Monday, September 29, 2008

The Holy #$@%! Bible

Two weeks ago, I began a Bible-reading schedule that will take me through the Old Testament history books and every word of the New Testament in a year. (Feel free to join me. Check it out at http://www.usefulbreath.com/.) Now, I'm no stranger to reading the Bible, but I'm finding it very...um...interesting...to revisit the stories in Genesis about Adam & Eve, Cain & Abel, Abbot & Costello...

Don't get me wrong, I sincerely believe every word of the Bible is true...but why God chose to make permanent the stories of some of these guys is beyond me.

Take Lot.

Please.

Lot was Abraham's nephew. They wandered around Palestine together until their families, flocks, and fortunes got too big for one area of land to support them. So, Abraham, being the kind, generous, naive guy he was, gave Lot first dibs on where he wanted to live: Let's part company. If you go to the left, I'll go to the right; if you go to the right, I'll go to the left. (Genesis 13:9)

And what does Lot do? He looks around, sees that the plain of Jordan is green and healthy, and says, "Yeah...I'll be takin' me some o' DAT!"

That's character flaw number one.

Number two: Lot is living in Sodom and is visited by two men--who are really angels--and who Lot apparently recognizes as being more than normal men. When he welcomes them into his house all the men of the city surround the house and say...you're never going to believe this, and you'll think I'm being needlessly crude, so let me just quote: Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them. (Genesis 19:5)

To Lot's credit, he refuses to honor the request for the gang rape of his visitors, but guess what he suggests to the mob instead? Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like to them. (Genesis 19:8) Meanwhile, Lottina and Lotette are standing behind the door thinking, "Thanks a lot, Dad! Why not tie raw meat to our faces and throw us to a pack of wolves while you're at it?"

Even though Lot's great plan didn't pan out, damage seems to have been done anyway. Sometime later, after Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed and the whole thing about the establishment of Mrs. Lot's Supernatural Salt Emporium (Genesis 19:26), Lot and his daughters were living by themselves in a cave. The daughters gave up on the idea of ever finding men to marry them and take them away from their cozy little cavern, so they decided to get their father drunk and have sex with him so they could raise families of their own. The plan worked, and the sons born as a result started two nations that were thorns in Israel's side for hundreds of years.

You couldn't make this stuff up. You also couldn't make a movie about it without it being R-rated. Which is not the biggest reason I think it's true, but it points in that direction.

No comments: