I would believe in Christianity. However, I have not seen any evidence of god. If I see physical or scientific evidence tomorrow, I would change my mind.

      You can find dogma at the Galileo Was Wrong conference (http://www.galileowaswrong.com/galileowaswrong/). They make the same claims as you: “we are not dogmatic, it is you scientists who are dogmatic!” I can go to the Louisville Science Center and view the Foucault pendulum that proves them wrong every day, yet they will insist that they must be right because of their interpretation of the scripture.

      I never said everything in the bible is immoral. I did say much of it is, such as the genocides, the test for a faithful wife (Numbers 5, I think), laws such as the one that requires a woman’s hand to be chopped off with no pity if she accidently touches another man’s private area while her husband is under attack, and other verses. Yes, you brought up David and Bathsheba. Why was he above the law? I know he was punished (child killed by god) , but not according to the law.

      I do look at the historical context of verses. And I note that the verses reflect the morality of those men of those times. That is why they are immoral by today’s standards. Verses written or inspired by a god would be MUCH BETTER than the verses in the bible. I have read Charles Darwin’s work, where he mentions “savages.” Not too terribly bad for a wealthy Englishman in the 1800s, but would not be politically correct today. George Washington owned slaves, but that did not make him an evil man for his time (although I strongly state that slavery was wrong then as it is now, even if not recognized). Thomas Edison, whom I greatly admire, used to electrocute dogs and at one time electrocuted an elephant in public (http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2008/01/dayintech_0104). Today, I would share the outrage of many against Edison if he did that. However, the writings and actions of Darwin, Washington, Edison, and others are not claimed to be literal or inspired words of a god. They are simply the actions and writings of men of their time. The bible is also that: simply the writings of the culture and actions (sometimes fictional) of men of their time. It is nothing more. When you say I should not compare it to today’s morality, you are actually admitting that the morality in the bible is inferior to today’s morality. This underscores my entire point: the bible is morally inferior to modern secular humanism.

      I am doubtless that the bible is a book written by men of an ancient age, with no input from any type of god. Asking me to have doubts about the bible not being the word of god is like asking an astronomer to have doubts about heliocentricity. The evidence is beyond doubt.

  20. Sorry, earlier I was being tounge-in-cheek regarding the comment about idolatry vs. genocide. I meant to imply that to apologists and the writers and readers of that text about Laish, idolatry is worse than genocide. But the main point is, in that particular text, I believe the writers intend to imply that genocide was wrong and that God will punish them. Later, the false idols at Dan will be used to explain the fall of the Northern Kingdom to Assyria. So apologists can “spare God” from the implications of that particular genocide. But if they are honest (which they usually aren’t), they would note that the text implies that this whole episode was bad because of the false idol they took. The text implies that had they properly worshipped the God of Israel before this genocide (by not getting the false idol and bringing it into the town), all would be good.

    Those of faith have to be honest – there is no logic for belief. The only somewhat logical answer I could give is that I believe this world and all its intracacies are much too complicated to be explained by all these random events in the universe. Science may tell us how things work, but it doesn’t tell us why. I have too many questions for me to just accept that there was no intelligent design behind the necessary conditions needed to sustain life for all these years. But that’s me. For the first time, I’m realizing there is no real polemic that will satisfy my hidden need to be able to prove my faith is right. I will just have to have faith God is real and that will have to be it.

  21. “Science may tell us how things work, but it doesn’t tell us why.” -Hill

    ??? If you know the ‘how’, you know the ‘why’. Are you saying we don’t know why it rains? You seem to have invented a ‘mystical’ reason to believe in a god: “We don’t know x, y and z so there must be a god”.

    You then state: “I have too many questions for me to just accept that there was no intelligent design behind the necessary conditions needed to sustain life for all these years.”

    That would be like a puddle wondering who made the hollow into which it seems to fit so perfectly! You have it backwards; the universe was not made ‘just right’ for the lifeforms it contains. The lifeforms adapted to the universe. We can see evidence of this in the fact that they continue to adapt to their environments.

    “For the first time, I’m realizing there is no real polemic that will satisfy my hidden need to be able to prove my faith is right. I will just have to have faith God is real and that will have to be it”

    How about looking for evidence instead of polemics? Those with evidence need no faith. But I suppose that’s why the religious need faith; they have no evidence.

