Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Leviticus 20-27

I didn't think it was possible, but I actually long for the days of reading lists of men who begatted other men. I thought Exodus was a bunch of boring towards the end, but I'm just going to call it now. Leviticus is the worst. There are no redeeming qualities in this section. Why didn't the publisher catch this and cut it out in editing?

Like...I think we covered most of these rules in Exodus. We get it. God likes rules. And doling random cruel punishments. His character is very much established. I miss reading about brothers getting into fights and running across the country and other brothers selling brothers into slavery and other brothers murdering their brothers then getting sassy about it. I even miss the sodomy. I especially miss the sodomy.

I'm trying to hold out but I don't know how much longer I can push through this. I didn't think I'd ever actually say this about anything, but this section of the book has less of a plot than TWILIGHT. Get it together Jesus and James. Who is Leviticus anyway?

Chapter 20 Executions: 

Basically all the rules are repeated and God mentions that he would kindly appreciate it if all those rules breakers were executed via being stoned to death or maybe burned to death. God has unaddressed OCD issues about "cleanliness."

Worthy rule mentions:

"If someone, whether male or female, is a medium with the dead or a diviner, they must be executed. They will be stoned; their blood is on their own head."

"If anyone curses their father or mother, they must be executed."

Don't talk back to your parents.

Other reasons to be burned or stoned as a COI (Child of Israel): if you're a man and somehow manage to have sex with a man in the same way you would with a woman (clearly because you'd then be a sorcerer and as mentioned earlier, sorcerers must also be put to death), if you have sex with a daughter in law, your father's wife, have sex with a married woman, if you marry a woman and her mother, if you have sex with an animal, if you're a woman who even attempts to have sex with an animal.

Luckily if you have sex with a woman on her menstrual cycle, marry your sister, sleep with your aunt, or marry your brother's wife, you'll only be shunned and who'd want to hang out with these guys anyway?

The big takeaway here: Marrying your sister is slightly less offensive to God than sleeping with your daughter in law, father's wife, or some other married woman who isn't your sister...

Chapter 21 Priest Rules:

"None of you are allowed to make yourselves unclean by any dead person among your community except for your closest relatives: for your mother, father, son, daughter, brother; also for your unmarried sister, who is close to you because she isn't married-you may be polluted for her sake. You must not make yourself unclean for in-laws, defiling yourself by doing so."

Don't mourn your dead unless it's someone close like your mother, father, son, daughter or brother. But never mind non-virgin sisters, wives, or in-laws.

"Priests must not marry a woman who is promiscuous and defiled, nor can they marry a woman divorced from her husband, because priests must be holy to their God." ... "The high priests must marry a woman who is a virgin. He cannot marry a widow, a divorced woman, or a woman defiled by promiscuity. He can only marry a virgin from his own people so that he doesn't make his children impure among his people"

Priests can't hook up with women who've been "defiled" even if they were married and their husband died...even widows create impure children. You know...there seems to be a lot of hate toward vaginas and how "unclean" they mustn't be but the thing that's keeps making them unclean is when they encounter a penis. So the real question here is, what's wrong with the COI penises eh?  There's no mention of divorced, widowed or defiled men being impure because they encountered vaginas. So really it's the penises fault. Maybe they should clean their penises up and they wouldn't have these problems.

"If a daughter of a priests defiles herself by being promiscuous, she defiles her father. She must be burned with fire."

This is exactly what I'm talking about guys. You know what the solution is? The COI ladies should just be lesbians. No rule here mentions anything against it. It's only sodomy if there's a penis involved.

"None of your future descendants who have some kind of imperfection are allowed to offer their God's food. No one who has a imperfection will be allowed to make an offering: this includes anyone who is blind, crippled, disfigured, or deformed; anyone who has a broken foot or hand; anyone who is a hunchback or too small; anyone who has an eye disease, a rash, scabs, or a crushed testicle."

You must be this tall for God's love.

