Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Entry 47: Leviticus 11

What sort of animal is Coney? The only Coney I know is Coney Island. I was surprised that rabbits won't for eating. Didn't Pioneers, who were supposed to be so pious, eat lots of rabbits? Food and drink had lots of rules back then. I thought my vegetarian or vegan friends or other Jewish friends who kept Kosher had lots of food rules, but I guess early Christians did, too. I'm glad the rules are less strict now, but I still don't want to eat a snake, even if the Lord says it's okay.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Entry 46: Leviticus 10

Dear Readers,

I was sorry for Aaron, who lost 2 sons, for no reason, as far as I could tell. Poor man to continue his worship after that. He is better than I; Had that happened to me the Lord and I would've had no manner of relationship, thereafter. I, unlike Aaron, wouldn't have been able to hold my tongue. Sorry, but you've got the wrong woman.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Entry 45: Leviticus 9

Dear Readers,

After yet another mostly pointless chapter on offering, I was excited to see the Lord appear at the end. Like all the Israelites, I would fall on my face as well. I can only imagine the experience! I wish to have such an experience, but I've only had a Near Death Expience (NDE).

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Entry 44: Leviticus 8

Dear Readers,

I am happy to report that I had a productive day of dance, writing, and discussion. Some scientist at Upenn believes apparently that free will doesn't exist. My question is if I don't decide who/what does? God, the devil,the universe? How does this theory account for learned behavior such as I tried this, it went badly, won't be doing that again.

Leviticus 8 was all about how Aaron and his sons got to be priests and the rituals they had to undergo, including having blood put upon them. I'm glad I don't share that duty.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Entry 43: Leviticus 7

Dear Readers,

More talk of offerings... The biggest deal in my opinion would be "to be cut off from his people". To be that sounds like shunning. I would think that shunning behavior would be reserved for pedophilia, murder, arson, and so on. This doesn't seem to be the case here as the offense mentioned weren't that severe.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Entry 42: Leviticus 6

Dear Readers,

I've been having kind of a lazy desired day, even though I wasn't lazy. I sent a submission, sent some work e-mails, posted a bit, watched a movie for review, picked up some books, read a whole book and mailed it back to my audiobook club. However, as I was having lazy of spirit I decided not read any Bible until that feeling abated, least I miss something. This chapter was 5:30 long and it was about what offerings you make to the Lord and how to repent should you trespass. Finally something that makes sense for the Almighty to address. Leviticus isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. A lot of it is nonsensical, but I'll take nonsense over bigotry any day of the week and twice on Sundays!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Entry 41: Leviticus 5

A long day with almost 7 hours of tabling work selling books. Then 2.5 hours of conference call to maybe, hopefully I little avail. I have again listened to only one chapter, a 4:13 second one. I am just too baked.

This was another chapter on what to offer in the event of sin x,y, or z. The one thing I don't understand is why would you get into trouble for swearing to do a good thing? Doesn't God want us to do good things?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Entry 40: Leviticus 4

Dear Readers,

After a long and stressful day, filled with bureaucratic evaluations of my functions, a broken main wheelchair (not fun when you are trying to attend a dance class), and an achy body from Middle Eastern dance, I only read one verse of 6:24. Exodus 4 was, in mind, a rather pointless verse. If you sin, but don’t know it all you need to do is sacrifice something onto the Lord. What you sacrifice depends on your status in among the Israelites. This seems fairer to me, as richer people sacrifice more and the poor a less significant items.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Entry 39: Leviticus 1-3

Dear Readers,

I'm happy to have two followers now, both of whom I respect immensely. As you may know I've been dreading coming up against this book, because of all the things bigots say it says. But you can't really compete with bigots unless you know what the actual text is, so hold your breath, here I go.

The first 3 chapters are about nothing other than meat preparation for offering unto God. This seems like a big waste of text me. Not that I claim to be holy, but it seems like God needed an editor at times.

There was one good health tip at the end of chapter 3, "eat neither fat nor blood". Eating too much fat as everyone knows can give heart disease and other problems. I don't know about eating blood, but that doesn't sound like a particularly healthy idea either given all the blood borne nastiness that is floating around, especially lately.

My plan for Leviticus. If I read 3 chapters a day, which is at lower end of my Biblical tolerance. I will be done on the 6th. That's not so bad, as I have previously mentioned I think if I get through this book without becoming an atheist I won't be one.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Entry 38 Exodus: 33-40

Dear Reader,

I finished Exodus; I’m pleased with myself, even though nothing much happened in these last few chapters. I am unclear on a few topics- “Why can’t anyone see God’s face?” and why are the people of Israel called “a stiff necked people.” Anyone with input is welcome to post.

The people made too much of what God commanded in Chapter 36. This is normal. If God were to command something we could produce to specification, I’m sure most Americans would make too much of it, as well. When God makes a specific request, honoring it is, I feel , human nature.

In chapters 37 and 38, nothing of note happened. The only interesting thing that happened was that Moses was pleased with the building that had been completed. In chapter 40, there was one really pretty piece of language, when God said that he would be “in the sight of all the House of Israel throughout all their journeys.”

Tomorrow, gulp, it’s on to Leviticus!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Entry 37: Exodus 26-32

Dear Reader,

Chapters 26-30 were more build it this way between God and Moses. I just don't get it. Perhaps it is like my Arizonam grandma artist friend says, "Maybe, without t.v. and iPhones, etc. life was more boring and God had less to do, therefore, finding much free time to devote to cooking recipe details, clothing details, services details and temple planning," Otherwise I can't explain it.

In chapter 31, the Sabbath was discussed. You are not supposed to work. But I think that working on Sunday is okay for me as I enjoy it. In fact, writing is play for me as much as it is work. I would not work in an office on Sundays that just seems disrespectful. Play on Sunday is fine just not unneeded work Doctors, nurses, personal care assistants, fire fighters, police can all work because their jobs are to prevent suffering or harm, as the Lord instructed earlier in this same chapter.

In Chapter 32, when we return to the narrative arch and away from the list of wants, Moses is vexed when he finds the people doing things God has forbidden. He destroys the instruction pages on which God's instructions were written. This reminds me more of temper tantrumming child than a holy man.

I have 7 chapters to go. I hope to get done tomorrow. However, my realist side knows it will probably be Monday.

Eight more chapters

Friday, June 25, 2010

Entry 36: Exodus 22-25

Dear Reader,

Chapters 22 and 23 were mostly about commandments and restrictions. So far all the rules laid down seem okay to me. Of course you shouldn’t take things or be mean to your enemies even if they are your enemies. You should help them out in their times of need. I’m not so good at this one, I need to get better. The one thing I didn’t like was saying that if someone stole something and couldn’t pay for it they would be sold into servitude. This seems a little extreme. What if you only took a small thing? One thing, however, that seemed very fair was that everything had a value. Therefore, if you stole something you would know how much recompense to give the owner. This seemed fair to me because unlike today you knew what you were getting into. The punishment was written down. You can’t claim you didn’t know and there was no massive leeway like today. Nowadays people get punished get punished based on irrelevant things like skin color or who your parents know. Even though the punishments were stricter back then at least it was applied to everybody fairly.

In chapter 23, the Lord kept mentioning an angel who was going to ascend to accompany his chosen people into new lands. I had a brief thought that perhaps the angel was Jesus’ spirit even though Jesus doesn’t appear for several thousand years. Being Jesus, I assume he was around in some form.

