Wednesday, March 08, 2006

THE god BOYS & THEIR Slaves


"I don't know how a Christian could read the Bible and arrive at the conclusion that slavery is OK." (from a recent comment left on this blog)

I'd say the Christian read the following, and then made a bee-line to the nearest corner market to see if he could pick up a cheap slave:

"Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves." Leviticus 25:44

"Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything...." Colossians 3:22

"Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything...." Titus 2:9

"All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect...." 1 Timothy 6:1

"You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life…." Leviticus 25:46

"As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our god, till he shows us his mercy." Psalm 123:2 [And your relationship to Daddy god is: slave to master!]

"Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor.” Proverbs 12:24

Doesn't stop here. On top of the eight above, the bible has 178 more references to slaves or slavery. Not one says it’s evil or nasty.

The Jesus Overlay can't make a silk purse outa a pig’s ear. The bible is a patrist nightmare packed with patrist traits:

Slavery;
Torture (hell; stoning people to death);
High sex anxiety;
High class stratification;
Warfare prevalence high;
Killing the enemy is emphasized;
Bellicosity is high;
Nurture is low;
Display of affection is almost nil;
Female status is inferior;
Abortion penalty is severe; etc., etc., etc.

Ya can’t clean up the bible by plopping Jesus down on top (and, BTW, Jesus is just the Goddess with a sex change). It still smells like the inside of my garbage cans. I can’t wait for people to wake up to this.
___
Thnx to m constant for the foto

19 comments:

Morgaine said...

Jesus was one of us. He and Mary Magdalene were practising Egyptian Mysteries as Osiris and Isis. That's why his teachings are like an oasis in the barren waste that is that book. He tried to get people back on track, and they killed him for it.

These many, many admonitions for slaves to be obedient are the reason Nietsche called it a "sklav moral" - a religion to make slaves bear their burdens happily knowing they be rewarded when they're finally worked to death.

(Athana - I just sent you a pdf file - you need Adobe Reader to open it, which you probably already have on your computer. It may take a while to download the message. )

Anne Johnson said...

Awesome entry, Athana! We can always count on you to find the peachy statements in the Revealed Word of God the Father Almighty.

No surprise here: Good pastors on both sides of the Mason Dixon used those scriptures to countenance slavery up to, during, and even after the Civil War.

Free at last! Free at last! O thank the Goddess, I am free at last!

Athana said...

By keeping the Old Testament, Christians always have an excuse to revert to non-Jesus ways : to control over women's bodies, to state destruction of homosexuals, to state sanctioned war. And to slavery? Worse? Why not?

Paxton said...

"Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything...." Titus 2:9

"and do their best to please them. They must not talk back or steal, but must show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good. Then they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way."

God's instruction to his children, an example of showing Christ's love in all circumstances. Instruction to slaves does not mean slavery is just. It may very well be along the same lines as "if someone slaps you on one cheek, let him slap you on the other cheek". Would you argue that that statement endorses slapping?

Please bear in mind I am speaking at the most ignorant layman on this subject, and my thoughts are hardly polished. It's no excuse, I'm just saying that I am sure you can find wiser commentary than mine if you're interested.

"All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect...." 1 Timothy 6:1

"so they will not bring shame on the name of God and his teaching." I recommend reading the whole chapter to get a wider picture.

"Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything...." Colossians 3:22

you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites who can get away with evil. Masters, be just and fair to your slaves. Remember that you also have a Master -- in heaven."

As for the Leviticus verses, it is worth noting that Israelites are prohibited from treating other Israelites as slaves, and that foreigners living in the land are prohibited from treating Israelite slaves harshly. No mention (in that passage) is made either way of how Israelites must treat foreign slaves.

I am confused, but I still believe. =)

contratimes said...

It's long been my understanding that the Christian message was something that was comprehended slowly. It would have had less impact as a sudden revolt against deeply held cultural practices than it had as a slow one. After all, justice and reform don't always come quickly, nor would it be good if they did. Glaciers slowly gouge out the earth, grinding it to a fine grist. But rushing floods impact the earth for but a brief time.

There already seems to be something at work in St. Paul in his letter addressed to Philemon regarding slavery:

I appeal to you for my son Onesimus ...Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good— no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.

