Ruth – Chapter 3: Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor

Thus far Ruth has been a pleasant read as there is no mass killing and raping of women.  Yes, the Bible has set the bar extremely low.  Chapter 3 begins with Naomi telling Ruth to dress nicely and lay down in Boaz’s bed without him knowing.  Yes, because that’s a good idea!

“In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet!” – Ruth 3:8

I’m sure this would startle Boaz.  Boaz says to Ruth:

“Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I. Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.” – Ruth 3:12-13

This is getting a bit weird and sounding a bit like an incestual B-rated porn movie.

And that’s it for this chapter.  Boaz did not sleep with Ruth during this encounter, which is a huge change from the story of Samson.  Samson would have raped her again, passed her around to his buddies to be gang-raped, and then killed her.  Again, the Bible has set a very low bar to morality.

Coming Soon:  Ruth – Chapter 4:  Boaz Marries Ruth

Ruth – Chapter 2: Ruth Meets Boaz in the Grain Field

The first chapter in the book of Ruth introduced us to Ruth and explained a bit of the back story.  The chapter begins with Ruth gathering grain from one of the fields owned by Boaz.

“So Boaz said to Ruth, ‘My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.’” – Ruth 2:8-9

This is a nice gesture on the part of Boaz.  Much different than the route Samson would have taken.  Samson would have taken her right there in the field and raped her.  The chapter continues, describing the details of how Ruth gathered up grain.

“’The Lord bless him!’ Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. ‘He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.’ She added, ‘That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.’” – Ruth 2:20

Naomi is referring to Boaz.

“So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.” – Ruth 2:23

That concludes Ruth 2.  Not much to report.  It is a very pleasant surprise to see a woman treated with respect in the Bible.  Granted, the bar is very low.  Don’t kill a woman or rape her and you are already doing better than most of the stories in the Bible.

Coming Soon:  Ruth – Chapter 3:  Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor

Judges 16:17

For the fourth week in a row I’m pulling a verse from the story of Samson for Tuesday’s Crazy Bible Verse.  That’s how crazy the story of Samson is!  It warrants four, possibly more, weeks of crazy Bible verses to it.

“So he told her everything. ‘No razor has ever been used on my head’ he said, ‘because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.’” – Judges 16:17

There are a couple of crazy things to discuss here.  First of all, Samson’s strength is defined by his hair?  Are you kidding me?  What a load of anti-science!!!  Cutting someone’s hair makes them physically weak?  Ugh.

Second, let’s say for a second this is true and Samson truly does lose his strength when he loses his hair.  Why the hell then does he share this with Delilah.  The verses before this clearly show Delilah is going to run straight away to the people and reveal Samson’s secret.  He knows this!!!  Yet tells her anyway and ends up dead as a result.  Sigh.

Don’t blame Samson, however.  He’s only as smart as the supposed god that created him.

Ruth – Chapter 1: Naomi Loses Her Husband and Sons

The book of Judges was disgusting.  Horrible.  Crazy.  The book of Ruth can’t be as bad, right?  Let’s find out.

“At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her (Naomi).” – Ruth 1:14

Ruth is the daughter-in-law to Naomi.  The verse preceding this one tell the story of Naomi losing her husband and sons, one of who was Ruth’s husband.  Naomi wants her two daughters-in-law to return to the Israelites, but Ruth is hesitant.

“But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.’” – Ruth 1:16-17

This is very un-Jesus like of Ruth.  Granted, this is before the time of the supposed Jesus in the Bible, but Christianity teaches people to love God first, family second.  I commend Ruth for choosing family first.

“So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.” – Ruth 1:22

And that concludes the first chapter of Ruth.  Not too much to report.  This is more background information than anything else.  This chapter is FAR better in kindness than any chapter in Judges, that’s for sure!

Coming Soon:  Ruth – Chapter 2:  Ruth Meets Boaz in the Grain Field

Unbuckling the Bible Belt Podcast

This Sunday I want to share with you another Atheist themed podcast that is a MUST listen to.  It’s called Unbuckling the Bible Belt and is hosted by Sharon Bush, Kate Ashcraft, Joe Kindic, and Adam Phuzen.  I’m not sure where Sharon Bush is from, but the others are from the Kentucky/Tennessee area, so in the Bible Belt part of the U.S.  This is another in a long line of excellent podcasts from people in heavily religious areas of the U.S.

The Unbuckling the Bible Belt podcast spends a lot of time discussing religious news stories that either border on or are indeed very ridiculous.  I don’t know how else to describe this podcast, but it’s a good one!  Check it out!

Introduction to Ruth

After having recently finished going through the chapters of Judges, it’s now time to move on to the next book, Ruth.  Ruth is a short book, comprising of only four chapters.  The book focuses on Ruth, a female character who leads the Israelites as their next judge.  I will admit that it is good to see a female leading the Israelites.  A female judge led the Israelites for the first time for a short while in Judges, but Ruth is the first to play a more prominent role in the Bible.

The book of Ruth is attributed to Samuel, but as with most books of the Bible, no one has a clue as to who the actual author is.  Why Christian scholars attribute a book to an author when there is no evidence supporting that claim is beyond me.  Then again, why 2.2 billion people in the world self-identify as Christians when there is no evidence to support the Bible is also beyond me.

