Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 2: Exodus Excerpt – Chapter 13, Part One!


How to Buy Slaves (and Other Tips for Godly Living)

(Exodus 21)

Having given Moses the rough draft of the Ten Commandments, God proceeds to lay down the moral law.

Now, Christians tell me a lot about how perfect God is. Even the ones who aren’t Real True Christians™, and believe in hippie socialist Jesus rather than Legalistic Uptight Asshole Jesus, wax lyrical about how good God is. Many Christians tell me that the Bible is God’s timeless Word, which established a perfect moral law, even though some of the bits were just for those uncouth tribal dudes and needn’t trouble us today. None of them seem to agree on which of those laws God tossed, as God never specified in the text (although quite a few seem to just adore those bits of Leviticus that bash gay people).

When it’s pointed out that the Good Book contains some really bad laws, Christians get kind of blustery and stammery and insist that those laws were the best God could do at the time. The people were rebellious, they say, and primitive, and prone to sin: they would’ve refused to follow laws that were too advanced*.

To which I call: shenanigans.

If God is as powerful and wise as claimed, he should have had no problem laying down superb, compassionate, and flawless moral laws, and enforcing them. If god was trying to ease people in, he could have said right then (cuz he knows the future), “These are the laws for now. I’ll have better ones once you lot are more civilized.”

I want you to pay close attention to this chapter, dear Christians, and tell me how these laws are perfect, or where in this chapter God said they were temporary and would not be applicable to future generations.

God jumps right into the deep and stinky, starting off with slavery. He’s completely for it. He just wants to establish a few regulations:

  1. You can have a Hebrew as a slave for up to six full years. But you’ve gotta set him loose, debt-free, in the seventh year.
  2. Return your slave to freedom in the same marital condition in which you found him. If he was single, he goes alone. If he had a wife, she goes with him, free of charge.
  3. God, as we know, is all for strong nuclear families. But not for slaves! No, if you, kind master, gave your slave a wife, and he sexed her up, and they had sweet children together, your male slave gets his ass set free alone in Year 7. Wifey and the children extra slaves they made are yours to keep.
  4. If the slave you just so generously (were ordered to) set free is all like, “But I love my wife and kids! I can’t leave ’em!” then congratulations! You may now take him to your doorpost, drill a hole in his ear, and keep his ass enslaved forever. (Ex. 21:1-6)

There is not one sentence in these verses that says, “But verily I say unto you, slavery is horrible, and you’d better enjoy it while it lasts, cuz I’m gonna abolish and forbid it in a few generations when y’all are more enlightened.” God speaks not one word against the practice.

Image is a woodcut showing an Egyptian overseer menacing a brick-laden Hebrew with a stick. A woman clutches her head in the background. There is a slumped man to the right, a woman carrying a water jar on her head in the middle background, and an Egyptian taking a baby from a woman in the background.

The Egyptians Afflicted the Israelites (illustration from the 1897 Bible Pictures and What They Teach Us by Charles Foster). Public domain image and caption via Wikimedia Commons.

Maybe he’ll get to it whilst he’s giving instructions to Moses regarding women and slavery:

  1. If a man sells his daughter, she gets to remain a slave indefinitely – unlike the male slaves, she doesn’t get freed.
  2. But if the dude she’s sold to doesn’t like her, he’s not allowed to sell her to any durned foreigners. He has to allow her daddy to buy her back.
  3. If he bought her for his son to sex up, he has to treat her as a daughter.
  4. If he takes her as his wife for his own self, and later takes an additional wife, he’s got to keep providing his first wife the same level of food, clothing, and sexy fun times as before.
  5. If he can’t do those things for her, then he’s gotta set her free, without debt. (Ex. 21:7-11)

Nowhere does God ever say: “Dads – don’t sell your daughters as sex slaves. That’s disgusting.” He doesn’t say, “Dudes, don’t buy women as sex slaves – that’s an asshole thing to do, and also really skeevy.” In not one single place does God say, “You know what, guys? Don’t buy and sell women at all. Just don’t. I’m gonna call that an abomination unto me right there.” Don’t get so starry-eyed over God giving a few paltry rights to these poor girls people are selling. Don’t get so over-awed by the fact it’s God talking that you forget these girls were slaves whose destiny was to be repeatedly raped. God is regulating the sex slave trade. That is in no way moral.