I don’t get the point of chapter 25 at all. From what I can discern, it’s basically God saying this is what I want my temple to look like using very exacting details. I like pretty things as much as the next person, but if you’re the Almighty, don’t you have bigger things to be concerned about. I can’t see devoting an entire chapter of my book to this subject.

The next time I encounter one of those crazy right-wing people who think they have a monopoly on God, I’m going to direct them to chapter 22 and 23. Nowhere does it say “hit anyone with anything” or “Call names or be unfriendly to them.” Even if they have designated that I am their enemy there still supposed to be nice to me. I also am to them, but this is hard for me and I resolve to work on it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Entry 35; Exodous 18-21

There were posts of all of these chapters that I liked, as well as parts I found frankly alarming. In chapter 18, the father in law had a good idea that Moses share the judging duties rather than being the sole arbiter. This is a beginning act of Democracy in a time when democracy wasn't even a really a concept

Chapter 19 was really unimportant or so it seemed to me. It was just Moses talking God. My feelings may, of course, be due to the fact that I’m word tired. I never thought I would be tired of words, but I am. I went to a reading today and took notes at it that I’m sure will become a poem when I’m less word worn. I also finished and reviewed my 69th book. After that I edited my Textbroker.com assignment. Then I listened to 4 Bible chapters. After this, I will take a word break and watch a popular movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Chapters 20 and 21 were the commandments. The commandments don’t seem that hard to keep. Decent people simply don’t do those things. I was sorry to learn that a slave must leave his family in custody if he has been freed. If he refuses to do so, he risks enslavement for life again! I do, however, like that you could be freed from slavery if your master hurt you. Not that slavery is ever good or acceptable, but at least there were some behavior limitations provided to those in power over it’s victims. One would’ve hoped that such limitations would have been enforced among white owners and their African slaves. Sadly, this was not the case. Perhaps if they would’ve read the actual Bible, slavery although still horrible would’ve been much less damaging to the black body proper.

I also liked the fact the pregnant women we’re given special protection in these verses. Goodness knows that women back in the day needed it and too many modern women still do. Remember, Lacy and Connor Peterson?

If I going to this rate, I will finish in 4 days. That means Monday; I will try to finish Sunday. Go me!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Entry 34; Exodous 14-17

This is a day with long chapters, by I'm still attempting to do 4 so I am on track. I was sorry that Pharaoh and his armies died. I realize that the Lord hardened his heart, but how flatly stupid do you need to be to go charging into the water on a horse in pursuit of people whom you know are under the Lord's protection? As an ex-assistant of mine once said, "if you do something like that it tell on you." She was from Jamaica and her English wasn't always so clear, but I knew what she met.

I liked the story of the parting of the waters. I, of course, knew that story already. Everyone who been in a Christian church ever knew this story, but for some reason I never realized that they walked on the water as if it was simply dry land.

I was amazed that Moses, like Jesus, fed people when there was no food and water. Moses never gets credit for this. He's just known for the Red Sea parting, which I guess is a fine enough thing to be known for, still if I were him I'd feel a bit short-changed in this history books.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Entry 33; Exodous 10-13

Dear Reader,

I again felt sad for the Egyptians. Not only did they suffer the locus plague which I knew about but also a plague of darkness and a plague of the death of all their first born children. This was the most horrible plague to me. I just can't imagine!

Finally after all of this Pharaoh got a clue and finally decided to do what the Lord, through Moses, was asking him to do. One would hope although you can't know that he would have made the decision was much quicker if the Lord wouldn't have hardened his heart. Perhaps, as my atheist friend says, it is was a little much to inflict on the entire population of Egypt. I'm sure that one or two small acts would have covered it.

The Children of Israel wonder in dessert for 430 years. They are led by the Lord, masqueraded as both a "pillar of cloud" and "a pillar of fire". From a poet's perspective, I think these are very pretty phrases.

These chapters also explained how unless you had a needed job, like feeding people should work.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Entry 32 Exodus 5 through 9

I've had some discussions with my atheist friend about why the Lord felt it was necessary to harden Pharaoh's heart. "Wouldn't it have been better," said my friend "to simply make Pharaoh want to release the israelites. After reading the necessary section of the Bible, I am convinced that Pharaoh with or without the Lord's intervention should have decided it was a good idea to let the israelites go. How many plagues does a man need to endure before he gets a clue? I know men can be pretty dense sometimes (which is why they almost never ask for directions) but this was excessive. There was lice, flies, boils, dead cattle, hail that was on fire, and finally dead crops. How many more clues do you need? Personally, for me, I would have drawn the line at flaming hail. That cannot occur! And if it does something is very wrong. I know that the Lord hardened his heart initially, but shouldn't the leader of a country be smart enough to realize that this is not working out. Whatever you're inclined to do. I guess it's like George Bush who didn't realize that making war with people who didn't cause 9/11 was not going to stop terrorism.

The thing is: why did he lie to Moses on three separate occasions? Hasn't he learned that he will get into trouble if he does that? If I had been an Egyptian back in the day, I would have organized people to go and overthrow Pharaoh because he was bringing all these problems onto me and the Egyptians knew what was going on because they believed what Moses said. In America, we kicked out King George over a tax on tea. This is not as severe as a boil, frog, flies, or flaming hail plagues.

I felt sorry for the average Egyptian in these chapters. He or she did nothing. It was all Pharaoh's fault. I guess it's like when George Bush was in office. I'm not republican and I wouldn't vote for Bush if my life was in danger. However, when I went abroad, I still had to deal with people saying "Oh you're an American. What's up with George Bush?" Tried though I might, I couldn't explain to them that i didn't vote for Bush and that he never asked me for my opinion. I think the Egyptians must have felt that way.

Another thing I didn't understand was why Moses kept going on about having an uncircumcised penis which he was convinced would make him less believable when he went to speak to Pharaoh. What this a custom in the olden times to display your penis when you went to talk to someone. Nowadays, of course, it would be most rude to display your penis when going to meet with someone, particularly the ruler of the country. Does anyone know about this? It's the weirdest thing I've ever heard of.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The first few chapters of Exodus

Exodus 1-4

Dear Reader,

I read 4 chapters today. That's a lot of Bible to read in one setting. I've only read that much one two other occasions. I meant to go to services today, but my back had other ideas, sadly.

It seemed to be Israel vs Egypt in this biblical book. It was very similar to the modern fear of white people being overwhelmed by the perceived hyper breeding of people of color.

In yet another crazy turn, Pharaoh ordered the midwives of Egypt to murder male children of Israel, but the but midwives honored God's words not Pharaoh's orders, to which I say "You go, ladies!"

Following this there was the familiar Moses story. His mother hid him and sent him down the river. He was found my Pharaoh's daughter, who hired his mom to nurse him. How she must have rejoiced at this!

When he was returned to Pharaoh's daughter she called him Moses, because he was "drawn out of the water." At some point, however, Moses called himself a "A stranger in a strange land". This the title of a famous novel by Robert Heinlein; I never the title was inspired by the story of Moses.

Of the slavery undergone by israelites, it was said, "And God had respect onto them”. One might wonder why God allowed his chosen people to suffer thus, but I figure that freedom is gift better fought for than simply granted by one's oppressor in my opinion. Perhaps this line of thought is why God hardened Pharaoh's heart while making everyone else believe in what Moses said.

I was amazed to discover that Moses, apparently, was disabled. He was "slow of tongue". I took this to mean he had a speech impairment like mine. Maybe that's wishful thinking, but maybe it's true. God chose a person with a disability (PWD) to speak for Him and free the israelites. Viva gimp liberation!

