Saturday, March 27, 2010

Deuteronomy, Chapters 20-22

Chapter 20

War rules. Namely, don't worry about going into battle, because god is on your side! I wonder how many foolhardy skirmishes this particular chapter has caused, and how many needless deaths.

Those exempt from the draft: those who have built houses and not yet consecrated them, those who have planted a vineyard and not harvested, those who have not yet consummated their marriages and those who are fearful and faint-hearted (v. 8). I wonder how many of those Dick Cheney used to get out of Vietnam?

On conquering a city, the inhabitants may be enslaved if they surrender. However, if they don't, the males, down to the babies, are to be killed, and the women and cattle taken as booty. These do not apply to peoples living in the promised land, all of whom are to be slaughtered.

Oddly, trees are to be spared, if they bear fruit. Otherwise, they can cut them down to reinforce the city walls.

Chapter 21

When you find a body in the field, and can't determine the cause of death, rather than call in the CSI crew, the priests from the neighbouring villages are to measure the distance between their community and the spot. The closest one is responsible for the disposal. Then the priests have to find a heifer that has never worked, break its neck, wash their hands and say Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it (v. 7).

Next, rules on treatment of female prisoners of war. If you see a hottie among your captives, you can bring her home. She then has to shave her head and trim her fingernails and give up her old clothes. She gets to mourn her family for a month, after which you can marry her. If you don't like her, you can send her away, but you can't sell her to someone else. There is no rule for what happens if she doesn't like you.

if you have two wives, and like one better, you can't favour her children over the other's. You still have to give the lion's share of your estate to your firstborn son.

What to do with rebellious sons: take them to the priests, accuse them of gluttony and drunkenness, then sit back and watch the men of your city stone him to death. Jerry Falwell is in total support of this, saying 'anarchy in the home breeds anarchy in society.' Bear in mind that he wants to rule society based on this kind of biblical family values. Also, the main justification for taking over Canaan is that the Canaanites practiced child sacrifice. And what is this, exactly, but child murder?

Finally, if you hang someone, cut his body down that day.

Chapter 22

Another bizarre list of unrelated rules. Or maybe they are. You be the judge.

First, if you find your neighbours' cattle or donkeys, give them back.

Next, never mind Joseph from Genesis, and his queenly ways, cross-dressing is now an abomination. Jerry loves this, because it supports his theory that there should be 'a proper distinction between the sexes.' Ya'll, this is his code for 'women should stay home and have babies while men should go out and work.' Because it's still 1870. He then goes on to list various items of clothing that are prohibited, proving he is way to knowledgeable about this subject to be straight.

Next, if you find a bird's nest, only take the eggs, let the mother go free.

Make your roof safe when you build a house.

No GM crops, no plowing with an ox and a donkey, no mixed fabrics, put fringes on your clothing. Jerry Falwell doesn't even bother to cite the New Testament verses that supposedly negate any of these rules. Personally, I think it was union regulations.

If you marry a girl, then decide you don't like her, you can claim she wasn't a virgin when you got married. If her family can produce bloody sheets (ugh) to prove you wrong, you have to pay a fine. If they can't, the girl will be stoned to death on her father's doorstep. Jerry Falwell is of course perfectly accepting of this 'adultery was punishable by death for both partners involved as a violation of the sacrosanct nature of the family.'

Adultery is also punishable by death. If an engaged woman is raped within the city limits, and doesn't cry out loud enough, she is an adulteress and both parties will be put to death. If it happens in the field, where no one would have heard the girl if she cried out, only the man is punishable by death. If a girl is not engaged and she gets raped, her rapist must pay for her and marry her.

Finally, no marrying your father's wife, nor looking under his robes.

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