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Posts Tagged ‘atheist bible commentary’

Live Blogging the Bible: Deuteronomy 12:31

July 17, 2013 77 comments

by Noah Lugeons

God loves a good genocide.

I can’t help but feel like they’re going out of their way to make this god character an asshole so that it’ll be more cathartic when he’s redeemed, but I’ve gotta be honest, even with 61 books to do it, I’m not sure if there’s any way they can make me like this guy.

So in chapter 12 god reminds us why we can’t realistically entertain the “moral guide” notion of the bible by spelling out all the good reasons to thoroughly destroy every member and memory of the cities they’re all about to ravage.  This is late in the chapter after a thrilling and detailed reminiscence about proper meat-eating etiquette.

God’s explaining why you shouldn’t worship any other gods or even know about how other people worship, which he reminds us of no fewer than infinity times in the book of Deuteronomy.  And in an apparent effort to soften the blow of killing women and children, livestock and slaves, then burning homes, buildings, temples, possessions, clothes and any remnant of a civilization to the ground, Moses takes a minute to remind us just how horrible these societies are:

You must not [worship their gods] because every abhorrent thing they have done for their gods.  They would even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.

My first thought was of Abraham taking ol’ Isaac for a midnight stroll so the actual depth of the irony of this passage took me a second to process.  God’s in the middle of telling them to kill all of these heathens, even the children.  Their god is telling them that they have to burn their enemy’s children because their enemies would burn their children for their god.

But it’s totally still divinely inspired, though…

Live Blogging the Bible: Deuteronomy 10:21

July 16, 2013 1 comment

by Noah Lugeons

Deuteronomy is boring compared to the other books of the bible.

That’s like saying someone is fat by sumo standards; ugly for a game show contestant; stupid for a CNN anchor.  This thing is painfully, brutally, nut-crunchingly boring.

The book consists of three speeches that Moses gives and they have the feel of speeches you would give if there was no clock running on your last words.  It has all the intrigue of a filibuster.  It’s like reading about people studying people watching paint dry.

And if anything, I’m overselling the intrigue.

So when I say that I found verse 10:21 interesting, I feel that I should begin by qualifying the broad spectrum of relative application of the word interesting one must employ to apply it to something in Deuteronomy.  We’re in the first act of Moses’ second speech where he’s rehashing the rehashing we were doing earlier and he’s reminding all the Israelites just what a bad mother fucker god is.

So he drops this line:

He is your praise; he is your god, who has done for you these great and awesome things that your own eyes have seen.

This is not the first time Moses appeals to empirical evidence to convince people of his holiness.  God was more than happy to devour houses in Numbers or send gnats and flies in Exodus or make rocks bleed Aquafina in Leviticus whenever anybody started doubting his royal godness.  Granted, he would then curse them, plague them and bury them in pheasants or something, but he wasn’t shy about appearing as a mountain of fire or wandering around the encampments in cloud form.

Clearly, then, god understands that we need to see some proof.

It seems reasonable to me to ask why it was reasonable for this one minuscule sliver of humanity to demand proof from god, but now that we have cameras and science and a million ways to verify the miraculousness of a miracle, god can’t be bothered.  It’s somehow beneath him.  Now that it’s easier than ever to communicate with the whole world at once.  Now that it’s easier than ever to prove himself in a way that would satisfy even the most skeptical among us.

The standard retort of the theist is that god wants us to have faith, but that doesn’t sound like the genocidal ass-stain I know and love from the bible.  He was all about flexing his muscle.  What, did he mature?  Was he imperfect back then and then grew up?  Hard to imagine a timeless being maturing significantly in the eye-blink of human existence, but it seems like the strongest thread they have to hold onto.

Anyway, back to work.  Somehow we’ve still gotta figure out how to do a segment about a book that does nothing but rehash shit we’ve already made fun of. 

Episode 20: Partial Transcript

Sponsor:

Today’s episode of the Scathing Atheist is brought to you by Scott’s new brand of retroactive thaumaturgical fertilizer, Post-Mortem Miracle Gro.  Do you have a deceased pontiff a few miracles shy of canonization?  Well just dump this fertilizer on that fertilizer and watch the Miracles Grow.

Miracle Grow… making miracles out of bullshit since 1868

And now, the Scathing Atheist…

Intro:

It’s Thursday, it’s July 4th and I only like snakes and sparklers.

I’m your host Noah Lugeons and from seasonably patriotic New York, New York, this is the Scathing Atheist.

On this week’s episode:

  • We’ll learn why gay sex makes Jesus cry,

  • Buddhists will weigh in on all that blasphemous YOLO shit

  • And I’ll put the opening of the second chapter of the God Delusion to music

But first, the Diatribe.

