Tina K. Russell

January 30, 2010

Read your Bible

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Tina Russell @ 8:36 pm

(I wrote this a few months ago and was afraid to post it. Please take it seriously… I’ve tried my best to be brutally honest, and it’s painful to share because of how important being Christian and being Quaker is to my identity.)

I’m having a bit of difficulty with the Bible.

A month or two ago, I bought, from eMusic Audiobooks, a full set (1255 tracks) of “The Message: Remix” (rather, “The Message – REMIX//Complete,” as the über-hip—and trying-too-hard—typesetters at the publisher would like you to call it). It’s really an excellent deal; it’s something like eighty hours of audio for ten bucks total. It makes you wonder if the pricing was set by more than just an invisible hand.

I digress. So far, I’ve listened to the first seven books, so that’s Genesis (seven days, lots of begats, twelve tribes) through Judges (in which Samson’s girlfriend is very, very interested in learning how to tie him down, another lesson in the importance of safe words). And…

You should know that, as a Quaker, I’ve grown up with a God who loves me, and one who abhors violence. I’ve always been taught (with the lesson continuously reinforced) that war in God’s name is absurd, since God does not sponsor war or take sides. And…

I was bracing myself for the Old Testament, knowing it was a bit of a risk to start there. I knew that it’s full of amazingly arbitrary laws (if you have sex with a woman on who is on her period, you are exiled, and if you work on the Sabbath, you are stoned to death), bloody battle sequences, and a thorough and inevitable poking of holes into everything I know about God, love, and forgiveness. It comes with the territory, and necessitated Jesus coming down to Earth to forgive us for our sins and set things right on the Old Testament’s exciting sequel.

I really had no idea, though, what I was in for. I often complain about Quentin Tarantino, despite having seen only one of his movies (Pulp Fiction) and that one for only fifteen minutes. (I justify my judgment by noting that the first fifteen minutes of Pulp Fiction is all anybody ever quotes from.) As far as I’m concerned, he represents an awful idea that violence and depravity are artful and meaningful unto themselves (at least, when you give them a hip, idiosyncratic soundtrack and an incorrigible pretense of irony). I saw Sin City (of which Tarantino wrote all of one scene) and nearly puked my guts out. (And yes, it’s a raw wound that ten minutes of nonsensical dialogue about hamburgers, followed by a ruthless and unprovoked murder, is somehow considered one of America’s great cinematic achievements.)

So, it’s tough for me to get down that the first seven books of the Bible, anyway, collectively put Tarantino to shame. I’m not sure even he could direct a movie this bloody. It seems like the majority of the time—not individual passages, not embarrassing moments of canon that I can safely relegate to my personal, religious Dis-Continuity (TV Tropes link warning! Don’t click if you have anything to do today), but the bulk of the text—is spent on tales of wholesale slaughter, of unprovoked genocide, of invasion and wanton killing in the name of God. The Israelites have no more reason to kill entire communities than the promise that God has bequeathed them this land, a chilling theme today (as cutthroat armies hold firm in religious conviction as a shield for their crimes, take your pick from the Congo to the Middle East) for such a supposedly timeless book.

It gets worse. Sexual minorities like me should be happy that the dinky passage in Leviticus banning gay contact is part of a long list of arbitrary rules which even the most observant Jew will not follow to the letter. While I already knew how readily Leviticus dispenses the death penalty for minor offenses, it’s another thing to hear it read aloud, spelled out, over and over again: Kill them. Bring them before the congregation and stone them. Cast the evil from your community.

Crimes that don’t bring death bring exile, and crimes below that merit only specific instructions on which animal to sacrifice in penance and how. No mention is given to being good, for its own sake; God speaks to the Israelites as children, presuming that all good comes from him, and that he will take care of them if they follow his rules.

Now, of course, I can’t call myself an expert on the Middle East of these old days. I often defend the Quran on similar grounds, that it must be understood in the violent context of Arabian antiquity. It really appalls me, now, to think of the bigots who speak of the atrocities in the Muslims’ holy book as evidence that the religion is fundamentally violent and hateful; Christians who say that have no leg to stand on (and I hope that atheists, by and large, acknowledge that violence and hate can exist without religion as well, as there are plenty more weapons in the hatemonger’s arsenal). I always took a bit of pride, though, that my hero, Jesus, my personal savior, never engaged in war, and would sooner die on a cross than take up arms against the people he came to save. I knew that his message, his Gospel, was meant to wash away some of the bad blood from times past. It’s just difficult to find such brutality buried deeply in my own lineage.

