Saturday, July 10, 2004

Beating and Eating Children? Parenting 101: The Biblical Way

How are we to raise our children? Without god, we are surely lost in regards to parenting our offspring. After all, god is the source of morality and all that is good, is he not? Surely his teachings on parenting are to be followed. Where can we find his teachings on parenting? You guessed it, the bible. I will start off with the following passage, where god tells his people what to do with his rules and laws.

Deuteronomy 6: 6-9
"Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again. Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear them on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

The part about tying god's rules to your hands and forehead brings to mind the orthodox jewish sect know as the Hasidic, whom put small sacred parchments into tiny black leather boxes known as "t'filin", and then tie them ritualistically around their arm and forehead.

The main thing to remember here is that we are instructed by the bible in many places to follow god's law. Here it is made apparent that you must also pass them down to your children, and incorporate them into every part of your life, right down to gluing a bible to your forehead or something.

This passage is further supported in the new testament in the book of ephesians.

Ephesians 6: 4
"And now a word to you fathers. Don't make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord."

So we now see in both the old and the new testaments the importance of ensuring your children know about god's laws. God's laws and commandments are to be passed down from generation to generation. These laws include instructions on parenting as well. So let us start our examination of parenting in the bible with a very well known couple, Isaac and Rebekah.

Favoritism is acceptable to god, even if such favoritism leads to family strife of gigantic proportions.

Isaac was so important to god that his birth was prophesied ( Genesis 17:16 ) and was born to a mother who was over ninety years old! God promised Abraham that his son would inherit god's kingdom and be the heir of the abramic covenant ( Genesis 19: 19, 21 ). I would put some info here about Isaac's wife, Rebekah, but the bible is strangely silent about her life before marrying. In fact, this is a common theme throughout the bible, where the women's lives don't seem to begin until they marry a man. In Genesis, Adam begets sons and daughters ( Genesis 5:4 ), but these women are nameless and just about the last women whose' births are mentioned in the bible.

Isaac barley survives his father sacrificing him to god ( Genesis 22: 1-19 ), and when Isaac's mother Sarah dies, his father buys him a wife and he is "...comforted after his mother's death." ( Genesis 24: 1-67 ).God also reminds us that Abraham followed god's laws. Remember it was god that told Abraham he should sacrifice his son Isaac, and only at the last minute did he tell him not to. I think it's funny that even though Isaac wasn't killed for god, god still demanded Abraham kill an animal of some sort. Later, god appears to Isaac, and promises to give Isaac many things.

Genesis 26: 3-5
"Do as I say, and stay here in this land. If you do, I will be with you and bless you. I will give all this land to you and your descendants, just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father. I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars, and I will give them all these lands. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed. I will do this because Abraham listened to me and obeyed all my requirements, commands, regulations, and laws."

Obviously god loves and cares about Isaac to a large degree, as he is picking Isaac's descendants to bless the world through.

So time passes, and Isaac and Rebekah have two children. Before they were born, the lord told Rebekah that they would be enemies. How nice. She's sold to someone, impregnated, and god himself comes to tell her that two whole nations of people would be separated ( Genesis 25:23 ). The twins were then born, Esau followed by Jacob.

We find out early that Esau was a hunter, while Jacob was a plain man, who just seems to have sat around all day in the tent ( Genesis 25: 27 ). Rebekah loved Jacob, and Isaac loved Esau. We see no indication that either parent loved the other child. So our first lesson in parenting is that it is okay to love one child but not the other.

The first interaction we see between the brothers is in Genesis 25: 29-34. Esau comes back from a hunt, and is starving to death. He asks his brother for some food, and Jacob has some available. What does Jacob do? He refuses. Jacob says that he will only give food to his dying brother if Esau gives up his birthright to him. Esau is the older brother so he has their father's birthright. Esau, stating that it would be better to live with no birthright than to die, accepts. It is in this manner that Jacob obtains the birthright. What a loving brother.

The conflict between the brothers continues in Genesis 27: 1-46. Who is the orchestrator of this conflict? None other than the twins' mother, Rebekah. She overhears Isaac ( who is basically blind ) telling Esau that he will gain a blessing if he goes to fetch venison for his father. Esau agrees, and leaves to hunt. Rebekah goes to her little mamma's-boy Jacob, and tells him that she will cook up a couple goats and make them taste like venison. Thereby, Jacob will be able to win the blessing, not knowing it is Jacob bringing him the food, as he is blind. Well Rebekah puts Esau's clothing on Jacob and goats hair on his hands so he will appear hairy to his father if he should touch him. Jacob does this, and wins his father's blessing that was meant for Esau.

When Esau comes back, he is filled with sorrow at hearing that the blessing has already been given to Jacob. Even after being deceived, does Isaac give the blessing to Esau? Even when Esau cries out to his father and weeps? No. In fact, he gives a mixed blessing/curse to Esau, including the line from Genesis 28: 40 "And by the sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother..." It seems that after realizing he was lied to and deceived by his other son with the help of his wife, he would not only give the blessing to Esau, but would have some well justified anger towards his conniving wife and other son.

Well, understandably, after having both his birthright and his father's blessing taken from him by his younger, snake-in-the-grass of a brother, Esau is a little angry. So angry, in fact, he threatens to kill Jacob. Of course, Rebekah comes to the little pansy's rescue and instead of facing up to his deeds, is spirited away to another country by his mother.

Use clubs to beat your children, stone them to death if they are disobedient.

This one is simple. The passages in the bible that instruct you to beat your child are numerous. Some even require you to use an instrument, such as a rod. I will list a few here.

Proverbs 23: 13-14
"Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with a rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with a rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell."