Chapter 22 If you have to keep saying it:

"I am the LORD." You must keep my commands and do them; I am the LORD. You must not make my holy name impure so that I will be treated as holy by the Israelites. I am the LORD--the one who makes you holy and who is bringing you out of the land of Egypt to be your God; I am the LORD."

Chapter 23 Sacred Times:

Sabbath and Passover rules AGAIN.

Chapter 24 Something actually happens:

Oh wait...what's that...a thing happens?

A boy got in a fight and used some naughty words while doing it so the Israelites stone him to death.

The lessen here. When you say bad words, you should be stoned to death.

Then there's an ominous section about not hurting or murdering others, just after the town stones a boy to death:

"If anyone kills another person, they must be executed." . . . "If someone injures a fellow citizen, they will suffer the same injury they inflicted: broken bone for broken bone, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth."

Chapter 25 Slavery's cool so long as you don't do it to your own race: 

"If one of  your fellow Israelites faces financial difficulty with you and sells themselves to you, you must not make him work as a slave. Instead, they will be like a hired laborer or foreign guest to you. They will work for you until the Jubilee year, at which point the poor Israelite along with their children will be released from you" . . . "You must do this because these people are my servants--I brought them out of Egypt's land. They must not be sold as slaves." . . . "Regarding male or female slaves that you are allowed to have: You can buy a male or a female slave from the nations that are around you. You can also buy them from the foreign guests who live with you" . . . "These can belong to you as property. You can pass them on to your children as inheritance that they can own as permanent property. You can make these people work as slaves, but you must not rule harshly over your own people."

It's not cool that you guys were owned as slaves based on your race but it's totally cool for you to own foreigners as slaves and mistreat them all you want. Knock yourself out. 2 wrongs do make a right.

Chapter 26 Covenant Blessings:

God gets all jealous boyfriend again. In the first section, he says if the COI listen to him they'll live in a paradise with rain and fruit and butterflies but if they don't listen...

"I will bring horrific things: wasting diseases and fevers that make the eyes fail and drain life away" . . . "I will turn your sky to iron and your land to bronze" . . . "I will send wild animals against you, and they will kill your children" . ..  "You will eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters. I will eliminate your shrines, chop down your incense altars, and pile your dead bodies on the dead bodies of your idols."

It goes on like that for awhile...

Chapter 27 Dedications:

God talks about the value of people, animals, and land that are dedicated to God. It goes without saying that women are worth less than men.


Next week we read a section called "Numbers."

Monday, April 20, 2015

Leviticus 19

Can you guess what this chapter is about? If you guessed repetitive rules, then you would be correct! I'm pretty sure everything that was said in this section was already said before. I'm guessing this is a setup for all kinds of rule breaking later in the book and maybe there will be an actual plot instead of lists and lists of rules...at least I really hope so.

So we've got your basics that seem reasonable, at first, if you don't think too hard about it or ask too many questions, such as respecting your mother or father. No word on if your mother or father are terrible or actually the kind of people who don't follow this God guy. What if your mother and father tell you to break those other rules? Like what if they want you to worship cows? God clearly hates cows. Then again, God also seems to hate when you disobey your parents. Then again, God's made it pretty clear that he'll punish the future generations of someone who disobeyed him regardless of whether or not those future generations will/have do/done anything wrong. Sometimes this God guy turns these characters into pillars of salt for looking back but maybe doesn't punish the daughters of that pillar of salt for drugging and raping their own father...there are some consistency issues with all this.

I'm not sure this God guy really knows what he wants, you know? He seems conflicted about his own identity. Like one moment he says that he's a merciful, loving God and the next he's a vengeful, I'm never going to forget that you fucked up this one little thing, God. If only God had someone to talk to about his identity crises.

Here are some highlights:

Chapter 19:

"When you sacrifice a communal sacrifice of well-being to the LORD, offer it so that it will be accepted on your account. It must be eaten on the day of your sacrifice or the following day; whatever is left over on the third day must be burned with fire" . . . "Anyone who eats it will be liable to punishment."

God isn't a fan of leftovers.

