Thursday, October 13, 2005

Tossing out the changeling with the bath water

The truth is rarely pure and never simple at No Concept of Liberty reminds us of the delightful tale retold in Judges 19:

the first guy pushes his concubine out of the house and the mob gang-rape her through the night. By the time morning comes, the concubine is one the verge of death. She collapses on the floor outside the house, with one hand on the threshold. When her husband discovers her in this state, and when she does not give any response when he tells her to get up, he loads her onto his donkey and heads home. Thereafter, he cuts her body up into twelve pieces and sends one piece to each tribe of Israel.

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(Graphic depiction courtesy of The Brick Testament)

He concludes:

So really the correct response when reading these things is not to try to argue them away by explaining how they are really about showing hospitality or whatever. The correct response is to regard them as the rabid tales of some barbaric ancient tribe and then toss them out of the window.

Some might argue that the passage ends with the words: "Everyone who saw it said, 'Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Think about it! Consider it! Tell us what to do!'" (NIV), which is hardly approving of the deed. Yet, the mere fact that the conclusion of this sordid tale is absent of any trace of moral condemnation at all is a deafening indictment, considering how verbose the Old Testament is about condemning sin or what JHVH finds distasteful.

The problem, then, is deciding which bits of scripture to keep, and which to dump. For if everyone starts dumping the bits of the bible that they dislike or find repulsive, different people will have different views about which parts are veracious, and no one will have any idea who is right. In the final analysis, what's to stop you from throwing the whole thing out of the window?

Which is one of the main reasons why fundies decide to keep everything, and explain it away with intellectual suicide.

Far better, I think, to toss out the changeling with the bath water and find a real human.

(Cross-posted to Balderdash)


Anonymous juljul said...

hey guys! i haven't been here for a while... there are contributors??? hm.......... ok~

I love this blogspot thing.. look thay have the word verification to block the spam.. how nice~

btw that pic is SICK~

Sunday, October 16, 2005 7:52:00 AM  
Blogger jeffyen said...

hehe, the picture is only as 'sick' as Judges 19 portrays it to be. Brick Testament is quite an interesting Lego website... ;)

Interestingly, I also used Judges 19 to discuss about homosexuality and the Sodom story, in this entry with rather long comments...

Amy, you can be a contributor toooo...;p

Sunday, October 16, 2005 7:40:00 PM  
Blogger Ruok said...

jus stumbled upon this blog, and I think its pretty cool.

I went to read the whole story and maybe its just me, but I thought the moral of the story was in the last verse of the book, "In those days there was no king in Israel, everyone did what was right in his own eyes."

Which if you think about it, is kinda like a sign of our time now.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 3:16:00 PM  

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