Diatribe:

I had about half a dozen listeners email me the same article from the CNN Belief Blog this week.  The headline read “Christians are happier than atheists… on Twitter.”  Before I even clicked the hyperlink I was already salivating, ready to skewer the shit out of this pseudo-scientific nonsense.  So I read the article and I took a look at the research and I read their conclusions.

And unfortunately, as much as I’d love to unleash both barrels of my verbal-ought-six on this thing, it turns out that there’s just nothing to criticize.  The research was sound, the methodology was solid and the conclusions were perfectly defensible.  It turns out they’re right.  We’re a bunch of miserable, hateful, unhappy fucks.

I know this may come as a surprise to you, because you might often mistakenly think that you’re happy, but you can’t argue with science.  In fact, you might as well just stop arguing altogether and dive head first into a tub of Caramel-Sutra laced with Xanax, for you will never know joy.

So quick before you slit your wrists while sitting in a running car and drinking bleach, let me explain how the advanced new science of Twitter-ology works.  The first step is, of course, to draw a conclusion.  As you’ll see later, if you don’t start with a conclusion, the data’s gonna be too messy to interpret later.  So start off with a firm conclusion and hold on to it no matter what.

Step two is generating sample groups and remember, this is no time to worry about precision.  To study atheists and Christians, for example, all you need to do is randomly select five prominent atheists and five prominent theists and call all of their followers your two groups.  I know that not everybody who follows Dinesh D’Souza is a Christian and not everyone who follows Richard Dawkins is an atheist, but this is science… it doesn’t have to be exact.

So once you have your suspect samples, you analyze the words usage.  Whatever words are used more often are indicators of deep psychological truths about the people using them.  And we know this, because we just do.  It doesn’t matter that there’s no credible research or even logical reason to believe in the core assumption behind this research.  The people doing it wore lab coats or had pocket protectors or something and that makes what makes it science.

So with our rock solid assumption that people who say “happy” a lot are happy, people who say “family” a lot love their families and people who say “food” a lot are fat, we can go to work on our pseudo-data.  And when we do we discover our conclusion, which, you’ll recall, we decided on before we started the research.

In this instance, we’ve proven that atheists aren’t as happy as Christians and they don’t love their families as much.  Viola, conclusion reached, thesis proven, Nobel prize is in the mail.

Admittedly, some atheists have been a bit more critical about the research than I am.  They point out that there’s no reason to assume that people who follow prominent Christians and people who follow prominent atheists are using Twitter for the same purpose.  They point out that many atheists have multiple Twitter accounts and keep their atheism on one and their family stuff on the other.  They point out that even with a perfect sample the study would still be nonsense, as the average Christian is older than the average atheist, more likely to have children and more likely to come from a large family and any one of these covariances would render all the data worthless.  They point out that even if the data wasn’t useless, the conclusion still would be, considering that what they’ve proved is that a privileged majority is happier than the unprivileged minority.

But I think these critics are looking at it the wrong way.  So before you toss out this study just because it’s poorly constructed, obviously biased, impossible to blind, poorly conducted, unscientific and stupid, I should point out some other things this study finds.

Consider the fact that atheists were shown to be far more likely to use words like “reason”, “think”, “idea” and “knowledge”, so if we accept the flawed premise of this  flawed study it also proves that atheists are smarter than Christians.  In addition, it shows that atheists are more likely to use words like “dick”, “fuck” and “pussy”, so clearly we’re also getting laid more often than the Christians.

After all, if we accept the first conclusion and the others are reached through the exact same process, it’s hard to ignore… not so hard that the researchers didn’t manage to ignore it, but hard to ignore nonetheless.

And if you need any further proof that this is sound science, consider the alternative.  If this study isn’t legitimate scholarship, CNN just ran an article that used unproven science and half-ass conclusions to reinforce a hurtful stereotype that has no basis in fact and wouldn’t be newsworthy even if it did.  And we all know that could never happen.

Song

“The God Song”

 

Well Jesus is great, he’s my best friend.

He’s the kinda fella who would die for your sins.

He says women should obey their men,

And ownin’ slaves is fine every now and again.

 

Well Jesus is my buddy and I’m really glad.

He’s the best buddy that a guy ever had.

And if you think some stuff he said was bad,

At least it’s nothing when compared to Jesus’s dad:

 

“Now let me tell you about that fella…”

 

He’s a homicidal, genocidal, pestilential, filicidal,

Petty jealous racist full of rage and spite.

Wicked and misogynistic, he’s a sado-masochistic

Homophobe that massacred Amalekites.

And Midianites.

And Sodomites.

And Perizzites and Moabites and Philistines and Benjamites,

Syrians, Assyrians, Ethiopians and Amorites.

And Egyptians.

 

“But we’re not yet, because he’s also…”

 

A Maleficent, Malevolent, Omnipotent, Irrelevant,

Megalomaniacal vindictive beast.