If Moses was like me, I would have also been intimidated to speak to the people. I would have also wondered who would believe a simple, lowly, disabled person (especially in those days wen PWD were treated so badly). I wouldn't live cared at first whether the "I am" told me to do so in the form of a burning bush or not. Then, of course, I'd get a grip and do what was required of me.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Entry 31- The last of Genesis

Genesis 48-50

Dear Reader,

I can't imagine only reading your grandchildren on your death bed. But this is what happened to Jacob. That's sad. I also don't understand the obsession with birth order in biblical times. I'm glad I live in America in modern times where we don't particularly focus on this.

As much as Joseph got screwed by the whole birth order thing he still wanted his father and both his sons based on birth order and to give the most blessing to his older son. Jacob however was enlightened and over the whole birth order non-sense. Way to go Jacob!

Chapter 49, was about Jacob telling all of his sons how they would fare in the end time. Apparently Jacob has a son who I don't remember called Shilo because he was mentioned in this chapter. Jacob's role in this chapter reminded me of Ebenezer Scrooge going around predicting things. Unlike Ebenezer however I don't think these predictions are changeable your stuck with what you got. After these predictions Jacob dies.

In the last chapter of Genesis I must say I am very proud of Joseph for not ruling over his brothers in a mean way despite all the horrors they have done to him. Even after his father gave him complete rule over him on his death bed. I don't remember the phrase exactly it was something like "Who am I to replace God as your master?".

I don't know if I would have been that charitably had I been Joseph. But I guess he already got his revenge because of that whole silver cup thing and worked it out of his system. I am pleased that he didn't need to take another go at vengeance. This leads me to my conclusion that he is an overall good guy.

I hope I have the strength to go to church tomorrow because I feel I need some support before I begin the dreaded Leviticus. Wait I was just wrong. Leviticus isn't next. It's Exodus then Leviticus. I'm dreading Leviticus so much I keep advancing it and ignoring the miracle of Exodus. I feel like Exodus will really strengthen me to deal with all the nasty things Leviticus supposedly says about LGBT folks. I think if I can get through the third book with my faith intact I will not be in any danger of becoming an atheist. I have always avoiding reading that book for fear that what the bigots say it says it actually what it says.

Then I realized I couldn't be a true christian unless I read the whole book. If I was an atheist so be it I want to know. Having spoken to Todd today I feel much more affirmed in my personal faith and not so subject to the usurpation of my attempt to affirm or modify [as the much less likely case is] my faith by mean spirited crazy right wingers. Todd's right that's why the delete was invented. I'm going to use it next time someone goes about saying something I didn't or acts really childish in my blog. I'm not a pro-censorship person but if you can't act accordingly to the rule of civil discourse I don't need to bother with you.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Entry 30- Irritated

I know I haven't written in this blog in a long time. Since sometime in May, in fact, however I've thought about a few things I'd like to comment on. I think all people of faith (and people in general)might benefit from reading two books, the Wordy Shipmates which details the Puritan journey and the eventual discovery by some that they'd rather have more personal and (in my opinion more UCC like) relationship with God.

The second book that made me think of the Good Book, is Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series. I wonder if Fforde's writing (which is often not comprehensible at first), but became more comprehensible as I read more and more of the series. I feel like that about the Bible.

So why, in complete truth, am I writing today? I'm writing because I am annoyed, irritated, P.O.ed, insert name of appropriate word here at insane right wringers who think they own the Lord. Two of them are following this blog on my twitter feed. Why do people assume that just because I believe in the Lord, I'm some kind of crazy hate filled, homophobe. They don't realize that can be a radical, queer, lay theologian with a disability. If they met me, their heads would probably explode!

I am not feeling very charitable towards these people, as The Good Book intends I should. But I've had long week, and I'm not exhibiting my most Christlike behavior. In fact, I'm inclined to go get a new sticker for my chair that says, "The religious right is neither". I think Pride and Joy has those. Good thing I'm coming their tomorrow to pick up adoption celebration gifts for my honorary niece and her 2 moms, fellow disability rights activists friends of mine! I guess the Lord is on my side!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Entry 29 Reading Day 26

Genesis 47

Dear Reader,

Joseph sold cattle and land to the people of Egypt and then took their land in exchange for food. Pharaoh seems like an uncaring person. He will only feed people if they give him something, not fo free, as he should, in my opinion, being the ruler. Who else will care for his people if he doesn’t? I’m not pleased that Joseph goes along with it. He doesn’t object, as my own church workers would, to such untoward behavior. We feed people for free!

Perhaps this is why early Christians left Egypt? I would, too. I’ll learn all about that I suppose in Exodus. I’m looking forward to that book. I’ve heard the story, of course. No one who has entered a church, ever, hasn’t heard the tale.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Entry 28 Reading Day 25

Genesis 46

Dear Reader:
This was one of those naming chapters. You know the ones that go “so and so beget so and so”. The only name I recognized was Job- poor, long suffering man. This is the sort of chapter I like least, as it doesn’t advance the tale any.

I was brightened when, toward the end of my audio segment, Jacob and Joseph were reunited to much joy on the parts of themselves and their other family I’m sure. I can only imagine want that must have felt like. One question, why are shepherds’ an abomination to the Egyptians? It seems a funny thing to get that concerned about. Perhaps they’ll go more into that next chapter.

I’m excited that after this, I have four chapters to complete and then I’m done with Book 1. Only 65 more books to go after that. Oh my, now I am starting to feel overwhelmed. At that rate, I won’t done until sometime in 2015!! Well all I can do is keep on keeping on.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Entry 27 Reading Day 24

Genisis 45

Dear Reader,

I’m feeling much better today and that’s a good thing. It’s much easier to concentrate when your nose is not all blocked up. The Bible I’ve learned is something that requires a lot of concentration. You miss things if you don’t pay attention.

I’m happy to report that in this chapter Joseph confesses his deception to his brothers and discloses his identity. They’re not even mad at him. How could they be after all? They are the ones who sold him into slavery in the first place. I guess they figured they all had his vengeance coming. Still, for myself I’m glad that it didn’t go on much longer.

I’m also pleased that Jacob and Joseph were reunited before Jacob dies. This is as it should be. I think every parent wants to see their child one last time before they go to their Maker. I also think the reverse is true.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Entry 26 Reading Day 23

Genesis 42 and 43

Dear Reader,

Today had an inauspicious beginning. I woke up with a terrible sinus headache and missed an event I hoped to cover for examiner.com. However, as is typical with me, I rallied as the day wore on. Now I'm feeling pretty perky despite its being quarter of midnight. I think I am nocturnal by nature. All that aside, I read two chapters today.

In chapter 43, Joseph still has not revealed to his brothers who he is, even though at one point he is weeping out of their site. He released Simeon to them, but then goes and plays a mean trick.

He puts the money back along with a silver cup in the saddle bags of the youngest brother. I understand that he's upset, but there has to be limit as far as acceptable social behavior. Accusing someone of stealing when they took nothing is beyond mine. If Joseph doesn't watch himself, I fear he will receive a similar comeuppance to the one his brother received. This I can say because I'm sure God doesn't ignore these things. Even from someone who serves Him faithfully.

In chapter 44, Joseph actually has his servants go and pursue his brothers and accuse them of stealing which of course they deny because they weren't aware of the trick. The oldest, being the most responsible by designation, quickly says that he will take Benjamin's place as Joseph's servant. That's where I left the story. I hope, although I'm not sure, that at this point Joseph will confess his transgression and reveal his identity.