  22. “Slavery is wrong.” Will you post on what sort of slavery the Bible speaks about? Perhaps it’s purpose, the reasons for slavery, and the way for slavery to end? Was there a term-limit for Biblical slavery? How have modern bankruptcy laws been affected by this perspective?

    There may be a difference between that and slavery as it is being practiced right now in Abu Dhabi by Muslims, as it was practiced in the Sudan by Muslims, as it is practiced by Communist industrialists in China, as it is practiced by the non-Christian countries of South East Asia, as it is in Mauritania a country where slavery was only outlawed in 2007. Perhaps it is a different concept than the slavery perpetrated by North African Muslims on European Christians in the 1500-1700s.

    Because the word “slavery” is somewhat vague and can have many different incarnations, it seems wise to me for an intellectually honest man as yourself to speak to the characteristics of “slavery” in the Bible. What do you think?

    Another question comes to mind: Suppose the Bible were written the way you think it should be with an out-right prohibition against anything called slavery. How would that affect your view of the cases listed above? How would that affect your view of the rest of the Bible?

    • Leviticus 25:44-46

      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      The bible clearly permits Israelites to own slaves from other countries. There is no end to their slavery, because Israelites are permitted to “bequeath them to your children”.

      Rules for slavery over Israelites are different, but that is due to the inherent racism in the bible.

      It is funny that you mention all kinds of slavery but fail to mention the slavery perpetuated by Christians in the southern USA. I will quote Mark Twain from Europe and Elsewhere and A Pen Warmed Up In Hell to end my comment.

      In all the ages the Roman Church has owned slaves, bought and sold slaves, authorized and encouraged her children to trade in them. Long after some Christian peoples had freed their slaves the Church still held on to hers. If any could know, to absolute certainty, that all this was right, and according to God’s will and desire, surely it was she, since she was God’s specially appointed representative in the earth and sole authorized and infallible expounder of his Bible. There were the texts; there was no mistaking their meaning; she was right, she was doing in this thing what the Bible had mapped out for her to do. So unassailable was her position that in all the centuries she had no word to say against human slavery. Yet now at last, in our immediate day, we hear a Pope saying slave trading is wrong, and we see him sending an expedition to Africa to stop it. The texts remain: it is the practice that has changed. Why? Because the world has corrected the Bible. The Church never corrects it; and also never fails to drop in at the tail of the procession – and take the credit of the correction. As she will presently do in this instance.

      • Hi Ed,

        Why pull those Leviticus verses out of their context? …

      • You asked 12 questions and wrote a book. I do not have time to answer your questions and irrelevant accusations. I will address your question on context.

        When it comes to slavery, most Christians want to ignore Lev 25:44-46. They quote other verses from other sections of the Bible that apply to Hebrews “owning” fellow Hebrew indentured servants. Then, the apologists deceptively try to make it sound like ALL the “slavery” in the bible was really just repayment of debt. That is a Christian lie that has been told to me on numerous occassions.

        Once again, Lev 25:44-46 clearly says Jews may buy slaves from the nations around them, they “can make them slaves for life”, and they can “bequeath them to your children.” This is immoral now, and it was immoral then. A book written or inspired by good would not advocate such immorality.

        “Out of context” is a phrase often spouted by apologists. This charge often means “read the Old Testament in light of modern Christianity” or “interpret the verses as I think they should be interpreted” or “read this other section of the bible that contradicts these verses and then act like there is no contradiction” or something else like this.

        I am in favor of reading verses in context if it means reading surrounding text of the same book. Read the entire book of Leviticus. Read the entire Bible. You will notice that most of my passages include entire chapters. I can not include everything in a blog. However, do not try to ignore blatant immorality by disquising it with the phrase “out of context” and acting like it was never there.

  23. This is another set of laws which are examples of practicality rather than being holy. The text presents itself as being from God, as that was the best form of authority that a leader in those days could give. The simple fact is its easier to scare people into doing what you say if you can say it came from God.

    Given the size of ancient Israel and its larger neighbours, they needed lots of physically fit men for the army. Sick, blind people dont help the army, which is what was important to the King. He needed as large an army as possible to defend his kingdom and riches (if he had any).

