And Now For Something Completely Different, Leviticus.
So Aaron came near to the altar and slaughtered the calf of the sin offering which was for himself. Aaron’s sons presented the blood to him; and he dipped his finger in the blood and put some on the horns of the altar, and poured out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. The fat and the kidneys and the lobe of the liver of the sin offering, he then offered up in smoke on the altar just as the LORD had commanded Moses. The flesh and the skin, however, he burned with fire outside the camp.
Then he slaughtered the burnt offering; and Aaron’s sons handed the blood to him and he sprinkled it around on the altar. They handed the burnt offering to him in pieces, with the head, and he offered them up in smoke on the altar. He also washed the entrails and the legs, and offered them up in smoke with the burnt offering on the altar.
Then he presented the people’s offering, and took the goat of the sin offering which was for the people, and slaughtered it and offered it for sin, like the first. He also presented the burnt offering, and offered it according to the ordinance. Next he presented the grain offering, and filled his hand with some of it and offered it up in smoke on the altar, besides the burnt offering of the morning.
Then he slaughtered the ox and the ram, the sacrifice of peace offerings which was for the people; and Aaron’s sons handed the blood to him and he sprinkled it around on the altar. As for the portions of fat from the ox and from the ram, the fat tail, and the fat covering, and the kidneys and the lobe of the liver, they now placed the portions of fat on the breasts; and he offered them up in smoke on the altar. But the breasts and the right thigh Aaron presented as a wave offering before the LORD, just as Moses had commanded.
And much like a Monte Python sketch, Leviticus starts with absurdity and blood. And more blood. And still more blood. And so on. I’m sure by now you know the drill.
Remember the good old days when I could carry on rhapsodically over the senselessness of a single sentence. Allow me to assure everyone that this isn’t one of those days. The entire first nine chapters of this book follows a similar vein to what I have quoted here. Similar? Shit! To the uninformed (aka. Rational) being, it’s impossible to tell the difference from one chapter to the next. For eleven pages we get to dwell on the proper way to sprinkle blood and where to pour it after that. So much blood was spilt in the sand in front of the altar that God’s tabernacle must have reeked like rotting corpses and decaying meat.
Sigh. Here I was struggling to get past Exodus with all its sacrifice and glorifying Moses and his God, but what do I find upon opening up Leviticus? An eleven page essay on the various ways that God wants you to sacrifice animals to himself. It’s like a cookbook for how to make God happy. It’s an amazingly simple formula really. Violate some taboo? Sacrifice a goat. Light a fire on the Sabbath? Sacrifice a goat. Get caught fucking a goat? Sacrifice the goat. Well… there is that stipulation about unblemished and clean. I’ll get back to you on that one.
Oh, if only life were so blessedly simple. For every sin I committed, every person I hurt, every lie I told, all I would have to do to atone would be to take some helpless beast and slaughter it, burning a good chunk in a fire, of course, and I would be forgiven. God will be fine with you violating his commandments as long as you bloodily butcher something for him… And, of course, burn it on a fire. Because that makes God happy. Oh so happy. God loves to see things burn.
And let’s be honest here, who could refuse to be pleased with someone who butchers a harmless beast for you, pours its blood around an altar to you, dabs drops of it here and there in honor of you, then wastes the large majority of the meat by burning it to a cinder. All for me? Gosh! Just what I’ve always wanted, blood dripping everywhere, while perfectly good meat transformed into a inedible charred corpse which no one is allowed to eat. No one! Can you believe it?
Oh, the fat guy in me screams with the injustice of it all. Not one goddamned bite? Are you fucking kidding me? A bat-shit crazy barbecue where no one is allowed a single lamb chop? Disgusting. And what does dear old God get out of all of this? Hmm? Apparently, he likes the smell. It seems the aroma is pleasing to him. By a refried Christ, widows and orphans going hungry and they waste hundreds of pounds of meat because the smell of burning flesh gives Yahweh a chubby. OK, I’ll admit that I’ve been a little aroused before by the smell of cooking meat, but that is only in anticipation of the eventual meal. Burning it just for the aroma? Perverted! Unnatural! Evil! Every ounce of my cellulite screams for revenge! I must have justice!
Oh, the great genocide of the Flood angered me. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah pissed me off. But this… this… Depravity. Yahweh, you son-of-a-bitch, you go too far. Fat people of the world unite!
Yahweh, the pisser on chubby men, has a new enemy, and his name is Bundy! 265 pounds of quivering anger are coming your way you prick.
By Yahweh’s testicles turning on a spit, I will have my revenge!
Hmm? I wonder how… ? Oh, never mind.