Our marriage is over!

It seems awfully harsh that my wife will learn about the impending dissolution of our relationship on a blog post, but it’s true. There has been a formal announcement on the interwebs. All marriages will be imminently nullified by Jesus, and since our wedding was most definitely officiated by a Jesus-lovin’ god-walloper, I don’t see any loopholes.

Wait. It’s an interpretation of the book of Revelation? That’s a relief. I guess I can ignore it, even though the prospect of living in sweet, delicious sin was appealing.

It did make me think of one thing, though. You know how the Republican party has discredited itself by nominating an orange turd with cotton candy floss for hair and very tiny hands for the presidency? Not just his ridiculous appearance and behavior, but his lack of policy knowledge and his absurd accusations and second amendment solutions…all conspire to demolish the credibility of the entire party, and expose the hypocrisy of its leaders.

I would suggest that the Book of Revelation does the same for all of Christianity. That it was included at all in the early formulations of dogma should be an embarrassment — it’s as if a physics textbook were to include a screed from the Time Cube guy, or a biology textbook had a chapter on the age of the earth that just babbled on about 6000 years and the Great Flood. Even if there are nice, poetic, humanist sections of the Bible, shouldn’t the incorporation of raving apocalyptic lunacy as a legitimate part of the story, especially when the most demented members of the faith seem to gravitate towards it, tell you that this is not a credible text?

It’s not alone, either. The book of Genocide — I mean, Genesis — and Leviticus and the misogynistic dictates of Paul…shouldn’t they all make you hold the ol’ Holy Book at arms length and deposit the nasty book in the nearest trash can? You can talk all you want about the sweetness of the Song of Solomon or the Psalms, or the wisdom of Ecclesiastes, but that just makes the whole thing the canonical shit sandwich made with the best pickles and good chewy homemade bread.


  1. blf says

    Quoted at the link in the OP: Abortion, same-sex marriage, transgender… The curse of sterility is a self-imposed curse we have embraced, and called it good. Ours is a self-imposed curse against nature. Surely, we shall unnaturally manipulate the natural, and declare it good. Nevertheless, our sterility shall haunt us.

    The “precious bodily fluids” version was more concise and memorable.

  2. cartomancer says

    For people who are supposedly so obsessed with the bible, one has to wonder how they can get so het up about marriage. The idea that marriage is a Christian sacrament is a very late one. It stems from the central Middle Ages. For the first thousand years of their existence Christian churches considered marriage an irrelevance at best – they were a millenial death-cult and considered marriage just another part of the temporal order that would soon be swept away…

  3. aarondeemer says

    “It’s an interpretation of the book of Revelation?”

    Sarcastic emphasis on “interpretation”. I’ve been following http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/ for awhile now, and he argues (quite convincingly) that Revelation has nothing to do with “end times prophecy”, and everything to do with the Roman occupation. The message isn’t “someday god’s going to come destroy the world”, but rather “stop oppressing us, you Romans, or someday you’ll get yours”.

    The idea that it’s about the end of the world is a relatively recent (turn of last century) addition, and tends to require reading it at the same time as Daniel, while drunk, with maybe one of those walls full of circled newspaper clippings, with pins and string connecting disparate sections.

  4. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    [sarcasm alert]
    maybe he’s recognizing that marriage existed well before Jebus, and so must be the curse of Babylon. Soon to be destroyed by that archangel throwing a tablet [iPad??] into the sea.
    and Drumph is saying to vote for him or else he goes to Hell. But but but In Revelations aren’t all those in Hell summarily released to wreak havoc on the good guys? I guess Drumph indicates Apocalypse is already underway as Drumph is already a released hell minion wreaking havoc. /aside

  5. Brother Ogvorbis, Fully Defenestrated Emperor of Steam, Fire and Absurdity says

    aarondeemer @4:

    Yeah. I’ve had arguments/discussions in which I tried to put the four canonical gospels into political perspective regarding the politics of the time that that version of the myth was actually put to paper and have run into a brick wall. Putting revelations into political perspective would probably also run into the same birch wall.

  6. Raucous Indignation says

    PZ, really? The Song of Solomon or the Psalms? Or the “wisdom” of Ecclesiastes. Please, please please stop the apologetics. I had to read that drek. And then I willingly read it some more because I was stupid enough to subject myself to it. The poetry is wretched. The messages are banal, and the wisdom is far from wise. If that crap wasn’t from “The Good Book,” no one would think it good.

  7. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    aarondeemer @4:
    as Ogvorbis@7, I seem to remember Asimov in “Annotated New Testament” [paraphrased title] That he explained how all the imagery in Revelations were political metaphor about Roman occupation of the Holy Lands, and why he became incarcerated on Patmos.
    excuse me for chiming in pointlessly. nothing more to add

  8. blf says

    Revelation isn’t actually the last chapter of the hodgepodge, it’s an (early) attempt at an index. Reordered and typeset to conform to the format now used for indices, with all the editor’s notes (the WTF is this!) removed, its lack of sense suddenly becomes understandable… </snark>

    (Amusingly, according to Ye Pffft! of All Knowlege, there seem to be more references to the OT in Revelation than in any other part of the NT, which is what one would expect from an index…)

  9. robro says

    …shouldn’t they all make you hold the ol’ Holy Book at arms length and deposit the nasty book in the nearest trash can?

