genesis 20 - degenerate assholes

It’s been quite some time since my last post in the Ponzo Reads the Bible series (which is now migrating to the new blog, though you can always access the archives here). I have practical reasons for slacking off – moving halfway across the country being the chief one – but the most immediate excuse is that I got stuck on Genesis 20. I just didn’t know how to respond to it.

It is not because Genesis 20 contains some life-changing moral message that caused an epiphany in me. Rather, Genesis 20 simply continues what has quickly become the theme of the Old Testament in general: God’s chosen people do terrible things to others, with God’s full approval.

How many times can I condemn the moral degeneracy of Abraham and Sarah, or of their God for letting them get away with the shit they pull? How can I find new words to describe my disgust?

Here is the summary of Genesis 21: Abraham and Sarah travel to the land of Gerar, which is ruled by King Abimelech. Once again, they play the “Sarah is my sister” trick on Abimelech, convincing him that Sarah is free for the taking and ensuring that he will fall in lust with her (keep in mind, by the way, that Sarah is over 90 years old at this point). Once Abimelech has taken Sarah for his own, God shows up to demand the Bronze Age equivalent of protection money, threatening dire consequences if Abimelech fails to pay up.

Excuse me, but how is this not a protection racket?

This time, though, there is a twist. You see, Abimelech may have taken Sarah to be his wife, but he has refrained from even touching her in the meantime. God couldn’t care less, though; he still insists that Abimelech pay up or face the consequences. In fact, he even has the audacity to take credit for Abimelech’s own modesty.

Oh, and it gets better, because here we find out that Abraham and Sarah weren’t lying about the sister thing after all. Sarah really is Abraham’s sister; he just married her anyway!

What is all this I’ve been hearing lately about “defending ‘traditional marriage’”?

Now, all of this would be fine if it were used to convey some moral lesson – i.e., if Abraham and Sarah eventually got what was coming to them for their actions. That is not the case, though. Instead, these trailer trash degenerates engage in trickery and deceit with God’s imprimatur, and God even shows up to twist the arm of their innocent victims. Three major religions trace their origins back to Abraham as ur-patriarch, and never stop to examine or question his true nature. These religions worship the same god that is here behaving like a petty thug.

What does this say about those religions, or their adherents? What does it say about the nature of their god? The only rational conclusion is that God – Yahweh, Allah, or whatever name you choose to ascribe to this deity – is evil. The chief religious concept that the Bible supports is maltheism.

The Bible hardly needs critics, as it is its own worst enemy. If its adherents ever bothered to read it, or if they did so without succumbing to massive cognitive dissonance, they would reject it outright.