I wrote about this someplace else online, and a friend (please don’t hate me for writing about this, friend) suggested I stop trying to read the Bible all at once, as it’s too “heavy.” I should space it out, have time to discuss and reflect, and in the meantime she recommended reading two books by Philip Yancey.

I had a bit of a cow. All my life, I’ve been told, read the Bible, read the Bible. The Bible has the answers within, the Bible is living food for the soul, the Bible brings comfort and wisdom. Yet, now I read it, and it’s fundamentally disturbing—it’s a long, flowing, poetic Quentin Tarantino movie—and now people tell me, pull back, hold off, don’t read the Bible, or at least read it more slowly, and spinkle in some Philip Yancey to make it go down more easily.

Now, I’m aware of Philip Yancey, and I know that part of what makes him a renowned author on religion is his willingness to take a long, hard look at original sources while casting aside received assumptions and traditions. So, he certainly wouldn’t dumb down the Bible the way my Sunday school teachers did (who would have had me believe that the Bible is a warm and fuzzy book of fables and miracles). I was just offended by this idea… I thought she was telling me to have Yancey explain it away. I don’t want to believe in anything that makes it okay to kill people merely for sitting on “God’s land” and worshipping other gods. That’s never okay, and I don’t care what God says, he gave me a brain and I have to think for myself. I became too terrified to keep writing or thinking about it because I imagined Philip Yancey, starer-into-of-God’s-black-heart extraordinaire, trying to explain why these divinely mandated massacres are really good things, necessary to our societal upbringing then if not today. I doubt he says anything remotely like that, but in that moment I had already felt betrayed, and every Christian in the world, all my brothers and sisters in Christ, had become suspect. My Sunday school never told me of the cruelty in the Bible, but neither did my young-adult pastor, nor my parents, nor my present pastors, nor any of my Christian friends. The whole experience of finding this atrocious killing in the Bible made me feel like I’d been betrayed my whole life, that every Christian in the world had been lying to me, that my image of an all-loving, pacifist God was now shattered. I was a girl with no origin, no past. I didn’t know what or whom to believe.

My concern now is that I need to talk to somebody about it, but I can’t figure out whom I even trust enough. Who will hear me out without trying to explain it away? I just don’t know.

And yes, for now, I’m still a Christian; I’ll make it through the whole Bible before I judge. It’s just that… part of why I didn’t want to read Yancey in-time with the Bible itself is that I didn’t want to force belief upon myself. If the Bible speaks to me, if it lives up to its reputation, if it becomes something I can turn to for advice and solace, that’s wonderful. If it doesn’t speak to me, though, and continues as a lengthy Tarantino slasher flick, I may lose my faith and convert to something else.

We’ll see.


  1. Hey, I’ve never read your blog before, but I stumbled upon this post, and thought I’d share my thoughts.

    As someone who went away from Christianity for quite a good few years before recently coming back, and who is absolutely not willing to accept things simply because someone says “That’s just how it is,” I think I understand where you’re coming from on this.

    However, I’m under the impression that something being in the bible does not necessarily make it good. I think the bible (particularly the old testament) gives almost as many examples of what not to do as it does lay out a blueprint for a righteous life. Particularly the old testament, I feel, is sort of history lesson. It gives you all of the background information. It tells you what people were doing, what life was like, and what happened in the world before Jesus came around.

    I feel that way because before Jesus came and died for the world’s sins, things were governed by “the law” of Judaism. They believed that they had to behave a very certain way, and adhere to a VERY specific set of laws to gain favor with God. That’s where you get things like stoning for working on the sabbath and exile for sex with a woman on her period. But one of the first things that Jesus taught us was that the law wouldn’t save us. In fact, the law wouldn’t do anything for us. It was only through him that we would go to heaven. He threw the law out, and told the pharisees that the law they had mastered and preached was, basically, missing the point and no longer needed. Ultimately, it’s what ended up getting him crucified.

    Because Christianity is about following the teachings of Jesus, and about having a personal relationship with Christ, I think that the really important aspects of your faith and how to live a good Christian life come in the New Testament and from the teachings of Jesus.

    Now, this is really all just the way I understand things. I also think that people who use isolated incidents and verses from the Old Testament to justify violence, intolerance, and atrocities in the name of God are COMPLETELY missing the point. But, that’s just me…

    If you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to write and ask. I probably don’t have definite answers for you (and probably shouldn’t), but I’d be happy to hash out some ideas with you.

