Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Putting Words in God’s Mouth

We read in parts of the Old Testament that male sheep or goats were to be sacrificed in specific rituals, for specific things, and a lot of us have a tendency to extrapolate from that, that males are pure and holy and therefore females are not (and some adventurous people even attempt the foolhardy leap of taking this ‘rule’ from the animal kingdom and applying it to actual human beings). Can I just point out – that is not what the Bible says! The Bible doesn’t really go in for subtlety when it comes to the important things, so if it’s not spelled out for us I’d go out on a limb and say that A. it doesn’t matter very much and/or B. it’s just us putting our interpretation where it ought not to be.
We should really stop doing that (and, yes, I’m talking to myself here, too).
I don’t know why we do do this. Especially when we don’t apply the same flawed logic to other things. Like, when we read the bits outlining specifics of the Tabernacle we hear certain measurements being required, but we do not then assume that all other measurements are not as good for other purposes and cry because our bungalows are not the same dimensions as the house of God.
We read that Aaron’s sons were ordained for specific duties, and therefore assume that his daughters weren’t up to the job; but does it cross our minds that Moses’ sons weren’t chosen instead of Aaron’s? Do we then assume that Moses's sons were substandard? No. And no! 
To put another way: if I decided to hire a personal assistant called Max no-one would jump to the conclusion that I’m biased against applicants with the name Sam, but they might wonder if I prefer a male PA over a female because I think they’re better – which is just stupid! One assumption should be just as ridiculous as the other. Surely actual logic will tell you that I'm gonna employ someone primarily based on their abilitity to do their job, and not because I hate everyone else. 
Know why God chose Aaron’s sons? Because he wanted to! Not because other people were not as devoted or couldn’t do the job as well. Somebody had to do it, but it did not require the entire population.
Going back to the example of sacrifices: yes, a lot of the time males were specifically commanded to be used, but at other times female animals were commanded instead. Funny how that’s often overlooked… except, it’s not funny at all. It’s sickening.
Society has implicitly drilled into all of us since birth that men are better than women. So much so that we believe it, and start to see supposed confirmation of this belief in places where it doesn’t exist. If you wanna do that then fine, but don’t tell me it’s scriptural, because it’s not.