My Notes on Religion

Quoting the Bible and Qu'ran makes one look wise, even when one is not, hence my interest.

I call myself an agnostic. I don't like the word atheist because, as I was taught, it means you deny the possibility of the existence of a God. Since I have no evidence of either the existence or lack of existence of a God, I'm uncomfortable with that assertion and so I've settled on the word agnostic. God has a permanent invitation to come over for a chat but so far he's a no-show. All of this said, I'm fascinated by religions and particularly by religious books. Here are a few thoughts (in italics) on the two most popular of them.

The Holy Bible

On Women

God’s message to women seems pretty clear: shut up, be submissive, do not teach but be silent. If you want to know anything, don’t open your mouth and embarrass yourself, just ask your husband at home. Men are to women as God is to man. How any woman could read this misogynistic tripe and still call herself a Christian is beyond me.

1 Timothy 2:11-15 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

1 Corinthians 11:3 Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

On Homosexuality

You know, I don’t care for gay parades, and I don’t really understand why gay people are as vocal as they often are. This having been said, I don’t want to kill them. I don’t even want to harm them — I just want to leave them alone and be left alone. God, it seems, has other plans. “They must be put to death.” Oh, by the way, God is love. Have a nice day.

Leviticus 20:13 If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Romans 1:26-27 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

On Bodily Waste

God sure seems to be hung up on excrement. I particularly note the little recipe for turd cakes in Ezekiel 4, and the parts about eating dung and drinking piss in II Kings. After reading those, the part about spreading dung on people’s faces in Malachi 2 seems positively mild.

Ezekiel 4:12-13 And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight. And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them.

II Kings 18:27 But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?

Malachi 2:3 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.

Deuteronomy 23:13-14 (NIV) As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. For the LORD your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you.

I Kings 14:10 therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jerobo’am, and will cut off from Jerobo’am him that pisseth against the wall.

I Kings 16:11 And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends.

On Fashion and Hairstyle

Apparently, God has pretty firm ideas about fashion and hairstyle. Here are some of his edicts on the two subjects.

1 Timothy 2:8-10 (NIV) I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

1 Corinthians 11:14-15 (NIV) Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering.

1 Corinthians 11:5-6 And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.

On God’s Hate

God loves everyone, right? Well, let’s take a look at the kids from Bethel who made fun of Elisha’s bald head. Admittedly, kids shouldn’t be rude to their elders. I might have grounded them. God seemed to think that mauling is an appropriate punishment, however. In fact, there are a whole lot of things that God hates, it seems. Some of them, I tend to agree with — I’m not a big fan of those who love violence, either, but you should just keep in mind that a God that hates some people can’t love everyone.

2 Kings 2:23-24 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. “Go on up, you baldhead!” they said. “Go on up, you baldhead!” He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.

Psalm 11:5 The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.

Romans 9:13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

Leviticus 20:23 You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them.

Hosea 9:15 Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal, I hated them there. Because of their sinful deeds, I will drive them out of my house. I will no longer love them; all their leaders are rebellious.

Leviticus 26:30 I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars and pile your dead bodies on the lifeless forms of your idols, and I will abhor you.

Psalm 5:5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong.

Psalm 5:6 You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors.

Psalm 53:5 There they were, overwhelmed with dread, where there was nothing to dread. God scattered the bones of those who attacked you; you put them to shame, for God despised them.

Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

Malachi 1:3 But Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.

On Incest

Cain’s wife? At the time, only Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel lived on earth. If that one isn’t explicit enough for you, check out the story of Lot a bit further down in Genesis.

Genesis 4:17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch.

Genesis 19:30-36 (NIRV) Lot and his two daughters left Zoar. They went to settle down in the mountains. Lot was afraid to stay in Zoar. So he and his daughters lived in a cave. One day the older daughter spoke to the younger one. She said, “Our father is old. There aren’t any other men around here to make love to, as people all over the earth do. So let’s get our father to drink wine. Then we can make love to him. We can use our father to continue our family line.” That night they got their father to drink wine. Then the older daughter went in and made love to him. He didn’t know when she lay down or when she got up. The next day the older daughter spoke to the younger one again. She said, “Last night I made love to my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight. Then you go in and make love to him. In that way, we can use our father to continue our family line.” So they got their father to drink wine that night also. Then the younger daughter went and made love to him. Again he didn’t know when she lay down or when she got up. So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father.

