Archives for posts with tag: Aaron

Alternately titled: Moses shows patience and restraint while God just wants to slaughter everyone.

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In my last post I talked a bit about the oddly comedic incidents scattered throughout the books of Moses wherein God gets pissed at the Israelites and decides that the best course of action is to either kill them all or just kill some of them. In these situations the stories typically depict Moses and Aaron having to talk God out of it in a VERY similar way to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

You might remember that in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah God warns Abraham that he is going to destroy those cities but Abraham talks God down to the point where if God finds ten righteous persons he will spare the city. To modern Biblical believers this should be frightening. Here is a supposedly perfect and Holy God compromising his morality based on the advice of human beings. Here are human beings talking God into being MORE loving. MORE patient, MORE merciful and all around MORE moral. This is one of those red-flag hallmarks that makes it obvious that these are stories, not historical accounts of actual interactions with any god.

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As I said similar scenes occur between Moses and Aaron and God several times in the Old Testament. One example happens during the story of the 10 Commandments. God is coming down to Mount Sinai in a rumbling thundering fiery cloud (you know, the sort that might spew out of a volcano, the sort that ancient superstitious people might mistake for the glory of a god). There’s been plenty of weird superstitious rules and rituals imposed by God thus far but here, at the origin of the Mosaic Law, is where things get really bad, where something as simple as setting foot on the wrong mountain or working on the wrong day of the week meant your neighbors and family were commanded by GOD HIMSELF to execute you brutally.

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Now what reason, other than superstitious horseshit, could there possibly be for God to set up this kind of rule? Sure, okay, Moses is his chosen one who is the only one who is supposed to be up there but what, exactly, is the benefit of executing anyone who so much as touches the mountain? Usually rules and laws are meant to maintain the public good or the welfare of people but here we have a rule that just puts people in danger of the death penalty for no reason.

Of course you might say, “well God wanted them to stay away because his glory and power might harm them if they get too close”. There is a recurring theme in some parts of the Bible (but not all) that seeing or being in the presence of God can be fatal to an ordinary human being, even one who believes. But this is superstitious horseshit as well because an all powerful God, especially one who was once incarnated in human form as Jesus, could easily decide to appear without any harm to anyone in a totally benign form. All the pomp and circumstance of mimicking a volcanic eruption and appearing in a form that would be so harmful to human beings it apparently requires their execution if they attempt to be subjected to it does no one any good and makes absolutely no fucking sense…

All of that without mentioning how immoral it is to kill someone just for touching a mountain and how even more bizarre and cruel to want the animals killed as well.

Most Christians know that while Moses is being talked to by God Aaron and company are down below making idols and worshiping them, apparently forgetting the shit they just went through with the plagues and apparently turning a blind eye to the fire and quaking and the very voice of God which God himself tells Moses he will be able to hear.

The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.” Then Moses told the Lord what the people had said. 

– Exodus 19:9

“Mount Sinai was covered with smoke,because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently”

–  Exodus 19:18

Admittedly God’s words to Moses do go on for quite a few chapters as God details a whole bunch of pedantic overly detailed and obviously manmade nonsense that is supposedly the basis for the ancient Jewish faith. It isn’t until Chapter 32, when Moses is about to come down the mountain, that the idols are finally cast by Aaron and the other Hebrews. Of course God’s first instinct isn’t to show restraint or mercy or understanding but to shed blood.

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To someone like me this screams, “We made this story up!” and “This isn’t meant to be taken literally” but to a Biblical literalist this is ACTUALLY what happened and why it happened. God is actually such an evil monster that his immediate reaction is to wipe out his own people, or, at the very least, to slaughter all those who worshiped the idols. Idol worship of any kind is forbidden under penalty of death by Yahweh as does any attempt to practice religious liberty. In fact taking the Bible at its word Yahweh is 100% opposed to the idea of religious liberty and if our legal system mirrored the Biblical one we would be executing anyone who did profess their belief in Yahweh and Jesus.

Moses, as I stated before, becomes the voice of reason against God’s insane knee-jerk blood-thirst.

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The same story is actually retold in Deuteronomy Chapter 9 but this time it is written from Moses’ point of view. And, surprise, Moses’ version is much the same with him claiming that only through fasting and prayer and begging God not to do it he manged to save Israel from disaster… and by disaster I mean the furious wrath of God.

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So now we come to the end of our wonderful tale. Moses manages to convince God to spare some of the Israelites but Moses, being only slightly less of a dick than God, isn’t going to spare everyone, not even close. And, just with all punishments in the Old Testament law, the brutal executions will be conducted in the name of God and upholding righteousness and will involve people killing their friends, family and loved ones themselves.

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That is some fucked up shit right there and kinda explains Jesus’ whole spiel in Matthew about how “anyone who does not hate their Father or Mother is not worthy of me” and how all of his followers are required to love him more than they love anyone else or they are unworthy.

If you accept the Bible as the word of God than THAT is the kind of God you serve.