Being a poet, I cannot resist noting, although it may be a bit off topic, two really beautiful turns of phrase. Both of them occurred when the oldest was describing his father. The first is "sorrow for the grave." I think this means either that the father will be so sorrowful that his youngest is being made to serve Joseph and he will die upon hearing the news or that he will go to his grave sad because of what happened. I don't know why this particular piece of language struck me as so important, but it did and I felt like noting it. The second phrase is "Lest, per adventure I see the evil that shall come upon my father." I gather that this means his father will be very angry with him over losing Benjamin to Joseph's servitude. I think it sounds prettier than just saying "My father will be angry withe me."

I hope my little poetic interjection hasn't bore you. However, I'm not just a lay Christian reading the Bible from cover to cover. I'm also a poet and occasionally my poet's voice will intersect with this blog. If it bothers you terribly, you can go find someone else who is also attempting to read the Bible from cover to cover and document it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Entry 25, Reading Day 22

Chapter 42

Dear Reader,

If the Bible were a novel, this would be the part where I would say it’s getting good. Joseph, who now lives in Egypt, just encountered his brothers again, the same brothers who sold him into slavery several year prior. He pretended not to know them and even to think they were spies when all they were really were men seeking to survive the famine by buying some corn. I know this is a little vengeful and I’m sure it wasn’t Joseph’s finest moment, but had I been thrown into slavery by my family members I might have acted similarly even though I’m a good person at heart. At least he gave their money back and let them have the corn for free.

Their second problem was that there father would not let them take his youngest son back to meet Joseph and prove they were not spies as Joseph requested. This means they won’t be able to free the brother that he kept prisoner in waiting for their return. I feel sorry for the imprisoned brother, but I’m not too sorry because he went along with the whole selling Joseph into slavery thing all those years ago. As my great-grandmother would say “He had his comeuppance coming.” That being said, I do hope they managed to get him out of prison somehow.

In my calculation, I have 8 more chapters to go which means if all goes to plan, I’ll be finished with Genesis by next Friday. I realize this schedule means I’ll have to read two chapters in one day, but I think I can do that as some are short. After that, it’s on to Exodus and after that it’s on to the dreaded Leviticus. I think every queer liberation theologian, even a lay one such as myself, is a little afraid of that book because of all the homophobic and other bad things bigots say it contains.

Since when am I one to believe bigots anyway? Isn’t part of their bigotry is the lack of facts in their arguments? If I can get through that book which has the greatest amount of fear for me and still be a theist at the end of it, I’ll consider my faith unshakable. This is contrary to whatever my atheist friend, who called me a Nazi the other day, merely because I’m a believer (but that’s another story I won’t waste time on here) might want have happen instead. Such is life. You don’t always get what you want. I’m pretty sure she’s not going to get what she wants in this case. Of course, I’ll read the book as required. It’s good for me anyway.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Entry 24, Reading Day 21

Chapter 41,

Dear Reader,

This chapter should be called "Joseph saves Egypt". That's basically what happened. If he had been around Egypt would have suffered like everywhere else in the famine. I wonder if God sent messages to the other leaders of the world who didn't have as good of an interpreter as Joseph and therefore their people were victims of the famine. This, of course, we cannot know, as it was not specified. However, I hope, for the sake of them that were outside of Egypt that this was not the case. I hope their were other seers and that they helped their lands get ready, too.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Entry 23, Reading Day 20

Chapter 40
Dear Reader,

I'm very sorry I didn't post yesterday. The time just got away from me. I'm glad this chapter was short. Only 3.5 minutes. That means I can finish posting tonight and not skip another day.

I liked and didn't like this chapter. I was glad when Joseph got to prove his projection abilities, but sad when the baker hanged. It least I hope he'd done something meritorious to receive that punishment (although what that could be I do not know, I'm decidedly anti-capital punishment). I think the butler will be sad that he didn't remember Joseph. I think nothing good can come out of not remembering to mention a falsely imprisoned psychic, much less one that God is on the side off. I think nothing but bad will come to butler and Pharaoh, because of the butler's over site.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Entry 22- Reading Day 19

Chapter 39

Dear Reader,

Yay! We are back with Joseph and the narrative is making more sense! Poor Joseph! I feel awful that his master's wife is rather an evil adulteress who blamed innocent Joseph when she was the one hitting on him. I don't like it when women are blamed in the Bible for talking men into things like men had no minds of there own, but I equally don't like it when women behave poorly. It is poor behavior to commit adultery. Even back in day, I'm sure women who were unhappy left their husbands. More to the point,m this women didn't seem to love or care about Joseph. She just wanted "a little something on the side" as they say back where I'm from. If she had cared about him, she wouldn't have lied about him and had her husband send him to jail!
Good thing for Joseph that the Lord was with him in this trying circumstance! If I ever have to go jail (falsely) on a serious charge, I hope the Lord will be with me.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Entry 21- Reading Day 18

Genesis 36-38

Dear Reader,

I realized I have neglected this blog for over two weeks. Until yesterday I was simply too tired to deal with anything as involved as the bible. Two weeks ago, I was in D.C., as you may know, marching with ADAPT. Then I came home, went to Pride on May 1st where I had a great time marching with my home church, the Belchertown UCC. Following that, I went home and slept for about a week. I could have restarted this blog yesterday, but it seemed inauspicious. I preferred to wait for Mother's Day. As we all know, God is all about honoring mothers. Here, I tend to agree.

In chapter 35, nothing much happened, as far as I could determine. All it contained was a list of who bore whom to whom. I'm not one to criticize God, but in this case, I think God could use an editor. But who am I to say. Maybe that chapter will come back to be important. Although, I can't see how. The only information I might consider vital is that Esau became known as Edom.

Chapter 36 was a bit more interesting. Particularly, if you have ever heard of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Being a musical theater person when I was a kid, I have. I never knew, however, that this was a real story in the bible.

Joseph starts having all these dreams that say he'll be the ruler of everyone someday. His brothers begin to dislike him and his father rebukes him for being so big-headed.

One day, someone (I'm not entirely clear who this someone was) tells Joseph to go and join his brothers taking care of the cattle. He goes to the first place and is told they've moved on. He goes there and things go badly for him. Tired of all his boasting about his dream of being in charge of everything, his brother conspire to hurt him. They cast him into a pit and eventually he's sold into slavery by another tribe of people who find him. In one last unscrupulous act, his brothers even lie to their father about what happened to Joseph. They say a wild animal got him.

Chapter 37 had no connection, as far as I could see, to chapter 36. It tells the story of a completely different person which I was disappointed in because I wanted to know what was going on with Joseph. The more I read the bible, the more it sometimes seems very Ffordeian as in Jasper Fforde of the Thursday Next novels which make very little sense. Mind you, at times, the bible is very lucid. But at other times, you're reading along and suddenly someone who you left several chapters ago appears with no indication of why they're there. Such was the case with chapter 38.

Although, I am still not sure why Judah appeared in this chapter, I know the following facts: Judah's first and second sons were wicked people, so wicked, in fact, that God killed them. I do not understand why God did this when all the second son did was ejaculate prior to penetration so he wouldn't impregnate his dead. brother's wife. I wasn't even clear on why that needed to be mentioned. Secondly, in modern times, we don't consider masturbation a capital offense. Although, Jocelyn Elders was fired for mentioning it. Also, in this chapter, for some reason, Judah accidentally sleeps with his daughter-in-law. This alarmed me for a whole bunch of reasons. First, I don't approve intra-familial sex. I have a stepdad and that's disgusting! I don't care what the law says. It's still wrong and I don't want to think about it. How could he not know? It says that the daughter-in-law had been sent away from his house after his son died, so she could wait for his third brother to become a man and then marry him. I don't care if I haven't seen my stepdad in 10 years. He's still going to know me. She didn't tell him either which I don't understand at all. If my stepdad ever hit on me, not that he would, I would certainly who I was so he would stop. Apparently, her goal was to get over on Judah somehow for reasons I don't know.

