Thursday, March 31, 2011

Proverbs, Chapter 21: Real estate and the angry wife

The king's heart is in god's hands, and god turns it like a river. Consistency is over-rated, especially in government. It's better to live in a teeny tiny 9th floor cold water walkup apartment than to live in a mansion with a contentious wife. As someone who lives in a teeny tiny first-floor walkup, I disagree, especially if the mansion has a pool and plenty of storage space.

Today we like poor people again, so ignoring them is bad and will mean that when you've fallen on hard times, people will likewise ignore you. Giving secret gifts makes people forgive you. In my case, secret chores fulfill the same function. Just people like to judge, which seems counterintuitive.

Loving wine and oil will not make you rich. But they're much more fun than water and salad, so you'll be happy anyway. Hmm, it would appear that today's fishwife is yesterday's poor person. Because in verse 19 we're informed it's also better to go and live in the wilderness than with an angry woman.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Proverbs, Chapter 20: Is that god poking around in your abdomen, or are you just happy to see me?

Wine and beer are the enemies of wisdom. Well, to sober people, at least. Drunk people think they're brilliant. Moral: if there's drinking involved, make sure you join in.

Making the king angry is a sin. Hmm... that's a mighty convenient way to keep one's flock in line. Lazy people don't like to plow when it's cold. So ignoring all that lovely stuff in earlier books about allowing them to glean the fields after the harvest, now we're supposed to let them beg. God, this whole book is written like a Republican manifesto against the poor. Next thing you know, it'll be whining about the need for cutting corporate taxes.

All kings have to do to decide if a person is good or bad is look at them, which, again, is awfully handy when your constituents get stroppy. Lying is only fun at the time, afterwards your mouth shall be filled with gravel. (v. 17) Since god is in charge of our fates, we have no hope of understanding things. Only if you go to Liberty U.

Wise kings crush the wicked. This is also a good book for crazy dictators. The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly (v. 27) Also, The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly. (v. 30) In plain English, if you beat the evil hard enough, it will go away. I'm guessing this was written before that New Yorker article about solitary confinement came out.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Proverbs, Chapter 19: No hugging, no learning

An actual quote from a professor at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, recorded in the book Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University by Kevin Roose: "I just want to say this, Liberty students. My biggest worry about you, about all of you, is that you’ll become educated beyond your obedience." From a man who claimed to read Proverbs every single day of his life, and clearly glossed over all 50 000 instances of the words 'wisdom' and 'fool' in this book. Just in this chapter, there are 3 fools, 2 foolishnesses, 1 wisdom, 1 understanding and 1 wise, and I don't doubt he could recite all of them, I have no faith in his analysis.

Another place where he shows his true colours is in his footnote to verse 10 (Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to have rule over princes) which reads 'Two unfitting situations: a fool in luxury and a slave in power.' It goes without saying, but it's fun to do it anyway, that he exemplifies the first. As to the second, for those of you who are new to the culture wars, Jerry Falwell was a racist bigot until the 1970s, when he figured out that the sands were shifting and changed his tune to that of a homophobe.

This chapter takes on the theme of wealth and friendship, and warns us not to surround ourselves with hangers-on and yes-men, reminding us that when you're broke, you're broke alone.

Henpecking wives are like dripping water: constant and annoying. Of course it has nothing to say about husbands so lazy and useless they need to be henpecked. Men pass on wealth to their sons, but prudent wives are god's gift. Naturally there is nothing about how rare a gem a prudent husband is. Stupid sexist book.

Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger. (v. 15) If only! We had our spring time change last night, so I only had like, 4 hours of sleep 'cuz I rock like that, but I still worked all day and cycled 10k to and from.

Yay! Another verse on beating your children, even if they cry! Also skeptics and fools!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Proverbs, Chapter 18: The lord commands thee to share the bathroom

As a child, I shared a room with my younger sister for several years, and most nights I used to stare longingly out the window at the apartments behind our street, thinking how wonderful it would be to decide my own bedtime and not have to share my french fries. The first verse of this chapter informs me that I was completely wrong in my thinking, because living alone is selfish and goes against all wisdom. You like that no one steals your milk out of the fridge or that you never have to wait for the bathroom, which is kept at your cleanliness standards, you urban singleton you? Too bad!