On Porn

I actually have no problem with the verse below, but it amuses me to note that God seems to enjoy a bit of porn now and then, too.

Ezekiel 23:20 There she had longed for her lovers. Their private parts seemed as big as those of donkeys. And their flow of semen appeared to be as much as that of horses.

On Adultery

Some of my exes would agree with these verses, but death and eternal damnation for all involved just doesn’t seem like an appropriate punishment for a bit of cheating on a work trip.

Leviticus 20:10-11 And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

On Eating Human Flesh

Ok, this part is just sick. Theologians agonize over whether the child was already dead. I don’t know or care.

II Kings 6:28-29 And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son.

On Messy Sex

I try not to get too personal on this site, but I really doubt that there are any men reading this who have never, ever made a little mess in bed. It seems there’ll be Hell to pay for that one day. Literally.

Genesis 38:9-10 (NIV) But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so whenever he lay with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother. What he did was wicked in the LORD’s sight; so he put him to death also.

On Hemorrhoids and Bowel Disease

Remember God’s little fetish with turds (above)? Well, it seems he likes to involve bowel disease and hemorrhoids when he messes with people, which is hardly infrequent.

Deuteronomy 28:27 The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.

I Samuel 5:6 But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, [even] Ashdod and the coasts thereof

I Samuel 5:9 And it was [so], that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts.

II Chronicles 21:14-15 Behold with a great plague will the LORD smite thy people and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods: And thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day.

II Chronicles 12:18-19 And after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease. And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of sickness: so he died of sore diseases. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers.

On Genitalia

The Lord God Jehovah is a just God. Sometimes. Well, unless you get your pride & joy cut off, or if you get wounded in the testicles. If that happens, it looks like you’re out of luck when it comes to God. Moreover, it seems that, if your parents didn’t marry, you and your kids and their kids (and so on, for ten generations) are screwed, too.

Deuteronomy 23:1-2 (ESV) No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the LORD. No one born of a forbidden union may enter the assembly of the LORD. Even to the tenth generation, none of his descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD.

On Prejudice

I don’t have much use for sweeping generalizations, myself. Decide for yourself.

I Thessalonians 2:14,15 The Jews: who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men.

The Holy Qu'ran

On War

I keep hearing about the peaceful religion of Islam, which is interesting as I certainly found a lot of less-than-peaceful verses when I looked for myself.

Surah 9:73 O Prophet! Make war against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be merciless against them. Their home is hell, an evil refuge indeed.

Surah 47:4 When you meet the unbelievers in jihad, chop off their heads. And when you have brought them low, bind your prisoners rigorously. Then set them free or take ransom from them until the war is ended.

Surah 5:33-34 The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and his messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be to be killed or crucified, or to have their hands and feet chopped off on opposite sides, or to be expelled out of the land. Such will be their humiliation in the world, and in the next world they will face an awful horror.

Surah 17:16-17 When we decide to destroy a population, we send a definite order to them who have the good things in life and yet sin. So that Allah’s word is proven true against them, then we destroy them utterly.

Surah 8:37 In order that Allah may separate the pure from the impure, put all the impure ones one on top of another in a heap and cast them into hell. They will have been the ones to have lost.

Surah 21:11 How many were the populations we utterly destroyed because of their sins, setting up in their place other peoples.

Surah 8:12 Remember Allah inspired the angels: I am with you. Give firmness to the believers. I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: you smite them above their necks and smite all their fingertips off of them.

Surah 9:121 Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them.

Surah 8:36 Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme.

On Decency

While I am not a Christian, I really feel the Bible got it right in Luke 6:31, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. The Koran seems to have other thoughts.

Surah 8:51 If you fear treachery from any of your allies, you may fairly retaliate by breaking off your treaty with them.

Surah 48:29 Muhammad is God’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another.

Surah 5:51 Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends.