Sunday, July 9, 2017

Bronze Age Parenting and We'll Keep the Flames of Molech on for Ya!

One thing is for sure...the Bible is not child-friendly. Actually, if you really know the book, Old and New, you will have to admit that small children must not have been much a part of the culture. The first humans were the first parents, Adam and Eve, not the first children so I imagine they have no good childhood memories. Well, actually they have none since they never were children. Their kids, Cain and Abel come on the scene pretty much full grown. No pleasant times frolicking in the Garden of Eden.

They actually show up just in time to have Cain murder his brother and get himself booted out of the Garden by God afraid of those who don't exist killing him, go figure. Seth comes along, pretty much fully grown too. We certainly get no hint that this family every had picnics, hugs or good memories of being glad they had each other. The grown kids marry, who knows who, must be sisters that weren't worth mentioning who also only show up as full-grown women having babies by brothers. Ewwwwwww, but that's the alternative since they had no girls or boys next door to get their attention. There was no next door. Incest was a necessary thing, so say literalists, until they got enough humans on the planet to marry mere cousins and then people you eventually figured you weren't related to, but were.
The main heroes of the Old Testament were adults, who in some cases were given remarkable birth and childhood mythologies to show how great an adult they really were. Often stories from previous or surrounding cultures were borrowed for the baby to show what an amazing adult he was. In the Bible, Old barren women give birth to amazing humans and in the NT, young virgins give birth to gods.

 No hospital ever gave birth to a famous child.  Abe Lincoln was never really a kid until he was a famous adult. Then we find he was so darn honest as a kid, studied by the light of one lone candle by night but did succeed in not being born of a virgin as we might not have taken that all that seriously. You never heard that the child called George Washington, "could not tell a lie," until he was famous. No one waits at the hospital for famous baby to be born. The stories of remarkable children always come when the adult becomes remarkable. After all, remarkable adults must have had remarkable childhoods. This is how Moses, David and Jesus are portrayed, but any idea that we are seeing the lives of real children is illusionary. Amazing adults are pretty ordinary kids I would imagine, unless you are Bible Times adults.
We read about grown armies killing "men, women, and children," but that's just a sanitation problem and incidental to the great exploits of Israel obeying the Loving Heavenly Father. Sometimes the children get murdered in the womb or special attention is paid to the fact that their heads were smashed against the wall. Nice touch there. Sometimes they get sacrificed as in the case or near case of Abraham and Isaac. Great story of childhood ala Bible times. Even though it worked out ok, according to the script, I imagine Isaac was no longer interested in following Dad into the hills for weekend campouts. He prolly wondered what nonsense Dad was into now and passed choosing rather to hid under the table until Dad fell asleep
Here are some of the Bible's greatest childhood hits...

Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod [sceptre], he shall not die.
-- Proverbs 23:13 (AV)
This is really good to know. Beating them was fine and dandy and it doesn't say spank. It says beat with a rod! Hit with a stick. Bash with a hoe. Smash with a sceptre. The reason is because "it won't kill them." Whew...good news there.
Execute stubborn kids
If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son ... Then shall his father and his mother ... bring him out unto the elders of his city ... And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die.
-- Deuteronomy 21:18-21 (AV)
Whoa! Excellent! No attempt to encourage or find out why this might be occurring in the child's life. Prolly is the parents beating him all the time with rods, knowing full well he won't die. He might be mentally ill, but we can attribute that to demons and not take any personal responsibility. The Bible is not big on understanding how one way of being leads to other ways of being or how abuse leads to mental illness. It's all about Dad. It's all about the parents. It's really never about the kids.
Kids killed for mocking hero
Some small boys came out of the city and jeered at [the prophet Elisha], saying, "Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!" And ... he cursed them in the name of the Lord. And two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys.
-- II Kings 2:23-24 (RSV)
Well, that should teach them. Of course, the kids were making fun of Elisha's boss who was taken up in a fiery chariot and thought Elisha should give it a try. I sense they were skeptical the first rapture happened. At least, they seem not to have been convinced so as not to make fun of the man who took over after the boss left rather abruptly.
God orders child sacrifice
God did tempt Abraham, ... And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest ... and offer him there for a burnt offering...
-- Genesis 22:1-2 (AV)
Oh I know, God didn't really mean it. He was just joshin Abe, but in those days, God's didn't Josh. If you asked God if he loved children, like WC Fields, He would have said, "If they are properly cooked." Kids just had no value and certainly no say in the fantasies of their adult parents.
Daughter: a burnt offering
Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: "If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return ... will be the Lord's, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering." ... and the Lord gave them into his hands.... When Jephthah returned to his home..., who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of tambourines! And he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin.
-- Judges 11:30-32, 34, 39 (NIV)
So in comes his sweetie, Biblical Ipod blaring and pow! "Sorry Sarah, I had a chat with God and told him if I got to win as a Bible man needs to win...well...just follow me. I'll explain it on the way." Of course, Mom just said, "Sarah, do as your father says. Love ya!" Later that night as Jephthah and Mrs. J held each other gently in bed, the both thought back on how the Lord had blessed them even though it had been a difficult day.
I have always been inspired and informed by these two examples of what it was like being a young Bible Times girl.
Woman must marry rapist
If a man [meets] a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her ... He must marry the girl ... He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
-- Deuteronomy 22:28-29 (NIV)
A marriage literally made in heaven! "Ok, I raped you. You want to kill me. You must marry who raped you and we are stuck forever or they will cut both our heads off. Kiss me and act like you mean it."
Virgin women are war booty
"Have you allowed all the women to live?" he [Moses] asked them.... "Now ... kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man."
-- Numbers 31:1-18 (NIV)
"So you like women do you....caught you, caught you! Ok, check out these sweet things _________. If it is not intact, kill the _________. If she is pure and new...keep her for your pleasure and enjoy boys. "I, the Lord, through my Servant Moses, the most meek man on the planet, decree it." Uh huh.
Lets see...New Testament kids that got into the story...
There would be demon possessed ones that Jesus heals. There would be kids that were dead that Jesus and few of the skilled Apostles resurrected, and of course Jesus himself, who had an amazing birth because he was an amazing adult. We have some great stories of Jesus killing some of his playmates for mocking him, but those books didn't make the cut. Oh yes, we have the infants slaughtered by Herod as Mary and family slipped out of town smirking "I know something you don't know," at her neighbors with small children. I know some adults were called "children of the Devil," so that counts I suppose and false churches were called whores but those would be older kids.
No, kids don't make out so good in the Bible. They are used, abused, disowned, fried, burnt, slapped, kicked, hit, beat, sacrificed, speared, sold, eaten, ignored, marginalized and mauled. The famous ones that make it to adulthood get delivered, Angelic choirs, Kingdoms, and babes galore. They get visited by Wise Men, who survived their own childhoods intact but left home as soon as they could, which is why there were called Wise Men. Bible Times were something no kid in his right mind would ever wish to return to. I'm sorry that babies were born in cultures where Bible Times parents were so ignorant of what to do next they just asked the Priests.
There are some kids in this world today who sadly do live in Bible Times. Their parents read the Bible and faithfully follow it's loving guidelines for childrearing and interpersonal family communications. These kids learn that all they need is "the rod of correction," or be told, "because we said so that's why." The often hear, "God is not going to be happy with you," or "you might go to hell for that Johnny." Every week they get to hear the Minister remind parent and child that they must bring up that kid in the way he "should" go, should being relative to whatever the Preacher thinks they should be, so that "when they are old, they will not depart from. it." Of course most depart long before they are old just to recover and get their minds back intact. There are American Bible Times Talibanic parents who are soaked in the childrearing techniques of the Bible (see the list above) every week or most every month. God said it, we practice it, that does it for us. Of course, when the child grows up a bit, they will walk and should.
Go get a concordance or topical Bible and look up "snuggle, kiss, blowbelly, "ahhh boo!", picnic, swimming, hugs, vacation, free time, love you mom, love you dad, love you son, love you sis, sports, college, education, free thinking, respect, reading, children's literature, Goldilocks, quiet time, caress, self-esteem, mental health, smiling, mommy, daddy, bedtime, stuffed animals, puppets, cookout, fishing, zoo, did I say "blow bellies?" .... oh you know, the good words. Good luck... and we'll keep the flames of Molech on for ya