This has the most disturbing chapter thus far. It's like watching a really bad soap opera or some reality show. What does any of this have to do with God?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Entry 20

Dear reader,

I thought I wasn't going to post in this blog until I got home and was doing my reading, but I met a guy who deserves his own entry in this blog. His name is Steve and he is a Quaker.

Yesterday, I came to D.C. early to do a War Tax Resistance event, but it was canceled and I didn't know because I don't have email on my phone. I really have to come up with the $180 to pay for that. Then I won't be in these situations. Since the event was canceled, my friend who I was supposed to stay with didn't come in to the city. She thought I knew about it because she sent me an email which I couldn't check. This left me stranded in D.C. with no housing. Just lovely!

However, Steve, the awesome Quaker I mentioned before came through with a credit card because he said he wanted to see disabled people chained to White House correcting Obama's incorrect behavior towards us. I also think it helped that I was helpful to the Quaker meeting house in redesigning their bathroom to make it more accessible. They say the Good Lord works in mysterious ways. Yesterday, he shined on me in the form of Steve. Today he shined on Shaniek a little, I think, because she thought she lost her debit card and I saw her look through every pocket on the wallet, but when she checked again it was there. I don't know if that was a miracle or what, but I'm happy. I was not in the mood to call my mother and ask for money.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Entry 19- reading day 17

Genesis 35

Dear Reader,

I’m pleased that God honored Jacob for being correctly minded and not wishing to attack the town’s men for attacking his daughters. This chapter was (sadly) full of death. Rachel died, and if that wasn’t enough for poor Jacob’s, now renamed Israel, heart’s his father died at the end of the chapter. How much suffering can one heart even bare!

I know a lot about suffering and loss, so I understand Israel’s plight. Still, he seemed to doing alright and I am gaining even more foreshadowing that his son Joesph is the Joseph, as in father of Jesus husband of Mary. This is because the place they went to is named Bethel as in (I think) Bethlehem.

I will try to get up early tomorrow, so I can do chapter 36 before departing. Something in me feels called to do it, for reason’s unknown to me. We will see how the morning goes with all the other tasks of packing, rechecking, and getting meds. I hope they’re will be time. One shouldn’t ignore the stirrings of the spirit when it is upon thee.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Entry 18- reading day 16

Genesis 34

Dear Reader,

There was a lot of revenge in this chapter, because some prince defiled Dinah (a daughter of Jacob) and her brothers killed all in that man's city in revenge. I understand revenge and being angry over such happenings, but really to murder an entire town's worth of people, because of one bad man's action, seems a bit much. That's like me murdering every able-bodied man I see to make up for my bio dad's poor example of the specimen. Although at times, I've been tempted I've never ever done this sort of thing. I am happy to report that Jacob agreed with me and rebuked his sons for their actions.

I know that I will not finish Genesis before I go. I aim only to finish one more verse, before embarking on a week of activism. There may be new entries to this blog, as activism has been known to bring me closer to the holy (in my opinion). But of that I give no word.

Chapter 35 tomorrow. I apologize for my slowness!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Entry 17 - reading day 15

Genesis 33

Dear Reader,

I've been having a bad day, so I was pleased that this was indeed a small chapter I was happy that Esau and Jacob were reunited and that Esau followed what would have been my lead in terms of receiving Jacob, had I been in his shoes. I am even more clear after this verse that Jacob likes Rachel best, because he put her last on the meeting line. So that if Esau attacked he might kill everyone else first and spare her. Thankfully, this didn't happen.

I have a suspicion that Jacob is planning something wicked, though. I don't know why it's just a feeling. Perhaps I am suspicious because of his poor behavior towards his brother in the past. I really hope I'm wrong.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Entry 16 - reading day 14

Genesis 32

Dear Reader,

I have set a goal for myself to finish Genesis by the time I go to D.C.I figure I will leave the feared Leviticus until after I come back from back and am emotionally capable of processing it. I hope it's like Lot's Daughters whose story was capable of being interpreted because God saved them from being raped. Although, I admit it looks like Lot would have allowed this had God not intervened in the form of angels.

I think Leviticus will be the greatest test to my faith in the entire book. I'll miss you all when I'm gone. Writing this blog has been an amazing experience so far. Even when I'm really tired, I still have to write because, after all, who lies about God or things there are going to in reference to him. Some people might, but I'm not one of them.

Chapter 32 was the story of how Jacob wrestled with the angel. I vaguely knew this story from childhood churchgoing. But I'm not sure if, as Jacob assumed, the angel was actually God. I always thought it was just a random angel sent by God. The story is open to either interpretation.

I was also somewhat alarmed that Jacob was afraid that Esau would come to kill him upon his return. I know Jacob did some bad things to him as I've mentioned and if I were Esau I would be pretty angry too. That being said, after 20 years of not knowing if someone is alive or dead (had there been no communication) I think I would just be glad my brother was alive. Never mind what he'd done before. I hope Esau shares my opinion. We shall see.

In order to keep up with the goal I mentioned in the first paragraph. I need to read 17 more chapters by Wednesday as I leave for Boston early Thursday. That's 5 chapters a night. That's a lot considering I've only been doing 1.

Wish me luck. Onward! Onward!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Entry 15 - reading day 13

Genesis 31

Dear Reader,

I think this chapter may be pivotal in the bible because Jacob is returning to his biological family after 20 years of absence during which he was living in his father-in-law's house. I'm not even aware if his parents know he is still alive, although I'm hoping he managed to message them somehow so they wouldn't worry.

The reaction of Laban upon finding his daughter's grandchildren and Jacob gone without a word is much more typical of modern parent. He pursued them in order to ascertain what hap happened and why no one told him. This reaction seemed much more typical.

I do not like that Rachel, one of his daughters, stole things from Laban's house and then used the fact that she had her period to stop him from discovering the items. Nothing good can ever come from stealing anything, especially not from your parents. I don't care how mad you are or how much you think they have wronged you. And they may have indeed wronged you. It's still a bad thing to do. I found this out when I contemplated (although I never completed this action) stealing my mother's credit card and using it run away to California and pay for the summer I planned to spend there as part of my coming out process. If I had done this in modern times, I would have been arrested by the police. Goodness knows what would have happened in biblical times. Perhaps a beheading. Neither one of those is high on my life to-do lists.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Entry 14- reading day 12

Genesis 30

Dear Reader,

What I am wondering after reading this chapter is 1) why were Rachel and Lea so obsessed with giving Jacob children that they encouraged him to sleep with the handmaids? Personally, I think Lea should have just giving Jacob up, because it's obvious, he didn't want her, but rather her sister. It's kind of like Like Water for Chocolate in that way. Personally, I'd rather be alone than force myself on someone.

But than I am a modern woman and these were far from such. I guess back in the day all a woman had was her man and children and even if someone must be forced to marry her it was better than in being alone. Did I mention how glad I was to be born in 1976 rather than Before Christ?

The second thing I'm curious about is why several verses of a Bible chapter were devoted to cows, of all things. The Bible is a very important book, why spend quite a long time talking about cows, hardly a worthy subject for such an important book.