He’s ruthless and he’s useless; he’s an evil, brutal, futile nuisance.

Turned a chick to salt just for looking east.

 

Heartless, inexorable, rancorous and horrible,

He’s got a torture chamber and a thirst for blood,

He’s a fictitious, injudicious, vile, vicious, angry bitch;

His temper’s like a two year old with global floods.

 

He’s capricious and malicious and flagitious and pernicious

And an ethnic-cleansing bully of the highest sort,

Injurious, Inglorious, Nefarious, Notorious,

And when he raped a married virgin? Paid no child support.

 

Headlines:

Joining me for headlines tonight is my consiglieri Heath Enwright.  Heath, are you ready to con-siggle?

I’d be happy to.

Well, not according to those Twitter-ologists, you aren’t, but I’ll overlook it.

In our lead story tonight, we’re one step closer to legalized goat-sex thanks to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act.

According to Rick Santorum, it’s not just one step closer… We’ve actually legalized the equivalent of goat sex.  

As all but one of our listeners know, the nation’s highest court recently struck down a 17 year old piece of bigoted legislation that denied federal benefits to same-sex spouses.

And just fucking barely.  The highest court in the land, which should be 9 of the most rational and intelligent people in the country, came as close as possible to a tie on this issue.  Which is almost as embarassing as the fact that gay marriage and gay rights in general are even an argument that’s still on the table.  

  • “If we could have made no decision on gay rights, we would have, but there’s fucking 9 of us, so we couldn’t tie.  And since Kennedy’s not a complete asshole, gays are people …  according to 55.6% of us here at the highest court.”

The reaction of America’s religious leaders was surprisingly muted and tolerant:

(SOUNDCLIP)

The ruling was even enough to prompt scientifically-anomalous unhappy Tweets from Christians, calling the decision a “Tragic Day for Marriage and Our Nation”, declaring that the “Supreme Court Overrules God” and that “Jesus Wept”.

But don’t worry, it’ll only be a few decades before the prominent Christian voices are taking credit for this.

We’re forgetting the real victim here . . . the good people over at Merriam-Webster, who will now have to work tirelessly around the clock to go through every dictionary, and cross out the part that says, ‘between a man and a woman’.

No, trust me, I’ve read the Tweets, Jesus is the real victim here.  Now, in honor of the DOMA ruling I put together my three favorite insane overreactions.  My number three was Rick Santorum and you already beat me to the punch on that one.  But I will say, in Rick’s defense, what is the difference between two consenting men or women entering into a legal bond of love and raping a donkey?

Mostly just the consent of the ass, I guess.

Number two was the verbal gymnastics of the guy with the most Christian name ever, Monsignor Charles Pope, who proposed the “freedom fry” option, suggesting that Christians just drop the word “marriage” altogether and switch to “Holy Matrimony”

Shit, yeah that would entirely disempower us f-word-lovers.  Is that really what he’s going for?

But the gold medal goes to the head of the Catholic Church’s matrimonial court, Archbishop Oscar Cruz, who answers the question “Can gay men get married?” with “To lesbians, sure.”

What is he, multiplying negative numbers in his weird little head?

Supreme Court Decision on DOMA and bigoted reactions from churches: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/26/religious-reactions-to-scotus-decisions/ & http://wordnews.org/2013/06/26/reactions-from-christian-organizations-swift-to-supreme-courts-overturning-of-doma/

Catholic Priest: It’s okay for gay men to marry lesbians: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/428951/catholic-church-has-no-problem-with-marriage-between-gay-man-lesbian & Catholic Priest Suggests that in the wake of DOMA they should drop the word “marriage” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/28/marriage-holy-matrimony_n_3517019.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

And in a follow up to a story we talked about in episode 17, American Atheist president David Silverman unveiled America’s first monument to atheism in Fuckville, Florida last week.  And, in the humble, deferential manner we’ve come to expect from Bible Belt Christians, a number of Evangelicals showed up to help us dedicate what inaugural Farnsworth quoter and blogger Hemant Mehta has deemed a “Non”-ument.

I was gonna say Skepti-Couch . . . or Secu-Lounger . . .  or Seat of Doubt.

Protesters blasted Christian music and carried signs that read “Honk for Jesus”, “Preserve Florida’s Christian Culture” and “The South is a Christian Nation”.

Where the fuck do southern, conservative Christians get the balls to have pride as a group?  And how does Christianity get southern blacks on board so well?  Shouldn’t there be more awkward guilt around the South?  You don’t see conservative Germans flying Third Reich flags . . . 

And as if to lend validity to your point, according to our friends at Bar Room Atheist one of the signs actually read “Hook for Jeses”.

