Renewing The Covenant or How Not To Cook Baby Goat.
Exodus 34, the rest of the story.
Then God said, “Behold, I am going to make a covenant. Before all your people I will perform miracles which have not been produced in all the earth nor among any of the nations; and all the people among whom you live will see the working of the Lord, for it is a fearful thing that I am going to perform with you.
First, does Yahweh always have to be such a douche bag? Oh, pardon me, “Douche Bag.” I hate to not show the proper respect while discussing the mighty one. Just out of curiosity, haven’t you always wondered why fear is such a good thing in the Bible, a God fearing’ people, for instance. God, by all accounts, loves for us to be afraid, pissing in our undies terrified. Why? Any devout Christian with answers to the riddle should write them on the back of a brand new iPad 2 and mail it to The Blessed Atheist, Bismarck, ND 58501. Be sure to charge it up first… and don’t bother with the Bible apps. I already have four.
Ahem! Back on subject, Moses is on the mountain getting a backup copy of the Ten Commandments. You remember, replacing those he broke in the sordid Golden Calf affair, but before the real work begins God demands a renewal of his covenant with the Hebrews. Apparently, their lease is almost up and Yahweh’s worried some other god may come in and snatch them up at a good price.
So they renew their covenant. Thinking on this covenant, I find that it bothers me more and more. Simply put, it’s not fair. Not even close! Personally, I think the Israelites are getting a divine screwing, but then again I think that about all religions, but this seems particularly bad. You see a covenant is a contract, a deal, a trade for services of a sort. In it both sides agree to certain actions and are bound by that agreement. But for it to be a fair deal both sides should be getting something of equal value, a quid pro quo so to speak. Do they? You decide.
Now, God’s part of this deal is to give to his people the promised land , a land flowing with milk and honey. Wow! Really! Yeah baby! Now that may seem like a fine deal to the uninformed, for at first glance who wouldn’t want that? After all, real estate deals have been happening for millennia and taken at face value it seems like a good one. But the problem is that Yahweh never quite gets around to actually giving it to them. They’ve been waiting for centuries and here they still are wandering through the forsaken lands. That and has anyone here actually seen pictures of Israel? undoubtably, it’s a beautiful country, but milk and honey? By Yahweh’s jagged anal fissures, it’s a freaking desert . Milk and honey? Hell! Most people would settle for simple rain.
Oh, Yahweh talks the talk, making promises right and left, but where is his fucking walk? Admit it, people. By this time he should have certainly shown the Hebrews the goddamned money. They have suffered for it. But after centuries of waiting what do they really have? Shit! Oh wait, let me correct myself here. They still have a batshit crazy leader dragging them randomly about the desert on a large-scale never-ending family vacation in the world’s worst station wagon. 40 years worth of zigzagging back and forth to see such sights as Arabia’s largest pile of goat shit, and hey! Look over there, kids! It’s another rock. And no “vacation” would be complete without dad pulling over the caravan and killing several hundred children for playing with a Golden Calf in the back seat. This they have. But any of them would have been overjoyed to trade all that god-given wonder for 40 acres and a mule.
Shit! I’d have traded all that for a used stick of gum… Sugarfree.
“Oh,” you say, “but the Hebrews do eventually get their promised land, don’t they?” Yes… In a manner of speaking. When the Hebrews do finally get to the land of milk and honey, they run into difficulty. God’s gift comes with a serious infestation of Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. This place is absolutely crawling with them. Does God call the exterminator? The sheriff? A moving company? No! In other words, when God does “hand it over”( A phrase synonomous with the Hebrews finally stumbling out of the desert into a land that was slightly less desert.), there are a few complications, namely the inhabitants who are presently living there. Sure, God swears that he will drive all these peoples forth, but when it finally does come down to it, the Hebrews are forced to battle for every inch of it themselves. As I’ve said previously, generosity cannot be based on telling people to steal something from others. Neither can morality. Go figure!
