Weird Wednesdays: God’s plan for the Jewish people according to some evangelicals

God: “Okay, guys, I’m going to make you guys my chosen people and you get all of the land as far as your eyes can see.”

Israel: “Cool. So we stay here, build cities, put down roots and eventually it’ll all be ours?”

God: “Uh… no. You guys are off to Egypt where one of your patriarchs will be ruling because of a severe famine, and you’ll grow as a nation there.”

I: Couldn’t we just skip the famine?

God: No, I’ve really got my heart set on the whole famine and letting people starve bit. But you guys will be okay cause I’m watching out for you.

I: Okay, But then we come back, right? Maybe buy some land here or conquer a city. Hey, maybe a son of that Melchizedek guy who serves you and is king of Salem will give us some land to settle?

God: No, the Egyptians will undergo some pretty severe political and ethnic shifts and enslave all of your people for 400 years.

I: Uh… why?

God: They’re worried you’ll align with their political enemies and take over.

I: Couldn’t we just leave then?

God: Goodness no, I need some time to let the Canaanites sin some more before I get angry enough to let you kill them all.

I: Okay… and why do we need to be in slavery though?

God: It’ll make for an awesome sermon illustration for future pastors 4,000 years from now about how sin is like slavery. Anyway, after 400 years and a few edicts from Pharaoh about killing all of the Jewish male babies, I’ll raise up a deliverer.

I: And then we’ll be free?

God: No, he blows it and kills an Egyptian too early and goes and lives in the desert for 40 years.

I: While Pharaoh is still busy enslaving us and killing our male children?

God: Yep. But then Moses comes back, I kill all the firstborn of Egypt and you’ll be on your way back to Canaan.

I: Okay… And then we get the land.

God: No, then you travel in circles for 40 years because I get a bit muffed at your descendants for not going out to kill all the Canaanites. But then, after 40 years, you get to come back and kill all of the Canaanites.

I: Okay, then we’re all good, right?

God: Eh… not really. You don’t really kill all of the Canaanites and I get a bit miffed about that, so there’s lot of wars and oppression and ethnic and religious strife, a bit of general anarchy, some civil war, a few homicidal kings, and then I’m going to send over the Assyrians and the Babylonians to destroy the land and take everyone away captive. But I’ll bring some of you back after 70 years and while you won’t engage in idolatry anymore, you will have brought back some Zoroastrian religious concepts that get folded into Judaism, but you know, I think I’m okay with that by this point.

I: And then we’re good and live in the land forever?

God: No, then the Greeks conquer the area and the kings they leave in charge after that are sort of dicks and they oppress people, defile the temple, and kill more Jews. But you all band together and earn a hard fought victory against superior numbers and gain your independence.

I: I’m afraid to ask at this point…

God: Yeah… the Romans pretty much put an end to that. More oppression, violence, Jew killing. But then I send my Son to be your Messiah.

I: The Messiah? Cool, so then we get the land in peace forever?

God: Goodness, no. Then a infinitesimal minority of your leaders opt to kill my Son for political and religious reasons. And then you decide to rebel again and try to win their independence against the Romans, but I put a stop to that, or rather Titus puts a stop to that, destroying the city of Jerusalem, dispersing you guys from the land, and putting you into exile for the next 1900 or so years.

I: Uh…

God: Also, if you recall the whole crucifixion of my Son thing by a small handful of your leaders at the time with the authority of the Roman state? Yeah, that will lead to most of my Son’s followers accusing the entirety of Jewish people of killing God and persecuting them relentlessly for the next 1900 years or so with violence, discrimination, slander, and murder all culminating in the senseless murder of six million of you guys under a horrific murderous regime in Europe.

I: Uh…

God: But after that! Then you can all come back to the land in 1948 and have your own nation again.

I: Then peace and good times?

God: No, mostly war and more violence. But after I rapture the church, you know, my Son’s followers? Yeah, after they go directly to heaven, then I’m going to let Satan, the aforementioned Zoroastrian import, free on the Earth to kill 5/6ths of you while I unleash horrific plagues on the world because they refused to believe in my Son’s message of love and forgiveness.

I: Uh…

God: All this while, I should add that all of you guys who died in the ensuing 2000 years or so, for likewise failing to accept my Son’s message of love and forgiveness will be sent to hell to be eternally tortured by Me.

I: Uh…

God: But after all of that, then my Son will show back up, kill most of the rest of humanity and start a new Messianic Kingdom headquartered in Jerusalem and ruled over by my Son and His followers.

