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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Today's Theist Memory Verse, Vol III

I was going to do an immoral passage from the Bible today, but decided instead to do a humorous one. I'll always try to do those which most probably haven't seen before.

To set this up, Judah has had three sons, two of whom are Er and Onan. Judah has taken a wife for Er, but Yahweh didn't like Er, so he killed him, and...
Then Judah said to Onan, "Go in to your brother’s wife, and perform your duty as a husband’s brother to her, and raise up offspring for your brother." Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife, he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother. But what he did was evil in the sight of Yahweh; and he killed him also. (Genesis 38:8-10)
(EDIT 6-29-08)
The main reason I chose this passage is because it's humorous. It's humorous because (1) the way it is written/worded, and (2) God killed Onan over something so trivial.

I selected it for another reason, for which I am making this edit. This passage is where the concept of onanism comes from. This concept is where we get two of the most inane Church doctrines:

1. Masturbation is immoral / wicked / condemned by God.
2. Contraception is immoral / wicked / condemned by God.

Yes, indeed this is the only passage these are based on. The traditional concept of onanism referred to masturbation, but has changed to reflect more of contraception. In the case of the Catholic Church, this passage condemns both masturbation and contraception as immoral.

When additional passages are tried to be used in conjunction with this passage, that is when it gets really twisted. We come to Ray's favorite passage of Matthew 5:28 wherein Jesus (incorrectly) defines adultery as simply lusting after a woman. So, even if onanism isn't condemning masturbation, they hold that this is, as it is likely that a male who masturbates is lusting after a woman, and is thus committing adultery. However, since this is the vile concept of a thoughtcrime, this leaves open a rather bizarre loophole: you may masturbate as long as you do not lust after woman.


Andrew Louis said...

Heres one for you

Matthew 5:27-30
27"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.'[a] 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin (if your caught lookin at a piece of ass at the mall), gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin (most people are righties, which means most people will be wackin with they're right hand), cut it off and throw it away (and then become a lefty). It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

I'm not sure I understand this, why wouldn't the reasoning follow that you simply cut your jimmy off? After a time, your going to be walking around with no eyes and hands tryin to figure out a new way to get yourself off. I imagine it would be so much easier/practical, to have simply said cut off the jimmy. But what self respecting man (Jesus included) would ever suggest such a thing. Perhaps he was all man afterall. If Jesus was a woman, surely she would have said to get rid of the thing.

Andrew Louis said...

On a serious note however, there is a moral to the verse you state. Onan was told to go to his brothers sister and do his duty such that she could have a child, in this case his brothers child. Now of course it would be his, but you have to understand the culture of the time. Anyway, so he goes to bone her, but rather then blow his load in her, he blows it on her.

In effect he just defiled his brothers wife. He was using her to get off. He took the oportunity given him by his father to pork his sister in law, and then defiled her by. It really was a #sshole move you must admit. He was just thinkin he was lucky that he was getting laid.

DisComforting Ignorance said...

Hey Andrew,

I made an edit on this post as to why I selected the passage. You would think that the possible moral from this allegory is something of respect for the woman or to provide a child to the widow (whom God made as such by killing her husband).

But, alas, you seriously underestimate the Christian obsession with sex and their attempt to find any passage with which they can castigate some sexual act. In this case, the "obvious" moral that Christians take from this is that masturbation is a sin as is contraception.

The Old Testament was written by primitive men who had no respect for women, so there should always be hesitation in finding any non-misogynistic interpretation of a passage. This comes from the same books which say that women are property of the husband, widows are expected to be raped, women who are raped have to be married to the rapist, the father is fully entitled to sell his daughter into slavery, only virgin women should be spared in wars, etc. But I'm just being cynical, now.

weemaryanne said...

Old Judah may have been hoping that the widow would give birth to a son to care for her in her old age, thus taking that little problem off Judah's hands.

As for Onan, he may have been feeling just creeped out about the whole thing -- what man wants to be ordered to have sex? -- and made the only possible move whereby he could, er, take matters into his own hands.

Was it the late great George Carlin who observed that if God didn't want us to masturbate, He would have made our arms shorter?