Wednesday, April 11, 2007

God as the Big Meanie.

Today there was some Math Mammoth and some Easy Grammar. Catherine breezed through them both with no difficulty. She wanted to get back to the Bible Activity book, not so much for the stories but because it really does have a nice collection of puzzles and such considering it was less than a twoonie.

We are up to the Patriarchs in the book. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob get condensed into a two paragraph summary. I read the summary, she did the activities and the next step will be me reading the stories to her. I've sort of been dreading it a little bit as the story of Abraham dragging Isaac up to the mountain to cut his little heart out is sort of the most glaring, "God as Evil Asshole," moment in the OT.

Me? I love the story. It's one of my favourites. It has one of the most gut-wrenching plot devices a piece of fiction can have (parent must kill child. Heck, it's such a good hook the bible uses it at least twice in the OT and yet again in the NT!) and it just doesn't leave my head. There's so much to turn over, question and think about. And then I read Kierkegaard's 'Fear and Trembling' and the story was made all the richer.

God's still a mean old bastard in the story however. Well, he's pretty much a mean old bastard throughout the OT and while I find a lot in the OT relating to his grace and love I can't deny that I understand how some read it and see him as nothing but that mean old bastard. And now I have to read the Abraham and Isaac story to Catherine and I know she's going to have a few choice words to say about God's behaviour.

I imagine we'll have to talk a bit about child sacrifice and about what this portrait of God tells us about the ancient Hebrews and how they viewed God. I'll have some explaining to do as well since this is part of the religious tradition that I've embraced. It's going to be interesting.

It'll have to wait a little bit though. Tonight is the Brownie Cult meeting and after that a fierce, 'On the Bubble,' (cheap Trouble! Knockoff) tournament is on the schedule. I'd also like to wait until I can borrow a good plain english bible. My bible is the Oxford Annotated NRSV with Appocrypha. A stellar study bible and mighty fine inducer of blunt trauma (as every good bible should be) but a complete and total bore when reading aloud to an 8 year old.

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