Archive for Leviticus

Sowing Seeds of Holy Hatred

Posted in belief, Bible, faith, random, religion, scriptures, Social with tags , , , , , , on April 22, 2013 by chouck017894

The majority of people in any of the world’s cultures have never had the freedom to avoid exposure to all the priest-compiled holy scriptures before they were allowed to determine for themselves what is truly worthy of their belief.  For the most part we all grow up in a culture in which standards of belief are crammed upon us from every side even before we might eventually try to read through the texts that are offered as “holy truth.”  By then a person has already been coached and cajoled and indoctrinated into what is emphatically presented as superior belief, so any consultation of “holy” texts that one eventually carries out is usually but an attempt to justify some particular thread of belief.  This is glaringly  epitomized by the rants and judgments of the dogmatists and fanatics of all faith systems.

Such a means of teaching some prescribed spiritual understanding is clearly the well-cultivated (and fertilized) seed-ground for practices of hatred, not true spiritual enlightenment.  That tendency to justify hatred toward some differences in approaching the unknown is met early-on in the Old Testament book of Genesis, for even God is depicted as getting riled up and fuming with hatred over the trespassing upon the landscape feature of his garden by an inexperienced, blameless couple.  The two newly created beings were allegedly subjected to godly intolerance for not comprehending God’s vague rules regarding two forbidden trees.  We are left wondering how could two newly created life forms have any way of comprehending what God’s threat of death meant?  Either the pair had never been intended to have eternal life anyway, or else God is not omniscient (all-Knowing).

Every priest-conceived holy book of any culture contains some hate fueled elements within them, but the priest-composed book of Leviticus, which was jammed unceremoniously between the story-lines of the Israelites alleged wanderings in Exodus and Numbers is probably the most shameless counseling of hate-mongering in Judaic/Christian scriptures.  As a result of legitimizing hatred, the dogmatists and fanatics love to use the Bible as their weapon of intolerance against any human tendency that offends some faith system’s ego-dream of special favor. 

In the main, all “laws” presented in Leviticus are crude, shamelessly prejudicial and insensitive, for they were designed solely for the purpose of establishing uncontested priestly authority over the people under the pretext of godly installation.  A few of the Leviticus truths include:  It is an abomination to eat pork; likewise God supposedly forbids the eating of shellfish such as lobsters (Lev.10); drinking milk is a no-no; and God is allegedly offended by any clothing made of mixed fibers; etc.  And showing that the priest-authors really knew what they were talking about, verse 5 of chapter eleven forbids the eating of the coney “…because he cheweth the cud.”  The coney of the verse implies a rabbit, especially an Old World species, which certainly does not regurgitate from its stomach to chew again.  The authors probably really meant the hyrax, as was later corrected in Deuteronomy 14:7. 

Placed as the book of Leviticus is between the books of Exodus and Numbers, the priest-authors virtually thumbed their noses at the commandment given to Moses against killing, and devoted the bulk of chapter 20 to a list of offences for which God allegedly encouraged killing!  Indeed, in this holy book there are claimed to be twenty-eight God-approved methods for killing persons who happened to step upon priest rules.  And in chapter 21 the priest-authors provided still more of God’s alleged prejudices by listing the physical “blemishes” that supposedly nauseated God to such a degree that it barred them from priesthood.  That appalling allegation of God’s prejudices was expounded upon, declaring that God also detests the blind, the lame, or “he that hath a flat nose or any thing superfluous, or has a broken foot or a broken hand.”  Continuing their rant in chapter 21:18-20, the priest-authors elaborated further: God is displeased with “…the crook back, or a dwarf or (those) that hath a blemish in his eye, or scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones (testicles) broken.”  On the other hand, to gain God’s good graces it is claimed that God finds the burning of a bull on the altar to be delightful, because it creates a pleasing odor for the lord (Lev. 1:9); also approved was the burning of flocks (13), or of fowls (17).  It was simply coincidence that such barbecued sacrifices also happened to provide the priests with some pretty belly pleasing food.

There is a heap of other things that allegedly irks the Lord, according to Leviticus.  How about a neat haircut for males?  Heaven forbid!  Leviticus 19:27 states that trimming the hair around the ears and the temples is forbidden by God.  The reason is not made clear.  And farmers, take note: Leviticus 19:19 declares that you are committing gross sin if you plant two different crops in the same field.  And lordy! a man dares not curse nor blasphemy lest he be stoned to death by the people of the village (Leviticus 21:10-16).  And men take note, Leviticus 15:19-24 instructs men that a woman is unclean during her menstrual period, and men should avoid any contact with a woman during her menstrual period.  Another “law” revealed by God, so the priest-authors of Leviticus avow, was that if a man’s brother dies before he has sired a child, the man is commanded to take his brother’s wife as his own; he is expected to impregnate her in his brother’s name to keep the family line going.  It was only coincidence that the more followers that were thus provided happened to benefit the priests’ authority. 