    Being dumb and supersitutous, they also believed that being blind or sick was a curse because that person or their parents or some past ancestor did the wrong thing. Why God would be offended for so many generations and blame some poor kid much later for what their ancestor did is of course nonsense.

  24. I’ve always found the text discussing testicle damage interesting because how exactly would the authorities know ? It seems particularly strange for a holy man to check another mans bits. Dud they have a special day when everyone was checked ? There is of course no mention in scripture of how this was managed. The simple answer is of course the sex – worship. There was no special ritual simple because when men came to worship the sacred prostitutes would notice these sorts of alterations.

  25. I don’t know if it shows God doesn’t exist. I think it shows the people of the time put whatever they wanted into scriptures and that their theology was messed up. I have a deformity and have had many well-meaning believers tell me God made me this way so I’d be a nicer person. If God does exist, who are we to say what his motives are, while at the same time dismissing biology?

  26. Aw… this is a product of a cognitive dissonance and an all-out logical defense. Defenders of faith have faith because of cognitive dissonance, a kind of disguise for not to show the pride/vanity being crushed as the logical harsh truth arises…

    “Our vanity is at its strongest precisely when it is being hurt.”
    -Friedrich Nietzche

    A good debate actually… but as a neutral judge, the so-called ‘infidels’ (by Muslims) or non-believers won.

  27. […] so desecrate my sanctuary. I am the LORD, who makes them holy. Leviticus 21 16-23 (See more at: rarebible.wordpress.com) This doesn’t really need explaining. . . • “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the […]

  28. Why do you hate God? It is obvious that you have not read or understood the purpose of the OT. Jesus reaches out to the physically disabled–look at the issue Paul had.

    Tim Dennis

    • I do not hate god, just as you do not hate Zeus.
      I have read the bible from cover to cover twice. I have also read the apocryphal books included in the King James Bible until 1885 once.
      Thank you for pointing out another biblical contradiction. However, these verses clearly quote god as saying “because of his defect, he must not go near the curtain or approach the altar, and so desecrate my sanctuary”.
      The god you worship is an evil joke.

  29. I believe the publisher of this is taking the Bible way out of context. All the biblical cherry pickers, Christian and non-Christian need to actually be educated in the correct way to interpret and read the Bible correctly. This scripture is talking about the holy place where God exists. He’s not saying that disabled people are hated in fact talking about any blemish of sin within chambers of God. I have been reading and pursuing degrees in biblical study and interpretation. I respect everyone believe, religion, and nonexisting religion. I have great relationships with atheists and anyone else. I love my neighbor and I love God and if you continue reading you’ll find out the other half of the story. You’re only talking about the beginning of the story. Jesus came as God’s son. What did he do about people with disabilities and other issues. Jesus paid the price for everybody. If you don’t believe in that that is fine with me but I think you have the right to worship the way I choose. And also to my Christian brothers and sisters quit giving nonbelievers a reason to not like us. The gospel should be beautiful. And if you would quit debating Bill Nye and actually do the job that the Bible says to do instead of arguing about nonsense with atheists. It’s free will not our job to choose for others. Anyway, this argument seems a generic as the typical arguments. I am severely disabled and I know that a lot of people have used their faith to change the world. It does make the world better. They give some people hope. When people read this garbage it give no valid argument except that you don’t believe in God so why would you write anything about him. Anyway, that’s my two cents my friend.Remember Martin Luther King, St. Francis, Gandhi, and many other holy people and Christians and help more people that are disabled than a complete godless society. I love my atheist brothers and sisters as well but come on let’s quit fighting.

    • Why could handicapped people not be in the “holy place where God exists”?

  30. The descriptions do not speak of physical deformities, but rather spiritual ones. That no one may come near to offer means a person must correct his qualities to come close to the Creator.

    • You made an absolutely false statement. “no man with a crippled foot or hand”, etc, are all physical deformities. It is so sad that you are willing to tell lies to make your religion seem less hateful.

    • It’s actually quite clear what it is referring to. Bottom line letter of the law is that a disabled or even slightly deformed member of the priest class could not serve in the Temple.

