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View Diary: Author Naomi Wolf Challenged - results blow her mind (378 comments)

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  •  and paying the father of the girl you rape (19+ / 0-)

    thirty silver pieces so you can marry her.

    To keep her honor, dontcha know.

    Good enough for 1500 B.C., I guess.  

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:04:10 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Well, it's easy to feel superior to ... (28+ / 0-)

      people from another time and place. But the overarching goal of my teaching is to develop critical thinking. Even with the much more recent Greek writings that we call the New Testament, the writer is often making points that were obvious to a contemporary audience but almost completely opposite to the way they a modern American reads them.

      "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

      by Demi Moaned on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:14:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I *did* include the rationale (12+ / 0-)

        behind the Law: it was to restore the honor of the woman (and her family).  Yeah, better -- if we can use our modern standards -- than killing her outright.

        The problem is when people start saying that a law like that could conceivably have been dictated by an omniscient and all-benevolent deity . . . whose word we should take on anything without several truckfuls of salt.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:26:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And isn't that exactly what Demi Moaned... (22+ / 0-)

          is inviting her students to consider?

          The problem is when people start saying that a law like that could conceivably have been dictated by an omniscient and all-benevolent deity . . . whose word we should take on anything without several truckfuls of salt.
          Looking at the book of Joshua and invoking terms like "ethnic cleansing" is a pretty strong challenge to the idea that any and all views contained in biblical literature are moral and worthy of anyone's concept of a god.  Some pretty good teaching by DM, I'd say.

          Late Bronze and Iron Age mores are pretty shocking to us now, whether we read them from the Hebrew Bible or the Code of Hammurabi.  That's a good thing, no?  It also illustrates for us that our own moral views may not be the final word, but may evolve yet further.

          •  Gotta love half-baked ethnocentrism... (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            raincrow, Demi Moaned, mrkvica, Lujane, oslyn7

            A lot of people don't recognize that many of the biblical laws were considered radically progressive at the time.

            -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

            by JPax on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:11:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Compare the Code of Hammurabi... (13+ / 0-)

              to biblical law.  The latter is an improvement.  Still brutal in some respects by our standards.  But an improvement.

              And consider the Jubilee.  You'd never find a conventional politician, even Bernie Sanders, advocating as economically progressive an idea as the Jubilee.  Only in Occupy did you hear the cry, "Jubilee!"  That's pretty radically progressive even by our standards.

              •  inorite? (6+ / 0-)

                I've been thinking for a long time that we should have Jubilee in America. After 7 years, debts are forgiven. Meaning no loan could be longer than 6 or 7 years (depending on how you count it). Even for homes, they can only be sold in shares that represent that timeframe. The benefit to homeowners is that once you finish that segment of a contract, you posses that equity and it can't be lost in foreclosure.

                Of course, leave it to hypocritical and ignorant Bible-thumpers to demand increasingly punitive laws to make it harder for personal bankruptcy and to put it on credit scores for 10 years up from 7.

                Some people only like the biblical laws that allow them to be assholes.

                -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

                by JPax on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 04:05:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Only one word: Amen, i.e. "truth" (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TrueBlueMajority, Lujane, JPax, oslyn7

                  You're absolutely right.

                  Fundies generally don't like to read the bible.  Too scary.  There's that whole story in Numbers where the priest performs an abortion based on the husband's accusation of infidelity  (horrible but true and ignored by Fundies).

                  Proof-texting a few verses against people they don't like is what they prefer to do.

            •  No, the problem is (4+ / 0-)

              for me anyway, is as an atheist I am frequently told by Christians that I can have no objective morality.

              I point out the horrors of the OT, and then I am told, well you have to look at the times....

              To which I close with the fact that even biblical morality isn't objective, if it can change with the times.

              •  Those aren't Christians, no matter how loudly (0+ / 0-)

                they claim they are, because they reject the plain and unmistakable teaching of Paul.

                Romans 2:14-15

                14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

                Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                by Mokurai on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 10:21:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  umm, to answer your title question, (0+ / 0-)

            yes -- all I was trying to do was point out how much we agree with each other.

            YMMV.

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:17:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Let's hope so. (0+ / 0-)

            Let's hope so.

      •  Christians Too! (12+ / 0-)
        We are God's people not by birth but by a way of behaving, that is ethical, kind and just. And we STOP being "God's people" when we are not ethical, kind and just.
        One could argue that Christianity is somewhat of a Jewish sect, given the Jewish consciousness of the founder - known in those Greek writings you mention as a Rabbi, and using rabbinical discourse and terms while teaching, and asking his followers "to take up his yoke." *

        So, the above quote most likely in Christ's thinking applies to Christians, also.

        * It was common for rabbis of Christ's time to refer to their set of teachings as their own particular 'yoke' to be accepted by his followers.

        God's preference is for more people to be included, (not excluded through doctrine),...whenever the circle is shrinking, where people are being excluded or disliked, God is not served. -Rev. Alice Connor

        by paz3 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:45:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I would also add , in response too (9+ / 0-)
        Strange how Naomi Wolf missed all of the god-ordered genocides.
        What Naomi is saying in her comment does address that issue imo , people used these biblical teaches to separate themselves from others and justified the killing of other people , when the exact opposite is being said in these writings and teachings

        You also will find Jesus giving the same commentary when he dealt with the leaders of the Jewish community , he nailed all of them down for only allowing certain people to worship in Jerusalem and at the temple , Jesus told them god welcomed everyone , and it pissed some of the Jewish leaders off

        Greedy people do greedy things

        Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

        by Patango on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:03:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I find it instructive (9+ / 0-)

        to keep the concordance on hand when reading the Bible - the original meanings of words is often very different from how the modern Christian is told they mean.

        Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

        by Gustogirl on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:03:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  On the other hand, corvo, Jubilee? (7+ / 0-)

      More progressive than any policy on earth right now, isnt' it?  All debts extinguished.  All slavery ended.  Land returns from the "winners" of the last fifty years to the people who lost it.

      Complete equality restored, since Israel was established on the equality-for-all initially (land alotments).

      And it's repeated every 50 years.

      Pretty advanced for when that "P" text was probably written (much later than 1,500 BCE)?

      Of course, that was probably never a reality.  Jeremiah did know about it and complained that it hadn't been implemented.

      Another dreamer wrote it, but a dreamer with a progressive point of view in the area of economic equality.

      •  Sure, on the other hand. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ezekiel in Exile, Arsenic

        Just because three-thousand-year-old holy writ is full of things that should fill any decent person today with revulsion, it does not follow that everything in said writ is of that quality.  

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:21:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I find it amazing... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          unfangus, Timaeus, mamamedusa

          that someone or even better and more likely, a community, back in 600-800 BCE, had a vision for humanity that would have fit in well with Occupy.  It is even more amazing that their writings were preserved in a world where preserving writings was so difficult.

          It's not terribly surprising that there were writers in the late Bronze and Iron ages who were homophobic, misogynists, apologists for the status quo.  That was the norm.  It's also not surprising that their writings were preserved since the power elites of that time and the times intervening largely controlled the transmission of texts.

          Aren't you a historian?  How would you explain the survival of certain biblical texts like the Jubilee, the story of Deborah, the story of Tamar?  These are subversive texts, yet they are still present today in the biblical texts after the editorial work of the conservative, ethnocentric Ezra and the later editorial work of the council of Jamnia and even later Christian editing.

          •  Force of tradition (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ezekiel in Exile

            (and a disinclination to destroy too much of it), and one's own knowledge that an elite controlled the dissemination and interpretation of texts, certainly helped in the preservation of subversive texts.

            The Soviets, for instance, had no trouble archiving primary source materials that would have embarrassed and exposed them.  They were regularly stamped "vechno khranit'" -- to be preserved forever.  Documents tend to be destroyed only when their subversive content is found threatening, for instance, the video footage of the murder of John Carlos de Menezes.  

            It's certainly worth asking why the early Christian Church was so obsessed with destroying the historical record and the written records of conquered cultures.  Not being a historian myself, I can only speculate that it has something to do with a more robust history of often internecine schisms, something which, if I recall correctly, the Israelites had pretty much gotten out of their system after they dispached the Ephraimites.

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:52:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Do you really think the Israelites... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Timaeus, mamamedusa, Joe Hill PDX

              dispatched anybody?  Unlikely.  They more likely filled a void when the Ugaritic culture (i.e. Canaanites) imploded from its own problems.  Joshua is probably a grandiose fiction written in Ezra's time to instill national pride in the post-exilic period.

              The Hebrew bible was written by losers:  losers in global politics who were repeatedly defeated by the greater powers around them; with some of the literature, "loser" communities within their own culture whose views were rejected; and with still some of the literature, personal "losers" lamenting their fate.

              True, some of the Hebrew bible, like Proverbs, comes from the equivalent of the 1%.  The D history is written by the privileged of the culture, but the culture itself was an oppressed, loser culture trying to inspire its members to loyalty through aggrandizing its history.

              Yet through all that crap, some humane, sane elements intrude and survive.

              •  umm . . . (0+ / 0-)
                Do you really think the Israelites dispatched anybody?
                If they didn't, they'd be the only nation on the planet to have never done so, except perhaps the ever sui generis Swiss.  If you think this could possibly have been the case -- that every last story about acquiring or defending territory by violence was 100% wishful thinking on the part of Israelite scribes -- then further discussion with you isn't terribly useful.  Rather unpleasant wishful thinking too, I might add, although that certainly explains Psalm 137.

