Tuesday, October 11, 2011

God As Deadbeat Dad

Thinking about God's first wife has led me to consider just what a lousy father and husband He is.

When God split with his first wife, Asherah, he had his lawyers (the Levites) denounce her as a whore and demon - remarkably similar to how divorce attorneys behave now.
She had a hard time after the breakup.
Fast forward a few hundred years and we find a bachelor God, like Charlie Sheen, with the hots for some farmer's daughter. He uses a pick up line that so lame only a god could get away with ("Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb."). I mean, really!

He knocks her up and what does he do? Nothing. He doesn't marry her; there is no child support. If it wasn't for her dimwitted boyfriend (more on Joseph later) she'd been in tough shape. As it was she gave birth in a fucking barn filled with horse shit.

God's a dad, but there were no father-son chats. No "with great power comes great responsibilities" lecture. Jesus had to figure things out for himself. When he made mistakes and got arrested was dad there to bail him out? Nope. God didn't even send one of his divorce lawyers to represent him in court.
With a good lawyer he'd have gotten off with a warning.
So, what about Joseph? When Mary did the nasty with God she was engaged to the village carpenter. When Mary found out she was pregnant she told Joseph that she had been sleeping with the Creator of the universe. And he believed her. He raised the kid has his own, even giving him his name (Joshua ben Joseph). What happened to Joseph? He disappears. We don't know if he died or found out that Mary was a slut and left her. There was no sainthood for Joseph until 1870.  He's a patron saint of doubt (true story).

Allah's Daughters
Islam's God is no better than the Christian God. When Mohammad began preaching the Arabic god, Allah, had a wife and three daughters. Allah was the moon god, a source maintained in the Islamic crescent moon, and the top god in the Arabic pantheon. His wife was the sun goddess, Atthar. Their daughters, Al-Lat (morning star), Al-Uzza (patron goddess of Mecca), and Manat (evening star) were all high goddesses.

But Mohammad liked the loneliness of the Jewish bachelor god so he gave Allah a divorce and the daughters were abandoned to waste away in the sands of the desert. The Satanic Verses that were originally written into the Koran mention Allah's daughters. They were later expunged as the work of the devil.

God's Wife

I happened on biblical scholar Dr. Francesca Stavrakopoulou on the BBC today as she was discussing the notion that God had a wife who has been scrubbed from the Bible.

In ancient Hebrew God was the original "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named." You could call him "Lord" or by his initials (YHWH). Of his various pseudonyms one, curiously, is plural. 

Elohim, meaning multiple "gods," is one of the earliest titles given the Hebrew God. Psalm 82 shows Him as the chairman of the board on a committee of gods. Later monotheistic preachers have had to twist the bible into knots explaining how the word "gods" does not, in fact, refer to gods.

Hidden away in the dark recesses of the Old Testament is the name Asherah. A fertility goddess, she shows up occasionally as an object of worship in the Hebrew temple.

One school of thought is that in early Old Testament times there was a struggle between Elohim priests who worshiped a god family and Yahweh priests who insisted on a single, masculine patriarch god. The Genesis creation story, for example, is told twice. Once from an all powerful single god perspective and again from a collective polytheistic, "in our image" perspective.

Eventually, the monotheists won. God got a divorce and has been an bachelor deity ever since.
Ironically, when gentiles got a hold of the religion they restored polytheism with an urban jungle of angels and devils, saints and demons.  While God had sex a farm girl and made the Virgin Mary a goddess he didn't do the right thing by her and so Christians are forced to venerate her as an unwed mother.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Jesus/Osiris Connection

A lot of ink has been invested in making the case that the Jesus story is a repackaging of the story of Osiris. Basically, Osiris was a god who died and was reborn although how many similarities you find depends on your interested in the subject or how freaked out you are by the concept that Jesus was a phony.

One book I've read speculated that Jesus rigged the whole resurrection scene as a deliberate effort to claim to be the reincarnation of Osiris as the Osiris Cult was strong in the Eastern Mediterranean but that he died of his wounds before he could pull off the whole scheme. (I can't actually find that book now that I'm looking for it but, trust me, it's out there somewhere.)

For me, my favorite telling of an Osiris tale is from the TV show Stargate SG-1.

Sure, the historic Osiris was a male deity, but Anna-Louise Plowman is sexier and they do explain the sex change.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Passover Science

Scientists believe they have natural answers for the ten plagues of Egypt. The theory is that an eruption of the Santorini volcano could explain most everything.
Santorini erupted massively about 3600 years ago, shattering the island of Thera. The effects of that explosion is still readily apparent today (see above). Geologic evidence shows that a tsunami similar to the Japanese tsunami of 2011 raked across the Eastern Mediterranean. The tsunami would have flowed up the Nile for miles.
I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood ~ Exodus 7:17
The first plague is a well know phenomena called "red tide," caused by a poison producing algae brought up the Nile by the tsunami. It would suffocate fish and a lack of oxygen would force frogs onto the land (plague #2). Plus all the dead fish will cause the gnat (plague #3) and biting fly (plague #4) populations to explode. Plagues 5 and 6, disease among livestock and boils among Egyptians, would naturally follow a plague of biting flies.

Fine dust from the eruption could cause a destructive hailstorm (plague #7) by the same principle behind cloud seeding. The plague of darkness (number 9) would have certainly occurred as the ash cloud covered the sky and blotted out the sun.

We are left with only two remaining plagues. Volcanoes do not cause locust. But locust swarms are common in the Sahara Desert and the same ash caused rains that bombarded Egyptian crops with hail could have triggered a locust metamorphosis.
So now we have only one remaining plague. Number ten is the death of the first born and the passing over of Israelite houses in this death. The answer here may, in fact, be the unleavened bread of Passover.

One theory is that, with all the rain and locust, the Egyptians stored their wet grain indoors where a deadly mold grew on it. The Egyptians use of yeast then cultured the mold. While the firstborn ate the freshest, contaminated, bread the other children would eat older bread without the mold. Because the Israelites baked their bread without yeast the mold didn't grown to deadly concentrations.