This next verse lets us know how stupid children are...

Proverbs 22:15
"Folly is bound up in the heart of a child..."

And how do we fix this?

Proverbs 22:15 continued
"...but the rod of discipline drives it far from him."

This next one tells you that "blows" and "strokes" are good for a child. To me, those two words imply something such as a club or whip, not just a smack on the butt.

Next, we are instructed to make sure to cause actual wounds, so we purge the evil away.

Proverbs 20:30
"Blows that wound cleanse away evil; strokes make clean the innermost parts"

Here's one of my personal favorite bits of loving parenting advice from god.

Deuteronomy 21: 18-21
"If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son, who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they chastise him, will not give heed to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city...and they shall say to the elders of his city, 'This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard. Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall purge the evil from the midst"

I can't help but laugh out loud when I read that. To accentuate the hilarity of it, check out this page on the ever amazing Brick Testament Website. Even if Pascal's Wager was a reason to believe, I would rather serve satan in hell than the god of the bible in heaven. Remember this is the god that teaches us to beat our children and that a man will be happy if he "...seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks" ( Psalm 137:9 )while avenging the lord. Satan may not actually be so bad according to the bible, but that is a topic best left for another study.

Punish children for what their parents do.

It's amazing how anti-abortion most christians are, seeing that god has such little regard for children. They are punished throughout the bible for things they do not do. God endorses this idea time and time again.

I should take an aside here to mention how funny it is to me when people say, "Well our country's laws were based on the ten commandments!" Is that so? Sure, our laws may have certain things in common with the commandments of god, but that's it. Has our country every executed a man for a horse his great-great-grandfather stole back in the eighteen hundreds? I think not, and yet this is the type of law the bible teaches.

Exodus 34:7
"Maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation"

Deuteronomy 5:9
"You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me"

In the following well-known passage, god kills every firstborn child of Egypt because their king wouldn't listen to god. Not only the first born citizens, but the firstborn prisoners and animals.

Exodus 12:29
"At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well."

Numbers 13:33
"Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the desert."

This list is by no means exhaustive, but I believe it makes my point.

God commands people to eat children

What could be the ultimate human travesty? Of the million ways people have caused harm to each other throughout our history, I think that eating a child would definitely rank up there. If this subject is a bit disturbing, I'm sorry. Blame god, not me, because he commands it.

Here, if we fail to be nice to god, he will force us to eat our children.

Leviticus 26: 29
"You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters."

Next, because people have turned their back on god, he will force them to cannibalize their sons, daughters, and each other.

Jeremiah 19: 9
"I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another's flesh during the stress of the siege imposed on them by the enemies who seek their lives."

As if this weren't enough, here's some more.

Ezekiel 5: 10
"Therefore in your midst fathers will eat their children, and children will eat their fathers. I will inflict punishment on you and will scatter all your survivors to the winds."

Of course, I'm sure you know the whole basis of christianity is cannibalism, right? Here's Jesus teaching us that the only way to get into heaven is to cannibalize him.

John 6: 53-57
"Jesus said to them, I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me."

Pimp out your daughters, and have sex with them.
Our final lesson in biblical parenting is about Lot. Lot was Abraham's nephew, and settled in a city called Sodom ( Genesis 13:12 )

One day, angels appear to Lot outside of Sodom. They go into the city, and the cities inhabitants see the angels go into Lot's house. They surround the house and demand that Lot send the angels out so they can have sex with them. Lot is not willing to do so, but quickly offers to send his two virgin daughters out instead. Lot knows what god wants obviously, and this is devotion to him even at the cost of turning your two virgin daughters over to a mob of men battering down your door because they are so horny. Again, The Brick Testament shines in telling this story. The bible tells it in Genesis 19: 1-8

Later, after fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot is left wifeless after god turns her into a pillar of salt. He lives in a cave with his two daughters, who get him drunk and have sex with him in order that he may have descendants. This story is told in Genesis 19: 24-38. Of course, The Brick Testament does a great job with this story. I've been extremely drunk in my time, but I've never not known I was having sex with someone. It's the great cop-out for one night stands, and I can't belief Lot didn't know he was having sex with his own daughters. If he was that drunk, he would not have been able to perform.

This concludes our bible study on parenting. I hope it has been informative and educational. Now get out there and remember to beat your children as the lord commands, or he just might punish your disobedience by making you eat them! Hey that sounds like a nice verse, doesn't it?

Myndreach 1:1
"And thou shalt beat thy children with a cane, elst the lord thy god shall force feed you thine children."

Biblical Errancy
Bible Gateway
Skeptic's Annotated Bible
Rabbi Laufer's Website


Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL, I actually remember reading about Lot screwing his daughters in 7th grade religion class and laughing out loud. I just could not believe it was truly in the Bible. I ended up posting a question about it on a religious forum to see what responses I could elicit, and the post was deleted in a matter of minutes. Fucking hilarious.

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy, for someone who doesn't believe in all this crap, you sure spend a lot of time trying to prove god doesn't exist. Who are you really trying to convince? If you don't believe in god, why talk about it? Isn't that a huge waste of your time? And your time is pretty limited since this life is all you got!

10:36 AM  
Blogger ramatheson said...

I actually don't spend much time on this, so your first point is invalid. I spend maybe five minutes a week. I'm trying to convince anyone that will listen. It's not a waste to try and turn people away from the most harmful thing in human history, is it? I don't think so. I don't believe in God, but I do believe that the religious organization based upon that mythology exists and causes great harm to the world.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Since you have a lot on the Bible where it talks about children. Where in there is the passage that basically says Don't waste your rescources on Stupid children I can't Find it.

3:19 PM  

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