So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.


It's a pretty radical idea, calling a slave a son, at least it was in ancient Palestine under Roman occupation.

What is also interesting is how many anti-slavery proponents in America found their strength in the Christian Scriptures you deride; and it is interesting how many African-Americans love their Christian roots (MLK Jr. was also inspired by Moses). Similarly, it is interesting how many folks are using the Bible to support gay rights. Now, which is it, do you think? Is the Bible a book for enslavement, or emancipation? My bishop, the first openly gay man ever to be consecrated in the Christian church as bishop, finds that Scripture is replete with supporting texts for his episcopacy. In fact, many in the gay rights movement have likened their plight to the African-Americans in this country, viewing themselves as another oppressed minority, like Israel enslaved in Egypt. Are these folks wrong for finding power, solace, and inspiration in the Bible you find evil?

It's mindboggling how people always want to coopt Jesus for their own purposes: The Mormons have Jesus as Adam; the Muslims have him as a mere prophet; the liberation theologians have him as a Marxist; and I guess some Wiccans have him as a pagan. I find it fascinating when I discover people who tell me I can't trust my Christian faith, being, as it is, all cloaked in the darkness of history (and mired in politics), and then hear them tell me that Jesus ate peyote or hung out with Druids. How people see so clearly through such alleged obscurity is miraculous. Don't they realize that they themselves are mired in politics, clouded by their own socio-political biases, many of which they've unwittingly inherited from the very Christian ethos they abjure? Don't they realize that it is easy to be smug about their condescending viewpoint of the past, ignorant that their own current viewpoint is already quaint and outdated (at least to our descendants)?

Just a few thoughts.

Have a thrillingly good day!

Bill Gnade

Anne Johnson said...

We at "The Gods Are Bored" have been constantly amazed by African American Christians. Perhaps the ancient Babylonians were nicer to their slaves than the early European Americans, because the Israelites were allowed to practice their forms of worship in Babylon. (Book of Daniel)

African slaves were killed if they dared cleave to old Chondanga, and so he was given the pink slip, never to return.

No wonder they were so taken with Moses.

If you're hungry enough, you'll forget all about that cake you once had and go for the rye bread, and eventually all you'll remember is the rye bread, and your grandchildren won't even know the word for cake.

That's how we get bored gods.

Athana said...

Paxton listen to yourself. WHY SLAVERY AT ALL?!? The world today doesn’t condone slavery! Before your god started his mental-illness culture 6000 years ago, the world knew no slavery!

You’re trying to make excuses for one of the ugliest things humans ever invented: human slavery. Turning other human beings into cattle.

You have been hoodwinked, sweetheart. Bamboozled. Brainwashed. You were born good and perfect. No one – including you -- ever goes to hell, no matter what. At least one of your great, great, great grandmothers was probably burned at the stake to make you into a human slave to your bogus deity. The only way your other grandmothers got to live was to promise to brainwash their children into the heathenish, barbaric, repulsive clot that is yahweh/allah/jehovah.

That’s how you and your family (and I and mine) got trapped into this living hell that is the warrior-god religions.

Athana said...

Bill, get real. Your god obviously thinks slavery's peachy keen, or he’d say something against it. Isn’t that what he’s in the Bible for? To dictate what’s right and wrong?

Athana said...

"If you're hungry enough, you'll forget all about that cake you once had and go for the rye bread, and eventually all you'll remember is the rye bread, and your grandchildren won't even know the word for cake."

Good point, Anne. Doesn't hurt, either, to infect people with your own sweaty terror over the warrior gods' bogus underground torture chamber, aka "hell." That kind of bull catches on like sparks in dry wood.

My guess is, Paxton and Bill, that you both hold a terror deep in their own hearts about this bogus fiction. It's probably a great part of what keeps you snagged in your ugly, slavery-condoning religion. Did you know that Hel was originally a volcano Goddess who welcomed people back into her warm womb after death?

And your mentally-ill deity turned her into a massive torture chamber. Ee-gads, men, wake up!

Anne Johnson said...

Actually my satellite office is very misunderstood. We reserve the torture for when the boss is conducting his annual review. Otherwise we just paint, play cards, arrange flowers, and sort socks.