Steve D said...

Deut 21, stoning an unruly child... a Jewish commentary said that there were quite a few crimes that were considered worthy of death, but in only ONE (first degree murder) would it be actually carried out. The rest of these so called capital offenses would be settled with a fine. Num 35:30 says, "Anyone who kills a person is to be put to death as a murderer . . . v 31 Do not accept a ransom for the life of a murderer, who deserves to die." So why list so many other sins as capital offenses? The commentator says it was to impress upon them the seriousness of the sin, but the death penalty was not carried out.

Byker Bob said...

One would have thought that in the absence of specific examples from antiquity (Bible), the intelligent thing to do would have been to draw on the best examples from contemporary civilization. WCG could also have drawn on Jesus' teaching on the good shepherd, the "suffer the little children" lesson, and at least touched on the concept of grace. However, Armstrongism did what is written in HWA's dna. They extrapolated severe legalism from the strictest passages in the Bible, and destroyed the innate natural sense of family that some of the more enlightened Christian groups of today actually cultivate and celebrate.

Armstrongism as a system was a giant factory for turning church members into unfeeling and robotic sociopaths. Part of how this was accomplished was through the child-rearing "principles". Once this process has been successfully completed, it is very difficult to reverse it, and to recapture what was lost. In molding and mentoring to a child, you only get one shot. Children perceive the difference when before their parents come into the church, their parents address and meet their emotional needs, and then suddenly afterwards, they are treated as nuisances and obstructions to their parents' progress in Armstrongism.


Anonymous said...

Deuteronomy 22:28-29 “If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days."
Exodus 22:16-17 “If a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall give the bride price for her and make her his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the bride price for virgins."
But her father is ultimately in authority over her until he hands this authority over to her husband. If the man is unsuitable, the father can refuse to give his daughter to him. How many fathers would give their daughter to a rapist? Not many. A rapist would actually have to pay a 50 silver shekel fine to her father, and not get a wife at all.
With regards to Exodus 22:17 - the woman does NOT have to marry a rapist, she must only do what her father says.
No rape victim is recorded as being forced to marry a rapist. In 2 Samuel 13, Amnon, a son of David, rapes his half-sister, Tamar. Tamar was not forced to marry Amnon. Interestingly, though, Tamar seemed to have wanted to marry Amnon after the rape (2 Samuel 13:13-16). The passage leaves marriage to the discretion of the father.

Anonymous said...

The Hebrew word means "young men" (see I Kings 3:7). The NIV, quoted here, uses the word “youths.” The bears mauled 42 of the youths indicates that there were more than 42 youths involved. This was not a small group of children making fun of a bald man. Sound more like a gang of hoodlums, perhaps half drunk, threatening a prophet, rather than children mocking him. Elisha called upon the Lord to deal with the rebels as He saw fit. Then God served up a big dish of whip ass. That probably sobered up some of them.

Helen Wheels said...

Thankfully, since Torah was not written by Moses in c. 1400 BCE (who it is the consensus of scholars never existed anyway) but instead was written by the Jews about 1000 years later, and it was most likely never used as the national law of Judah, or if it was, it couldn't have been for longer than just a few decades before The Babylonians would be making the rules, followed by the Persians, Greeks, Seleucids, a brief stint under the Hellenized Hasmoneans, and then the Romans. I'm not saying the laws of those who occupied Judah/Judea/Palestina were necessarily any less barbaric, just that these laws of a supposed god who many christians assume to be real and the same one they worship, are far from being above reproach.