And if you’ve ever condemned sex trafficking, you’ve got to face the fact that your God was completely down with it.

Just wait ’til we get to the rules on how to beat your slaves!


*Some Christians, horrifyingly, insist God is perfect and those horrific laws are still right and just today, but they’re a definite minority.

Exceptions apply.

Halloween Magic Madness! Very Rare Photo In This Post!

You, my darlings, are about to see something you may never have seen before…

B was all like, “Let’s get dressed up and hand out candy to the kids!” And I thought he’d get over the get dressed up part, so I didn’t bother putting my costume together. I’m frantically trying to get the second draft of Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 2: Exodus done, so I haven’t been as keen for Halloween as I typically am. I bloody love this holiday, but I was going to keep it low-key.

S invited me to parties, but I was exhausted by the end of the week. Writing is hard work, yo. So B’s idea of hanging out and watching teevee in between trick-or-treaters sounded perfecto. I checked in Friday to see if he still wanted to do costumes, and he did. And I suddenly decided I not only needed a night completely off, I also needed to be something other than a pirate. I wanted to be a sorceress. [Read more…]

Shining the Tequila Signal for Tony – Please Help if You Can!

Tony, a fabulous writer and fierce warrior for justice, has been unemployed for a while now. He’s been making ends just about meet, but is falling short this month on rent. All he needs is about $400, so if you can, throw a little his way to help him make it.

There’s actually a few ways you can help:

Donate directly.

Buy some of his stuff from Ebay!

If you can’t afford to drop any coin or make any nifty purchases, no worries! You can still help by sharing this post. [Read more…]

“Demolished by Sadness” – Escape Chapter 10: Cathleen and Tammy Marry Merril

It’s December, and Carolyn is back at Merril’s house after completing her fall semester at college. Merril, Barbara, and Ruth took off for Salt Lake City shortly after she arrived, leaving her virtually alone with the 14 kids still at home. Faunita, the only other adult, doesn’t leave her room very often. So Carolyn is free to do chores on her own. There are so many clothes to wash that, although they have to be rinsed by hand and hung to dry, it’s faster to do laundry in the old industrial-sized washer than try to use the more modern automatic washer and dryer. I can’t even bloody imagine the drudgery.

The FLDS has a new prophet, Rulon Jeffs, who took over after Uncle Roy died a few weeks before. While Carolyn cleans and looks forward to cooking for her gaggle of stepkids, Jeffs is busy arranging a wedding for Merril, who’s marrying Cathleen, a young widow of the former prophet. Merril lies to Carolyn and tells her Jeffs had just sprung this match on him with no warning. [Read more…]

Inge Lehmann: “A Small Solid Core in the Innermost Part of the Earth”

At the age of 105, Inge Lehmann (1888-1993) looked back on a long, productive life with satisfaction. During her career in seismology, she had made two major discoveries and made other significant contributions. She’d won multiple prestigious awards, become a fellow of the Royal Society, and had honorary doctorates bestowed by Columbia University and the University of Copenhagan.She was an immensely talented seismologist. [Read more…]

One of the Most Important Articles on Abortion You’ll Ever Read

Here are stories from abortion doctors who have been doing abortions since before they were legal. They’ve seen what society is like with and without access to safe, legal abortion. They’ve seen how bad things were, how good they got, and how we’re backsliding toward a time when desperate women were willing to risk death to terminate their pregnancies. These are stories all of us need to listen to. Especially those who are uncomfortable with or opposed to abortion. Make sure you send this to every friend, acquaintance, and relation who is anti-abortion or who thinks that abortion is a necessary evil rather than a medical right. Send it to everyone who thinks abortion should be legal, but tightly restricted. Force them to confront this reality.