  31. I couldn’t agree more with this. If you read the bible closely, you will come to see that it is a violent book that oppresses women, children and the disabled. The problem is that people don’t critically think. Then we end up with leaders like Jesus and Donald Trump, who are actually very similar people. Donald mad fun of a disabled man on the campaign trail and the evangelicals dismissed it as well. I’m tired of evangelical Christians claiming that their God is a loving God, when there is tremendous evidence that he is not.

  32. Are you a Christian? Have you studied Christianity or have you just sucked down cup after cup of uneducated Kool-aid? Have you ever read the Bible as a whole instead of cherry picking what you can twist? Are you a theologian? Apologist? Scientist? Lab rat? What do you have to support your nonsense?

    Do you have a disabled child? Work with the disabled? Teach the disabled? In what way, do you contribut to the disabled population in your community? YAre you just a blow hard with an axe to grind against disabled Christians and their families?

    Leviticus 19:4 “You shall not curse the deaf, or put a stumbling block before the blind.” Funny how you jumped right over that to Leviticus 21.

    God sent Samuel to the house of David to appoint a new king. Among many brothers, David was the least of them. Overlooked, cast out, bullied, mocked. Yet, he was chosen by God. to lead Israel. King David took his God appoointed throne & immediately had a crippled boy dine in his place at the head of the table.

    Hmmmm. What would you give up for the disabled? Anything? Maybe just a glance in their direction?

    David cared & loved the the disabled boy even when it was contraversial. He cared more for the disabled than his reputation. What about you? At anytime have you ever given up the easy life to care for the disabled. FYI, spouting ignorance on social media doesn’t count.

    I am the mother of 2 disabled sons, a community activist, columnist for special needs children, founder of a support group, & pastor’s wife. That’s my credibility what is yours?

    • I am a husband, a father of 5, software engineer for UPS. Just 3 days ago I was with the Louisville Atheists and Freethinkers and Freedom From Religion Foundation of Kentucky distributing merchandise to American Village, a Section 8 senior citizen housing complex. We used a $1000 grant from Nonbelief Relief (an FFRF org), had $350 in donations from Americans United for Separation of Church and State Louisville Chapter, and donations from individuals members. We provided 4 beds to people who were sleeping on the floor or on a cot, plus sheets, towels, clock radios, dishes, pots, pans, a microwave, a TV, and numerous other items. I did this on July 28, my birthday (was going to mention my age, but then some idiot my figure out my birthday, but lets just say my oldest child is 31). Many of these people in American Village were disabled. I think you judged me without even knowing anything about me. My life proves your harsh judgement is unwarranted.

      I have a BS and MS in Computer Science and was in a Ph.D. program at the University of Texas at Austin until my previous wife died of Amyloidosis. I got the job at UPS, remarried, had more kids, and am very happy. My father and grandfather were deacons in Southern Baptist churches in Texas. I was raised to be a religious fundamentalist and a biblical literalist. I did, in fact read the bible through twice. That is why I am an atheist. I also read the Deuterocanon, Jewish apocrypha, Christian apocrypha, what books are in the Codex Sinaiticus that are not in the New Testament, books from Nag Hamadi, etc. I know more about the bible and early Christianity than 99.99% of all Christians. Most Christians could not tell me anything about Ebionites, Marcionites, Gnostics, Aryanisn, Letter of Athanaisus, Council of Nicea, Septuagint, Masoretic Text, the fraud involved in the 3rd Greek translation of Erasmus, Textus Recepticus, etc. You probably have not heard of many of the items I listed above (with possible misspellings of Greek and Latin words).

      You did what many Christians do when shown the obvious immorality of the bible. You went to another verse and ignored the immorality in the verses I presented. The verse in Leviticus 19:4 says basically that people are not supposed to do harmful things to the blind and the deaf. I will repeat Leviticus 21 again, “18 No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; 19 no man with a crippled foot or hand, 20 or who is hunchbacked or dwarfed, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles. 21 No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the offerings made to the LORD by fire. He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God.” This is clearly a case of the god of the Old Testament not permitting handicapped people to offer food. This clearly shows that the god that you believe in and worship actively discriminated against the handicapped.