"If a man [meets] a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her ... He must marry the girl ... He can never divorce her as long as he lives. -- Deuteronomy 22:28-29 (NIV)"

I can't help but think, for any period in which these barbaric Jewish laws might have been enforced, I wonder how many such men who married their victims it would later turn out that "as long as he lives" didn't prove to be very long. It wasn't that hard to poison your enemies in ancient times and get away with it.

Anonymous said...

Jephthah made the oath hoping his mother in law, or his nagging wife would be the first one out of his house. Why else would he do it? It was a attempted murder that went wrong.

Anonymous said...

This is superman. You will never find out my secret human identity cause once I put on my glasses, no one can recognise me. The same with supergirl.

Anonymous said...

The "worthy of death concept" in the OT is also suspect and ridiculous

Greg X. Volz said...

This article should be printed in the Bargain Hunters Guide out of Bath Springs, Tennessee. They usually print religious type articles such as this kind.

RSK said...

I could care less about any of the attempted smoothing by later apologists. I have serious reservations about any "god" who would think that was proper behavior at any point.

Anonymous said...

Well, the Jews are even worse today than when they wrote those O.T. versus. Go find out what's in the Talmud, and do some research on these nasties and find out what they are really all about.

Hoss said...

In most of these cases, "conditions apply", and as for sticking these things on "the Jews", probably the most common Biblical phrase was "...and the LORD said to Moses, speak to the Children of Israel saying...".

As for Jephthah's daughter, the result was most likely "get thee to a nunnery" - she was probably offered to the Temple for life service, as was Samuel.

Anonymous said...

what makes you think Cain was in the Garden?

RSK said...

Mmhmm. I think the text is pretty clear. As evidenced by the later need to smooth it over. Whether it was the deity or the sick minds that came up with the abduction in the case of Rimmon Rock, I do not know.

nck said...

"I can't help but think, for any period in which these barbaric Jewish laws might have been enforced, I wonder how many such men who married their victims it would later turn out that "as long as he lives" didn't prove to be very long."

Helen, that is hilarious and so true.

As long as modern man is able to think they have found ways to circumvent the precepts of other thinking homo sapiens and organized religion in any shape and form. Like you I am a hundred percent sure that on O'l macdonalds farm he had a cow, a chicken, a raped wife and heyiheyahoo he didn't get to add many more years to his life after the fact.
Unfortunately the biblical precept would be a brother stepping in as replacement.


Anonymous said...

Two bears killed or mauled 42 youth. Two bears fighting for food would first get rid of one or the other bear. Why wouldn't 40 of the youth run away after the first two youth get munched on? If each bear took 30 seconds per attack, it still would be plenty of time to escape or kill the bears.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anon said :If each bear took 30 seconds per attack, it still would be plenty of time to escape or kill the bears.

I have a feeling the story is simply not literally true and it never happened. Poetic and Prophetic license.

Kinda like Dave Pack boasting that "everyone who ever opposed me either got sick or died" or whatever BS he came up with to sound awesome and credible.

Byker Bob said...

I've heard commentary to the effect that the rape the scripture is talking about was what we call today "statutory rape". In that context, the commandment and the marriage make perfect sense. Kind of like Paw gettin' out his shotgun and forcing Jethro and lil' Louweezy down to the preacher's place to git married.


Jesus H. Christ said...

You are right about the "bear attack" not really happening. Just like the story of Samson having strength 'cause of his long hair. At no point is that even remotely possible.

Byker Bob said...

If a bear "bitch slaps" a full grown man, just once, it can kill the man. Sheer brute force, way beyond even that of a 300 lb buffed out sheriff's deputy.