--"Mr. Applegate"
Please don't call me Lucifer. There's a perfectly good bored god called Lucifer, and I don't want to insult her.

Morgaine said...

Funny, I don't remember anyone mentioning a plant indigenous to the American South West or a Religion from the British Isles. I remember someone mentioning a common religion to the region of the Middle East, and being kind enough not to call them a bunch of tribal hashheads. No matter.

Let's face it - brainwashing works. If you've been threatened since infancy with an eternal lake of fire, it isn't going to make a dent to know that the same Hebrew word, meaning "a hole in the ground" is variously translated throughout the book as "pit," "grave," and "hell" and that even the bible specifies that the "wages of sin is death," not torture. Big daddy has to be right OR ELSE!

It doesn't matter if you've never studied the subject; it doesn't compute that someone else might have better information; It doesn't bear further study before you reflexively defend your misconceptions; Big daddy has to be right OR ELSE!

Paxton said...

"even the Bible specifies that the wages of sin is death, not torture"

As I understand it, human beings are immortals and will exist forever. The "death" being talked about means that because of sin we will exist forever without experiencing Life (and in the Bible, life is equivalent to having a right relationship with God).

Athana, I am sorry if I was unclear, but I am not condoning slavery at all. Slavery horrifies me. I'm not trying to make excuses for it. I am trying to understand why God (who I believe is perfectly good) would only regulate slavery instead of prohibiting it in His Law. You ask me to throw away my belief that God is goodness (that is, to go against faith and personal experience =)) and choose a mix-and-match deity that makes me more comfortable. That would be great, if the point of life was to be comfortable.

This is my belief -- if I could see every truth and understand it and know the mind of God completely, then his goodness would be apparent even in the laws about slavery. I don't see it now, but that's what I'm aiming for. Please don't mistake my wrestling-by-faith for an endorsement of slavery.


Your statements that I was born good and perfect, and that nobody goes to hell, interest me. I would love to hear more about why you believe this.

Paxton said...

I also just noticed that you said "Jesus is just the goddess with a sex change". But Jesus speaks about hell all the time. Judgment and damnation is a very large part of his teaching. So I do not see how he relates to your goddess.

Morgaine said...

Quote:As I understand it, human beings are immortals and will exist forever. The "death" being talked about means that because of sin we will exist forever without experiencing Life (and in the Bible, life is equivalent to having a right relationship with God).
End Quote

That is not consistent with biblical cannon. The human soul is often called the "mortal soul" in that it can die. It only attains "everlasting life" through acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior.

I believe we are immortal, because energy can neither be created nor destroyed. The book, however, does not.

Athana said...

Paxton, you say:

“You ask me to throw away my belief that god is goodness”

This entire blog is dedicated to the premise that your god is death, not goodness. He’s war, hell, stoning people to death, beating children, retribution, jealousy, revenge, and everything else the kindergarten teacher puts on her no-no list.

“if the point of life was to be comfortable…”

Being comfortable is the point of life.

“if I could see every truth and understand it and know the mind of god completely, then his goodness would be apparent even in the laws about slavery.”

That’s exactly how they trick you – if you were just smarter, or thought harder, or studied longer, THEN you would see the light.

“Your statements that I was born good and perfect, and that nobody goes to hell, interest me. I would love to hear more about why you believe this.”

Of course you were born perfect! How can you look at a newborn baby and not see perfection? And hell: doesn’t it strike you as odd that there should be an old northern European Goddess named Hel, to whose warm womb we all return at death? Like everything else, the early Christians turned Hel 180 degrees backwards.

“I also just noticed that you said "Jesus is just the Goddess with a sex change". But Jesus speaks about hell all the time. Judgment and damnation is a very large part of his teaching. So I do not see how he relates to your Goddess.”

Oh, the Goddess is infinitely superior to Jesus. But Jesus is the closest a christian will get to Her.

Morgaine said...

Unless the Christian turns to Mary, a neutered version of our blessed Mother.

The closed circuit of monotheist thought says "god is good, therefore everything in his book is good. It has to be good because it's his, so I have to find good in the horrible things written there and done as a result of those words."