    Comment by Tony — January 30, 2010 @ 10:50 pm

  2. Hi, sweetie. I hope I can do this without making things worse…

    I have read the Jewish books- the pre-Christian books- and some of the “New Testament.” My current self-definition is an “occasionally Jewish Unitarian Universalist,” and I have never been particularly religious. As such, I can’t say I really understand where you’re coming from, but I can see some of it.

    For instance, I have always had trouble with a G-d who would allow, even more: command, the acts that are shown in these books. The people live lives filled with violence and “righteous” hatred, and I find it sickening. The hate…

    Christianity sought to rectify this in preaching a non-violent doctrine, one of peace and love and true righteousness born of being good and just. Christ sought to force people to see that hate only begets more hate. He argued that living by the word of the law was not enough, because the rules were wrong. He pointed out the flaws of the self-righteous and the virtues of the humble and low. This would be beautiful, if modern Christians truly lived this life of purity of intent- but many do not.

    However, do not despair. While it may feel that your faith has betrayed you, you also must know that there are those who see as you do. If you live a just and pure life of humility, you are fulfilling your purpose. As humans, we cannot help but conceive of a G-d that is also man- fallible and changeable, capricious and loving and just.

    I have mostly approached the bible as fiction in my life, because of my utterly non-religious background, but if you read it as fact that has been embellished by it’s scribes, themselves but men, you can see the parallels to our own world. Yes, these lives were “nasty and brutish and short,” but they too learnt and grew. Look at David, look at Solomon, look at Esther and Sarah and Rachel. Look at Christ. All human, all fallible; all trying to rise above a past of ignorance and hatred to shape a world that is just and beautiful.

    It looks horrible and hopeless from just the start, but your quest to read your past will lead to your own Christhood, in which you learn to overcome that past and love your fellow man (and woman and other).

    Keep the faith, Sister. Much love.

    Comment by Tess/Mayhem — January 30, 2010 @ 11:40 pm

  3. Also, I too enjoy listening to the Bible on tape. I have James Earl Jones reading the Christian New Testament- I love his voice…

    Comment by Tess/Mayhem — January 30, 2010 @ 11:42 pm

  4. Why do you even care about the Bible? There are two kinds of Christian, in my experience: those who believe in the Bible, and those who believe in Jesus. They’re not compatible. The former group produces people like Fred Phelps and Pat Robertson. You did mention you considered Jesus a personal hero – I’d think you should be proud to be a part of the latter group, and, in fact, want to actively oppose those who believe in the vengeful three-year-old God of the Old Testament or the hateful misogynist God of St Paul. But then again, so much of the original tradition has been lost and edited out that even though Jesus worship, as opposed to Book worship, is slowly reviving in our time, it’s still filtered through the established tradition which holds that the Bible is the literal and absolute Word of God. And that, frankly, is a position which no sane or good person should hold. WWJD is probably a remarkably relevant question at this point.

    Comment by Bodil — January 31, 2010 @ 8:11 am

  5. Tony: Thanks! That does help a lot. I was raised Christian, but it’s themes like grace and forgiveness, for yourself and others (which can be hard!), that keep me Christian.

    Tess/Mayhem: Thanks! That means a lot to me. You’re right that the flaws in these people and stories helps make them more real and relevant. You have a good perspective on Jesus, too. I’ll hold your words close to my heart in the coming days.

    Bodil: Yeah, that’s true. It’s one thing that makes me very glad to be in the Quaker tradition, which generally does not hold the Bible to be literal truth. (Of course, I always find it funny when people argue that every passage in the Bible should be interpreted “literally”; so, we’re really the _salt_ of the earth, then? I guess that’s one more way people don’t seem to know what “literally” actually means. I digress.)

    I do want to say something brief in St. Paul’s defense: as I understand, some of the stuff about women that’s cherrypicked from his letters by sexist jerkwads is followed immediately by similar strictures on men… His letters were basically position papers for the early Church, so though they’re relevant, it’s always frustrating when people take them to be what the Church should follow to the letter 2000 years later. We’ve grown and changed since then, and we’d be failing Paul’s vision if we didn’t. (And Paul was pretty progressive for his time… he was effectively the founder of modern Christianity, and made it a religion that anyone could join, regardless of background.)

    The Pat Robertsons of the world are pretty fucked up, aren’t they? Did you know, for instance, that Haiti is 96% Christian (thanks, CIA World Factbook)? You wouldn’t, because people like Robertson carry the stereotype of “brown people=heathens” as a hateful banner. (Of course, what he said about Haiti, that the earthquake was essentially their just desserts, would be just as bad no matter what religion were or weren’t practiced in Haiti… it’s just amazing how hateful he can be even toward fellow Christians.)

