I sat down earlier today to write this blog post, but then decided “fuck it!”, closed my computer, and walked away. In light of the awesome news out of Texas last night and the pro-equality(ish) rulings from the Supreme Court today, it just seemed wrong to waste time reading an ancient book of myths that has hindered humanity in getting where we are today.
Instead, I went to the library to study, then cleaned out my car! Not exactly an exciting celebration. Since I wasn’t doing anything momentous anyway, I finally decided that I should stay caught up with the blog. (And, I may have to skip tomorrow to study for another test, so I didn’t want to miss 2 days in a row.)
So, here we are.
Chapter 14- A repeat of the dietary laws concerning clean/unclean animals. Instructions for giving tithes from your harvested crops.
The Bible repeats its mistake from Leviticus in calling the bat a bird. For shame, God. You’d think the creator of all things would know better. Also repeated here is the prohibition against boiling a young goat in its mother’s milk. I still think that’s weird.
Chapter 15- Instructions for releasing debts and slaves every 7th year.
Verses 7 and 8, “It there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.” And verse 10, “You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him.”
If only the conservatives who quote the Bible against homosexuality would bother reading the rest of it, maybe we wouldn’t have such politicking about the social safety net. The Old and New Testaments both say to give to the poor. In this chapter, it makes it very clear that you should give without expecting repayment.
Also, if you take a fellow Hebrew as a slave, you are to free him or her after 6 years, and “you shall not let him go away empty-handed: you shall supply him liberally from your flock, from your threshing floor, and from your winepress.” (13 & 14) Again we see that God is cool with slavery, which makes us more morally advanced nowadays than God. But, this is pretty progressive stuff by the Bible’s standards! Can you imagine a Southern plantation owner letting his slaves go without payment, and sending them along with goods from his house?
What do you want to bet those same plantation owners used the Bible to justify the institution of slavery? Cherry picking assholes.
Chapter 16- Instructions for the Passover and other such feasts/festivals. Instructions for the men to bring sacrifices during the feasts.
The last chapter got me thinking about the kinds of things conservatives like to complain about. Like, taxes for example…Chapter 14 gave specific instructions for giving tithes from your crops, and Chapter 16 commands the men to bring sacrifices to the Lord during the feasts. That sounds an awful lot like mandatory taxes to me. God wanted a lot from these people in exchange for His protection and the tithes/sacrifices these people made were used to sustain the tribe of Levi who did no work outside caring for the temple.
Mandatory giving? Supporting people who can’t support themselves? What is this socialism?!?!