The last thing I noticed was that one sons was named Joseph. Is that the Joseph, as in Mary and Joseph. If so, that section makes a little more sense. Still curious about the cows, though.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Entry 13 - reading day 11

Genesis 29

Dear Reader,

Once again, I’ve had a long day, but my taxes are finally done. I’m happy to report that my strategy of war tax resistance by receipt keeping worked again and I do not owe the Feds a dime. I’m also pleased that chapter 29 was short as I am again tired.

I was disheartened to see that Jacob kept being rewarded for being deceitful. Although in the end he got his comeuppance because he was first not by his intention married to Lea. Her father thought he should marry her because she was the oldest even though he was in love with the younger sister and had made arrangements to marry her after his seven of servitude to her father.

He then committed to seven more years of servitude so he could also marry Rachel, the younger sister he was in love with. I felt sorry for Lea. First off, she had to share a husband with her sister which is never comfortable I can imagine. Secondly, she had to know the only reason he was her husband in the first place was that her father had tricked her into becoming so. Personally, given those choices I’d rather be alone.

I also think that it’s a bit strange how much polygamy occurs in the bible which most of the modern faithful condemn. I’m not a fan of polygamy myself. I think it tends to be on the whole misogynistic as a lifestyle. I also find it weird that Jacob had apparently went off to seek a wife and served fourteen years as a servant in some strange man’s house without, at least that we are told, getting word to his parents of his situation. I don’t know about you, but if my son went off to find a wife and never came back, I would think something horrible happened to him.

But what was Jacob to do? In those days, they didn’t have the postal service, AT&T, or email. Perhaps also he sent them a message and the writer just didn’t think to write it down.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Entry 12 - reading day 10

Genesis 28

Dear Reader,
I must admit that today I was glad that the chapter was short (less than four minutes on audio book) because honestly I don't think I could have withstood a long chapter. I spent all day at the IRS, the Department of Revenue, or various meetings and I'm at the moment a very tired person. Still, I did not feel I could shirk my agreed upon duty to this blog and my readers.

Nothing much happened in Chapter 28 except that Jacob was (for some reason) afraid of God. The only reason I can think of for him to be afraid is that of being punished for being deceitful to his brother twice. I theorize that he thinks (which is in my opinion not a bad assumption) that God would not endorse this behavior. The other thing I found interesting in the Chapter is that Isaac does not seem to be enthused with his first son's bridal choice. This is the second time this has come up, and I can't see what's wrong with the girl. Nothing has been mentioned so far.

So I'm waiting to see what I'll see. As of right now, I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Entry 11 - reading day 9

Genesis 27

Dear Reader,

I was horrified to learn that Jacob deceived Esau, for the second time. It was even worse this because Rebeka, the mother of both helped them. Still more problems with having a favorite child. I do not know what happens next, as I have never read these verse. However, I fear it can't be good. As rivalries in the Bible don't end well typically.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Entry 10 - reading day 8

Genesis 25 & 26

Dear Reader,

In chapter 25, there was much discussion of how Esau and Jacob had sibling rivalry. This rivalry was supported by the parents, because the each claimed a favorite Esau was Isaac’s while Rebecca liked Jacob best. In modern parenting, having a “favorite” child is discouraged, because it leads to unbalanced people, but back in the day not so much was known about psychology. The result of this is that Jacob tricked Esau into giving up his rights as first born so that Jacob would feed him when he was hungry. This was hardly brotherly and I have a feeling the ramification of this action going to come up soon.

In chapter 26, again the issue came up of someone (Isaac) claiming his wife was his sister. And poor old Abimelech was the victim again. At least, he didn’t try to claim Rebecca as his own, as he had with Sarah. You would think husbands would learn by now to stop asking their wives to lie about martial status. I’ve counted three times now and I’m only half way through book 1. And it’s not like it ever works out well or every that any man has tried to harm the husbands, it’s just that the husbands are afraid of that.

In yet another plot twist I see coming up, Esau’s parents (neither of them) like his choice of wife. I don’t know what’s wrong with the woman, just had they are “grieved” by the choice. I do know, however, that’s it’s not good to have your parents dislike your mate. That was true then and is true now.

I’m proud of myself for hanging in with the Bible thus far. Today is my midway marker through the first book. Sadly, I counted today and there are 66 books! I’ll be involved with this project until 2011 at least, even if I read a chapter per day.

But I have other things going on. I figure God doesn’t mind how long it takes me, as long as I do it and I’m faithful and honest in my reporting of it. Happy to report, I’m not an atheist. This reading has actually served to affirm my faith. I can almost see my atheist friend cringing at those words, but it’s true. I will not write anything I see as untrue here. It would defeat the purpose.

The second half of Genesis awaits. “Onward, onward,” said the overeager lay theologian, before realizing she had other work to do and an early morning.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Entry 9 - reading day7

Genesis 24

Dear Readers,

What a day, I had! My conference finished. I lost and found both my ATM and food stamp cards (boo- lost, yay found). I went to a work meeting and therefore had to miss my friend's live show of Jesus Christ, Superstar (which I really wanted to see, for both myself and because I thought it would interesting to comment on as a tie in here).

My atheist friend sent me an article about atheist clergy. I think interesting. I also think that they are hypocrites. If I didn't believe something you be for damn sure I wouldn't be telling other people to for any reason. That's simply inexcusable in my book. Martina don't play that! Note, if your life is in danger, it's okay to lie so that you survive, but not otherwise. Imagine how people will feel when they disclose? I honestly (and this is awful, but honest) think I would have a hard time interacting with them after such deception, for any reason.

In chapter 24, nothing really happened. Abraham's servant went and found Rebekah, who married Isaac. It was an arranged marriage. Such things always make me uncomfortable, but she had the option very clearly stated. Whatever floats your boat. People still do it in modern times in some places. I wouldn't, but I'm no judge Or at least I try not to be.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Entry 8 - reading day 6

Genesis 23

Dear Reader,

Nothing much happened in chapter 23. It was nice break from all the goings on of earlier chapters. Sarah died and that was sad. That event really humanized Abraham to me. I've been in the situation of mourning too many times.

I just had an incite. God asked Abraham to sacrifice Issac and people (understandably) horrified, but in the end Issac was spared. When God sacrificed Jesus (his own son) no universal force spared him. I think this is an example of not asking some to do something you yourself wouldn't endure. I try to do the same thing with my employees. I expect them to be no tougher or more enduring than I. I happy to report that God operates on the same fairness principals.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Entry 7 - reading day 5

Genesis 22

Dear Reader,

I am not going to read much this weekend, as I have a conference. My goal is to get through one verse a day for Friday to Sunday. Today it was the story of Abraham and Isaac. First off, let me say that I do not know if I would’ve had the stomach to obey God in such matters.

One should, I realize, attempt to follow God’s instructions, but it would be hard for me as parent. Moreover, unlike Abraham, who opted not to inform Isaac of what happening, I would have told my child about the Lord’s decree simply because I would felt that they had a right no to know what was happening with and to them. I, personally think that 1) Abraham was afraid he wouldn’t be able to go through with it if he had to look at Isaac and tell him directly and 2) that the boy would run away in fear and therefore bring about God’s wrath into Abraham’s house.

While I consider both reasons valid, I still would have told Isaac. I would have no option to believe that I’d raised the boy incorrectly so that he would run away and therefore bring God’s wrath into my house (and his own, by default). I would also trust that he knew that I believed in my soul that the Lord wanted me to do with a very heavy heart. If Isaac were my son and didn’t believe these two things I would think I had failed as a parent.

The last I would like to comment on today is the similarity between this story and that of Odysseus, Odysseus didn’t want to serve in the Trojan War and tried to pretend to be mentally ill. Palamedes who sent to evaluate Odysseus ‘s sanity, was very intelligent and placed Telemachus, Odysseus' son, in front of the plow. Odysseus veered the plow, so as not to kill his son and revealed his sanity, then left for the Trojan War.

Odysseus tried to be deceitful and shirk his duty, but Abraham obeyed his with, as I’ve said, a heavy heart to be sure. Abraham was rewarded for his faith and Odysseus was separated from his family for 20 years (10 at war, 10 lost at sea). I guess it’s better to just do what you’re supposed to do in terms of duty most times.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Entry 6 - reading day 4

Genesis 21

Dear Reader,
I was again saddened by that fact that Sarah, Abraham wife was, mean to her servant Hagar and the son Ishmael whom it was her idea to have conceived so that Abraham could have an heir . Being a modern woman, I can how this would percent a problem, especially after Sarah bore Isaac. One sees it today, as more and more get remarried and have kids with different women. First wives are often jealous due their ex-husbands more children and therefore lowering their own offspring's inheritance.

Still, I would hope that if I were in Sarah’s shoes, I wouldn’t stoop so low as to banish my servant and (here is the part I find truly horrifying) her child to the dessert to die. But one never know what one will do in a jealous fit, can one?

Hagar was lucky that God and his angels were there in their hour of need to be of assistance. Otherwise it wouldn’t have turned out well for them.

On Philistines, I was always thought these were brutish, mean-spirited people, but they don’t seem to be that way in this verse. Maybe I’m wrong or just misinformed (as my atheist friend was about Lot’s daughters), but for now Abimelech and his followers seem okay to me. We will see…

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Entry 5 - reading day 3

Genesis 19 & 20

Dear Reader,

Today was a poor reading day, only two verses and one was a repeat. I reread verse 19 in order get some perspective on the whole incest question. Perhaps it was a misguided sense of "honoring your father" by Lot's daughters. Of course, no knowing father would find such action honorable. Still, it makes sense, in a very twisted way.

I read verse 20 and was struck by the repeated action that keeps occurring in the work. That is men who claim their wives are their sisters, and get into issues due to it. You'd think they'd learn... Sarah actually almost committed bigamy with Abimelech, the king and Abraham were guests of. Can you imagine? Lucky it all worked out and there was no war like over Helen of Troy!

As I am reading the Bible, I must admit to readers that I've committed my first Bible related sin. As you know, this whole reading idea is due to my atheist friend and was more than a little ticked that she told me that Lot's daughters were raped, when, in fact, they were not and no person even touched them inappropriately that I read.

When said athiest friend wrote of my post yesterday "In the theoretical case that the story as reported happened". Does my friend think I would lie, willingly, about God? Then she is no friend. But I myself didn't act like a friend, either. En route to tax preparation, I stopped at the Newman Center to make 2 copies of the verse in question. Therefore, I was late to tax preparation and delayed in my evenings invents, as a result.
Note to self: One must not commit the sin of pride in terms of reading the Good Book. Even when one is tempted to gloat at being right, as I sadly was.

What am I doing in this blog? My other agnostic assistant seems to be of the opinion that the Bible must be rejected as a work or accepted wholly with all it's flaws. In her mind, there seems to no way to reinterpret the book. I'm lucky that I go to the UCC (United Church of Christ) and we see the book as living document, malleable as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King says, as "Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice." I, myself, view the book as a tool for that. It's, in my opinion, a big tool for liberation.

I think that if more people were exposed to the UCC model of biblical critique, there would be fewer atheist. It's what we do. We reinterpret, discuss, argue nicely (most times), and try to walk with God. I am going to try to fulfill that role. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Entry 4 - reading day 2

Genesis 16-19

Dear Reader,

Today I did not read a lot. I only read until Genesis 1:20. That’s only four chapters, but I learned a lot. Firstly, I learned that Abram became Abraham and Seirei became Sarah. I didn’t know this was the case, but I do know the story of Abraham and Isaac. Every person who has been in a Church at any point in their life knows that I think.

I have given my atheist friend a lot of credit and valued her to be an honest person. However, for years she’s been telling me that Lot allowed random men to rape his daughters. As I just read that section (Genesis 1:18) in my complete unabridged Bible Torrent, I can say that this is not the case. I hope that my friend is just confused. I can actually point to the verse and say, “Here’s the verse. Listen to it. Where does this crime actually happen?”

I know that he offered for that to happen, but I don’t think he was serious. I think he was trying to convince his neighbors of how ridiculous they were being to attack his visitors by offering something even more outlandish than attacking random strangers. I don’t know if it was sarcasm or not, but I do know it didn’t happen because the strangers pulled him back in the house and told him to take his daughters and sons-in-law and his sons and theirs wives out of the city.

My assistant made a good point. She said that perhaps my atheist friend meant that Lott was evil because he was going to allow his daughters to be raped unless the angels intervened. If that’s the case, than yes, Lot’s a bad man.

But, also at the same time, shouldn’t we be rejoicing that the intervening of someone happened to avoid this horrible situation? For myself, I have at times thought to do really horrible things (more times than I care to admit I thought about doing said awful things to others, often in fits of sheer, mindless, rage. Luckily, I been intervened with so as not to do those things. Of course, looking back on it later, I asked myself, “What was I thinking?” So maybe that’s what happened to Lott. Maybe he had moment of absolute panic and was going to do something so absolutely evil, when (lucky for his soul, in my opinion) the angels stopped him.

I must also inquire as to why in the next verse his daughters decided of their own accord to sleep with him and make him so drunk he wouldn’t know about it. From an epidemiological perspective, I didn’t know men could get that drunk and still have an erection. As a health educator, I’m pretty sure they can’t. So perhaps Lott was the real instigator in those relationships (also a really evil occurrence) or perhaps none of them are that psychologically well as people.

People who opt to break the incest taboo, either way, generally are not. All I can say is: I would never under any circumstances endeavor to sleep with my father for any reason. I honestly don’t know why anyone who was rationally sane at the time would do this.

I’ll keep pondering tomorrow. Onward, onward!

Thoughts on Adam and Eve...

Dear Reader,

This my first non-reading related entry. I want to comment on something I said yesterday "Apparently, this knowledge is the reason that women were subjugated to men in this earlier time. It was Eve's idea after all and Adam just went along with it (which I think makes him kind of dumb). That's like when I was a kid. If my brother did something he wasn't supposed to do, I couldn't get out of being in trouble if I went along with it because he was doing it too. That wouldn't fly at my house."

On Eve, I realize that it's not fair to blame and subjugate an entire gender because of one person's action. But how often do the actions of one or a few people cause rules to be changed in ways that harm an entire populace. As I student, when other children in my class acted up and we were punished as a group, I still needed to endure the punishment.

As someone who employs personal care assistants (PCA), I regret the fact that my employees can now no longer go to pick up their checks at my fiscal intermediary's office when I'm away. This used to be allowed, but a few assistants (other people's and, sadly, one of my own who quickly became my ex employee)took advantage of the situation by doing untoward things such as committing fraud by signing their employer's name on falsified time sheets. As a result, no PCA is able to pick up their checks anymore. They must now barrow their employer's mailbox key (if this is allowed), wait for them to return from from traveling, or (my preference) get direct deposit. Most PCA's clearly did not engage in this wrong-headed behavior, yet they still suffered for it.

