A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible

A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible
Hunc tu caveto.

Friday, August 28, 2009


From the previous chapters in Leviticus I learned that there was a particular way to perform a sacrifice (unblemished male, kill it, cut it up, burn it). Christians like to say that Jesus was the "ultimate sacrifice." But Jesus's sacrifice left out two important steps, the cutting up and burning, and wasn't ritualistic at all. Did we just catch Christianity on a technicality? To be honest, I think all the Judeo-Christian religions are full of technicalities and are embarassingly easy to disprove, IF you think logic is a reasonable criteria for belief.

IF you are against logic, and unreasonable, yea ... you'll probably maintain the belief. That is one of the great mysteries of human psychology: Why do we maintain false beliefs? Psychologists actually have an answer for that; confirmation bias. We find comfort and hope in these beliefs; we don't find comfort in not knowing. We also find meaning in everyday acts through hindsight bias.

In Chapter 8, Moses makes Aaron a priest and gives him the breastplate and all the special garments God told him about up on Mt. Sinai. He even hooks Aaron up with the Urim and the Thummim. The Urim and Thummim is just a coin they flip to make tough decisions.

Then, to purify Aaron, they sacrifice a ram. They 1) pick an unblemished male; 2) kill it and sprinkle and smear the blood on Aaron's ears, thumbs, and BIG TOES; 3) cut it up, and 4) burn it so God can smell it.

Chapter 9 is just more animal sacrifices. Well, that's an understatement. Moses calls for two calves, two rams, a baby goat, a lamb, and "a bullock" to be sacrificed. So what follows is what appears in my mind to be a massive animal blood orgy; a vegan's worst nightmare. They kill the animals, sprinkle their blood around, cut them up and wave the parts in the air, and then burn it. The worst thing about this is that no one eats these; they are a waste of food.

Chapter 9 ends with God consuming the animal parts with fire in such a way that the Israelites fall to the ground in awe.

Chapter 10 is tragic. Aaron's sons light an incense and offer it to God. But God doesn't authorize that kind of fire, and basically burns the two sons to death. Aaron puts on a poker face, but if I was in that situation I'd still be sad. Moses tells Aaron that he shouldn't mourn, or else God will kill him and the whole community, too. Yikes!

No comments: