Monday, January 17, 2011

Job, Chapters 38 & 39: The child-rearing habits of ostriches

Chapter 38

God finally arrives in a whirlwind, because there's no such thing as an undramatic entrance in his mind, and asks who is questioning his wisdom. He doesn't let Job get a word in edgewise either as he informs him that he will now take over the questioning. He asks where Job was when he (god) created the earth. Or if he knows what it's made of. Or if he keeps the sea confined (I'm pretty sure the answer to that one is: The Dutch) or controls the clouds. Does Job decide when sunrise is? Does he force the light over the earth, stopping the wicked with their arms raised? Has he mapped rivers? Seen the gates of death? Travelled the world? Does he know where light comes from and darkness goes? It's like a 5 year old on a long car trip. He pauses to mock poor Job, saying of course he knows everything, he's old!

Back to challenging: does Job know where god keeps his jars of snow and hail? How about lightening or the east wind? Does he cut channels for the rain? Does he make it rain in the desert? Is he the rain's father? The dew's? Did he give birth to ice? Frost? Did he make the constellations? Does he change the seasons? Did he create bodies? Consciousness? Can he count the clouds? Can he feed the hungry lionesses? The ravens? It's all much more entertaining in Lego.

Chapter 39

God keeps going with his kid-on-a-car-trip questions: Does Job know when mountain goats give birth? Has he ever seen a deer foal in the wild? Does he know how long they gestate for? Do they let him know when they're about to give birth? Then he informs us that they crouch down to give birth and when their young grow up, they leave home. Except both goats and deer are herding animals, so that would be suicide. Did he set the donkeys free? Give them a habitat? Did he domesticate oxen? Can he plow the fields with a wild ox? Does he trust it? Did he give the ostrich and the ibis different feathers? We are then informed that ostriches lay their eggs in sand and then more or less abandon them to careless feet or wild animals, and those that do hatch are harshly disciplined at the same time as they're neglected, because god made them stupid but swift. Some literalist Christians tie themselves into such knots trying to prove the veracity of this chapter that they produce such laughably stupid articles as this one Speaking of swift animals, did Job make horses strong? Give them a mane? Did he give them jumping ability? Their snort? Did he make them brave? Did he create hawks? Bird migration patterns? Eagle nests? Does he make them devour their prey?

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