I've been doing a fair bit of driving lately, often between the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Québec City. Entertainment while behind the wheel is typically my car stereo as my vehicle is over 15 years old and doesn't have a CD player. Anyone remember cassettes?
I make good use of the seek button and often find myself tuning into American stations which are dedicated to spreading God's word, or the narrow fundamentalist Christian take on it.
Such was the case this past week as I found myself listening to some yahoo expound on Biblical prophecy and specifically what it says about the nation of Israel. You know the story in all likelihood, God's chosen, a master race if I dare invoke that term.
Interesting stuff, and certainly good for a chuckle. You see God, in his infinite wisdom, decided he'd give the Hebrew people the land of Canaan, a nice little present. If you have trouble wrapping your head around the concept of God worrying about who lives where on this planet, try thinking of him as a Re-Max agent.
But what is Canaan? Well, God is pretty specific on that point. In Genesis God promises Abraham and all his descendants certain boundaries, lands occupied by certain peoples. In chapter 15 it says:
To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites
It probably would have been nice if God, being all powerful and everything, if he had let all those people know he was taking their land from them. Then again, it looks like God overstepped himself given that the Jewish or Hebrew people have never occupied all the land that is supposedly their's by divine authority. Don't you hate it when divine beings don't stick to their word?
If God had kept his promise Israel would have included a massive chunk of what we currently call the Middle East. But then the God of the Old Testament could be pretty erratic. God had no problem with Moses ordering the killing of women and children, or with the keeping of slaves, or with taking conquered virgins as sex toys....or if you prefer the more polite term...concubines.
So why do I listen to this garbage when I don't believe a word of it?
Well, it does provide a decent window into the minds of many of today's ultra right wing neo-conservatives.
And it also helps explain why some Conservative bright bulbs, like failed GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, have such a hate on for higher education. Going to schools of higher learning that teach students the art of critical thought flies directly in the face of the blind obedience that so many fundamentalist Nimrods, (a little Biblical nod for those who get it) demand.
God and his prophets say and advocate many things which civilized people would never tolerate. Stoning disobedient children is one good example, condoning the seduction of a friend's wife and then murdering that friend to hide the infidelity is probably an even better one...An eye for an eye? Uhm, only some of the time.
Any rational thinking person would take these writings for what the truly are, and would dismiss the God crap as leaders seeking justification for the atrocities they've committed.
Its okay, God says we're cool, kill 'em all...the land is ours.
Fundamentalist, evangelical Bible beating holy rollers used to cast their franchise in the United States mostly with the Democrats. Not hard to understand, it was because of Jesus' teachings about compassion and being your brother's keeper. At least that was the case until senior American evangelicals were seduced into putting their pulpits to work for the Republican party. And we're seeing the same thing take place north of the border in the last 10 years or so with our Conservative party.