One lover of the lord tried to place a toilet seat on the bench during the ceremony, but not to be out-douched, prominent creationist and son of a felon Eric Hovind jumped on top of the monument to scream about how awesome Jesus was.  Hovind said that he was happy that the American Atheist had provided him a platform to preach from that was 48 inches high; ten inches short of being one inch tall for every felony conviction for which his father is concurrently serving time.

So the genius who – at one point – was carrying around a toilet seat in public . . .

I’m just guessing, but he probably wasn’t making an artistic philosophical statement relating to Marcel Duchamp, was he?

I really hope somebody out there gets that.

The big news out of the unveiling ceremony is that the show was so popular they’re taking it on the road.  Silverman announced that American Atheists are prepared to put up as many as 50 similar monuments all over the country in a social counter-offensive to the fundamentalist assholes who put Christian monuments on public property.

Excellent . . . Looking forward to The Seat of Doubt Tour <bunch of assholes>

Atheist Bench Unveiled in Starke, FL: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/atheists-unveil-monument-nonbelief-god-article-1.1386919 & http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/06/29/american-atheists-unveils-godless-monument-in-front-of-florida-courthouse-and-announces-many-more/

And in this week’s “How many felonies can the Catholics fit into one Scandal?” report, the Milwaukee Archdiocese was recently forced to release 6000 pages of Sexual abuse documents due to allegations of bankruptcy fraud stemming from some financial shenanigans allegedly intended to shield money from abuse victims.

Atheist Podcasters are already – as I speak – calling this the “Anal Leaks Scandal”.

Depends . . . but this could get messy.  

And as it happens, Cardinal Timothy Dolan appears to have his hands about elbow deep in the anal leakage, too, as included in the documents is a deposition where he suggests moving money to a “cemetery maintenance fund” to keep it shielded from future claims.

So if it wasn’t obvious to everyone already, the Catholic Church is officially – financially . . . and morally – bankrupt.    

  • “Ok, yes . . . we raped a bunch of kids, but if the courts make us pay for it, that would be prostitution, which is wrong.  We didn’t want to make whores out of these kids, just innocent rape victims.  Rape victims go to heaven.  Think about that trade.  Rape victim for several decades on earth, but then eternal bliss.  We’re doing favors, here.  We’re raping stairways to heaven for these kids.”

To Dolan’s credit, most of the documentation I’ve seen up to this point shows him impotently trying whatever he can to get these pedophiles the fuck out of the priesthood and while I’m not sure I’m in love with his proposed solution of paying them to leave and never turning them into the cops, he’s made to seem far less villainous by the merit of the people writing him back and saying, “No, pedophile or no, we need all the priests we can get.”

Milwaukee Archdiocese releases sexual abuse files: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/01/milwaukee-priest-sex-abuse-records_n_3527980.html

And in “We’re-worse-than-we-thought” news, a new international religion poll from German non-profit Bertelsmann Stiftung makes me want to swim with toasters.

So I take it we didn’t do that well?

The survey compared religious views of 13 nations and if you’re grading this thing fairly, the US lost to pretty much everyone on pretty much everything.

Among the study’s findings:

  • Americans lead all 13 nations in believing that (quote) “Only politicians who believe in god are suitable for public office”.

  • The very first amendment clearly says, “Don’t do that.”

  • Americans are the most willing to make sacrifices for their religion

  • It’s really just happiness and societal progress . . . so not THAT big a sacrifice.

  • And 50% of Americans find atheists (quote) “threatening”.

  • They fucking should.  We’re expediting their inevitable removal from the political decision-making process.        

The survey doesn’t offer any answers to the obvious follow up question: “Is it too late to un-secede from England?”

I’d be down for an Evolutionary War, where we get back with England for atheist reasons, by taking them back over.  And then give away Northern Ireland for spite.  Maybe drop the South on waivers.

I’d also like some answers on what, exactly, that 50% is afraid we vile secularists are going to do.  Are they afraid we’re gonna incur the wrath of their petty god?  Are they afraid we’re gonna make it legal to gay-marry a harem of chinchillas?  Or are they afraid we’re gonna prove they don’t get to go to eat sky-cake when they die?

Well I probably shouldn’t even be talking about this, but Phase 2 of our plot IS complete.  That’s all I’ll say, but they should certainly be threatened.

Or . . .  Is it that everyone on the wrong, backwards, misinformed side of every argument ever, is threatened by the truthier side?  The 50% number would be higher if more theists were smart enough to recognize their obsolescence.

New Survey: 50% of Americans find atheists “threatening”: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/06/26/new-survey-50-of-americans-find-atheism-threatening/

And from the “How-Much-Will-You-Give-Me-For-This-Golden-Rule?” file, Australian priest, Anglican opportunist and shining example of Christianity in practice Terry McAuliffe got a little unwanted press last week over an incident involving a lost bracelet and an asshole.

