Sing a joyful song onto the Lord (for he has opened a serious can of whoop ass on all the bastards he hated)
Or maybe not. My inability to play anything other than my ipod and my need to state what I feel in glaringly obvious terms would probably make it difficult… Interesting but difficult. Sigh. Well, you know what they say: when God closes a door, he too often throws a rock through your window.
I know I continue to repeat myself, but in the interests of anyone who has not waded through my earlier posts I feel the need. So to recap. Yahweh has decimated the Egyptians, left their children rotting and their soldiers drowned. And remember, this is for a sin he forced them to commit. By forcing the Pharaoh to be a stubborn bastard, he allowed the Egyptians to do nothing else. The Hebrews are finally free through an incredibly complicated series of improbable and forced events. So what do they do? Why sing, of course, sing to celebrate their freedom. But this was freedom with a terrible price attached, their own, of course, through forty years of wandering in the desert. But the price paid by their enemies was considerably more dramatic. And Bloody! So to honor the God of Plagues, infanticide and death by drowning, they spontaneously burst into song. For those of you who don’t like musicals for this very same reason, you now know how wrong you are. It’s biblical baby! Simply biblical.
Ah, the beauty of song to commemorate a massacre. I can’t think of the word massacre without those catchy jingles of years past flooding through my head. I mean who can forget the striking lyrics of “Mi Lai, Mi Lai. Oh, the blood at Mi Lai, ” or “My Heart Pines for the Machetes of Rwanda” and, of course, the uproariously funny “Die! Yugoslavia, Die!. You Old Decrepit Piece of Shit.” I bought that compilation advertised on TV a few years back, you know The Best of Innocent Blood. Man, that shit’s constantly playing on my ipod.
I jest. Poorly, I’ll admit, but it leads to a very genuine point. Singing joyful songs to a god who just butchered hundreds of thousands of children, no, even worse, celebrating him for that very fact, is morally abhorrent by today’s standards. For the standards of the time, it was normal and acceptable. But who today would think this right and just today? The Westboro Baptists and the Taliban without a doubt, but what groups that we have any ability to admire sing joyful thanks onto a god who destroys children?
Pat Robertson may have spewed shit out of that puckered up asshole of a mouth of his when he claimed that Haitians brought the earthquake on themselves for having a 200-year-old pact with Satan. But even he never got up and sang happy little songs praising God for striking down those frakking Satanists. “Jesus loves me this I know, for he laid the Haitians low!” Or on the great tsunami, “Jesus loves me this I’ve read, because the Muslim children are dead” Really? We just don’t do this anymore.
So if it’s not acceptable now, why should we consider it just ducky back then. Now mind you I fully understand and agree with the idea that all people in those primitive times were, well… primitive and that people should be judged by the standards of their time, not the standards of ours. But the people I’m targeting with this blog, as any longer term reader knows, is not the ancient Hebrews who were just trying to survive, but the modern Christian fundamentalists who preach that morality and justice have been static and absolute throughout the ages and that the Bible is the final repository of moral law. They constantly denigrate any idea of relative morality while making excuses or outright ignoring ideas and events along these lines here, ideas and events so prevalent that your head has to be quite far up your ass not to see them. Ideas and concepts so unjust by our standards as to render any possibility of the Bible to act as a moral guide incomprehensible. How can you champion any idea of the absolute morality of these stories? Songs celebrating death and destruction emphasize this point most fiercely.
Oh, but sing they did. Other biblical songs and poetry can be quite beautiful or funny. Often times I find them barbaric but wonderfully human. This one, however, is pretty piss poor. Here listen to a bit of this sycophantic drivel.
Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD: I will sing to the LORD, for he is gloriously triumphant; horse and chariot he has cast into the sea.
My strength and my courage is the LORD, and he has been my savior. He is my God, I praise him; the God of my father, I extol him.
The LORD is a warrior, LORD is his name!
Pharaoh’s chariots and army he hurled into the sea; the elite of his officers were submerged in the Red Sea.
The flood waters covered them, they sank into the depths like a stone.
