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.