Please tell me this dude found a bracelet in his asshole.

…or in his gay lover’s asshole.

No, were that the case it would have been the lead story.

Oh, so instead we’re sticking it somewhere in the rear?

The story goes like this; he finds a bracelet valued at around $6,500.  He tracks down the owners and offers to sell it back to them for half the price.  But don’t worry, he wasn’t only trying to fuck them on the deal.  He also suggested that they continue to claim it as lost and recover the money by scamming their insurance company.

“Wait… you’re telling me I get the bracelet that demonstrably belongs to me and I get to pay you $3000 and all I have to do is commit felony insurance fraud?  What’s the catch?”

Yeah, if it sounds too good to be true…

The one good thing he does here is suggest screwing the insurance company, but that doesn’t exactly make him Robin Hood here.  He’s stealing from the rich, and stealing from the poor.

Once the story hit the news the good reverend had a quick change of heart and offered instead to return the bracelet at no cost, stop being an asshole and wonder why he hadn’t just raped some kids instead.

Anglican Priest finds bracelet, tries to sell it to owners: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/reverend-bracelet-terry-mcauliffe_n_3503644.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

And in “God-Hates-Your-Jiggly-Bits” news, the Christian Post brings us the story of two Christian ministries in Southern California who are willing to bravely venture deep into the heart of the satanic underworld of strip clubs and porn conventions to win souls back for Jesus.

Among those brainwashed into doing Christian charity work, I imagine a “missionary position” like that is highly prized, so they probably only have a couple of holes to fill at once.  

With names like (I shit you not) “JC’s girls” and “XXXChurch”, the ministries go to strip clubs armed with gift baskets that contain things like (I still shit you not) “Lotions, lip gloss and hot pink bibles” these groups send their crew to (again, I still shit you not), “strip clubs, brothels and between 8 and 11 porn conventions a year”

“If just one hooker find solace in her new pink bible, after getting sodomized for money, then we’ve done our job.  And if just one porn star uses her pink bible to block a money shot, we get some good free product placement.”

Ok let’s put 20 seconds on the clock – Church Porn Titles . . . Go!

Lord of the Thighs

Cream Piety  

How about Nympho Nuns Nine: The Naughty Nazarite?

Missionary Impossible

12 Apostles, One Cup

Numbers Colon 69

Can you reach the colon, in a 69?

Sheri Brown, lead coordinator of the San Diego Chapter of JC’s Girls told the Christian Post that god calls them to “reach out in love”, “form bonds with desperate women”, “offer them fulfillment” and “bring them to their knees for Jesus”; and then honestly expects us not to make fuck jokes about it.

Ok so what you’re saying is, “Last call for missionary fucking jokes.” . . .

“The Consu-Matrix” immaculate conception porn, starring Holey Trinity as the Virgin Mary. . .

It’s a threesome with Mary, Joseph, and God.

I love the concept of immaculate conception porn.

Yeah, kind of looks like masturbation… you can’t really tell.

Christian Outreach focused on Strip Clubs and Porn Conventions: http://www.christianpost.com/news/christians-outreach-into-strip-clubs-porn-conventions-to-share-love-of-jesus-98899/

And with those sexy images swimming through your head we’ll close out the headlines for the night.  Heath, thanks as always for joining me.

And when we come back, you’ll realize that we never really left.

Bible Story:

Run grab the young ‘uns, folks!  It’s time for Lucinda Lugeons’ Bible Stories for Kids!

——————-

Gather around boys and girls.  Today we’re gonna open the bible up to Genesis and talk about the story of Lot’s daughters.

Now once upon a time there was a man named Lot.  Lot had two daughters whose names weren’t important enough to record in the bible, because they were women.

Lot and his family grew up in a town called Sodom, a town where a lot of daddies loved a lot of other daddies in the butt.  God hates gay people so he really, really hates whole towns of gay people.  So one day he decided to destroy the town and all the people who lived in it.

But don’t worry, kids.  Lot’s daughters were safe.  God loved them more than the other people who lived there, so he sent two angels to warn them.  They wouldn’t have to die.  It would only be their sisters, all of their friends and all the little dogs and cats and hamsters that lived there that would perish in a fiery catastrophe.  And trust me, boys and girls, the hamsters that lived in Sodom were begging for death.

But when the two angels showed up to warn Lot and his family, all the villagers, young and old gathered around because they wanted to anally rape the angels.  But anally raping angels is very naughty so Lot said “No villagers!  Don’t rape the angels!  You can rape my daughters instead.”  And he threw his two virginal, innocent daughters to a mob of diseased, rape-starved perverts.

But luckily for Lot’s daughters, the villagers really wanted to rape the angels instead, so the angels struck them blind.

“Hooray!”