"do not pick your vineyard clean or gather up all the grapes that have fallen there. Leave these items for the poor and the immigrant"

Aw well that's actually nice.

"you must judge your fellow Israelites fairly."

"Do not stand by while your neighbor's blood is shed."

"You must not hate your fellow Israelite in your heart."

"You must not take revenge nor hold a grudge against any of your people."

These are all pretty solid rules. Too bad they only seem to apply to how Israelites treat other Israelites and not all people in general. After these nice, thoughtful rules, we get back to some weirdly specific stuff.

"Do not crossbreed your livestock, do not plant your field with two kinds of seed, and do not wear clothes made from two kinds of material."

Hmm looks like a lot of denim mixing with leather. BURN THEM ALL.

"If a man has sexual relations with a woman who is a slave engaged to another man, who hasn't yet been released or given her freedom, there must be a punishment. But they will not be put to death because she had not yet been freed. The man must bring as his compensation to the LORD at the meeting tent's entrance a ram for a compensation offering."

You can clear your conscience of your act of slave rapery by slaughtering an animal in a tent.

"You must not participate in divination or fortune telling."


"You must not cut off the hair on your forehead...


...or clips the ends of your beard."
Oh thank goodness. Tom Hardy is safe.

"Do not defile your daughter by making her sexually promiscuous or else the land will become promiscuous and full of shame."

Don't rape your daughter or your front lawn will feel embarrassed? Did I read that right?

"You must rise in the presence of an old person and respect the elderly."

No joke here. Just a nice rule to live by.

And lastly, here's a rule God keeps repeating again and again. Must be really important to him.

"When immigrants live in your land with you, you must not cheat them. Any immigrant who lives with you must be treated as if they were one of your citizens. You must love them as yourself, because you were immigrants in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God."

Monday, April 13, 2015

Leviticus 13-18

Shockingly, these chapters are about rules. Rules about what to do about "uncleanliness."

Chapter 13-14 Skin Diseases:

There's a whole lot of discussion about what to do if you should notice a weird mark or swelling on your skin. I am very grateful not to be one of the COI. Just last week, I went the doctor for eczema and if she had been one of the priests in this book, I would have been quarantined for a week, then I would have been exiled, made to wear torn clothing, and shout "unclean." Even if my eczema got better on its own, they'd make me shave my head and body, while sprinkling bird blood all over me until I was "pure" again. Thankfully, she only prescribed steroid cream.

Chapter 15 Male Genital "Emissions":

Sperm is gross. If you ever unleash your sinful juices upon anything that isn't a monogomous fertile egg, that thing and yourself remain unclean for 8 days.

You'll have to kill some turtle doves and pigeons to make up for your uncleanliness EVERY SINGLE TIME you have an "emission." If the men actually followed through on that, turtle doves and pigeons would have become extinct several times over.

Chapter 16 Lady Stuff is Still Really Gross:

Menstruating women are gross. Keep them away from everything. Don't even look at them. Also, every time a woman menstruates, she has to kill some turtle doves and pigeons to make up for the natural thing that happens to her every month. Should have tried harder to get a Y chromosome I guess.

Who let her out of quarantine?

Chapter 17 Boring Reconciliation Ritual Stuff: 

Aaron, Moses's brother, has to purify the Tabernacle with some ritual animal killing stuff i.e. he has to clean up the crime scene of his sons' murders with more blood.

Chapter 18 Don't Have Sex with your Relatives, Seriously, None of Them:

I'm just going to quote this for you:

"No on is allowed to approach any blood relative for sexual contact: I am the LORD. You must not uncover your father's nakedness, which is  your mother's nakedness. She is your mother; you must not have sexual contact with her. You must not uncover the nakedness of your father's wife; it is your father's nakedness."

You heard him. Don't have sex with your mother or your father's wife. Those are two different people in this scenario. Hurray bigamy.

"You must not have sexual contact with your sister-regardless of whether she is your father's daughter or your mother's daughter, whether born into the same  household as you or outside it." 

