God damn it.

God has already conjured and destroyed millions of insects and amphibians, all to make a point, but now he graduates to mammals. There’s something repugnant to me in God’s cavalier destruction of living beings. He supposedly has this wonderful gift of creation, and he uses it to show-off to mortals for the basest reasons, then destroys it all shortly thereafter. His bloodlust has been constant throughout the Bible.  He doesn’t seem to flinch at destroying animals, people, or even the whole Earth. How are we supposed to think life is precious and valuable if the creator snuffs out lives like spent cigarette butts. I have a lot more respect for religions that respect Life: whether it is plant life, animal life, or human life, it seems more morally progressive to respect Life.

God begins chapter 9 by afflicting all of Egypt’s horses, donkeys, camels, and sheep with a “pestilence very grievous.” You know, because the Israelites’ condition is their fault. The bastard kills all of the cattle in Egypt to illustrate his point. Frankly, at this point, I’m not clear on his point. Egypt took in all of the Israelites in a time of famine, kept them alive, and in fact made them prosperous. Their generosity came from humanistic values and an intrinsic desire to help out other humans in need. It did NOT come from Jehovah or his fucked-up code of “ethics.” God did not recognize their generosity or reward them, or even remember it now by offering any mercy in this situation. He is killing people and animals so that his “chosen people” can go tell him how fucking awesome he is: to worship him. Those are extremely perverse morals.

God then blights the Egyptians and animals with boils, making them suffer horribly. I wonder if anyone other than Pharaoh even knew what the punishment was for. The tiny babies and puppies certainly didn’t, but God is indifferent to human suffering (or actually a masochist), so I’m sure the thought wouldn’t have crossed his mind. Also, umm, how did he inflict the animals with boils when he just killed them all with a pestilence? Again, Bible, try to go a chapter without contradicting yourself.

God follows this latest plague with  a victory lap, telling Moses to tell Pharaoh:

16 for this I have caused thee to stand, so as to show thee My power, and for the sake of declaring My Name in all the earth;

In other words, God made Pharaoh refuse to let the Israelites leave to make an entirely selfish point. He removed Pharaoh’s free-will and forced a course of action that killed millions of animals and humans and caused untold suffering, so he could tell everyone how fucking awesome he is. I am truly glad that God doesn’t exist, because if this God existed, I would hate him.

After bragging himself up, Jehovah sends hail and fire from the sky, apparently the worst thing that has ever happened to Egypt “since it hath become a nation.” It kills every man and beast in the field, and every tree on the earth. Indiscriminate, total destruction. How can anyone…ever… defend this? I can’t comprehend how this book became a revered religious foundational text and moral guidepost. This God of the Bible is the most evil character I have ever experienced, or could ever imagine. His entire purpose is to callously destroy life and cause suffering, all to glorify himself and seek recognition. He seems to have created people for the express purpose of giving himself meaning, and thinks nothing of obliterating anything or anyone to get an ego boost. How is the existence of such a creature comforting to billions of people?


1 And Jehovah saith unto Moses, `Go in unto Pharaoh, and thou hast spoken unto him, Thus said Jehovah, God of the Hebrews, Send My people away, and they serve me,

for, if thou art refusing to send away, and art still keeping hold upon them,

lo, the hand of Jehovah is on thy cattle which [are] in the field, on horses, on asses, on camels, on herd, and on flock — a pestilence very grievous.

`And Jehovah hath separated between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt, and there doth not die a thing of all the sons of Israel’s;

and Jehovah setteth an appointed time, saying, To-morrow doth Jehovah do this thing in the land.’

And Jehovah doth this thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt die, and of the cattle of the sons of Israel not one hath died;

and Pharaoh sendeth, and lo, not even one of the cattle of Israel hath died, and the heart of Pharaoh is hard, and he hath not sent the people away.

And Jehovah saith unto Moses and unto Aaron, `Take to you the fulness of your hands [of] soot of a furnace, and Moses hath sprinkled it towards the heavens, before the eyes of Pharaoh,

and it hath become small dust over all the land of Egypt, and it hath become on man and on cattle a boil breaking forth [with] blains, in all the land of Egypt.’

10 And they take the soot of the furnace, and stand before Pharaoh, and Moses sprinkleth it towards the heavens, and it is a boil [with] blains, breaking forth, on man and on beast;

11 and the scribes have not been able to stand before Moses, because of the boil, for the boil hath been on the scribes, and on all the Egyptians.

12 And Jehovah strengtheneth the heart of Pharaoh, and he hath not hearkened unto them, as Jehovah hath spoken unto Moses.