Lot and his family had to move very quickly because death and torment was about to befall everyone they’d ever known.  So mommy, daddy and their two daughters ran away.  But mommy looked back at the town, so god killed her by turning her into salt.  Because if you look in the wrong direction, sometimes god kills you.

So with their mommy dead and all of their friends and pets burned alive, they hid in a cave and slept on rocks with nobody to keep them company but their drunken daddy.  And what’s even worse, they had nobody to have sex with except their daddy.  Of course, daddy wouldn’t want to have sex with them because daddy’s having sex with their daughters is naughty, so they got daddy really drunk and they force-fucked him several times.

They both got pregnant with inbred rape-children who they loved very much and the few people who lived through the story lived happily ever after.

The End.

Skit:

Henchman: “Heath, Noah… SCOTUS has overturned DOMA.”

(Sinister Laughs)

It’s all proceeding exactly according to plan.

Gather the others.  We must meet tonight.

(Scene Switch Sound Effect)

I hereby call this meeting of the League of….  

Um… Doctor Myers, Mister Dillahunty… The buffet is supposed to be for after the…

Whatever, I now call… you’re really gonna just take all the baby-bacon?  The whole platter.  No… that’s fine.  Um… yeah.  That’s fine.

Like I was saying, I hereby call this meeting of the League of Sinister Secularists to Order.  The honorless Noah Lugeons presiding.

Thank you, Heath.  Now obviously we all know there’s big news this week, but first things first.  Heath, can you read us the minutes of the last meeting?

We all started off pledging allegiance to Darwin, we hated America for a little while, Greta gave us an update about her cats, Doctor Myers and Mister Dillahunty ate all the baby-bacon before I got to the buffet, and we decided to go with the bench instead of the Trojan-Horse Satan Sculpture I submitted.

Thank you, Heath.  Now if there’s no new business, I’d like to move on to the… Um, Hemant, can you practice your sinister finger steepling some other time?  This is important.  Thank you.  And um… Tom, Cecil… We’re all still really impressed that you can both do that with your testicles, but if you don’t mind, we’re trying to have a meeting here.

Now, as you all know, we’ve received word that the Supreme Court has struck down DOMA, leaving marriage completely defenseless.

(Hooray!)

Yes, we should all be proud of the job we’ve done, but this is no time to rest on our laurels.  The family isn’t destroyed yet.

You can’t even legally marry a sheep yet.

That’s right!  Polygamy, bestiality, child-sacrifice; none of that is legal yet.  And nevermind gay adoption… why aren’t those kids being aborted in the first place?

Or made into bacon?  Or both?  Fetus bacon is like the pre-veal filet mignon of atheist cuisine.  In French, ‘mignon’ means cute, so this makes sense.  If babies are cute, then fetuses are fucking adorable.  And small strips of that tender, undifferentiated fetus meat, slowly smoked, and then fried in its own almost babyfat . . . fucking delicious.      

Exactly.  We’ve won an important battle, but we can’t lose sight of the war.  Heath, what are we doing to further cement the destruction of traditional American values?

We’re drafting legislation now that would make happiness illegal in the month of December.  We’ve got some of our top agents planting more apocryphal evolution fossils.  And we’re still looking into that end-of-the-world-building from Ghostbusters, see if that’s for real, but it’s not looking good..

That’s not enough!  Is it still legal to be heterosexual!?  Why haven’t we fixed that yet?  Is it still legal to love your neighbor and be moral?  We’ve been fighting against that for centuries to no avail.

I think it’s time to enact phase 3 of the plan.

Is that the one where we cease human births and turn to cloning just to piss god off?

No… that’s phase 6.

Oh, right.  Three is the one where we kidnap Anna Kendrick and chain her up in your basement.

No, that’s phase 13 and that one was tentative.  Phase three is the part where we make Christians get UPC symbols tattooed on their wrists and foreheads.  I tell you, I’m starting to think nobody’s reading my memos but Glenn Beck.  And how the hell did he get a hold of those anyway?

Yeah, we’re still looking into that.

Hemant, the steepling.  Don’t get me wrong folks; I don’t mean to downplay the significance of this ruling, but as long as happiness, democracy and virgins are still out there, we can’t afford time to celebrate.  Remember, we can’t take away their ignorance, but we can damn sure take away their bliss!

Outro:

Before we cash in our chips tonight, we need to take a few seconds to recognize this week’s most exceptional mammals; Lindsay, April, Jason, Douglas and  Geoff spelled the cool way.  The quintessence of non-quiescent quercine qualities, this quick-witted quintet quietly quelled the quarrelsome quandary about quartering our quirky, quodlibetical quest by quantifying their appreciation and giving us money.

If you, too, would like to be the subject of some archaic alliteration and earnest appreciation, you can help keep this whole experiment going by clicking on the donate button on the right side of our homepage at Scathing Atheist (dot) com and giving til it hurts.  And then continuing to give because you can take it.