    Thanks so much, all. I feel a lot better! I was worried I’d be cast out as a heathen for all this (or worse, for slandering the name of Quentin Tarantino, whom I still think is a tool). I’ll keep going with my Bible-listening and tell you how it all goes.


    Comment by Tina Russell — January 31, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

  6. Yeah, see, that’s exactly my problem with St Paul. While one could certainly argue the point that he was the founder of “modern” Christianity – I’d rather point the accusing finger at the Emperor Constantine and the Council of Nicaea, personally – it was in any case his brand of Christianity that modelled the established tradition. How do you feel that particular tradition has worked out over the last two millennia? The Dark Ages, the Crusades, the Inquisition, the persecution of the Jews, the witch trials, Fred Phelps, Benedict XVI; I have this feeling that if it really was Jesus who spoke to St Paul on the road to Damascus, he’s not feeling very good about it in hindsight…

    No, please, if you must be a Christian, at least try to stick to the only good thing Christianity has to offer. Stick to Jesus. Throw that book away before it turns you off Him completely.

    (Not that you should look to me for validation as a Christian – the high priest of the town I grew up in actually went to the press and had me officially branded a dangerous heretic and Satanist. Full disclosure, etc.)

    Comment by Bodil — January 31, 2010 @ 1:18 pm

    • @Bodil: I don’t see the bible as literal. I think that’s where many people go wrong. The “modern Christianity” that you rail against, well, they’re taking the word of the law to heart, not the spirit. I see the Hebrew bible (OldTest) and the Christian bible (NewTest) more as guidelines and parables to help you learn from the past. The people in them are human and fallible, and the books were scribed by men trying to impose their own agenda on the time. Seen through that lens, the sexism and horror make more sense, because people will always find a reason to go to war if they wish.

      Even if you are a “WWJD” Christian, I think that the bibles can teach you how to live more fully in the ideals set forth by Christ. If we ignore our past, we never learn and grow- we stagnate, growing stale and bored and tearing each other apart. I think bible study is worthwhile.

      Comment by Tess/Mayhem — January 31, 2010 @ 6:01 pm

  7. Hey Tina!

    I understand where you’re coming from. The old testament is definitely something else. I haven’t read it too much myself, but I know what you’re getting at.

    Like the others I’d suggest to keep reading. Jesus was a cool dude.

    I’m one of those atheists you speak of, but I think the Bible really is an important book for probably everyone to read. I need to do it someday soon myself.

    Comment by Christina — February 5, 2010 @ 7:08 am

  8. Hi Tina
    It’s been a while since you posted but I keep checking back once in a while to check.

    I am amazed that people devote their lives to a church and never read the book that it is based on.

    Look up the definition of the word “bible”, the word “testament”. You have and old and a new testimony of people who believed in a certain way. I have no idea where the concept that the Bible is the word of God came from.

    The Jews do not believe that the Talmud or Old Testament is the literal word of God and it is their book. The history of the “New Testament” is easy to find and then you understand that it is a political document put together by Constantine. It’s not really a testimony.

    You are growing Tina. Learning to think on your own. I went through the same phase you are experiencing. I became an atheist but then eventually came to find God and Jesus again in a truer and more honest light.

    Those violent stories are violent. They say what they say. Don’t let anyone sugar coat them.

    I have traveled much in the military and been to many congregations. I was a Christian and got tired of the dogma and hypocrisy and then attended Quaker Meetings. Each meeting seemed to see a different light and one was blatantly an atheist political club.

    These days I just say that I follow the carpenter. Please note that Jesus had a job and did useful work and was not a career preacher, priest or parasite.

    Comment by John H — February 21, 2010 @ 1:35 am

  9. Hi there, just stumbled across your blog. I don’t much care about religion or the rest, but I do feel compelled to defend Quentin Tarantino to a degree after reading your dismissal of him. I’m not just a raving fanboy – there are films of his I dislike and aspects of his other films I’m uneasy with at times – but certain things need defending.

    One, “Sin City”. He had absolutely nothing to do with the writing. It’s an almost panel-by-panel adaptation of Frank Miller’s comics. If you’ve an issue, take it up with Miller. Tarantino directed one scene (the one with Clive Owen and a dead Benicio del Toro in the car). It was just something Rodriguez talked him into to see the merits of all-digital photography. The scene and the dialogue was all Frank Miller. The “guest director” bit was, more than anything, a jab at the Director’s Guild for a lot of complex reasons.