Moral regard for anyone purportedly not chosen by the Lord for special favors permitted the naive devout plenty of room for aloofness and indifference in their treatment of outsiders.  That is why slavery could be tolerated, even though it was not widely practiced among the Hebrews.  Thus Leviticus, chapter 25:44-45, came to be held up as example of God’s approval of slavery by Christians in the southern parts of the United States in the mid-1800s.  The “holy” passage allows possession of slaves, both male and female, as long as they are purchased from neighboring nations!  By that standard, the citizens of the United States today should be free to purchase captured citizens from Canada or Mexico or elsewhere to use however they wish.  Heaven be praised! 

Today the book of Leviticus, chapter 18, verse 22, is still being used by egoistic bigots as the heavenly allowance for practicing hatred against person who are created with same sex attraction.  (An ugly example of this spiritual perversion is the homophobic hate-monger “reverend” in the state of Kansas.)  Never taken into consideration in such bigots’ use of cherry picked Bible verses for practicing hatred for gays is that scientific studies—let us call them revealed realities—expose the Leviticus proposition that attraction to members of the same sex is unnatural has absolutely no psychological, medical or psychiatric support.  And it is certain that such lifesaving medical procedures as blood transfusions, skin grafting, organ transplants, vaccinations, resuscitation, the Heimlich maneuver, etc. would be regarded by those priest-authors of Leviticus as abominations. 

Perhaps, just perhaps it is not particularly wise to cling so trustingly to bronze-age priest assertions in this age of space technology.

 

 

Ezra’s Contribution to Sacred Writ

Posted in Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, history, religion with tags , , , , , on July 18, 2009 by chouck017894

Much of what the western world has accepted as explanation of what constitutes “holy” favoritism was framed by disruptive planetary events in the ancient past and a few power seekers who promoted themselves as being privileged to higher instruction.  Thus one’s holiness was determined by who could arouse and inspire the most people. 

And this observation brings us to the biblical character of Ezra (5th century BCE) who was most likely modeled upon a man that had sojourned in Babylon during  “captivity” and had studied astronomy there.  Special understanding of the heavens is conveyed with the character, and that understanding had to be presented to the people in a manner that could impress even the lowest denominator of their clannish culture.  The character of Ezra is thus portrayed as being horrified upon return to Jerusalem at finding his people’s easygoing acceptance of  spiritual conduct–such as intermarriage with Hitties, Ammonites, Egyptians and other Pagan peoples.  He felt duty-bound to set about refashioning the religious literature to inspire the wayward Jews to return to the folds of their ancestral god.  An assemblage of priest-scribes thus set about dusting off the old Moses tale to rework and expand it into Moses-as-savior figure that would serve as the nucleus of Jewish faith.  In elevating  Moses into savior status, new rites had to be dreamed up: thus Passover was elevated to prime rite, and such things as the menorah from Babylonian religious rites appropriated, and the health practice of circumcision more strongly imposed as an alleged “covenant with god.”  Even the Jewish obserance of Sabbath came from the Babylonian word Sabattu, meaning day of rest.

Prior to and during this time of Ezra, planet Earth had experienced frightening episodes of disruptions due to interplanetary jostlings.  That the inspiration for the Moses tale is structured upon and refers to those past worldwide traumas come through in numerous passages.  For example, the fourth book  of Ezra (14:4) refers to the simultaneous changes in the motions of the Earth, moon and planets, with these being accounted for by saying that Moses had been taken to Mount Sinai.  And while Moses allegedly hobnobbed with god on Mount Sinai, god is said to have “…told him many wondrous things, showed him the secrets of the times, declared to him the end of the seasons.”  Another version of the fourth book of Ezra says, “Thou didst bow down the heavens, didst make the Earth to quake, and convulsed the world.  Thou didst cause the deep to tremble and didst alarm the spheres.”  Strangely, religion and science disregard the clues of world disturbances in BCE  times and of planetary turmoil that are hidden in such accounts.