All jokes aside, in all seriousness, we really do want your money.  But if we can’t talk you out of your hard earned dollars, you can always help us out by leaving us a glowing review on iTunes because that’s free.

That’s all we’ve got for you this week but if you want more, there’s more.  Frank and Dan at Thank God I’m Atheist invited me over to defend the utility of acerbic atheism the other day.  It was a really good discussion and you can find it on episode 85 of their show, which will be linked on the shownotes for this episode.

TGIA Archive: http://www.thankgodimatheist.com/podcast/archives.php

I also need to thank Heath once more for all he does to make this thing possible, and of course, my lovely wife Lucinda for providing the bible story this week and, of course, for performing adult services for me for 17 years and counting.  I also want to offer a concurrent thanks and apology to my muse Richard Dawkins, whose voluminous vocabulary acted as the inspiration for the song this week, as anyone who’s read the God Delusion probably already figured out.

I should also point out that I’m in a constant state of scrambling for Farnsworth quotes so if you have a blog, a podcast, a facebook page or even a consistently interesting Twitter feed, I’d be happy to throw you a plug in exchange for a 5 second audio clip of you quoting the 22nd century’s most stylish professor.

And finally tonight, I want to thank you, dear listener, for giving us 30 minutes of your life.  We’ll be hard at work trying to earn 30 more minutes next week but until then, you can also check out our erratically published blog and get occasional nuggets of Scatheism by following us on the Twitter, liking us on the Facebook and subscribing to us on the YouTube.

If you have question, comments or death threats, you’ll find all the contact info on the contact page at Scathing Atheist (dot) com.  All the music used in this episode was written and performed by yours truly and yes, I did have my permission.

Live Blogging the Bible: Numbers 15:32-36

June 26, 2013 1 comment

by Noah Lugeons

My normal methodology for the “Live Blogging the Bible” series is to jot things down whenever something strikes me as unusually brutal, illogical or inconsistent.  That’s why I didn’t wind up writing anything about Leviticus: There was no part that was any more brutal, illogical or inconsistent than any other part.

But in Numbers the blog-worthy segments basically speak for themselves.  The book is largely filled with boring censuses and details of various sacrifices, but there are a few segments that just leap out of the page and say, “What the fuck am I doing here.”

Obviously, 15:32-36 is such a passage.  But to truly understand how jarring this part is, let me start by giving you the parentheses.  Immediately before this, we just spent 31 verses repeating shit we heard before about sacrifices and offerings.  Immediately after this, god expresses a fondness for tassels.

And what strange occurrence rests between these two relatively benign snippets?  Why, the brutal murder of some stranger the Jews drug in from the forest.  It would seem that this treacherous bastard had the audacity to pick up sticks on the Sabbath.  So they stoned him to death.

Yeah, you read that right.  He picked up sticks.  I’m not exaggerating the triviality of this.  The charges against him read, in full:

…a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day.

So they drag this poor, hapless (and now firewood-less) guy before Moses and because of the unique nature of his offense, Moses checks with God and asks what should be done with this heathen.  And god’s prescription is for everyone to gather together and throw rocks at him until he dies.

And oh yeah, he likes tassels.  I shit you not, the gear shift into the next paragraph is exactly this (NSRV):

Numbers 15:36

The whole congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Numbers 15:37&38

The Lord said to Moses: Speak to the Israelites, and tell them to make fringes on the corners of their garments throughout their generations and to put a blue cord on the fringe at each corner.

Which is, I believe, God talk for “Squirrel!”

 

Live Blogging the Bible: Numbers 11:19-33

June 24, 2013 1 comment

by Noah Lugeons

I’m only four books in and already I’m amazed at how many crazy stories that I’ve never heard are hidden in the bible.  Why does nobody ever talk about Simeon and Levi?  Or Gershom’s magical foreskin?  Or the naked Noah story?  Or, as I recently discovered, the retributive quail tsunami?

The first ten chapters of numbers deal with the Israelites getting ready to move to the promised land.  After a considerable time putzing around Sinai with nobody to keep them company but the occasional golden calf, they get ready to move camp, Tabernacle and all, and march against all those assholes that are currently living in the land god clearly intended for them to inherit.

For the first quarter of the book the Jews are very well behaved.  They camp where Moses tells them to camp, they enlist when Moses tells them to enlist and they sacrifice bulls and goats when Moses tells them he’s hungry.  But once they start the march, Moses’ underlings get really bitchy, really fast.  Every time he turns around their moaning about how they might as well have just died in Egypt as slaves where at least they didn’t have to spend years wandering through the wilderness with nothing to eat but manna.