13 And Jehovah saith unto Moses, `Rise early in the morning, and station thyself before Pharaoh, and thou hast said unto him, Thus said Jehovah, God of the Hebrews, Send My people away, and they serve Me,

14 for, at this time I am sending all My plagues unto thy heart, and on thy servants, and on thy people, so that thou knowest that there is none like Me in all the earth,

15 for now I have put forth My hand, and I smite thee, and thy people, with pestilence, and thou art hidden from the earth.

16 `And yet for this I have caused thee to stand, so as to show thee My power, and for the sake of declaring My Name in all the earth;

17 still thou art exalting thyself against My people — so as not to send them away;

18 lo, I am raining about [this] time to-morrow hail very grievous, such as hath not been in Egypt, even from the day of its being founded, even until now.

19 `And, now, send, strengthen thy cattle and all that thou hast in the field; every man and beast which is found in the field, and is not gathered into the house — come down on them hath the hail, and they have died.’

20 He who is fearing the word of Jehovah among the servants of Pharaoh hath caused his servants and his cattle to flee unto the houses;

21 and he who hath not set his heart unto the word of Jehovah leaveth his servants and his cattle in the field.

22 And Jehovah saith unto Moses, `Stretch forth thy hand towards the heavens, and there is hail in all the land of Egypt, on man, and on beast, and on every herb of the field in the land of Egypt.’

23 And Moses stretcheth out his rod towards the heavens, and Jehovah hath given voices and hail, and fire goeth towards the earth, and Jehovah raineth hail on the land of Egypt,

24 and there is hail, and fire catching itself in the midst of the hail, very grievous, such as hath not been in all the land of Egypt since it hath become a nation.

25 And the hail smiteth in all the land of Egypt all that [is] in the field, from man even unto beast, and every herb of the field hath the hail smitten, and every tree of the field it hath broken;

26 only in the land of Goshen, where the sons of Israel [are], there hath been no hail.

27 And Pharaoh sendeth, and calleth for Moses and for Aaron, and saith unto them, `I have sinned this time, Jehovah [is] the Righteous, and I and my people [are] the Wicked,

28 make ye supplication unto Jehovah, and plead that there be no voices of God and hail, and I send you away, and ye add not to remain.’

29 And Moses saith unto him, `At my going out of the city, I spread my palms unto Jehovah — the voices cease, and the hail is not any more, so that thou knowest that the earth [is] Jehovah’s;

30 but thou and thy servants — I have known that ye are not yet afraid of the face of Jehovah God.’

31 And the flax and the barley have been smitten, for the barley [is] budding, and the flax forming flowers,

32 and the wheat and the rye have not been smitten, for they are late.

33 And Moses goeth out from Pharaoh, [from] the city, and spreadeth his hands unto Jehovah, and the voices and the hail cease, and rain hath not been poured out to the earth;

34 and Pharaoh seeth that the rain hath ceased, and the hail and the voices, and he continueth to sin, and hardeneth his heart, he and his servants;

35 and the heart of Pharaoh is strong, and he hath not sent the sons of Israel away, as Jehovah hath spoken by the hand of Moses.


One thought on “God damn it.

  1. Okay, here’s the deal:

    Historically, the Exodus never happened in the way it is described in the book of Exodus–if it happened at all. The story is a cultural legend of the type that gives a sense of meaning to many different cultures. For example, the United States has its myths and legends about the Revolutionary War, many of which bear little resemblance to what actually happened. But those myths and legends give meaning and purpose to its citizens. They may be historically inaccurate, but they are psychologically profound.

    God did not actually do the things described in the book of Exodus. God is not really a genocidal bastard.

    For the ancient Jews who originally composed this story and passed it on to their children and grandchildren, it served to give them strength in the face of many hardships, secure in the belief that God cared greatly for them, and was present to rescue them from oppression and tribulation if only they remained strong in their faith and in their dedication to righteous living according to God’s commandments.

    Similarly, the story of the Exodus has served to assure many later generations of Jews and Christians that God cares about our trials and tribulations, and is ready, willing, and able to rescue us from them if we will devote our lives to living in a decent and godly way. Listen to some of the old spirituals originally composed and sung by slaves in pre-Civil War America, and you will gain some sense of its true force. The destruction of the Egyptians by the plagues is not really about killing Egyptians and their crops and livestock. It’s about destroying the evil attitudes, desires, habits, and circumstances that keep us in physical, psychological, and spiritual slavery to destructive forces that are grinding us down.

    Looked at from a deeper and more human perspective, the story of the Exodus is about gaining freedom from all types of oppression through the greater power of truth and justice. The characters in the story represent greater issues and themes of human life.

    The Bible was never intended to be read as literal history. To get at its real meaning, it must be read like the myths and legends of many cultures: not as “false” or as “wrong,” but as carrying deeper cultural and spiritual meanings within the literal story.

    As long as you keep following in your fundamentalist Christian parents’ footsteps and insisting on a strictly literal reading of the Bible, you will never be able to read it on its own terms, and see its true value.

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