Recap of Judges

I’m finished discussing each chapter of Judges.  Phew!  Wow was that a HORRIBLE chapter.  The basic theme of Judges was that of judges leading the Israelites.  Whenever there is a judge, the Israelites experience good times.  When there isn’t a judge, the Israelites experience bad times.  Even when there are judges the Israelites do horrible things under the guidance of God.  Thousands and thousands of people were killed for unjustified reasons.  Women were raped and killed.  Thousands of women and children were killed.  Cities were burned to the ground.

Then there’s the story of Samson which is freaking ridiculous.  Samson forces a woman to marry him and later has her raped and killed under the authority of God.  Samson does some crazy shit with lions and foxes, including digging out a beehive in the carcass of a lion he tore apart.  Yes, that is a real story in the Bible!  And then Samson falls because his second wife cuts his hair.  Yes, somehow we are supposed to believe God gave Samson strength through his hair.

Unbelievable!  But you know how it goes.  God works in mysterious ways.  Or the mortal men writing the Bible hate women and were super high off some type of crazy ass weed!  You choose.  🙂

Judges 15:4-5

For the third week in a row I’ve chosen a verse from the story of Samson for Crazy Bible Verse Tuesday.  There are so many to choose from in this story!

“So he went out and caught three hundred foxes and tied them tail to tail in pairs. He then fastened a torch to every pair of tails, lit the torches and let the foxes loose in the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the shocks and standing grain, together with the vineyards and olive groves.” – Judges 15:4-5

Yes, you read that right.  Instead of using a torch of some kind to burn down the fields, Samson ties three hundred fox tails together in 150 pairs, lights the foxes on fire, and lets them run through the fields.  Uh…  Starting a fire is relatively easy.  Killing 300 foxes to do it is fucking insane.  But hey, it’s the story of Samson and this is one of the least insane events in the story!

Judges – Chapter 21: Wives for the Benjamites

It’s the last chapter of Judges, arguably one of the most disgusting chapters in the Bible.  So much death.  So much rape.  So much ridiculousness.

“How can we provide wives for those who are left, since we have taken an oath by the Lord not to give them any of our daughters in marriage?” – Judges 21:7

This is the concern after killing thousands?  Finding wives?  For fuck’s sake.

“So the assembly sent twelve thousand fighting men with instructions to go to Jabesh Gilead and put to the sword those living there, including the women and children.” – Judges 21:10

Oh for crying out loud.  More killing of women and children?  And people still worship this god today?

“They found among the people living in Jabesh Gilead four hundred young women who had never slept with a man, and they took them to the camp at Shiloh in Canaan.” – Judges 21:12

Ah yes, the biblical value of forcing marriage on virgins and raping them.

“So the Benjamites returned at that time and were given the women of Jabesh Gilead who had been spared. But there were not enough for all of them.” – Judges 21:14

Sorry we killed thousands of you.  Please take this peace offering of virgin women you can rape.

“When the young women of Shiloh come out to join in the dancing, rush from the vineyards and each of you seize one of them to be your wife.” – Judges 21:21

The story gets worse!!!

“In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” – Judges 21:25

No, not true.  God commanded the Israelites to kill the Benjamites.  God was the king of the Israelites and led them.

Thankfully Judges is over.  So disgusting.  Unbelievable that Christians can read this story and think, yeah, God loves me.

Coming Soon:  Ruth – Chapter 1:  Naomi Loses Her Husband and Sons

Standing for the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem

By now you’ve surely heard the “disturbance” caused by Gabby Douglas at the Olympics and Colin Kaepernick at an NFL football game.  Gabby Douglas, a member of the U.S. Olympics team this year who helped the team win 5 gold medals, was criticized when she did not hold her hand over her heart during the singing of the U.S. National Anthem.  Was swimmer Michael Phelps criticized when he was laughing during the National Anthem during one of his gold medal ceremonies at THE VERY SAME OLYMPICS?  Nope.  What’s the difference?  She’s black, he’s white.  Simple as that.

More recently, Colin Kaepernick, a black quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers recently chose to sit down during a singing of the National Anthem as a protest over police violence against the black community.  Was he a disturbance?  Nope.  He sat down and remained quiet.  Although we don’t have a white player to compare to like we do with the Gabby Douglas event, I’m guessing there would be much less outcry over a white person sitting down.

What’s the law say?  Can players sit down?  Absolutely!  It’s called the first amendment to the constitution.  You have every right to sit down and not participate and people do so for various reasons.  The same applies to the Pledge of Allegiance in schools.  Every student has the right to sit down and if that right is taken away from you, I urge you to contact the Freedom From Religion Foundation.  They will help you fix that problem very quickly.

I love it when people say we MUST stand to show respect for those who fought for our freedom as a country.  Huh?  Those people fought for our freedom.  If we don’t have the freedom to sit and are forced to stand, then by definition freedom has been taken away.  The people calling for the forcing of standing or recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance are not concerned about freedom.  They are asking you to believe exactly what they believe.  That’s totalitarianism.  That’s religion.