Blah, blah, blah, fools and wisdom. Ooh, here's a good one in verse 6: A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes. Can we start with the entire cast of Jersey Shore?

He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.(v. 9) And Solomon would know, what with the 1000+ wives. He must have spent hours every day just taking the trash out. But seriously, I totally agree with this, which is why I avoid group projects as much as possible.

A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle. (v. 19) Good lord, tell me about it. My brother once spent two days not speaking to my sister and I. Problem: we were in Tokyo at the time and he didn't know his way around or speak any Japanese, so he just followed 20 feet behind us the entire time, refusing to even look at us. And we couldn't even ditch him because if you lose something in Japan, you not only get it back, you have to pay a reward to the finder.

Finally, another jab at single people: Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD. (v. 22) Alas, there is nothing about how god feels about cutting up babies.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Proverbs, Chapter 17: Word Salad

Schadenfreude is not cool. Kids are good, but grandchildren are awesome, mostly because they go home, though it doesn't actually say that. Verse 12: Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly. Gives one pause about the state of Middle Eastern zoos in the Bronze Age.

Solomon clearly remembers that whole Absalom/Amnon conflict quite vivedly in verse 17: A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Also, it turns out that even then they knew depression isn't good for you, because verse 22 reads: A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. No punishing the just.

And finally, one of the wisest things ever said, something I wish my students would practice daily is verse 28: Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. or as you're more likely to hear today, 'Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and prove it.'

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Proverbs, Chapters 15 & 16: Vegetarianism isn't holy but Jeopardy is

Chapter 15

Don't get into shouting matches. Listen to smart people. Happy people don't go hungry, presumably because they're always invited to dinner. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. (v. 17) Not exactly the most ringing endorsement of vegetarianism. Give good answers to questions.

Of course there are also a lot of verses about wisdom, listening to your parents and fearing god. Wouldn't it also be wise to say, hire a good editor?

Chapter 16

Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. (v. 3) You know, an awful lot of stupid, destructive works have been committed to the lord, including Donald Rumsfeld sending troops into Iraq to get control of its oil look for Weapons of Mass Distraction with this verse etched into the body of their rifles.

It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness. (v. 12) Not that Bush or Cheney will ever be punished for lying about those WMDs, authorising torture by the CIA or what happened at Abu Garib.

How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver! (v. 16) You know, people have been telling me all my life that I'm pretty smart, and I think I'd still choose the riches. Then hire a tutor. And a trainer so I can have a smaller ass.

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (v. 18) Schadenfreude rocks, doesn't it?

God controls the outcome of games of chance. Shouldn't that make for more good Christian lottery winnerss?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Proverbs, Chapter 14: Witless and redundant, but at least it isn't Psalms

Hey, there were women working in construction and demolitions back then! Verse one says Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

Then the inevitable verses about righteousness and stoic silence. Having lots of oxen is the key to success. Of course Jerry Falwell has no comment on how that verse is still relevant today, because he's always silent whenever something contradicts his worldview.

There are some good verses about not suffering fools and finding answers out for yourself. Also some good ones about not getting angry and going off half-cocked and being nice to your neighbours, especially if they're poor.

Work, be honest, hold your tongue, be pious, don't fly off the handle.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Proverbs, Chapter 13: Solomon's little instruction book

Listen to your parents. Lazy people are skinny, poor and hungry, industrious people are fat and well-off. Apparently, this book was written a long time ago, because man, things have changed.

Then there are a lot of repetitive verses about the wicked being lying liars and the righteous inheriting the earth. Contention is all the result of pride. I totally agree with that.

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. (v. 12) Right. The guy who has 700 wives and built a house with an elevated gold bathtub is a model of self-restraint.

Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly. (v. 16). Mostly by joining a Tea Party.

He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. (v. 24) Honk if you were beaten as a child because of this verse. I was not, because my parents are civilised people who don't take child-rearing advice from 4000-year old books written by sand people. Though I certainly agree with the second part of this verse.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Proverbs, Chapter 12: Not written by a feminist

If you love learning, you love knowledge. Okay, that I agree with. But as the saying goes, if you take an infinite number of monkeys and put them in front of an infinite number of typewriters and let them bash away forever, one of them will eventually bash out Shakespeare.

A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones (v. 4). And a guy who has 700 wives and 300 concubines then writes a book admonishing women to be chaste? What's he? Oh, right. A load of crap.

The thoughts of the righteous are right (v. 5) Wow. That's some Jersey Shore-level logic going on there.

Huh. Verse 10 is the first rule on animal cruelty: A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. I wonder if they're still sacrificing like, 45 animals a day at this point. Then there are a lot of Michael Pollanesque lines about eating fruit and bread.

There's a lot about wicked people being liars who talk too much and the righteous always tell the truth or keep their own counsel and bad things never happen to them. Except to whoever wrote Psalms.

A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness (v. 23). So no one who ever won Jeopardy or Trivial Pursuit was prudent? That sucks. Those people are my heroes. I can, however, agree that going on Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader is not a wise choice.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Proverbs, Chapter 11: The list of not-so-zingy zingers commenceth

The rest of this book is just a series of unconnected one-liners. Since most of them are neither snappy nor memorable, I'll leave it up to you to read the in detail if you so choose and instead focus on the ones I think are either thought-provoking or insane.

First off, use accurate weights and measures. Pride begets shame and destruction. Then there are a lot of verses hammering home the point that there are no rewards to being evil and how being righteous is, well, righteous. One does wonder if the book doth protest too much.

Only gossips tell secrets. As if this is news. Also, as if there has ever, in the entire history of the world, been a person who wasn't a gossip. Never, ever lend money to strangers. Being kind is good for the soul. As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion (v. 22). I have to say, plenty of hot, dumb chicks do fine, as long as they lay off Asians at UCLA.

The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath (v. 23) Talk about your self-serving bible verses! The liberal soul shall be made fat (v. 25) If only! Be nice to your family.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Proverbs, Chapter 10: The yuks begin

Chapter 10

Proverbs begins its descent into a series of not-so-snappy one-liners like A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother (v. 1).

Now, on to wickedness, which yields nothing and may cause god to starve you, whereas righteousness keeps you alive and protects you from famines.

Work: if you slack off or sleep in the summer, you'll end up a poor shame to your family. You won't grow any fruit. But if you work hard you'll be rich and your parents proud and you'll have fruit.

Justice: if you're just, your words are like silver. Try cashing that in at the bank. Also, you'll receive blessings and you'll be remembered, but the wicked will be forgotten.

Discretion: will get you blessed as well, and your mouth will be a fountain of life, but gossip, lying and slander will make you look foolish.

If you're righteous, your path is sure, but the wicked go crookedly.

Eye-winking and running your mouth off will bring you to ruin. I guess Sarah Palin and whatever church she pretends to attend skip this verse.

Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins (v. 12)

Wisdom: not only allows you to store up knowledge, it also keeps you from getting beaten and destroyed. Education keeps you alive, it's foolish to refuse constructive criticism.

Wealth: has not changed in millennia, as it is found in cities, though ironically it can be used to feed people, which cities are notoriously bad at. The poor, on the other hand, are ruined by poverty.

Wal-mart's new corporate logo: As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him (v. 26)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Proverbs, Chapters 8 & 9: Wisdom is not prepared for the media age

Chapter 8

Wisdom, still not getting it, is shouting from mountaintops, in the streets, at the city gates, and outside your door. What, no informercials? No telemarketing? Her message: well, first off she spends 9 verses telling us how awesome her message is, by which time half of her audience has wandered off in search of Cheetos. Then she tells us how awesome she is, because she has prudence, knowledge and discretion. The other half of her audience, having no idea what any of those words mean, flip over to MTV in hopes JWOWW will commit a nip slip. I sort of hate that Blogger's spell check accepts JWOWW. Her numbers rally in verses 13-21, when she starts talking about how fearing god makes you rich and powerful and lets you pass it on to your children, and, since the more fervent the Christian, the more fervent the anti-tax, pro-rich-person-even-though-you-yourself-are-missing-teeth sentiment. She loses them again in the final 17 verses, in which she gives us her biography: she's been around almost as long as god has, helping him every step of the way. Wait, is Wisdom god's unmarried girlfriend?


Wisdom finally gets it and builds a house (with seven pillars, natch) and sets out a feast of meat and wine. Most importantly, she sends out her hottest female servants to invite people to dinner. Now it doesn't matter what she says, she'll have millions of followers before the day is done. For those of us who aren't so easily swayed however, her message is: Wisdom cries from the mountaintops, but foolish women sit in doorways in high points of the city calling out their message. She entices the simple into her house, much like Wisdom, and tells them to eat stolen water and secret bread. What she fails to tell them, of course, is that her house is the gate to hell. Um, Wisdom? You might want to try just a little bit to distinguish your message from hers.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Proverbs, Chapter 7: Solomon's fuck list

So Solomon wants to tell us 'a story' that he 'observed through the palace window' and that didn't at all happen to him last night on his way home from the bar and because he's the king.

So, a naive young man, let's call him Sholomon, was walking down the street late at night, totally sober and not at all thinking about getting laid because his 700 wives aren't getting any younger. A young, married woman was standing in the shadows, dressed in her best hooker costume. Now, this young woman is, shall we say, a chav: she's loud, refuses to stay inside, and hangs out on the street corner, hoping to attract men, despite her married status. As Sholomon passes by, she grabs him, kisses him, and says she has something to tell him. Oh, and does he want to see her new bed coverings? Egyptian cotton! 500 thread count! Also, she wants him to check out her new perfume, a combination of myrrh, cinnamon and aloe. At least it isn't vanilla. 15 years on, for the life of me, I still don't understand why women want to smell like a goddamned plate of cookies.

Finally, she gets to her real point: Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey (v. 18-19). Because she's willing, and Sholomon has a demonstrable weakness of the flesh, he goes, but he regrets it in the morning, saying, Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death (v. 27). Aw, does the guy with 300 concubines feel used like a tissue?

So now we know how Solomon got at least one of his wives, and if it happens to be rather creepily similar to his own origin story, well, so be it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Proverbs, Chapter 6

If you've put up some collateral for a friend's loan, or for a stranger's, because you're young and stupid, you need to go and ask him to get you out of the deal. No, don't go to sleep, you lazy grasshopper! Take the ant as your model. See, the ant has no boss, but it still raises its food in the summer and harvests in the autumn and... I think our wise Solomon might be trying to stretch this metaphor a bit too far.

But anyway, whatever teenage son Solomon is directing this to doesn't want to get out of bed, not even after his father threatens him with poverty.

Now, Solomon's description of the wicked: they lie, and signal their lies with their shifty eyes and fidgety feet and hands. Their lies come from the heart and they seek to sow discord. As a result, his downfall will be swift. Nope, that doesn't follow logically. Again, this is so-called wisest man in the history of the world.

The six things god hates: pride, lying, killing the innocent, scheming, running with scissors to do wrong (walking is okay), lying in court, sowing discord amongst your family members. Never mind that that's seven and 3 of them are variations on the word liar, at least he isn't trying to cut a baby in half.

Remember your parents' advice. Avoid evil and lying foreign women, don't be taken in by their beauty, don't spend all your money on prostitutes and committing adultery is playing with fire. I wonder how many of his 1000+ sex partners fit one or all of these descriptions.

It's okay to steal the things you need for survival, as long as you aren't a character in a Victor Hugo novel. Instead, you should reward him sevenfold. No, the one who really deserves punishment is the adulterer, who should be injured and dishonoured by the husband, who will go crazy with jealousy and refuse to be paid off.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Proverbs, Chapters 4 & 5: Geez, if even Solomon's calling you slutty...

Chapter 4

Solomon informs us that only his mother loved him, which may explain the 1000+ sex partners. He then waxes on some more about how important wisdom and instruction are, and that wickedness is to be avoided. Apparently wicked people can only sleep after they've done evil.

