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Today's Election '08 Religious Test

vastleft's picture

Among the Bible's greatest heroes is Noah, who saved mankind and every species of flora and fauna from a flood caused by... well, that's not important now.

One night, after Noah ties one on, his son Ham (not a word with positive associations among the Israelites) takes advantage of the sleeping arkman.

The punishment he metes out is a model of Biblical justice: Ham's son, Canaan, who had nothing to do with the incident, is to become a slave's slave for Noah's other sons.

Given that America has gone to Hell in a handbasket for want of adherence to Judeo-Christian values, how many of the 2008 candidates will stand up for making punishment of a perp's children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren part of the criminal code?

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shystee's picture
Submitted by shystee on

"taking advantage" in the Bible!

Noah's son saw him butt naked and didn't avert his eyes, that's all.

And Noah was undoubtedly suffering from a wicked hangover when he cursed his son's progeny.

I'm sure he didn't mean it.

Then the Confederate-Americans took that shit the wrong way to justify their lifestyle.

I heard this Bible story for the first time in African American Studies class at the University. True story.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... that "uncovering [someone's] nakedness," especially when used in the context of relatives, is a euphemism for doing the nasty.

Without that, um, revelation, Noah's freak-out seems pretty hard to figure.

Anyway, which part of the Confederate lifestyle did they draw from Genesis 9? I'm guessing it wasn't anything too good.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

"Anyway, which part of the Confederate lifestyle did they draw from Genesis 9?"

3 sons = 3 races.

Guess which Ham was said to be the father of.

Oh, and he didn't "uncover" he "saw". Noah got drunk, got naked, and his son wandered in and saw his father's junk. I'm sorry, but unless "saw" is some rather forced code for "sucked him like a hoover", then I fail to see the reason for the reaction.

So, basically, Noah gets plastered, strips to his meat and two veg, his kid see him in the buff, and then Noah curses his grandkid instead of punishing the son for hte crime of seeing his dad's junk* - I'm sorry, but this falls under the "Dumbass evil bastard" section of the Bible, where characters inexplicably go completely and utterly apeshit and act like Pol Pot, and then people spend the next ~4K years trying to come to some explantion why the SoB is really in the right, when the obvious explanationis that Noah acted like a fucktard.

* And considering these guys probably grew up in a single tent and saw their parents doing the nasty on more than one occassion, Ham had probably saw Little Noah more times than he can count.

Submitted by lambert on

is code for "fucked," there's no reason why "saw" couldn't be code for "sucked like a Hoover." Eh?

We. Are. Going. To. Die. We must restore hope in the world. We must bring forth a new way of living that can sustain the world. Or else it is not just us who will die but everyone. What have we got to lose? Go forth and Fight!—Xan

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

As to the "see nakedness / uncover nakedness" idiom, they're used interchangeably in Leviticus 20:17.

Check out this page, from a book about the role of the Ham story and American slavery, describing a Talmudic debate about whether Ham raped Noah or castrated him. Neither debater took the position that all Ham did was catch a glimpse. Obviously it's not crystal clear, but I got the strong impression that the description of what went on between Ham and Noa was couched in euphemism.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Okay, so Ham either raped Noah or castrated Noah - and the old boy not only slept through it, but didn't wake up until much later?* What did Noah do: brew the ancient equivalent of Night Train and guzzle an ark-full? That was some powerful stuff. And the response of the other two - upon Ham telling them about it - is to go do the most convoluted procedure to put a blanket on Noah? My God - I'd be more upset with the non-Ham duo: "Mr. Happy over there PMITA and/or pulled a basment-level Sweeny Todd, and you put a freaking blanket on me?!? OMGWTFBBQ!?! Are you stupid? You couldn't beat him to death and/or get me a Band-Aid? Nope, you two retards decided the appropriate response was to give me a blankie! And to show you stupid starts at the top, I'm not going to punish the perpetrator, but go lamblast his kid, because that makes the most sense."

Sorry, even assuming we're up to our eyes in euphemisms, Noah is still a bastard/idiot

* And, yes, I know women have been raped and don't remember due to intoxication, I'm just suprised Noah could get that wasted on what had to be some pretty crappy wine.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... promotes cross-generational punishments -- are being quite the opposite of the moral models that the Bible would have us take them for.

If people want to nitpick that Noah's just a human, remember that the Lord believes in punishments not just one- and four-generations deep, but for all generations (e.g., all women must suffer painful childbirth because of Eve's misdemeanor).