Big daddy has to be right because he's big daddy and big daddy can't ever be wrong so big daddy has to be right because he's big daddy.

Wake up! It doesn't take years of study or extraordinary insight. It takes forgetting everything you've been told, then looking at the words, their sources, their results.

You worship a god that would have you sacrifice your child to prove your loyalty, or at least consider it; would roast you forever for being human and therefore imperfect; demands genocide and the complete destruction of other cultures and other religions; that is based on the values of a nomadic tribe that lived 5,000 years ago on the other side of the world.

Show me anything derived from that that has any relevance to life in the 21st century. To LIFE, not to what will happen when you die. Would you keep slaves if it were legal? Stone your children if they disrespect you? Sell them into slavery? Stone people who work on the sabbath or touch the skin of a pig?

I'll agree with you that there is a supreme entity, and that that entity is good. That entity is not Yahweh. That entity is our Mother.

Think carefully about this. Do you give money to your church? What do your contributions pay for? The wages of Priests who molest children and the officials who move them from parish to parish? People who harrass women entering clinics? Throw bombs at them? Movements that seek to keep women inferior to men? That want to keep one out of ten people from marrying the person they love, or having a job?

People are dying, right NOW, by people who worship the deity you are defending.

Now, think. Why do you believe in that deity? Who told you that deity is THE deity? What if they are wrong?

What if the Muslim who killed Theo Van Gogh is wrong? What if the Mullahs who have hits out against Danish cartoonists are wrong?

What if GW is wrong, and those boys and girls dying on every side in Iraq are dying because he's wrong?

People are dying. You don't get the luxury of cherishing the lies of parents and priests while you ignore the consequences. If you believe in the god of the bible, you are a part of the slaughter. There's blood on your hands.

There's too much at stake. Children are starving and dying in wars. People are dying. Do you support the slaughter or stand against it?

I have no doubt where I stand. I stand for peace, for feeding all children, for freedom, for safety, for my Goddess and on behalf of my Goddess. Her children are my children, and her love is poured out on the Earth. It's my job to speak for the children, for the Earth, for my Sisters and my brothers. I stand for cooperation instead of competition, generosity instead of greed, the poor and not the rich. I stand for life, not death, and certainly not on what happens after.

contratimes said...

Sorry to be so late to the party! Shucks, there have been some tough things said here since my last visit (I was off skiing in Maine).

Since I know Morgaine has told me she will not acknowledge me here or elsewhere, I can conclude that her comments are only directed at Paxton (or Athana and Anne). But I do note two glaring contradictions (Here I go with logic again!) she drafted in separate comments, the first wherein she suggests that those who disagree with her are insufficiently studious, and the second in which studiousness is something of a vice:

It doesn't matter if you've never studied the subject; it doesn't compute that someone else might have better information; It doesn't bear further study before you reflexively defend your misconceptions; Big daddy has to be right OR ELSE!

Wake up! It doesn't take years of study or extraordinary insight. It takes forgetting everything you've been told, then looking at the words, their sources, their results.

Now, it might be more accurate to say that "Big Momma has to be right, or else", since I don't think I or Paxton have ever said such a thing about "Daddy". This is, after all, a website devoted solely to proving and defending the idea that the Goddess is always correct. So Morgaine's point is somewhat self-cancelling. Plus, it reads like so much projection; she's transferring to me (or someone like me, or even Paxton) something I've never said.

Athana, you wrote:

Bill, get real. Your god obviously thinks slavery's peachy keen, or he’d say something against it. Isn’t that what he’s in the Bible for? To dictate what’s right and wrong?

What, do you think I'm an illusion? I am as real as Sunday's rain. And I have no idea what you mean by the last two sentences. God is in the Bible to dictate? I can't respond to that. Do you mean that God is an invention who is supposed to dictate? Well, is there a passage in the Bible then that has God stating unequivocally that slavery is good? Doesn't your argument require that sort of statement for it to be considered valid?