    Second – the issue of QT’s violence. It’s not for everyone and I wouldn’t recommend his films for that reason. But understand that he’s a master of manipulating human reaction to violence in a way no filmmaker before ever has. How, in “Kill Bill”, he managed to make a theatre full of people squirm when someone’s head got smacked by a door, then later make them laugh when someone’s eyeball gets plucked out and graphically squished between toes is a mystery, frankly. Like it or hate it, it’s a unique talent.

    Third – if you really want to try a QT film that is full of the violence, extended dialogue riffs and shocks he is renown for, but is a bit more approachable, try “Inglourious Basterds”. At least if you wade into something that involves the Holocaust you’re steeled for the violence to come. And frankly, if you avert your eyes during the scalping/baseball bat scene the rest of the film is pretty mild.

    Fourth – dismissing “Pulp Fiction” after seeing the first 15 minutes. I’m not saying you’d change your mind if you watched it. But you can’t criticize anything based on such a short sample. More directly:

    His dialogue is far from nonsensical. What was crucial about the “Royale with cheese” sequence was that it broke these two bad-ass hitmen into regular guys, talking about the weird little differences you encounter when on vacation in a foreign country and the relative sexual meaning of a foot massage, before getting “in character” and becoming the badass hitmen. This sort of “nonsensical” dialogue is even more crucial later in the film, when a sequence between Bruce Willis and his girlfriend, mostly discussing blueberry pancakes and the aesthetics of pot bellies, does more to define and establish their characters and relationship than 30 minutes of exposition could ever hope to accomplish.

    The death in the early scene was far from unprovoked – Brad and the others were stealing something from the hitmen’s employers. This set up just how valuable the briefcase was – the ultimate MacGuffin, as we never know what’s in it, but this scene makes its value beyond doubt. It’s a violent scene, yet, with that strange QT violence thing, a later, far more gory, death in the same sub-story generates a huge laugh, and leads to the gross-yet-funny “you’re on brain detail” sequence.

    I’d also dispute that the first 15 minutes are the only thing that anybody quotes. Much of the best scenes later in the movie are rarely quoted out of political correctness (ie. the hilarious but very un-PC “dead nigger storage” scene), but I’d say the most-quoted line in the movie comes about halfway through, involving pliers and blowtorches.

    Part of the problem with judging “Pulp Fiction” on the first 15 minutes is its structure. Its fractured, out-of-chronological-sequence narrative requires a full viewing to understand any scene. Jules’s heavily quoted Ezekiel 25:17 speech in the first 15 minutes seems frightening and bad-ass; I assume you know it (“and I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger”, etc.).

    The last scene of the film (but only a couple hours later in-movie), where Jules explains to an armed robber his interpretation of the passage and how his experience that morning has changed his life outlook is the payoff, 2.5 hours later:

    (to the robber, Ringo)
    “I’ve been saying that shit for years, and if you heard it, it meant your ass… I just thought it was cold-blooded shit to say, but I saw some stuff this morning… now I’m thinking, maybe it means you’re the evil man, and I’m the righteous man, and Mr. 9mm here, he’s the shepherd, protecting my righteous ass. Or it could mean, you’re the righteous man, and I’m the shepherd, and it’s the world that’s evil and cold. I’d like that… but it’s not the truth.

    The truth is, YOU’RE the weak. And I am the tyranny of evil men. But I’m trying, Ringo. I’m trying real hard to be the shepherd.”

    This is an incredibly powerful and moving character arc when experienced in full (and this last scene, especially about how dirty various animals are, is probably the most quoted, actually).

    This is what keeps people coming back to him – not his violence (and I’m someone who abhors modern “torture porn” and would never try to defend “Grindhouse” or the Eli Roth shit he’s “presented”), but the way he uses incidental dialogue and fractured narrative to deliver powerfully emotional sequences without the tedious exposition and traditional character-building that most filmmakers have to rely on.

    Comment by Bob Lawblaw — May 3, 2010 @ 11:59 pm

  10. Ummm, I don’t know.

    1. Uhhh, I think it’s perfectly fair to judge Pulp Fiction by its first fifteen minutes in the sense of whether or not I would like to watch the rest. Movies have to sell themselves at the beginning. If I don’t like the first fifteen minutes, chances are, I won’t like the rest, and I’m under no obligation to see any of the damn thing anyway.
    (Also, you kind of made my point: the first part of the scene shows that they are average guys, and then it goes on to show that they are cold-blooded killers. That’s the point at which I wondered why the fuck I should be watching this.)