So the Hebrews get a great deal of empty promises and in return what do they give up? Truly? Damned near everything. Heart and soul, they’re in for it now. For this mythological homeland, they give themselves into a slavery as arbitrary and capricious as any known. Look at this smattering of bullshit they have to follow.
“Watch yourself that you make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land into which you are going, or it will become a snare in your midst. “But rather, you are to tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and cut down their Asherim for you shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God otherwise you might make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land and they would play the harlot with their gods and sacrifice to their gods, and someone might invite you to eat of his sacrifice, and you might take some of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters might play the harlot with their gods and cause your sons also to play the harlot with their gods.
And this “Jealous” is the father of the Prince of Peace? Yeah… OK… Lord of breaking shit into pieces would be more accurate. You just gotta admire the inherent selfishness of this commandment, though. If someone’s living on the land that you think you want, attack them. Take it. Don’t compromise. Don’t abide. Just smash them. What better divine excuse for violence and theft do you need? The answer to the ancient question of “Can’t we all just get along?” must be “Shit no! Don’t get along with anyone. Kill ‘em. Break ‘em. Push ‘em out.” I’m always fascinated in how modern Christians spin this. Where is the “love everyone as your brother?” ideal.
But in truth, passages like these have been one reason why Christianity has been so reluctant to throw away the Old Testament completely. Peace is fine as it goes, but sometimes you’ll get a lot further ahead by some ass-kicking, theft and genocide. Anyone who doubts this truth really needs to read more history. We may not like it, but on one level that’s what history is, a vast panorama of butchery and genocide followed by the victor living merrily off the vanquished’s goods and lands. Of course, this is usually followed by a thanksgiving celebration to their god for gifting them this new, freshly fertilized land. Hooray to God for allowing us to kill whoever is in our way. Might makes right and it always has.
And there’s this:
“You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread, nor is the sacrifice of the Feast of the Passover to be left over until morning. “You shall bring the very first of the first fruits of your soil into the house of the Lord your God. ”You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
“Yeah… Um… don’t mix peas and carrots and… do the dishes. And of course, give the priests the first of everything.” More arbitrary rules. The last one about the goat we’ve heard before, but twice-baked Christ, why make such a big deal out of it? Thus far, we’ve seen as many rules against this form of cooking as against homosexuality so why don’t we see people raging against this on Fox News? It’s right there, plain as the Neanderthal brain in Sean Hannity’s head. To my knowledge Glenn Beck hasn’t done a single raving lunatic-inspired show about this subject. Doesn’t he follow the Bible? Isn’t he a Christian. Get the chalk boards out Glenn. The world needs you. this evil must be abolished.
Honestly, don’t these seem like they’re just random directives whose only purpose is to show who’s in charge? And like most other occultist arcana, the more off-the-wall it is, the more power it is believed to have.
Sadly, these restrictions also seemed designed to be very difficult to follow thus giving Moses a constant opportunity to chastise, punish or kill those who do not. Pulled blithely out of Moses’ ass, the regulations put the Hebrews in such a desperate strait in that they must obey yet are doomed to fail. Like modern Fundamentalists today, the Hebrews are forced to follow such random rules and senseless restrictions, that they ultimately stagger from one failing to the next, failings which are never the creator’s fault. With the overpowering need by the priests to claim their God is perfect, the blame for any mistake and suffering must always rest in the creation. Like God somehow made us all perfect, and we alone fucked it up after that. Every single one of us! Bar none!
A perfect God creates a perfect creation which then, consistently and without exception, turns themselves into the most screwed up beings on the planet. Yeah. That’s logical.
In addition, the poor Israelites are saddled with a perpetually unfulfilled covenant while having to abide by capricious laws. It’s like having a rich uncle who swears you will be the heir to his fortune when he dies. So you spend you entire life caring for him, enduring his rages, wiping his ass, and changing out his colostomy bag, but in the end the son of a bitch lives to be 106 and leaves everything to his Chihuahua. Great covenant!
Can you say “bullshit,” boys and girls?
I knew you could.