Make them deal with statistics like this: [Read more…]

Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 2: Exodus Excerpt – Chapter 10!


A Singsong to Appease the Narcissistic Tyrant

(Exodus 15)

The Israelites, as you may well imagine, are a bit giddy after having walked through a sea while it drowned the army behind them. And they seem to know that if they want to survive, they’re going to have to reassure their narcissistic tyrant of a god that he’s really, really glorious, and they definitely know he’s the LORD.

So Moses leads them in a little singsong.

The first verse assures God that he sure is glorious and triumphant, drowning all those cavalry dudes and their horses like he did. Inoffensive, meek little ants may sing similar songs to us when we poison the army ants’ nest in the garden, but leave theirs unmolested. I’m afraid it won’t help them when we get round to spading up the spot they’re living in. (Ex. 15:1)

The second verse assures God that he’s all that plus their salvation, and they’ll build him a nice house, and exalt him like dear old Dad did. This can be a good thing to tell a bully if you decide you’d rather become a sycophant than get punched in the face again. (Ex. 15:2)

The third verse is rather matter-of-fact, pointing out that “the LORD is a man of war” and “the LORD is his name.” It sounds like they’d like to make damned sure the LORD knows it’s not necessary to issue them any painful or fatal reminders of either fact. (Ex. 15:3)

The fourth and fifth verses return to dwell on Pharaoh’s fate, and how all his chariots and army men and captains were all “drowned in the Red Sea,” and they’ve all sunk like a stone. The Israelites know their god’s quite proud of his smiting prowess, and wish to reassure him they noticed, so that he won’t feel tempted to demonstrate it on them. (Ex. 15:4-5)

Image is a watercolor showing Pharaoh's army drowning in the waters of the Red Sea.

The Egyptians Are Destroyed, c. 1896-1902, by James Jacques Joseph Tissot

The sixth verse is where they wax eloquently over the glorious power and strength of God’s right hand. They quickly add that it’s the right hand that dashed the enemy to pieces. It’s good they added that bit: it was starting to sound like they were commenting on the LORD’s masturbatory prowess. (Ex. 15:6)

The seventh verse dwells lovingly on how in “the greatness” of the LORD’s “excellency” he totally kicked the Egyptians’ asses, and lavishes praise upon his mighty wrath wot consumed them. One must assure God he’s a macho-mighty god, lest he begin to feel inadequate and get an itchy smiting finger again. (Ex. 15:7)

The eighth verse informs us where the mighty east wind that parted the sea came from: God’s incredible nostrils. It rather sounds like he sneezed, but they try to make it sound as epic as possible. (Ex. 15:8)

The ninth verse speculates as to the enemy’s state of mind. They seem to have no idea that the Egyptians weren’t pursuing them from their own lust, greed, or anger, but because their very own God mindfucked them into it so he could show off his army smashing prowess. (Ex. 15:9)

The tenth verse reassures God that they absolutely did notice how he drowned the Egyptians. Please don’t hit us, LORD. (Ex. 15:10)

The eleventh verse tells God there’s no other god like him, nosiree. You’re the bestest, most holiest, most amazing magician of all. We love you, please don’t kill us. (Ex. 15:11)

The twelfth verse tells God they absolutely positively without doubt did notice what he did to the Egyptians. Only they screw up and say the earth swallowed Pharaoh’s army, without mentioning the drowning part. Whoops! Hope God doesn’t notice! (Ex. 15:12)

The thirteenth verse quickly covers for that blunder by telling God how merciful he is to the Israelites, and how strong he’s been, guiding them to his holy house. Which they haven’t built yet. Totally will, though. Remember, O LORD, you’re merciful. Mer-ci-ful. (Ex. 15:13)

The fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth verses crow over how shit-scared all the people in Palestine are going to be when they hear about God. The royalty and “mighty men” and the very inhabitants shall be amazed, start shaking, and just melt away – or freeze like a rock – they’ll be so terrified of God, and they’ll stay that way until his people pass. Hopefully. If God doesn’t forget, or end up in a snit and let their enemies have their way with them. (Ex. 15:14-16)