At the end of the chapter, he tells us to speak plainly and honestly, to look neither left nor right, and to keep our eyes on our own paths. Makes one wonder how he ever saw so many women or came to build a bigger house than god's, complete with its own elevated gold bathtub, if he's so humble and modest.

Chapter 5

Back to Solomon's second favourite theme: the treachery of women, especially foreign ones. If you go into their houses, they'll take all your money and you'll die, alone and broke. Also god doesn't like it. So what you should do is love your first wife forever, which I would be all in favour of if the author DIDN'T HAVE 700 WIVES.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Proverbs, Chapters 2-3: Hansel and Gretel and the bible

Chapter 2

The key to wisdom is still fearing god. Remember, the person who said this is most famous for having 700 wives and 300 concubines and for trying to cut a baby in half. Fortunately, us modern folk have Wikipedia and don't have to rely on him.

The secondary key is to avoid strange women, especially going into their houses, because as fairy tales have taught us well, no one ever comes out.

Chapter 3

This one starts off promisingly, with verse 3: Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart, but then immediately dissembles in verse 5, advising us to Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In other words, don't think for yourself, trust in your religious leaders. It does not say what to do if your religious leaders seem bent on holy war or inquisition or are just plain batshit crazy.

Of course, if you're rich and lazy, another path to wisdom is to buy it. If you donate money and make sacrifices, you'll get a tenfold return on your investment in the form of flowing wine cellars and full barns.

Solomon, wise advocate for abusive deities everywhere, gives the typical wife/husband/child-beaters explanation for god's poor self-control in verse 12: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

Then of course, we get a good verse in 13: Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. Yes, as long as he goes to the library and finds it, not if he looks in Jerry Falwell's annotated stupidity.

A treatise on the wonders of wisdom: it's better than silver, gold or rubies, assuming you don't have to eat. God is wise, and if you follow his commandments, you'll end up in paradise. Assuming you don't, you know, hit a rock the wrong way like Moses and end up sentenced to wandering around the desert for 40 years.

Solomon closes out the chapter with a few more good verses about justice, being kind to your neighbour, not picking stupid fights, and only oppressing people when it's strictly necessary.

I want to like this book, especially since it isn't Psalms, but like so much of the bible, it's a mixed bag: a good verse or two about wisdom and justice, followed by entreaties xenophobia and enriching Solomon's treasury.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Proverbs, Chapter 1: Pearls of wisdom from an idiot

Yes! No more Psalms! On to Solomon's advice book. Let us never forget that despite everyone telling us how smart Solomon was, the only actual evidence we have of his brilliance is that he once tried to cut a baby in half.

Chapter 1

Solomon starts off his self-help book by telling us The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge (v. 7). Jerry Falwell informs us: 'it is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity' which just underlines the importance of science education, so you won't be afraid of your own light bulbs.

Then he tells us to obey our parents and not to succumb to peer pressure from sinners. Solomon's ideas of what today's youth are up to are much the same as any old person's ever in the history of the world, 'in my day, sinning was breaking your curfew and sneaking into clubs to hear your favourite band play, but kids today, they rob you and murder you without a second thought!'

Wisdom, apparently, has never heard the expression, 'The medium is the message,' because she wanders around the streets calling out to people to follow her or when their destruction comes, she'll laugh at them and ignore their pleas for help. Because people totally believe crazy street preachers.

And so ends the first chapter.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Psalms 146-150: The best thing about this book is that it ends

Psalm 146

Trust no one except god. God made the earth. God judges the wicked, sets prisoners free, feeds the hungry, cures blindness, frees slaves, helps the righteous, is kind to widows, orphans and strangers and awful to the wicked. Repeat something often enough, it will at least start to sound true.

Psalm 147

More of god's good deeds: he built Jerusalem, rescued the Israelites (from a situation he himself created, let's not forget), heals broken hearts and bones, named all the stars, helps the weak, punishes the wicked, gives us rain, makes the grass grow, feeds the animals, makes the wheat grow, causes seasons, winds and tides.