                I might add that I don't award bonus points on the principle of "they never had the power to commit the genocides in their own historical record, but they sure as hell had a need to say they could and did commit them."

                Again YMMV.

                Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 04:25:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Do you remember the circumstances... (0+ / 0-)

                  under which Psalm 137 was written?

                  By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
                      when we remembered Zion.
                  2 There on the poplars
                      we hung our harps,
                  3 for there our captors asked us for songs,
                      our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
                      they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
                  They were the captives of Cyrus.  That nation ended up at the gates of Greece (movie version--Sparta).  The Jews were a joke to them.  They were never a threat.  A subject nation.  It's awful, violent imagery in that Psalm at the end, but in reality, it's wishful revenge thinking of the powerless.

                  The Maccabees gave some grief to the Seleucids later on, but they were the underdogs and lost ultimately.  Freedom fighters more than oppressors.  The Zealots against the Romans?  Masada?

                  Before 1948, I'd challenge you to provide some evidence that the Jews ever conquered or oppressed anybody.

                  •  Yeah, the context excuses everything. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    petral, Arsenic

                    No thank you.

                    Meanwhile, I'll take your antihistoric "Land without a People for a People without Land" interpretation of history with several grains of salt. :-)

                    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                    by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:18:01 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Or look at Isaiah 3. (0+ / 0-)

          Here's a text that directly contradicts the views of Ezra, viewed as the most likely leader of the real community that produced the "first edition" of the Hebrew bible.  The whole view of that text condemns the ethnocentrism of Ezra and presents and view of humanity united, again pretty nice for 5th BCE.

          •  Contradiction isn't a problem (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BYw, Catesby, cachola

            in a religious culture that can claim that contradictions in the Word of God exist only in the (faulty) eye of the beholder.

            You could've just as easily asked why there are two separate and objectively contradictory creation accounts in the first chapter of Genesis.

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:55:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  first two chapters, that is. (0+ / 0-)

              One account per chapter!

              Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

              by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 04:08:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's a good example... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Timaeus, Naniboujou

                of what I'm talking about.

                Why did those editors decide to preserve both creation accounts?  They're obviously not "consistent" the way our Enlightenment-oriented minds operate.

                It's the same with the stories about Abraham and Sarah and another male.  That repetition looks silly to us.

                There was obviously a different standard.  For the creation story, it is easier to see.  One story makes one point.  The second story makes another.  The first story seeks to establish YHWH's sovereignty over all--tough task given that the pitiful little nation/culture that worshiped YHWH didn't even really exist any longer.  The second story seeks to answer the question, "If there's a beneficient god, why are things so fucked up?"  Always a tough question for theists.  YMMV on the story.

                Ultimately, I think it's pretty tough for us moderns to understand why editors would include two inconsistent stories, one right after the other, and seek to peddle it as the history of the beginning.  Similarly, I think it's hard for us to understand pseudonymity in the Pauline epistles in the same way as it was understood by the earliest readers of Ephesus, etc.

                •  They were both preserved (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cachola

                  because they were both considered divine writ.  If they contradicted, that was the problem of the person claiming they contradicted.

                  Loath as I am to repeat myself . . .

                  Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                  by corvo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:19:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Contradiction is a huge problem... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Timaeus, Catesby, TrueBlueMajority

              if you're a Fundamentalist.  If one reads the bible as some Word of God dropped from heaven, a single contradiction collapses the whole house of cards.  There are extraordinary amounts of effort by "scholars" among Fundamentalists to "resolve" the very obvious issues in the biblical text.  Some are pretty comical.

              Reading the bible with open eyes, however, reveals a marvelously complex text, constantly contradicting itself, commenting upon itself, revising itself.  Again, an interesting historical question is why did both religions based on the bible, Christianity and Judaism, decide to reject texts as "inspired" early in the Common Era?  It seems to me that's a question best answered by anthropologists like Graeber, etc. who understand the impact of centralized power upon culture.

              •  Enjoying your learned comments in this thread. (0+ / 0-)

                But what does this mean?

                Again, an interesting historical question is why did both religions based on the bible, Christianity and Judaism, decide to reject texts as "inspired" early in the Common Era?
                •  Is there a book in the bible written... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Catesby, DeminNewJ, mamamedusa

                  post 100 CE?

                  Neither Judaism nor Christianity recognize anything written post Council of Jamnia as canonical.  Did prophecy cease?  Who proclaimed that end to prophecy?

                  How did written prophecy go on for more than a millennium and then cease completely and suddenly?  Did the god of Judaism and Christianity depart?  Was someone proclaimed the final word (remember that all the Greek bible is post-Christ and Paul never met Christ--at least pre-crucifixion).  

                  It's an interesting question involving theology, anthropology and political behavior.

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