So god hears their cries and he decides to be merciful and send them plenty of food.  So much so, in fact, that he promises that all 600,000 of them can eat meat for a month.  So he sends a month long tsunami or quails all around them.  And just when you’re starting to think that maybe god has turned another leaf and stopped being a complete douche bag, you find out that the quail were a backhanded gift.  It comes at the cost of a plague that kills thousands of the assholes.  Oh yeah, and they lose their claim to the promised land.  So no, god’s still an asshole.

But god being a dick isn’t anything new.  He’s been consistent since Genesis so god pulling a dick move is hardly worth blogging about.  I just thought I’d hop on to point out what a counterintuitive dick he was being.  After all, if he’d just lighten up on the demands for bulls and goats and lambs and turtle doves and donkeys, there would be plenty of meat to go around.  You know, the old “stop burning the food for an omnipotent god and start eating it” gambit.

I suppose god is all-knowing (or at least that’s what the people who didn’t write the bible seem to think) so he probably already thought of my solution and rejected it for one of his mysterious reasons.  But I thought it was worth pointing out anyway.

Live Blogging the Bible: Numbers 5:11-31

June 21, 2013 3 comments

by Noah Lugeons

Numbers is a tricky book.  It rests there in between Leviticus and Deuteronomy, two of the most notorious books in the bible, and yet it manages to have very little reputation at all.  It’s known for boring lists and the titular numbers, but little else.  And you can read a few chapters in without seeing much more than that.  It tries to put you to sleep with all the census lists and exact recounting of sacrifices, perhaps with hopes that you’ll overlook the talking donkey.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  I started this book off with no real idea what to expect and for the first four chapters I was starting to worry that we’d have nothing interesting to talk about in next week’s “Holy Babble” segment.  And then I reached chapter five and we got something so weird it could fill the whole 9 minute segment if we wanted it to.

This is essentially a biblical Montel Williams recipe.  If you want to know for sure if your woman has been faithful, apparently there’s just one way to know for sure and it’s outlined in detail for 20 full verses of Numbers, Chapter 5.  Now, I’ll skimp a bit on the details, but essentially the process breaks down as follows:

  1. Take your wife to the temple along with a tenth of an ephah of flour.
  2. Get some water, put some dirt in it and muss up your wife’s hair.
  3. Say a magical incantation over the dirty water that turns it into adulteress poison.
  4. Make her drink it.

If she’s been faithful, she’ll be fine.  If not, apparently her womb will fall out, she’ll be in horrible pain and she’ll never conceive.

Despite the divine seal of approval on this method, I suppose it’s easy to see why it fell out of favor.  Obviously today’s women are much harder to talk into drinking dirt, but beyond that the price for finding out she’s been banging the UPS guy is pretty high.  I’d kind of rather not know than have my wife’s womb fall out.  But I suppose that’s just a by-product of the sissification of my secular lifestyle.

Live Blogging the Bible: Leviticus Preface

by Noah Lugeons

On the suggestion of a professor that Carl interviewed on the Post Rapture Looting Atheist Podcast, when I set out to read the bible, I purchased the 4th Edition New Oxford Annotated Bible.  It was a bit more of an investment than many of my other bible options, but the annotations, reading guides, maps, apocrypha and summaries made it well worth the investment.

Each book in the New Oxford is preceded by a series of short essays that deal with authorship, interpretation, structure, history and a short “reading guide” aimed to help the student appreciate exactly what they’ll be reading.  Thus far these essays have been rather useful in structuring the discussions we have on the books as well as giving me a bit of a life raft while I’m drowning in the prehistoric insanity of this tome.

The reading guide for Leviticus contained a rather interesting suggestion that basically said the best way to read Leviticus is to not read it.  After a brief and desperate attempt to downplay the raving lunacy of this section of the bible, the scholars offered the following advice:

Because the focus of Leviticus’s narrative is the law and in its divine speeches, the book is most profitably read first according to legal topic rather than from beginning to end.

In keeping with the theme of our “Holy Babble” segment, of course, I ignored this advice and dove right in.  And it didn’t take long to figure out why they discourage such activity.  I would submit that it’s all but impossible to maintain the internal fiction of divine authorship after reading even the first several verses in Leviticus.

It’s also no wonder to me that while most of us our familiar with many of the stories in Genesis and Exodus, we don’t know a damned thing about Leviticus.  It certainly wouldn’t do well for the “divinely inspired” camp to try to rationalize the crazy shit in this book.  Let’s just say it’ll be a long damn time before some creationist group opted for the moniker “Answers in Leviticus”.

I’m sure it’s not the most fucked up book in the bible (I hear tell that Deuteronomy trumps it early and often), but it is certainly the most fucked up thing I’ve ever read.  There can be little doubt that this is a simple amalgamation of horribly misguided, pre-scientific tribal customs codified in a time before we understood medicine, meteorology, biology or succinctness.