The character of Ezra is thus presented by priest-authors as the veritable second founder of the Jewish nation, having shaped extensive codification of the laws, especially the laws governing temple worship and scriptural canon.  The books of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy were fully redrafted, and it is in this general time that the book of Leviticus was probably composed and jimmied into the scriptural lineup.

Leviticus is a glaring travesty of sacred instruction: its twenty-seven chapters were thrust between the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy, and is devoted entirely to priestly authority and the alleged godly prejudices that have no genuine connection to what was said to have transpired “in the wilderness.”

In the main, all the “laws” presented in this book are crude, shamelessly prejudicial and insensitive, being designed solely for the purpose of establishing uncontested priestly control over the people under the guise of divine installation.  The book labors endlessly on such details as priestly dress, rites, ceremonies, dietary choice, etc., and on the alleged prejudices to which god is prone.  An example of god’s prejudices: chapter 21 lists the physical “blemishes” that god supposedly found so nauseating as to disqualify such persons for priesthood.  Verse 18 says god detests the blind, the lame, “or he that hath a flat nose or any thing superfluous, or has a broken foot or a broken hand.”  Likewise, god is displeased with “…the crookback,  or a dwarf or (those) that hath his stones (testicles) broken” (verse 20). 

If we are to use the monstrosities in this book as our moral guide, we should also stone to death all adulterers and our unruly children.  The book of Leviticus is without question the most shameful excuse to ever be presented as divine word.

Sacred Buck-Passing

Posted in Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, history, prehistory, random, religion with tags , , , , on July 16, 2009 by chouck017894

Passing the buck—piling personal guilt upon an innocent victim and then punishing the victim—has a long bible-approved history.  In the book of Leviticus, for example (one of the most despicable texts ever passed off as “holy writ”), we are told: “And he shall take two goats and set them before the Lord at the door of the tent (or tabernacle) of meeting.  And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one for the Lord, and the other for Azazel.” (Leviticus 16:7-8)

This takes place when the Israelites were supposedly wandering around “in the wilderness,” and we should remember that a tent (tabernacle) is not a structure for permanent  lodging.  In prehistory lore, heavily banked with superstition, the term “wilderness” was used as an insider reference to prephysical energy conditions out of which material-matter forms are made manifest. Nowhere in Hebrew or Jewish myth is it ever explained why “the Lord”—a self-avowed jealous god—would sanction such a custom that offered an equal part to some entity named Azazel.  The answer rests in the fact that “the Lord” and “Azazel” represent the two polar energy exchange points between which everything is activated as Creation.  In fact, the name Azazel means, “God strengthens.”

In the scapegoat ritual conducted by the priests in this holy presentation, one of the two selected goats was led into an actual wilderness area to be staked out for some wild beast to devour.  This literal interpretation of older, more scientific understanding was a failure to understand the true principles that activate Creation.   Later, in Judea the priests interpreted Azazel as the unrepentant “fallen angel,” and in devotion to this corrupt interpretation dragged the hapless scapegoat to the Judean desert cliff where “…the scapegoat for Azazel yearly fell to its death on the Day of Atonement” (Leviticus 16:8-10).  Spoken of as a “fallen angel,” the priests could then sidestep the prohibition in Leviticus against sacrificing to demons under the pretense that Azazel had simply erred in giving proper respect to “the Lord” and was imprisoned beneath the jagged rocks at the base of the cliff.

In no way can this be legitimately called a moral act: the implication in the ritual is that god sees nothing corrupt in trying to pass responsibility of one’s acts upon an innocent victim.   This sanctioned and practiced denial of accepting personal responsibility for one’s acts is continuously expressed with most characters from the Old Testament.  In the priest’s understanding of the polar energy exchangethat is the operative means of matter manifestation, the principle became tragically misconstrued as one extremity being thought of as good and the other being evil.  That blunder in comprehension of how energy manifests as matter-forms has infected western religions to this day.  What organized religions must learn from science is that the creative forces responsible for matter and life are not now and never have been in hostile combat.

Tribal mentality in early biblical times felt no uneasiness in letting an innocent victim pay for their ignoble deeds.  It was a popular devotional indulgence not only among the Judeans but most neighboring cultures as well.  Unfortunately, as the Christian movement was being fashioned, that popular notion of an innocent life being sacrificed to absolve another’s guilt was the basis for the most devout rituals of the year, and often a human was slain to appease a god that was imagined to be disheartened by the people’s conduct.  From this widespread acceptance of sacrificing  innocence for the preservation of those responsible for moral failure, the emerging hybrid movement sought to lure new converts with the “son of god” who came forth as a willing sacrifice to atone for all mankind’s sins.