      You called me a blow hard with an axe to grind against Christians and their families. Your comments show that you are quick to judge, quick to use hateful language, and quick to make assertions that you cannot support. I am so glad that I abandoned Christianity. Life is too short to live your life on the basis of hateful and immoral Bronze Age fairy tales.

      • LOL. So, you’re right in picking 1 verse & judging but I’m wrong for showing you multiple verses clearly demonstrating your wrong & I’m judgmental? All that education and still ignorant. Shame.

      • I am only showing you that according to the passage god does discriminate against the handicapped in not letting them offer food. You failed to show one verse that contradicted that statement.

      • Are you serious right now? You used Leviticus 21 as your case in point. When I pointed out 2 prior chapters of Leviticus proved you were wrong you gave some crock & bull about how Christians always pick out certain verses. Never mind the fact that we’re having this exchange because YOU cherry picked a verse. Would you pick up a book at Barnes & Nobel, read 1 line from 1 chapter & determine you know everything about the book? Of course not. So, why is the Bible different?

        ding chchapters aLeou igncontradicting your claito your narrative then excluded the chapters before it that contradicts you. e Bible is more like a painting than a book. To understand it you’ve got to step back & look at as a whole. Would you look at a single paint stroke from Michaelangelo & discount him? of course not, unless you

        It takes the entire Bible ical knowledge you have to view it as a whole. It’s not the average book to be read cover to cover. If you had that you would know how it all ties together. I’l give you the Cliff Note version.

        From Genesis to Revelations the message is the same. God was showing us our need for a Savior & forgiveness of sins. A disability in Biblical times was a defect of the highest order. They were shunned & mistreated mostly from the Pharisees & Sadducees who were eligious rulers.

        They thought more highly of themselves than they should. They shamed people who had sinned & even stoned some to death. They believed they could stand in judgement of others

      • I am not wrong. You are wrong and I will provide more evidence you are wrong.

        Lev 19:14 “‘Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord.
        Handicapped people in Leviticus 19: deaf and blind.
        Who is prevented from doing things: all others.
        What are they not allowed to do: curse the deaf or make the blind stumble.

        Levitics 21:18 No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; 19 no man with a crippled foot or hand, 20 or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles. 21 No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the food offerings to the Lord. He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God.
        Handicapped people mentioned: blind, lame, disfigured, deformed, crippled foot or hand, hunchback, dwarf, eye defect, sores, damaged testicles or any defect.
        Who is prevented from doing things: All the handicapped people mentioned above.
        What are they prevented from doing: come near to offer the food of his God.

        Leviticus 19 is preventing harm to the blind and lame. Leviticus 21 is preventing the blind and lame and many others with “defects” from offering food to his God.

        So I have clearly shown that I AM RIGHT AND YOU ARE WRONG. God discriminates against the handicapped in Leviticus 21 by not letting them offer the food of his god. The verse you quoted in Lev 19 does not negate what is said in Lev 21. If you read both of these passages, here is the conclusion: people should not do bad things to the blind and deaf (Lev 19) and people with defects are not permitted to offer food to his God.

        Once again, there is nothing in Leviticus 19 that negates the discrimination by against the handicapped in Leviticus 21.

      • You are now using the verse I used to refute you, that you said was irrelevant. Wow! Sure hope you’re getting mental health support.

      • I have provided evidence that in Leviticus 21 god discriminates against the handicapped in not letting them offer food to their god.
        I have shown that Leviticus 19 says everybody should not to do harmful acts to the blind and deaf. This was contrasted with Leviticus 21 that says people with handicaps (many types explicitly listed) are not permitted to offer food to their god. You have yet to provide any verse that contradicts Leviticus 21.

        You have failed to acknowledge that what I wrote in the above paragraph and stated multiple times is plain and simply exactly what the bible says. I have been polite and have focused on the words in the bible. You have been mean spirited, calling me a blow hard and stating that I need mental health support. You made other negative assertions about me that were not based on any knowledge of me. I hope that someday you examine what has been posted here and come to the realization that what I said was logical and an accurate reflection of the bible, and I hope that you realize that you were mean and illogical. I will not tolerate any more posts from you that devolve into name calling and insults. Please only post again when you have a bible verse that says something like “handicapped people are permitted to offer food to their god.” Until then, keep your hateful and mean-spirited comments to yourself. I will not permit any more of them.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: