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!