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Every party has a pooper and so I invite myself to this one.

Though it's fun and easy to do, it's intellectually lazy to mock the True Believers and their literalist blindness. Mythological compendia like the Bible have been written down, shape-shifted, and kept alive over the ages because once in a (great) while they make sense of some of the more confounding and seemingly self-destructive aspects of the human species, and offer insights to help individuals transcend the worst of it. To me, this is their only value.

Anyone with a brain can readily discern that the Noah-&-Ham fable, like a tale of Sysiphus or Midas, contains a moral about the nature of the human condition, no matter what century. And what it tells us 21st century schizoids is clear.

Before Bush, the intrepidly genocidal behavior of every US administration had been reasonably kept under "wraps". But the hubristic misdeeds of today's smirking Bush and his rampant "Dick" have now "laid bare" our gov't's karmic disregard for following the eternally true and basic laws prescribing how to live a moral life, a set of do-'n'-dont ideals found in every literate culture's "religious" text.

Bush's real legacy is this "revelation" to all citizens with at least One Good Eye -- the constant, horrific, deadly overreaching of decades (or centuries, if you ask Native American survivors) of unchecked governmental power on the part of the USA, with its complete disregard for consequential human misery and massive loss of life, and the blowback it inevitably brings about.

Thus, our innocent children and grandchildren and even beyond, if they survive at all, will pay a terrible karmic price.

...so many "..."s -- maybe I have a future as an armchair semiologist ...

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... claim "intellectually laziness" on the part of non-believers?

Aren't those who ratify millennia of absurd but socially supported mythology a more apt target?

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

Anyone with a brain can readily discern that the Noah-&-Ham fable, like a tale of Sysiphus or Midas, contains a moral about the nature of the human condition, no matter what century.

exactly! fables, moral tales, morality plays- they are all great forms of (sometimes intellectual) entertainment. that is, something that you do when your work is done, or when you're not in the process of organizing and defining government and the nature of your polity. you know, like when you're spending time reading to your kids or chatting it up over a phat blunt. entertainment has its place.

this is the part that i hate most about discussions of religion and politics. if we agree we can't all agree about the degree of fictionality when it comes to these stories (was he raped, blown, mocked, etc) then we should agree that they don't really serve a purpose in those regions of human interaction where knowing the facts of the matter at hand is really important.

it's really important for me to know what hucksterbee proposes to do, specifically and exactly, with his presidential powers over the budget. i don't care at all if he believes that noah was real or not. i don't care at all what he takes away as 'moral of the story.'

i would, however, really like it if he could keep those things to himself. like his bible tells him to.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I suppose at one level, I do care if Huckabee believes that Noah put every species of flora and fauna on a boat, because if (and since) the answer is "yes," that is an indication that he's batshit crazy, or at least disturbingly gullible.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

stupid, uninformed, ignorant and even misled people can and have done great things. even the believers deserve a chance at office, who am i to know they won't accidentially do good.

freedom means they should get a seat at the table too, as much as i think little of their intellectual capacity.

Submitted by lambert on

If Huckabee believes that, then he is, in fact, batshit crazy.

This is not up for debate, any more than the phlogiston theory ("Oxygen needed for fire? Opinions differ").

Now, Huckabee is also representing a faction in the kulturkampf that happens to be batshit crazy.

So, why shouldn't we be dragging the Overton Window left to ridicule these false beliefs, marginalize them in the discourse, and deny them political power? Yeah, yeah, "pluralism" and "tolerance" but (a) these guys will never extend us the same tolerance, and (b) heck, the Overton Window is a window. You just don't get to see everything out of it. I've had enough of Bush appointing religious loons to high office, and I deny that any of them have done good, however accidentally, when you net it all out.

The Bush experiment in theocratic governance can stop, because we have enough results to make a decision about it. Fuck them.

We. Are. Going. To. Die. We must restore hope in the world. We must bring forth a new way of living that can sustain the world. Or else it is not just us who will die but everyone. What have we got to lose? Go forth and Fight!—Xan

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

As I do this, I keep getting quibbles from apologists like pooka, who argue that criticizing the Bible is tiresome caviling, that everyone knows it's a bunch of bunk, and so forth.

But the reality is that Bible literalism and kneejerk respect for hogwash faith is omnipresent in American politics, and it's helping enable the dismantling of my homeland. And so, I accept dragging on that Overton Window as my cross to bear.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Guess I was too florid in my earlier comment -- basically the parable is one of this: exposing what people in power want to keep hidden can mean the direst of consequences for generations on end. We can debate the truth of this assertion, of course. The parable is similar to the Pandora's Box fable, which, IMHO, says the same thing more elegantly closer to the actuality we all experience.

CD -- oh, modern individual, you: you may consider myths as entertainment, but to pre-scientific people, they were stone-serious attempts at explaining the ways of karma. It was a world of "the gobbalins'll getcha if ya don't watch out." (Nowadays it's just "he sees you when you're sleeping.")

Vastleft -- nowhere did I say that it's tiresome or ineffective to criticize the bible. Rather, we should understand why it has lasted this long. My commentary was directed at the "tiresome" smirkitude of grabbing easy laffs at the expense of those unfortunate challenged souls who can't comprehend the concept of metaphor. And I'm glad to see the thread's tone has subsequently shifted away from such sophomoric, albeit sometimes quite amusing, observations.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

the fact that Huckleberry actually is one of those unfortunate challenged etc etc is ample reason to expose him as much as possible for his hubris in pursuing presidential power over us. He's a dangerous, deluded, lying sicko.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

He's no more a believer than I am. He's just better at faking it, which is the Secret Class they teach you at Theology School if you intend to go into the ordained ministry.

Seriously, people. Think about every cleric, reverend, pastor, priest, or similiar functionary* who gets paid to preach. He (more rarely she) can no more afford to express any doubt in the Official Doctrine than a professional soldier can in the efficacy of warfare, or worker in the insurance industry in the applicability of that model to health-care delivery, or...think of your own setting and imagine your future if you express doubts about it.

You. Will. Be. Out. Of. A. Job. On the street and destitute and likely unqualified to get any sort of position of comparable pay and status.

If My Kaka Bee was a true believer in the teachings of Christ he would have stayed in the ministry, no? What can he possibly accomplish in the political sector which is more important than saving individual souls from the fires of Hell and bringing them into personal contact with the spirit and love of God?

And then there's the matter of those 16 execution warrants he's been so quick to bring up lately to fend off the Soft On Killing Brown People accusations. You would think this would cause a certain "say wha'?" in at least a few heads but I guess that's what cognitive dissonance is for.

*word changed from "officeholder" as it occurred to me that sounds like i meant political office, which was not my intent. Just meant it in the sense of a job.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... laughing hard enough at that malarkey. The ascendancy of Dubya and Huck is definitive evidence of that.

Remember the GOP debates when few hands were raised in support of evolution, and how Mitt Romney tripped all over himself to aver that the Bible is the divine word of God?

The get-out-of-jail-free card (a literal fact, if you were one of Huckabee's wrongdoing but "saved" constituents) needs to be voided, and fact-based disrespect of claims of religious purity is IMHO a most worthy endeavor.

Sophomorically yours,
VL

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

talking about the ancients and religions. check out some of my writing on the subject here in previous editions of corrente, you'll find i've had and done my share of lectures on those topics.

anyway- the point isn't about the differences between modern and ancient people. that is, there aren't any. some people were doubters then, some people are doubters now, some people were believers then, some people are believers now. the modern context in which we post-scientific people discuss these questions has changed how we have the discussion. but as a political topic, people have loooong treated the mix of religion and politics as dangerous, powerful, worthy of critique, etc. it's a practical matter. we here at corrente serve in the project to eliminate wackos and nutbags in public office. attacking them on their religious hypocricy is only one weapon in our arsenal, but when it's potentially the most powerful, we use it.

Submitted by lambert on

Kinda like Colony Collapse Disorder for the Conservative movement, it is to be hoped.

I'm seeing the logo: The little bee, maybe with a dog T-short on? with the turd dropping behind....

Anyhow, pooka, I'm not all that convinced that appeals to reason are the only way to attack and weaken and hopefully destroy Christianist agents of influence in our various institutitional settings.

Like everything else, it takes a layered architecture, a low road and a high road. The Republicans used all that very successfully.

So, appeals to the sophomoric are to be praised not blamed. Frankly, when an atheist video appears on College Humor, we'll know we're getting some traction.

Say, did Noah have male pattern baldness? Maybe that's what the sons were checking out...

We. Are. Going. To. Die. We must restore hope in the world. We must bring forth a new way of living that can sustain the world. Or else it is not just us who will die but everyone. What have we got to lose? Go forth and Fight!—Xan