In part 1, we looked at Bible verses both for and against human sacrifice in the Old Testament. Now let’s turn to the New. Things surely improve in the New Testament . . . right? Sacrifice remains important in the New Testament. Everyone knows that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22). The most popular verse in the Bible for many Christians acknowledges that: John 3:16 begins, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son.” And by “gave,” of course, they mean that Jesus was a human sacrifice to God.Christians will reject human sacrifice to the Canaanite gods Moloch and Chemosh as barbaric and pointless, but apparently the human sacrifice to their Bronze Age god actually worked. James Dobson celebrated one Father’s Day by likening the crucifixion to, not a barbaric act of cruelty, but “God’s greatest example of true fatherhood.” He said, “Look to the … [Read more...] about Human Sacrifice in the Bible (2 of 2)
A reboot is a new release of a story in comic, film, television series, or other form that discards continuity with previous versions to start afresh, unburdened by plot decisions in any previous release. The Bible is a book whose storyline spans over a thousand years, so perhaps it’s not surprising that it also has reboots.The Bible, take one (the Noah story) God creates the world (twice), and then Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit. Their son Cain kills his brother Abel, then there’s a long genealogy ending in Noah. God’s annoyed with how humanity turned out, so he hits the Reset button, and everyone drowns. But don’t be sad—Noah and his ark full of animals weather the storm. Everyone in the world (by which I mean “eight people”) are once again safe on land. God as Elohim blesses Noah’s family with authority over all living things. He lays down a few rules, and in return he promises, “I establish my covenant with you: never … [Read more...] about The Bible Story Reboots. Have You Noticed?
God in the Bible will make a covenant with his people, and you think that since he’s made the sale, the book will end. But then the Bible stories keep coming. In part 1, we saw how God made covenants with Noah and then Abraham. After each one, you’re ready to read The End or “And they lived happily ever after” or some other wrapup. Perhaps after the covenant with Abraham we’re finally finished?Nope—God wants to reboot this story yet again. The Bible, take three (Moses) Abraham begets Isaac, who begets Jacob, who then begets twelve sons, one of whom is Joseph. Joseph is annoying, and his brothers sell him into slavery. Joseph winds up in Egypt, but you can’t keep God’s man down, and God makes Joseph the Pharaoh’s right-hand man. That’s a nice bit of luck, because famine forces Jacob and sons to Egypt. Generations go by, with Jacob’s descendants happily living in Egypt, still divided into twelve tribes according to the … [Read more...] about The Bible Story Reboots. Have You Noticed? (2 of 2)
When retired U.S. Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens recommended recently that we toss out the Constitution’s Second Amendment — the one about guns — a whole lot of Americans freaked out.You’d have thought he wanted to toss a passage in the Bible. Manmade But here’s the thing: The Constitution is not sacred, as isn’t the Bible. The American founding document is entirely temporal — imagined and written solely by and for human beings. If a divinity did have a hand in it (as many dreamily insist), no unimpeachable proof exists to corroborate that. So, from all rational appearances, it’s a thing we made ourselves. Perhaps more to the point here, it’s also a manmade creation we have the absolute authority, even the responsibility, to revise as makes sense, not in a static netherworld but in the constantly evolving real one. Same deal for the Bible, which is also wholly inspired and crafted by humankind in the natural world and … [Read more...] about The U.S. Constitution, Like the Bible, isn’t Sacred
I used to do magic mushrooms a lot. I know, I know what you’re thinking, but you seem so squeaky clean, GM! and it’s true; I revel in my own moral perfection these days, but as Miss Spears might say, I haven’t always been this innocent. I really loved magic mushrooms. I mean, how can you not? When they start to hit you, you’re awash with a warm delight – everything around you is simply enchanting. Colours become more vibrant; smells are more intense; sounds grow clearer, and the stars seem closer. If you’re under a night sky, you can feel it talking to you. Wonder and awe take up a stage in your mind and perform an interpretive dance directly connected to all of the outward stimuli around you. It’s staggeringly marvellous; there is no other way to describe it.There was only one occasion on which I’d done magic mushrooms where the effects were not sheer joy. On that occasion, everything was going just fine until I picked up my … [Read more...] about Things The Godly Say: Why Don’t You Just Read The Bible?
COOS BAY, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon school district is accused of forcing students to read Bible passages as a form of punishment, among other accusations. The Coos Bay World reported Tuesday that the North Bend School District initially denied the claim, but the building administrator later acknowledged in an interview with state education officials that he demanded Bible reading for punishment. The allegations include an LGBTQ student being forced to read the Bible, and extend to whether LGBTQ students were discriminated against after reporting sexual harassment. The allegations are detailed in a March 6 letter from the Oregon Department of Education to District Superintendent Bill Yester. The district wrote in a statement that the allegations occurred over the course of several years, “most of which had not been brought to the district’s attention.” … [Read more...] about Oregon school district accused of forcing LGBTQ student to read Bible as punishment