On Adam, through out history people have always gotten caught up in doing things because other people did them or endorsed it. From getting tattoos, to driving drunk to engaging in wars. Every child who wants to do something his or her parents don't like knows better than to say "I want to x because y is doing it." Their parent will say "if y jumped off a bridge would you do it,too?"

As an American activist, I'm horrified by the number of massacres, crimes, wars, and other generally poor decisions that result because people don't stand up against things we know in and of ourselves to be wrong. We don't vote the way we feel because we don't want to annoy friends who don't share our principals, we don't do certain activism because it would upset our families/friends/colleagues.

Some times this ideology gets way out of hand. Take the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam. I'm sure that many soldiers knew what was occurring was wrong, but felt they had no power to stop it.

Moreover, consider the Matthew Shepard murder I feel Matthew would still be alive had Russell Henderson, who I believe to be the less capable in murder, let Aaron McKinney drop him off at home, locked his door, and run to the phone to call 911 so they could go get Matthew off that fence. He might be disabled, but he'd be alive.

Think of it, how many of as have done things that we later realize are ill advised if not patently idiotic? How many of us didn't realize the true ramifications of our actions? I know I can't be the only person have followed a friend/loved one down a bad path, but not realized exactly how bad or exactly how many people would be harmed until way too late. I think the same thing happened to Adam, and as a result to the rest of humanity. In truth, I don't think he or Eve really thought about they were doing or its ramifications.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Entry 3 - reading day 1

Genesis 1-15

Dear Reader,

I shall not try to listen to the Bible for more than one hour. I did it I think for about one hour and 10 minutes today. After one hour my mind, I admit started to wonder and I could no longer focus. I am only at Genesis 1:16. It was very intriguing to me, through. The language is just beautiful!

I figure if I need to take until June or July to finish it and absorb all the content God won't mind. It's taken me 33 years to read the book. Almost 34 as of May 29th. Who cares if I finish it when I'm 34 and two months?

Things I noticed when I was reading the Bible. It kept saying "men was made in our likeness". Who is the "our"? I thought God was alone. That's interesting. I like the phrase, "the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night." I think that's a very pretty way to describe the sun and the moon.

I was a bit saddened of course by the way man acquired the knowledge of good and evil. We would have been much better off if we'd never known about evil (obviously). Apparently, this knowledge is the reason that women were subjugated to men in this earlier time. It was Eve's idea after all and Adam just went along with it (which I think makes him kind of dumb). That's like when I was a kid. If my brother did something he wasn't supposed to do, I couldn't get out of being in trouble if I went along with it because he was doing it too. That wouldn't fly at my house.

I was happy to notice that God appeared to be anti-capital punishment. When Cain murdered Abel, God said that no one should murder him as a result. And, in fact, if they did he would punish them seven times over. This apparently changed because he told Noah that if anyone spilled anyone else's blood they would also shed blood. But, of course, that doesn't mean you're murdered.

The thing I don't understand is why did God need a version 2.0 of humanity? I suppose if we hadn't learned about good and evil we wouldn't have done really horrible things. Still, on the whole, I'm glad free will exists even if some people do really messed up things with it. I guess it's the job of the rest of us to regulate that because God said to Noah that no matter what we did there wouldn't be a version 3.0 and he would never make another flood that covered all the Earth.

Thoughts on God's bow. God said to Noah that he would make his bow across the sky so that he would remember that he promised us not to flood Earth again no matter what we did. I had the brief thought that this was a rainbow.

I'm also a bit stunned by what sort of behavior must have been being committed by humanity in order to cause God to flood the Earth. That's like disowning your kid. Unless my kid is a pedophile or murderer, I'm not going to do that. I imagine God must have felt the same way.

I did think that the way Canaan was punished by his father for seeing him naked was severe. I suppose though it's a lesson that you really shouldn't gossip about people in distressed situations and should help them instead like his brothers did. This is especially true, I imagine, if the person in question is your dad.

The last serious thing I wonder about is whether the Israelite had problems with Pharaoh because someone whose name I can't recall (there are so many people in this book, and I'm still on book one) lied to the Pharaoh and said that his wife was his sister. He did this because his wife was beautiful and he thought that men would try to kill him just to be with her. I wonder if this lie was the actual instigation of the future problems with Pharaoh for all of humanity. Note to self: It's never good to lie.

I wonder what other people think about this? I guess I'll have to see when I read more tomorrow.

One final thing I noticed that I found funny was that Nimrod is a derogatory word nowadays. It means idiot. But, the Nimrod of the Bible was "a mighty hunter". I guess even the mighty fall, at least verbally.

Tomorrow my goal is to actually finish Genesis, but I will stop if I lose focus.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Entry 2- Easter Late Night

Dear Reader,

I tried to read the Bible for an hour as promised to both you and the Lord. However, the copy I downloaded only had the New Testament. As a per the terms of my wager, I need to start at the beginning and read until the end so I can be fully exposed. Starting at Matthew is cheating and who cheats about God?

I'm know downloading the whole thing in torrent. It's 41.1% done as I type. I'll do two hours tomorrow to make up for it and I stay on track. One disturbing thing about the little bit of Matthew I listened to, before I got wise to the tomfoolery and got a complete version. The book says "so and so beget so and so and he beget so and so." The only mention of a woman in any of the "begetting" was that she was the first wife of some of man before she had a child with the man mentioned in the "begetting" section.

I call that sexist, but those were different times and I don't fault them, but I do plan to call out sexism and oppressive behavior when I see it in this or any other book. I may be a late beginning theologian in training, but I'm definitely a feminist, queer, disabled one 100% of the time.

Entry 1- Easter Morning

Dear Reader,

I'm supposed to be at Easter Sunday services at the Belchertown United Church of Christ (UCC), but inner ear stuff and not feeling so hot for reasons I can't pin down have me off my game and up a little too late to go. I woke up at six, feeling fine, but didn't get up.

Note to self and others: if you wake up within an hour of your alarm feeling fine, just rise out of the bed and get going. I didn't do that and when I woke up with the alarm, I wasn't feeling good anymore. Therefore, no Easter services in 2010. Sorry, Jesus!

The purpose of this blog is to settle a sort of bet. My atheist friend/ sometimes employee swears that I also will become an atheist if I read The Good Book cover to cover. I think she's wrong. But, I am honest to a fault, and if (in fact) I do become one, she knows I won't lie to just to win.

It being Easter, I decided the perfect time time to start this undertaking was today. I got up, put on my pretty Easter outfit and sat at the computer to start typing. I figure I'm honoring God in my own way.

My reading the Good Book was supposed to start January 1, 2010, but I had editorial deadlines (I'm a writer), activism, and things that kept getting in the way. I also wasn't comfortable writing in my nice, white, hardcover Bible. I don't like writing in any book, much less that one! It just feels disrespectful!

In order to complete this project, I will try to read the Bible for one hour a day, via audio book and be in front of my computer for note taking purposes . I think should have me completing the work by May 4th, my mother's birthday, also- to my mind- very appropriate.

This blog will contain the following, I care fairly safely assume. 1) reactions to that day's reading, 2) poetry and stories I create (because that's what I do), 3) any Bible/faith related activism I get involved with, and 4) responses to comments.

Please note, I will leave most comments up, but if you swear or are plainly rude away your comment will go. Know that in advance and don't do it!
I will post my second entry today after reading my first Bible hour. Again, Happy Easter!