While there may not be any Biblical statements about slavery that would mollify your animosity towards what you perceive to be my beliefs, I assure you that even the Hebraic moral code stood out as unique among Eastern warrior-god cults. For if a slave killed a rich man, and another rich man killed a slave, in both cases the punishment was equal: In Hebraic law all people were equal under law. However, in other tribal law codes of the time, a slave was less valuable than a "free" man, and hence, was not treated equally under criminal law. I may be wrong about this, but I don't think I am. My understanding is that scholars are pretty much in agreement that there were outstanding characteristics in Hebraic law, and what I've described is one of those outstanding characteristics.

I suggested in my last comment that the Judeo-Christian picture is one of progress: it is the slow revolution against long-held sinful behavior. While Israel may have had slaves, the indication is that being a slave in Israel was far easier than being one outside of Israel. Eventually, slavery would be eradicated in -- please note -- every country that is considered Christian. However, slaves still exist in places on this planet that have not (mostly) responded to the Christian message. And slavery of all kinds is anathema to me, so please don't suggest that I support it or turn a blind eye to it; I merely know that the countries with the fewest Judeo-Christian convictions are often the most brutal on slaves, women, and children.

Look, I am not one to gloss over difficulties in the Judeo-Christian heritage. I recognize problems very quickly, and I make no attempt to avoid them. But I do not damn something because part of it is imperfect; nor do I condemn those who committed a sinful practice prior to their even realizing it was sinful. Slavery is a shame on all people and all nations: there is no one exempt (except the slaves themselves).

And I am also not one to gloss over the difficulties of Goddess Thealogy. If your attempts to explain the causes of patriarchy are serious, then I can only say that they are not serious enough: they are glosses. No one I've ever read has answered this challenge (and it is not my challenge, but Reason's): If the Goddess is everything (and as you say, all are born good), and if the Goddess is the Source, then the Goddess must be the source of patriarchy, violence and suffering. Sorry. There is no way around this. These things did not emerge EX NIHILO, on their own out of nothing. They had to emerge with the Goddess's approval and design.

But what a sad fact, for it leaves us with this: that the Goddess has no qualms telling ancient women that they were so weak and stupid, so incompetent and naive, to have permitted the patriarchs such victory. You see, Goddess Thealogy as far I can tell actually oppresses women: It tells them that they are stupid for caving into patriarchal men and their dopey, punchy gods; it tells them that their only emancipation is to imitate the patriarchs by defining the Goddess in their own sexual image, like men do; it tells them that being like men is the only path to salvation. In short, this is all about imitation; and, as such, it flatters the patriarchs and yet damns the women who unwittingly yielded to them. This all does nothing for women except make them feel like losers: they are weak, deceived, gullible, stupid. And it achieves nothing other than to make men feel good about themselves: Look, the goddess worshippers flatter us, for they imitate us, which is what we want, no? They want their totems to be taller, bigger, and central. Alas, what is new or feminine in that?

Lastly, I don't think fear has a thing to do with what I believe. But if it does, I can at least say with confidence that fear has nothing to do with what I've written here.

Anyway, just a few thoughts.

Peace and mirth,

Bill Gnade

Athana said...

Bill, I'm going to bite on at least one thing in your lengthy comment:

"Look, I am not one to gloss over difficulties in the Judeo-Christian heritage. I recognize problems very quickly, and I make no attempt to avoid them. But I do not damn something because part of it is imperfect...."

I believe the whole of it is imperfect. Not just a part. The entire war-god package is deleterious. It hurts people. Crucifies them, in fact. I'm not sure you'll ever be able to see that, though. I think perhaps that your mind is so tied up in a big knot that there's no way to untie you. Sometimes I think it's going to have to be the next generation who sees the light.

contratimes said...

My word, Athana, how priestly of you. I am no doubt a novitiate in these matters, and you see far better than I.

Of course, I could turn the whole thing around with ease: I have clarity, and it is you who is tied up in knots. However, how does either position help us?

It is easy to attack my person. It is easy to tell me that I am deluded. But you've talked about knowing unconditional love. Do you love me? Then how is it loving to tell me I am all knotted up and yet not show me how I got so entangled? Would it not be more unconditionally loving of you to simply answer my questions, which might just be doubts? Do you not love your own position passionately enough to prove its wondrous power at every chance, particularly in light of my blind challenges?

Will love make me wait in vain?

Peace and mirth,

Gnade