It goes on like this for another ten paragraphs or so and I urge you to read it in its entirety. Looking at it more closely, doesn’t this remind you of a lot of contemporary gospel? It all has this same servile suck-up-iness. God is Great. God is strong. OoH, baby, baby. God is great. Ad infinitum. This is the kind of religious bullshit that gets on my nerves. Not only do they joyfully celebrate infanticide, but what’s with any god who demands people sing him praises and exalt him 24/7, even one who could possibly deserve it. Who the hell needs and demands shit like this? For me, I strongly disagree with the entire idea of worship as I have never been shy of pointing out, but stop and really think of this. This is not worshipping a being who is right and just and merciful. This is the worship of a being who is vengeful and jealous. This is sucking up to power for the simple expedient of begging him not to crush you like he crushed others. This is begging an obviously evil god to not destroy you like you believe he can and will if you don’t praise him on an ongoing basis. This is worship of the universal shit-head.
Obviously, I believe in no God period. Plainly, that Bitch just isn’t there! But if he existed just as the Bible claims, wouldn’t we be moral cowards for not telling him to piss off. Would we be any better than all the Germans who kept their heads down during the Holocaust, those who stood by and watched as atrocities and horrors were committed? Didn’t they also respect and in some cases worship an evil “power”? Why should we fight and destroy one evil bastard for murdering 6 million Jews and several million others while worshiping a god who, by their own accounts, joyfully has been doing the same thing through the ages. I say screw that! Real courage would involve fighting for what’s right not just subserviently joining the biggest prick on the block because he’s stronger than everyone else. That’s cowardice. Like all those Germans under Hitler, it may allow you to survive another day, but it’s still cowardly. Right is right.
Other things about their song to the Big Badass in the sky are odd. Now mind you, this shitty piece of servile music is blared out right after Yahweh drowns the Egyptian soldiers, but even this soon they are bragging about all the other peoples and nations of the area fearing and quaking in their loin cloths. Here!
The nations heard and quaked; anguish gripped the dwellers in Philistia.
Then were the princes of Edom dismayed; trembling seized the chieftains of Moab; All the dwellers in Canaan melted away;
terror and dread fell upon them. By the might of your arm they were frozen like stone, while your people, O LORD, passed over, while the people you had made your own passed over.
If this is supposed to be literal truth, and the Fundies are quite insistent that it is, then how in the hell do the Hebrews already know that the other nations are melting away in terror? Immediately after this God leads them away from the “Red Sea” so not much time had passed. Especially look at that line “All the dwellers of Caanan melted away; terror and dread fell upon them.” It was forty Goddamned years (pun and capitalization intended) before the Hebrews made it to Caanan! Why would the Caananites flee? How did they know what had happened a few hundred miles away? And how would the Hebrews know as they were wandering lost in the desert for forty years?
This is obviously just bragging bullshit added much later to further increase the drama of the event. More plausibly the story grew from a few dozen slaves escaping Egypt by slipping through the Reed Sea (not a misspelling) where they couldn’t be followed to a much grander tale of three million fleeing and God destroying their enemies.
As happens all the time, the story grew in telling after into the ponderous and horror filled tale it became later and remains now. The small nugget of truth may have been the uplifting story of a desperate escape in the night, but later got mangled into the contradictory shit pile it became. That’s the problem with any purely oral tradition. There is little to stop it from growing out of control. The only treatment for this disease of progressive embellishment is to have it written down.
But once it’s written for all succeeding ages to see and study, you’re pretty much stuck with it in what ever form it was written. And that’s the problem with the biblical literalists, they’re stuck with what’s written between these covers. They are in the increasingly awkward position of defending the indefensible, of ignoring the obvious, of twisting their minds into ever more serpentine forms. In short, they are guilty of that admittedly common human trait of shoving their head farther and farther up their own ass in order to hold onto their superstitions. They are ever so guilty of desperately grabbing shit and calling it truth.
And honestly, isn’t that what they really have in their hands as they preach about righteousness, one great big pile of shit neatly bound in leather? But shit is shit no matter what you wrap it in.
Ah, everyone can smell the truth within.
If they’d only let themselves.`