    2. Okay, I’ll blame Tarantino _and_ Miller for creating an environment where idiosyncratic dialogue plus gore-porn equals GENIUS.

    3. Uhhhh, it doesn’t take a very talented filmmaker to make people squirm at subtle violence and then giggle like schoolgirls at over-the-top violence. We react to things to which we are familiar. (And telling about how everyone laughed at this brutal and outlandish violence is not going to make me like Tarantino any better. Part of why I don’t like him is because I cherish the fact that I’m still not desensitized to onscreen cruelty.)

    But really, I think I just resent Tarantino because I think he represents this idea that, in order to make a good film, it must be cynical, abhorrently violent, and be just cartoony and idiosyncratic enough to be considered ironic. My impression of Tarantino is that his films contain incidental dialogue that drags on forever, followed by over-the-top violence, and given visual effects and soundtracks that make it all seem hip and counterculture.

    Yes, my anger at the cynicism and vanity of today’s pop culture plays a part in this, so I may have a bias. But, I’m waiting for anyone to tell me my impression is wrong; I’m inclined to think it’s right, since those are the only things anyone ever praises him for.

    (Well, some people do say that Tarantino causes people to enjoy violence and then be horrified by their enjoyment of it; however, I’ve yet to see the results, since I’ve never seen anyone horrified by a Tarantino movie. People seem to celebrate them as a festival of severed limbs and arbitrary scoring.)

    Comment by Tina Russell — June 1, 2010 @ 12:15 am

  11. Ideologically Ayn Rand and the worst of Niechzie (sic) had a child and that was Frank Miller – total will to power. Early work IS an adeptation of Rand, later works also, the idea that only a few self aware and WORTHY individuals stand above the others not because of fortune, or any other reason but their own will to decision and power.

    Appeals to certain males, has almost no appeal to females.

    Tarantino started the US film fad of trying to do plagerism and calling it art. His Kill Bill rates as a B-level Hong Kong films, nothing so far good enough for a New Years Hong Kong film but maybe a spin off of one of the Yukaza films. Compared to the extreme Japanese, Hong Kong or other cultures, he reminds me of a student who steals so much that there is a belief that no one but he could know his ‘sources’ and thus he is a genius.

    He presents a male Fantasy – not reality (since often the defence of his work is his realism). Since the works are male centric/women as untouchable fallen goddess’ or innocents (or disposible non-humans), males like him, much of the scenes would be an extreme form of yaoi. But then Millers’ last interpretation of Batmen left almost everyone wondering if a) part 3 would ever come out and b) Can Miller pull his head out of his anus long enough to explain what the hell is going on.

    About the bible. Well, you can be a bible Christian and a Jesus Christian. I am glad you see how violent the bible is, because no one really comes off looking that great – it is what makes it real, that the same human idiocy and bloodthirst for no reason continues today. There is a verse, early on where God asks, “Do you want me to chase the inhabitants out of the land with bees?” (seriously, bees), and the Isrealites say, “No, we actually really like killing them.” Well, hardly holy warriors, but VERY human. If the bible is a puzzlement of contact between two beings: human and some divine being, and how it keeps going wrong with the best of intentions, it makes more sense to me, at least.

    Jesus was born into that bloodline culture (of the blood means you are one of the loved of God, and not of the Blood means you are nothing; the Samaritians were people who believed in a different ‘holy mountain’ where the 10 commands were given – stuff seems trival today but in 2000 years will the ‘when does live start’ debates and violence, violence against LGBTQ people in the name of God look any different?) and walked a line which kept barely in that culture until death.

    But then, since I think Jesus was a woman, like God (or did eve get created while God had a blindfold on? Who do women call out to in childbirth….if Jesus only knows about penis’ and masturbation?). I have my own unique upbringing (including memorizing much of the old testament).

    Comment by Elizabeth McClung — July 5, 2010 @ 7:29 pm

    • 1. I just get a lot of schadenfreude seeing you rip Miller and Tarantino. And I feel vindicated. THANK YOU

      2. I haven’t read The Dark Knight Returns. I have read Final Crisis, though, and found myself wanting to tell that (that is, uh, he should remove his head from its current position and tell us what is going on) to Grant Morrison, over and over. Of course, that meant it was “brilliant.”

      3. I get a huge kick out of the fact that Jesus condemns those who gaudily show off their piety _in the Bible itself._


      Comment by Tina Russell — July 5, 2010 @ 7:51 pm

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