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Join the conversation! There are now 5 comments on this chapter's page 106. Learning from the Law Codes: Jews in Exile. What are your thoughts?
  1. Stephen Peter says

    Hmm…I’m feeling some deja vu here.

    I have to say, as a practicing Lutheran, reading through the “Yahweh Origin Story” from your Terrorism comic was a real tough pill to swallow. And now here we are again, getting to hear the same story again, and I really don’t want to hear it. You’re just like my great uncle at Christmas, saying “Gather ’round, children!”, except instead of it being the warm hearty tale of Luke 2, it’s a cold and empty bowl of “Your religion is just as made up as the next!”

    I guess you could stay I’m still in the denial stage of grief.

    • As a lifelong Catholic, I’m sorry about that. I’m not trying to shake anyone’s faith!

      But that history in the terrorism comic was focused on explaining the context that led to the Sicarii, and was shaped with that purpose. This bit is how the early cult of Yahweh led to the concepts of monotheism and especially “law as we know it,” so it’s been shaped I hope in a very different way. Also there’s a bit that might help strengthen some people’s faith, but— I’m getting ahead of the story.

      I recall my little mind being blown the first time I heard a priest say we’re not supposed to take the Old Testament literally or as even being historically accurate—that it was about making a point, that the people who wrote it wrote symbolically and metaphorically in a way that was understood by their 4th and 5th century Judean audience, and that they weren’t trying to create an accurate account of what had really happened a thousand or two thousand or four thousand years before they’d been born. I think he was an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, but all were clear that that’s what Catholic doctrine is (as opposed to what one priest I think unfairly called “the lies nuns tell children,” while he was bemoaning that too many people never get beyond that stage to learn what their own religion teaches). And the Jesuit priests struck me as simultaneously the most learned and scholarly, and practically atheists, yet their faith was strong.

      With respect to the scholarship behind this section of the comic, that first priest might say something like “God is still God the Father, the eternal Creator… Sure, at some point people started calling Him by this Yahweh fellow’s name, but so what? We could call him Allah or Bill or Maude, and that still wouldn’t change who He is.”

      I’d never tell anyone how to feel, but instead of grieving, might this not be an opportunity to have some deep discussions with your own priests? You might find that rewarding!

  2. Stephen Peter says

    I recall my mind being blown the first time I brought up Job with my confirmation pastor, and his response was, “Well, I don’t believe Job really happened. It’s just a story.” Because I was born and raised in a “Thou shalt not deny the Bible” type of faith. The Earth was ~6000 years old, humanity began with Adam and Eve, and dinosaur bones were put in the dirt to test our faith. To meet a faith leader who said the Bible didn’t happen the way it says it did was like pissing on my leg and telling me it’s raining.

    But my IQ is too high to accept faith blindly. I’m still a believer, but as I’ve grown I’ve had to reach deep down to escape the shallow, “I believe, because everyone around me does also” groupthink upbringing of my youth. I grieve the loss of innocence and simplicity of these years. Back then, the message was, “Don’t question. Have faith.” Now I question all the time. I have to. And it does hurt to hear testimony that says, “The Bible is a made-up story,” because it says the infallible is indeed fallible. And once it’s accepted that some of the Bible is not true, it begs the question question whether any of it is true.

  3. Anon Ymous says

    Just because the stories aren’t factual doesn’t mean their message isn’t true. They weren’t intended to be taken literally, they were meant to make a point. Just like Jesus’ parables weren’t meant to be taken literally.

    • The problem isn’t the 90% of the Xtian message that is about human flourishing and mutual love, it’s the 10% that enforces a belief in the supernatural and encourages people to tell other people what to do. If you reject all the supernatural parts and stop trying to control personal nonharmful human behavior because of your interpretation of a book of stories, guess what … you’re a secular humanist.

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