God: "Seriously, how many different fucking ways do I need to phrase this for you?"

"You must not have sexual contact with your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter, because their nakedness is your own nakedness. You must not have sexual contact with the daughter of your father's wife, who was born into your father's family, she is your sisterYou must not have sexual contact with your father's sister; she is your father's blood relative. You must not have sexual contact with your mother's sister because she is your mother's blood relative. You will not uncover the nakedness of your father's brother-that is, you will not approach his wife for sex; she is your aunt. You must not have sexual contact with your daughter-in-law; she is your son's wife. You must not have sexual contact with her. You will not uncover the nakedness of your brother's wife; it is your brother's nakedness. You must not have sexual contact with a woman and her daughter. You will not marry her son's daughter or her daughter's daughter thereby uncovering her nakedness. They are her blood relatives; it is shameful."

Some thoughts: Remember how there was this big rule about not marrying folks outside your tribe? It's kind of a big deal to them...yet you can't have sex with any relatives or the relatives of anyone you've had sex with before. How are they managing that? And how are they managing that with men clearly participating in bigamy? They are going to run out of non relative Israelites.

"You will not have sexual relations with any animal, becoming unclean by it."

I'm just really concerned that the people of the COI had to be told this...

"You must not have sexual intercourse with a man as you would with a woman."

Well, duh, I mean a man can't have sex with another man in the EXACT  SAME WAY he would with a woman. They'll of course have anal or oral sex.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Leviticus 11-12

Chapter 11: The God Diet

In order to be most holy and fit, you have to eat clean. God's all about clean eating, though a simple Paleo diet won't cut it. Here's a list of Clean and Unclean Foods.


  • Any Land Animal that has divided hooves, that are completely split, and that rechews its food.
  •  Water animals that have scales and fins
  • Four footed flying insects that have jointed legs which include: migrating locusts (no locals), any kind of bald locust, any kind of cricket, any kind of grasshopper

Some things to think about:
  1. God clearly still hates cows. 
  2. God thinks insects only have 4 legs.  


Land animals: 
  • Hares
  • Camels 
  • Rock Badgers
  • Pigs
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Lizards
  • Geckos
  • Skinks
  • Chamelons
Water animals:
  • Any that don't have scales or fins i.e.
  • lobster
  • shrimp
  • crabs
This is a den of sin

  • eagle
  • black vulture
  • bearded vulture
  • kite
  • any kind of falcon
  • any kind of raven
  • tawny owl
  • fisher owl
  • screech owl
  • white owl
  • scops owl
  • osprey 
  • stork
  • any kind of heron
  • hoopoe
  • bats
  • Any flying insect that walks on four feet

Some things to think about: 
  1. God thinks bats are birds. 
  2. God still thinks insects have only 4 legs. 
  3. God does not like the delicious kind of seafood.
  4. Rock Badgers look like this:
No Rock Badger Burritos for the Children of God

Other notable rules in this sections:
  • The COI can't eat things with paws.
  • You can't eat "swarming" things?
  • If the dead body of one of the unclean animals listed above falls on your oven or stove, you must destroy your pricey kitchen appliance because Easy Off won't cut it. 

Chapter 12: Purification After Childbirth

Here's a lesson about the birds and the bees. When a man and a woman love each other very much, they create something beautiful together and bring life into the world. Unfortunately, after the woman has carried the burden of bringing that life into the world, she is icky and must be isolated from all things holy. This is her time of "purification." She also must do this during her menstrual period. Really anything natural that happens to the female body is disgusting. 

"If a woman conceives a child and gives birth to a son, she will be unclean for seven days-just as she is during her menstrual period."..."For thirty-three days the mother will be in a state of blood purification. She must not touch anything holy or enter the sacred area until her time of purification is complete.

If the woman is lucky enough to have a child of worth, i.e. a boy, she will only have to be isolated from holy things for up to 33 days. If she however, has a girl: 

"she will be unclean for two weeks-just as she is during her menstrual period-and will be in a state of blood purification for sixty-six days.