    Could you say the same for other ancient writings? The Epic of Gilgamesh, while one of the more human depictions of a person in the ancient world, is full of bloated egos constantly on the verge of violence. The Iliad is a story of rape and war with a horrible side story of human sacrifice, all because the gods (goddesses actually) are jealous. The Odyssey ends in a bloodbath, two in fact. Plato’s Apologia depicts Socrates as a raging fanatic. And of course, almost all ancient literature is rife with sexism, racism, and the panoply of bigotry we struggle with today.

    While ancient writing is full of odious humans and deplorable atrocities, I’m not sure we are wise to relegate them to the trash can. If we take off the blinders of belief in the Bible and belief in the myth of the Bible, we might stand a change of gaining some insight into how we came to be where we are. It’s not a pretty story and it masks all the stories of good people that were seldom written (as is true today), but that people found these stories interesting is intriguing. It’s a pursuit that doesn’t interest everyone, which is to be expected, but it can still be thought provoking.

    That Revelations has nothing to do with the prophecy of “end times” was commonly understood in the Religion/Bible classes I took at a conservative Southern Baptist college in the mid- to late-60s. I even heard preachers go on about the Roman metaphor, although they generally interpreted that as predictions referring to the Catholic church rather than the Roman Empire.

    Apocalyptic writing is not confined to the Bible, and was a popular form in those days. Those who study such things (without the literalist bias) see all apocalyptic writing as metaphor for conditions current at the time, not predictions of the future, which is likely true of all ancient prophecy writings. However, what the writer(s) meant is lost to us. To say Revelation was a screed against Roman imperial authority is as much an interpretation as saying it was about the future or about the Catholic church.

  10. unclefrogy says

    at this point in time I think there is little chance that the bible will disappear any time soon. That I could toss any particular copy into the trash will not change that at all and is an appropriate action to having one thrust into my hands un-asked for.
    the study of the stories might be interesting and of historical interest but no more so than the study of the folk tales commonly told contemporaneously with it would be. In fact might not be as enlightening as the folk stories would be in to how people actually thought.

    uncle frogy

  11. Rob Grigjanis says

    Raucous Indignation @8:

    Please, please please stop the apologetics.

    You don’t like something, therefore praising it is apologetics? Modest, aintcha?

    If that crap wasn’t from “The Good Book,” no one would think it good.

    Speak for yourself, twit.

  12. mnb0 says

    “raving apocalyptic lunacy as a legitimate part of the story”
    Which of course is why it’s my favourite Bible book. The unintentional humour beats Monty Python.

  13. wzrd1 says

    There has been a formal announcement on the interwebs. All marriages will be imminently nullified by Jesus, and since our wedding was most definitely officiated by a Jesus-lovin’ god-walloper, I don’t see any loopholes.

    Ah, but our 34+ year marriage was officiated by a family friend, a local justice of the peace and licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
    I guess Jesus had better bring better aircraft than the F15’s and F16’s of the PA Air National Guard and nastier thanks than the M1 Abrams battle tanks of the PA Army National Guard if he wants to overrule Harrisburg.
    I guess he’ll defeat them all with his mighty collection plate.

    Oops, even if PA did allow their laws and state Constitution to be overridden, faith and credit ordained by the US Constitution still keeps our marriage alive, legally speaking.
    Talking with each other keeps our marriage alive, in all other ways.

    Of course, as I recall, the only leader whose name adds to 666 in a specific method of Hebrew numerology was Nero and the last time I checked, he’s still dead, so that entire book makes even less sense than it did when it was a simple letter, promising retribution upon Nero and Rome.

  14. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If Jesus is going to convince the Redhead that our marriage is kaput, he is going to have to cure her from the effects of her stroke. Somehow, that seems outside of the possibilities seen from the lack of response to prayer by Jesus….

  15. says

    Word of the day: Preterism: a Christian eschatological view interprets some or all prophecies of the Bible as events which have already happened. Among other things, preterism holds that the entire Book of Revelations can be explained in terms of 1st century events that occurred BEFORE the book was written. And mind you, preterism cannot be blamed on the “modern, secular age,” as it was formulated in the 1500s as a Roman Catholic counter-argument to the Protestant Reformation.

  16. zetopan says

    “as I recall, the only leader whose name adds to 666 in a specific method of Hebrew numerology was Nero”

    How could you possibly forget “Ronald Wilson Reagan”?

  17. zetopan says

    Of course you said “a specific method of Hebrew numerology” but few of today’s supremely superstitious are versed in Hebrew numerology. So RRR would be using a numerology that
    even they could understand.

  18. says

    Always hoped that I’d be an apostle
    Knew that I would make it if I tried
    Then when we retire we can write the gospels
    So they’ll still talk about us when we’ve died

  19. llyris says

    What do they think is going to happen? I’m going to wake up one day and … what? I mean, we’ll still be living in the same house, sharing the bed, looking after our kids, going to work, having sex. Are we supposed to notice something different? Will I go to the drawer and find a blank piece of paper instead of the marriage certificate? And so what? What difference will that make? We lived together before we got married and the only difference the wedding made was that other people treated me with more respect. Neither of us changed, the relationship didn’t change.
    Or is my legal marriage exempt because it was secular? And a legal matter, not a religious one.