I: The ones that sort of hated us and persecuted us for 2,000 years, right?

God: Yeah, but it’s all good now. And if it isn’t…

I: Hell, right. So uh… about this, Lord…

God: Yeah?

I: Is it too late to designate someone else as your chosen people? Like those nice Edomites over there? I hear they’re looking to convert to monotheism.

American exceptionalism

One of these days, I’d really like for some journalist to start calling politicians on their “America is the most exceptional country in the world” statement by asking, “In what way is America the most exceptional country? Certainly not in the number of gun deaths, or education, or health care, or even total GDP output now and you have voted against attempts to improve any of those things… so please quantify for us the ways in which America leads the world as the most exceptional?”

Weird Wednesdays: The “better that 10 innocent victims die than one adulterer go free” edition

Deuteronomy 22:23-24:

23 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, 24 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.

Remember ladies, if you happen to be raped in a city and no one rescues you, then you must have really wanted it and deserve to die.

I’m starting to see where some Republicans get their ideas of rape from.

Rats scurrying in the walls

Any time both parties want to get together and do something quickly, expect that it’s going to impact the average Joe’s life rather miserably.

Case in point:

I’d encourage you all to contact your congressperson and Senators and tell them that you want them to their damn job and actually debate this treaty rather than letting the President have his way.

And how many kids do you have, good sir?

When you consider the source, this may make you laugh:

Pope Francis has chided couples who choose not to have children , saying the decision was a “selfish” act.

The statement, which he made in his general audience in St Peter’s Square, will be seen as especially controversial in Italy, which has recorded a steady drop in its birth rate for decades.

“A society with a greedy generation, that doesn’t want to surround itself with children, that considers them above all worrisome, a weight, a risk, is a depressed society,” the pope said.

“The choice to not have children is selfish. Life rejuvenates and acquires energy when it multiplies: It is enriched, not impoverished.”

I dare say the good Pontiff is not practicing what he preaches here, you know… unless he’s secretly being like the good medieval Pontiffs and has like 80 illegitimate kids out there. In which case, I think I might like him even more.

Still, while I do think we as a species should procreate, there are some folks out there who definitely should not have children or be in charge of children: the idiots who I read about repeatedly who leave loaded guns around small kids come to mind.

Weird Wednesdays: The one where God loves divorce (and deadbeat dads)

Ezra 9:1-4

Now when these things had been completed, the princes approached me, saying, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have notseparated themselves from the peoples of the lands, according to their abominations, those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians and the Amorites. Forthey have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has intermingled with the peoples of the lands; indeed, the hands of the princes and the rulers have been foremost in this unfaithfulness.” When I heard about this matter, I tore my garment and my robe, and pulled some of the hair from my head and my beard, and sat down appalled. Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel on account of the unfaithfulness of the exiles gathered to me, and I sat appalled until the evening offering.

Ezra 10:1-3

10 Now while Ezra was praying and making confession, weeping and prostrating himself before the house of God, a very large assembly, men, women and children, gathered to him from Israel; for the people wept bitterly.Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, said to Ezra, “We have been unfaithful to our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land; yet now there is hope for Israel in spite of this. So now let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives and their children, according to the counsel of my lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.

Uh… couldn’t you just get rid of any idols you found and just worship God according to the Law… what? Oh… you’re going to divorce your wives and abandon any children you’ve fathered with them. Well, that is a solution, I suppose.

Remember this tale when folks talk about the bible’s family values, and remind them that on at least one occasion, those family values included divorcing your wife and abandoning your kids.

Come to think of it, maybe Newt Gingrich isn’t a hypocrite.

Mission accomplished, part the infinity

Thanks again to our former president and the warmongers he surrounded himself with for continuing news like this.

LONDON (AFP) – An Iraqi archbishop called for military action in his homeland in a speech to British lawmakers on Tuesday, and warned the Church of England’s general synod that Christianity in Iraq could become extinct.

“As a Catholic, I find it hard to say, but I want military action. There is no other way now,” Bashar Warda, the Archbishop of Erbil, was quoted by the BBC as telling parliamentarians on a visit to London.

Speaking to religious leaders later Tuesday, he said there was now a threat of the “extinction of Christianity as a religion and as a culture” in Iraq.

We did this. We unleashed hell without considering the consequences of doing so, and we did it for no damned good reason. This is something we should remember whenever the hawks beat the tribal drums of war for the next Hitler of the Week, as they are trying to do with Iran, Syria, and Russia.

There is no good answer to this problem. But we should start by opening our doors freely to these people and offer to pay to relocate them.