Billboard Response #3: Emily Elizabeth

Billboard-03

Okay, now we have ourselves a ball game (cracks knuckles).

Someone made a detailed response to the billboard post I put up a few days ago and since the person made quite an effort (thank you) I will do the same out of respect for this person and their seemingly decent knowledge of the scripture. Should we be surprised that this kind of bold response came from a fellow English major? Not in the slightest.

So with that said, her words are in bold and my response is posted underneath. So.. let’s get started:

1)  Okay the first billboard has a verse from Psalm 137. This is a psalm (song basically for my nonchurchy folk) that King David (the same David from the Goliath story) wrote after the land of Israel was taken captive by another tribe. This is in lament for the loss of Israel’s Kingdom. He is angry that the Babylonians have destroyed his people, and so he is saying “curse you and your families and I hope someone destroys you like you destroyed us.” While gruesome yes, it is important to remember that this was written by David, who while a very godly man at times, fucked up quite a bit because he was still human. And humans say things out of pain and hatred that often times sound very disturbing.

There are two points I would make first in response to this.

a)    Who wrote the quote is irrelevant. That still doesn’t take away from the brutality of it.

b)   Even if it’s your enemy, when is it ever a good time to smash a child’s head against a rock?

The fact that David is angry and cursing families is also very hypocritical as in other parts of the scripture, God said sons shouldn’t pay for the sins of the father. So what David is saying goes against God’s law is another of what are countless contradictions in the bible.

Yes Elizabeth, the quote is gruesome. That’s why it was put on a billboard… to point out how gruesome the bible is.

2)   The second one is talking about men and women’s roles within the church. Not anywhere else, just when teaching to a congregation of people. This whole passage (1 Timothy 2: 8-15) could quite easily be viewed as a misogynistic passage, however, when we look back at Proverbs 31, we see that the entire chapter is praising the woman for all that she does both in and out of the home. This passage is setting down guidelines of how everybody, both men and women (I don’t think the idea of non-binary was prevalent in Rome and Grecian Christianity at the time), should be behaving when they are gathered together to read the Bible and worship God corporately. What Paul is saying here when he writes this is that because God created man first, man should have just the slightest bit more authority than a woman, even though he says in other letters that women and men and all are created equally in the sight of God. Also, he is speaking only in the context of congregational worship, not anything else outside of it.

I’ll try to find it for you but there are other passages that state women are not allowed to speak from the podium and are required to be silent at all times when in church. This is not a rule for all people, just women. This is why it’s sexist and immoral. Paul was a wicked man who was very much a misogynist and a pig. That’s who wrote this book… not a higher being.

3)   I don’t actually understand why the third one is a problem? Well, I take that back I do. It’s saying that if a dude rapes a girl, then he has to pay the father for his wrongdoing. But then he also has to take the girl as his wife, which I understand is a not okay thing. But for Israelites at the time of Moses, there were no prison systems, and this was the closest thing to a sentence they had. Of course, this passage does insinuate that a woman is property, and that is a different discussion all together.

You don’t know what the problem is with rape? Really? Seriously?

Not only does this passage condone rape, it says the only punishment you should receive is a fine and nothing more for committing a horrific and very traumatic event on a woman.

It also doesn’t matter if there are no prisons systems during Moses’ time, the fact that an alleged all good God doesn’t think that rape is wrong or should even qualify to be a commandment really puts into question the actual morality of the Bible.

You make my point for me, this passage basically treats women no better than cattle, which is why the bible should be considered irrelevant in the 21st Century. It certainly isn’t moral…

4)   The next two slides are concerning the issue of servanthood. And in the Israelite times, the treatment of servants was not that of which we think of when we picture the word slave in our heads. Servants were oftentimes treated not as a member of the family, but as someone who is equal. More along the lines of wait staff or a butler if you were a man, or a governess if you were a woman. They were not abused, and if they were, the master of the house was to be punished for it. The idea here is that (yes, owning people and treating them like property is bad), these people had standards on how they treated their property. Israelites and Jewish people are considered the chosen people of God, and that means that they are to be held to a higher standard of excellence than the rest of the world and are supposed to be an example of godliness to them. This means treating the world that God gave them in a holy respectable manner. These people were treated as property, but property was treated with respect at all times.

Nice try, but slavery is wrong… no matter how nice you seem to treat your alleged ‘workers’.

In this and many other passages, God clearly condones slavery… which isn’t moral. Selling your daughter into slavery is even more immoral, as a responsible parent should protect their children rather than sell them off for a profit.

5)   The 6th sign is taken completely out of context. God was speaking to Moses at the time because high-ranking commanders in the community had left God’s commandments behind and began hooking up with the Moabites and worshiping their gods. In that time, Israel was like a very disrespectful child, and God was disciplining them for this. The man who was killed was a leader who was not being a good leader, and God put an end to it. (A strange way to do it, but I wasn’t there, so idk what all went down). God was trying to show that they are his people and they are not supposed to associate with other peoples. (As a pacifist this confuses me greatly, I don’t know why he killed both the man and the Moabite woman instead of just making him give a sacrifice repenting of his sins as was customary)

The point trying to be made by the 6tth sign was to point out how cruel God is by wanting people’s corpses to be strung up to instill fear in others. This is supposed to be an all good God here, why would he/she/it/them want to use fear instead of love to appeal to the masses?

The fact that God wants Moses to hang any body part of a deceased being is immoral, cruel and unbecoming of an all good God. That’s the point that was trying to be made. What the person did to allegedly deserve to be killed and strung up is irrelevant. These are not the actions one would once again come from a God people claim to be all good, merciful and most of all… forgiving.

6)   The second to last sign was part of instructions that God gave to the Jeremiah to give to the Israelites on why they were attacking Moab (again? The Israelites and Moabites had some serious beef with each other). This is not a direct command from God to the reader, nor was the previous one. These are not meant to be applied to modern life.

I find it odd that one would defend God’s alleged word by saying he didn’t write it. That would seem to at the same time hardly challenges the fallacy that the entire bible is the word of God which is what many claim it to be. Regardless of who commanded it, the request being made is immoral and pretty much contradicts the entire ideal of mercy and forgiveness which is preached in other parts of the bible. The point of the billboard is not only to show how gross many quotes can be but also suggest the obvious conflict with the entire idea of Christians being moral, merciful and capable of forgiving.

Clearly the person here and also in the quote above about smashing kid’s heads into rocks are not feeling very forgiving, are they?

7)   The last sign is again, not a direct command from God. This is part of a passage that describes a vision of Ezekiel in which the people of Jerusalem are punished for their sins. So the Bible is full of things that were not said by God directly, nor is what is said to be taken as a command and acted upon. Everything in this sign is taken out of context and misinterpreted greatly.

Here’s my problem with your last comment: if this bible is “Full of things not said by God directly” … then why you basically admitting this is not the word of God? If it’s not the word of God, why are you and other Christians following it?

You basically just admitted that the bible is full of lies that are man made fiction. Thank you very much for making my point for me.

Also, thank you for adding to the conversation.

PJ
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