Psalm 148

Everything, from mountains to dragons, should praise the lord.

Psalm 149

We should praise god not just with singing and tambourines (though those are important), but also with swords, which we should use to exact vengeance on heathens and to tie up their kings and nobles.

Psalm 150

The instruments we should use to praise god: trumpets, psaltries (lutes), harps, tambourines, dancing, stringed instruments, organs, cymbals.

Finally! This book full of vicious invective about dropping coals on enemies and smacking their children against rocks is done. On now to Proverbs, the supposed collection of Solomon's wisdom. While reading it, let's not forget that this is the guy who wanted to cut a baby in half.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Psalms 141-145: Nasty, brutish and short

Psalm 141

The Psalmist asks god to stop him from doing evil, and begs him to let the righteous smite him. Death by cop? He says he doesn't care if his bones are scattered when he dies, because his eyes will be heavenward. And of course, he asks god to smite the wicked.

Psalm 142

David is feeling neglected, but he's still crafty: he won't pray until god gets him out of whatever trouble he's in.

Psalm 143

David is feeling persecuted and comforts himself by remembering the halcyon days of yore, when god actually spoke to him, and smote his enemies and so on.

Psalm 144

Praise be to god for teaching us to fight in war! Christianity is a religion of peace, be damned. Anyway, the psalmist would like god's help in smiting a few enemies, just some volcanoes and lightening. Then he can sing to god to make everything hunky-dory.

Psalm 145

God is slow to anger. Uh-huh. And he's nice to children and animals. Except Babylonian babies. He helps all that call out to him. This psalm is all propoganda.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Psalms 136-140: Bash babies' heads against rocks for god!

Psalm 136

Every verse of this psalm ends in for his mercy endureth forever. It's mesmerising. So what are some examples of god's enduring mercy? Well, there's the earth and the sea and the heavens... and the time he killed all those Egyptian children, drowned the soldiers and killed a bunch of kings so the Israelites could have their property.

Psalm 137

If you think Russian baby yoga is child abuse, this is not the psalm for you. It starts off as a lament for the Israelite exile in Babylon, which is fine, but then the last two verses are addressed to Babylonian mothers O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. (v. 8-9). I haven't talked about Jerry Falwell's bible for a long time, but this is his commentary on this Psalm: 'The vividness of the final verse is justified if one remembers a simple fact: baby Babylonians grow up to be big Babylonians. The hope that their babies will die is the prayer that no new Babylonian generation will arise seeking the worldwide dominion through cruel oppression.' Proof yet again that supposedly 'pro life' Christians only care about babies so long as they're inside their mothers' bodies, but don't give a hoot once they're out in the world.

Psalm 138

Immediately after killing babies with stones, the psalms go back to praising god for being a source of comfort in hard times. Except when somebody kills your child.

Psalm 139

God is your Facebook stalker, the one who catalogues your every word and gesture, even, apparently if you go to hell. There are some more scary-stalker verses about how god watches us when we sleep, followed by an imprecation to please, please, please kill the wicked.

Psalm 140

Another listing of the sins of the wicked. This time the psalmist would like god to please drop burning coals on their heads and/or throw them into the fire.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Psalms 131-135: There's some oil in your beard

Psalm 131

Whoa! David actually manages to stay humble for 3 whole verses.

Psalm 132

David swears not to rest until he finds a suitable dwelling place for god, then quickly decides to put the ark of the covenant on Ephratah before he can, you know, get sleep-deprived or anything. He reminds god about how he promised to keep his family on the throne as long as they kept the covenant and promises to feed the poor in return. I find myself hugging democracy.

Psalm 133

Brotherly unity (or a unified Israel, depending who you want to believe) is like the anointing oil that ran down Aaron's head, into his beard, and down his garments. Yuck.

Psalm 134

If you were to take a drink every time you see the word bless, you'd be drunk by the time you finished this psalm, even though it's only 3 verses.

Psalm 135

God does whatever he wants, which mostly consists of natural disasters and smiting people and giving their land to Israel. Oh, and heathen idols suck and Aaron's family rules.