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Alternatively titled: Yahweh the Plague Bringing God of Disease, Decay and Death

Most Christians are familiar with the 10 plagues of Egypt, you know, the ones that God made sure to carry out to the bitter end going so far as to harden Pharaoh’s heart to make sure he could get to the part where he murders children in an act of cruel revenge. The story of the Exodus is one of the most popular and, bizarrely, beloved tales from the Bible.

We’ve established in past passages that Yahweh is a warlike God who enjoys giving over other tribes to complete slaughter or enslavement to the Israelites but the God of the Bible also has a habit of causing famine, disease/plague, death, etc. In fact all Four Horsemen are the sole domain of God and are under his command, not Satan’s. Almost all the evil done in the Bible is done by God or at God’s command.

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(okay wrong Apocalypse but you get the idea ^)

The first story I want to focus on comes from Numbers Chapter 14. In this Chapter Moses and the Hebrews are STILL wandering around waiting to get to the promised land but every time they seem to get going on the right track someone disrespects or disobeys Yahweh and he sets them back a few steps. In fact this comedy of errors goes on and on for forty years according to the story, with the Israelites disobeying a God who literally rains down food from Heaven.

So God shows up and is pissed about the way the Israelites have been behaving, particularly because some scouts went to the promised land and returned with reports that it actually kinda sucks. God says to Moses,

How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.”

So here’s God threatening to strike down his own people and just set off with Moses and his elect few to start a separate nation of their own. Moses talks God out of it by saying this:

 If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say,  ‘The Lord was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.” (Numbers 14:15-16)

Here is Moses showing better moral restraint and more patience than God, if you ask me there are few verses that make it MORE obvious that this is a STORY and was never EVER meant to be taken as a literal history of shit that actually happened. God never said these things – how could he? How could Moses ever be right and show more compassion and more restraint than a PERFECT and MERCIFUL God?

So what does God do?

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That’s right, he decides that the people responsible for all the bitching and moaning of his people should be punished rather severely by striking them down with a plague. For sharing their opinions of the promised land in a less than positive way these scouts weren’t just denied a place in that land they were actually executed by God via some kind of disease or plague.

A few chapters later we have another plague and we have a Bible quote that is easily one of my favorites, and here I’m not being sarcastic, taken totally out of context this would easily be one of the most metal-as-fuck Bible verses:

“He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped.” – Numbers 16:48

Kinda reminds me of a kickass movie I just saw:

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The story is about a group of “sinful” Israelites who rise up against Moses. God decides its time to deal with the rebels, the unbelievers and those who just have it coming.

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Interesting thing about this verse is the use of the phrase “realm of the dead”, other translations render it grave, still others prefer the term Sheol. This is because in Jewish belief there isn’t a Hell perse but rather a realm of the dead called Sheol. Some books of the Bible espouse this idea and suggest that everyone goes to Sheol not just the damned while other books, like Ecclesiastes, do not support the idea of ANY AFTERLIFE at all. I know, I know, I’m repeating myself, but it bears repeating that Jewish teachings and ideas on the afterlife are vastly different from Christian ones.

Immediately the ground does open up and swallow the followers of Korah, who was the on inciting the whole would-be rebellion. The Israelites decide the best course of action is to blame Moses and Aaron for killing off those who were swallowed up. God shows up and decides he’s done enough fucking around with the idea of punishing the Israelites. While Aaron is begging for God’s mercy on his fellow Israelites Yahweh is out amongst them spreading a plague and wiping out over 14,000 people.

You read that correctly – not only is the Biblical God obsessed with and continuously carrying out or commanding genocide against enemies of his people but he frequently murders entire swaths of his own chosen people when they disobey him. The verse I quoted before about standing between the dead and the living is in reference to Aaron who intercedes on the behalf of the Israelites and gets Yahweh to stop his murderous outburst.

Moses and Aaron once again are trying to prevent the horrible thing God is doing just outside their tents:

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This whole exercise in story-telling shows a constant tug and pull, ebb and flow, with Aaron and Moses standing between God and absolute annihilation of the Israelites. The danger of the Bible comes from those who seek to make it more than mythology, more than theology, they seek to make it history, to live by its morals and passages as literally written. Of course even most Biblical literalists are not actually literalists, they do not practice the Jewish laws and cherry pick from them at will – BUT they are still trapped in a dangerous mindset.

They celebrate their chains, rejoice at the wickedness of their fictitious God and go headlong toward death with a fantasy of bowing and reveling beneath a massive throne where there is no escape and no end.

That is why Fuck the Bible exists, to get these people to see what the Bible actually says and, perhaps, after they think about it and actually read the damn Bible, get them to see it for the manmade fiction it is.

According to a search of the NIV Bible the word plague occurs well over a hundred times. If you are a Christian you serve a God of disease, or genocide, of mayhem and of war and no amount of pretending is going to change what the Bible actually says.

Fuck the Bible.