This post by Travis Haan originally appeared at The Wise Sloth.
The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
This story is supposed to be the first thing that ever happened in human history. Yet there’s a sword there. It’s more likely that humans invented swords in the Bronze Era and included their invention in their creation myth than it is that God created the first sword.
Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”
The story of Noah’s Ark is classic mythology. It’s not even Hebrew mythology. The men who wrote the Bible plagiarized it from a Mesopotamian story, “The Gilgamesh Epic.” This mythological story claims that rainbows didn’t exist until God flooded the world because He was angry at people for behaving how they’re designed to behave.
As is typical for writers of mythology, they took a natural phenomenon they didn’t understand (the rainbow) and created a fantastical story about how a supernatural deity added the phenomenon to the design of the universe long after the Big Bang. In reality, there was never a flood that destroyed the world. Two of every animal didn’t fit on a boat for forty days, and rainbows existed before the invention of the Bible.
One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
How could a human being possibly witness a conversation between God and Satan? It’s impossible. Therefore, the story must have been made up. Also, in the story of Job, God and Satan make a petty bet over how much abuse Job would accept and still love his abuser. The story of Job is a fairy tale that glorifies battered person syndrome and was written by an abusive human male, not the all loving all perfect creator of the universe.
The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. 2 “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”
“No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”
3 But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. 4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”
6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”
Lot, the only righteous man in Sodom offered up his virgin daughters to be gang-raped by a mob. This is how much the human writers of the Bible valued women. Letting virgin girls be gang-raped wasn’t outside their ethical framework because they believed women were property. If the Bible is the word of God then women are property worthy to be gang raped at their father’s whim. But the Bible isn’t the word of God, and all people were created equal. You don’t have to be a prophet to know that.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
This is the tenth commandment in the famous Ten Commandments. It approves of slavery and places women in a list of property less valuable than a house but more valuable than a donkey. The all perfect, all-loving creator of humanity would never write a rule like this. Only a primitive human being trying to justify their preexisting cultural standards would ever write a law as shameful as this.
“Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.
Again, this is a rule that only a morally primitive human would write. God had no part in this.
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.
Again, this is a rule that only a morally bankrupt human would write. God had no part in this, and the man who wrote those words knew it.
If a man takes a wife and, after sleeping with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” then the young woman’s father and mother shall bring to the town elders at the gate proof that she was a virgin. Her father will say to the elders, “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. Now he has slandered her and said, ‘I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.’ But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.” Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, and the elders shall take the man and punish him. They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the young woman’s father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives.
If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.
If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel.
If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you.”
But if out in the country a man happens to meet a young woman pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die. Do nothing to the woman; she has committed no sin deserving death. This case is like that of someone who attacks and murders a neighbor, for the man found the young woman out in the country, and though the betrothed woman screamed, there was no one to rescue her.
If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
You can’t read these scriptures and honestly think they’re anything but the cataloging of primitive cultural values. Very few Christians who claim to believe in the divinity of the Bible would follow these rules today because they’re barbaric.
A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand.
The creator of the universe did not go out of “His” way to write down that nagging women are annoying. Like the rest of the Bible, it was written by a misogynist male.
1 Corinthians 14:34-38
Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored.“
The creator of the universe did not go out of “His” way to write down that women should be silent and obedient like good little pieces of property. Like the rest of the Bible, this passage was written by a misogynist male.
Reprinted with permission from the author.
Travis Haan is the editor of The Wise Sloth blog. The Wise Sloth contains editorial, philosophical, instructional, inspirational and satirical posts in the form of essays, lists, comics, and fiction, which tend to be irreverent, humorous and controversial.
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