The seventeenth verse reminds God that he promised them a place to live at the end of all this. They’ll even let him take credit for building the sanctuary which they, actually, are gonna build. It’s best to give Dear Leader the credit for everything so he doesn’t get cranky. (Ex. 15:17)

The eighteenth verse assures God he’ll reign forever and ever. Not like those other gods who were popular for a while, but their fifteen minutes of fame are so over. (Ex. 15:18)

And the nineteenth verse lets the LORD know, one more time, that they definitely did see what he did with the Egyptians, and my, how clever, doing all that drowning while we got to walk on nice dry land in the middle of the sea. Boy, that sure was awesome – wasn’t it awesome, everybody? Tell God it was awesome before he gets pissy. (Ex. 15:19)

Aaron’s sister Miriam then has all the women come out dancing with timbrels to let the LORD know he sure did gloriously show those Egyptians he killed, indeed, and their little horses, too. (Ex. 15:20)

Image shows several women with blue robes, red sashes, and white cloaks dancing in a line and beating on timbrels in a palm grove.

The Songs of Joy, c. 1896-1902, by James Jacques Joseph Tissot.

This is apparently enough singing the LORD’s praises for now, and they get on with their journey. Unfortunately, God is shit is finding ways through the desert that include water. They go without any for three days. When they finally do find some, it’s bitter, and they can’t drink it. You’d think that after all that vigorous stroking of his ego they did, God would’ve at the very least provided them with clean drinking water. But no, he can’t do anything nice until people are suffering and begging. It’s only after the people complain to Moses, and Moses cries to God, that God has him thrown in a magic tree to make the water sweet. (Ex. 15:21-25)

God decides this is a great time to lay down some rules. He tells them, “If you listen carefully to me, and to what I think is right (no matter how asinine it is), and listen to my commandments, and follow all my orders, I won’t infect you with all the diseases like I did the Egyptians, cuz I’m the god that heals you. Capisce?” (Ex. 15:25-26)

I dunno about you, but I’m of the opinion that when your God starts to sound like a Mafia don, it’s probably time to flee and look for one that isn’t as likely to abuse the shit out of you, then pretend it’s love.

Image is the cover for Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 2: Exodus. The painting is Charles Sprague Pearce's Lamentations over the Death of the First-Born of Egypt, showing an Egyptian man and woman weeping over the coffin of their infant.

Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 2: Exodus Coming Soon!

Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. I: Genesis is now available at Amazon! Worldwide, even! Pick up your copy today.

Drop Everything and Watch This Orangutan Bottle-Feed Tiger Cubs

Look, you deserve a break. You deserve terminal cuteness. You deserve to watch this orangutan foster baby tigers.

This is apparently a regular thing for the Myrtle Beach Safari orangutans. You can see a longer video here.

Parenting instincts transcend species boundaries. This certainly isn’t the first example, but it’s among the cutest. When that primate started feeding that cub from a bottle, I about melted in a puddle of squee.

Alas, when the cubs’ predatory instincts begin kicking in, they’ll probably have to be separated, but for now, bliss.

Here. It’s going to be a long week, I’m sure. Have some more animal adorableness. Like a cat caring for ducklings: [Read more…]

Why Secular Anti-Abortion Arguments Fail

Beth Presswood came across the most asinine anti-abortion article I’ve ever seen. Go and read her post. I’ll have a little something to say about it when you return. It won’t be nice, it contains quite a bit of foul language, and I’m not shielding anyone from my anger, but if you’re a secular forced-birther, you’d better damned sure show me you read, comprehended, and thought carefully about what I said before you dare to open your mouth in my presence. [Read more…]

Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: Bunches of Beautiful Birbs

You’re in for a treat, my darlings! Ken Gibson has given us the keys to his birding kingdom, and I have selected several delights for your identifying pleasure. I’ve linked each photo to the maclargehuge original for ye.

First up, a birb that’s just screaming for a caption: [Read more…]