Unlike 99.99% of Christians, I’ve actually read a couple of books on the origins of religious scripture, among them “Who Wrote the Bible”, by R.E. Freidman. It explains in great detail how various social imperatives and controls, and political infighting shaped the stories, lore, and laws of the Old Testament scripture. Scholars can even determine from which of the two divided kingdoms of Israel and Judea the authors came, and whether or not they were of the priestly class, all based on competing social and political emphasis and contradictions. It’s fascinating.
That the Old Testament is full of cruel, homophobic, anti-feminist, pro-slavery, pro-rape, and pro-genocidal stories and laws that suborn them is old news. Stuff you read and shake your head over. But every now and then there is a passage that makes you just wonder. One that does it for me is this one:
Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee.
That’s GOD talking, and he is damn serious!!! The God who theists believe created the universe and everything in it; who has existed forever; who is all knowing, all powerful. And here he is giving his chosen people fashion tips, and admonishing them not to create hybrid cattle or plants.
While inexplicably idiotic to you and I, Christian apologists are, by their infirmity, condemned to defend it. Their explanations in short are as follows: a pure breed of plant or animal is better than a mixed breed, and God knows this. On the fabric issue here’s the quote: “God established these laws to ensure that low quality fabrics are not produced.” I kid you not, here’s a link. There are others that provide the same explanation. http://www.thercg.org/questions/p185.a.html
That’s right dear reader; God knowingly gives the Jews bad advice on cattle husbandry and agriculture. Maybe he didn’t know that cross breeding could increase milk and meat production, improve plant resistance to draught and pests, as well as increase the heartiness / adaptability of the species by incorporating the best qualities of other breeds. And what erroneous info led God to believe that fabric blends just don’t stand up to his rigid standards of performance?
Look, these weren’t off handed suggestions… He meant business! Breaking ANY of God’s laws were punishable by some pretty stiff penalties, up to and including being stoned to death [“Hey Aaron, that had better NOT be wool fringe I see on your cotton robe!] .
So, one might wonder if these instructions were so important to God why is it that Christians wear wool blend clothes, and their farmers cross breed cattle, create hybrid plants? Answer- the usual feeble reply: “Oh…we don’t have to follow the old laws since Jebus died for us.” And yet, they can’t begin to explain:
1. Why did God give bad animal husbandry / agricultural dictates to begin with?
2. Why would Jesus’ death make the cross breeding of cattle and plants suddenly ok and in the best interest of his creations; and why would it render blending wool and plant fibers in a garment acceptable? A dead Jew suddenly made those fabrics last longer???
3. Finally, how come God has a bug up his ass for THESE idiotic laws, but neglected laws about pedophilia, slavery, and demanding women be treated equal with men?
Christians should wonder about those things but they won’t. They won’t because it could lead to thinking which makes their heads hurt and could weaken their faith. Meanwhile, the rest of us will wonder how Christians can be so utterly simple minded, and their God such a numbskull.
[Note: By the way, the rabbinic / Jewish explanations are much more conventional and, as you’d expect, logical, inferring they are a man made construct. It speaks to these laws as having been devised to honor God by not altering his original creations, and to protect the privileged / unique attire of the Priestly class … who wore wool and linen during religious rites. But, shush!!! …don’t tell the Christians. Their explanations are so much funnier.]