Tuesday, January 16, 2007

To my beloved, in care of God, wherever that might be:

It has been three weeks since you left me and I have constantly been trying to make sense of it.

Why did you have to spend the last thirty years of your life in suffering and pain?

You were a wonderful woman, full of compassion, and were constantly looking out for the elderly that you knew.

You contributed funds to various charities behind my back because you thought I might not approve.

You taught Sunday school and went to church every Sunday when you were still able.

You kept your Bible on the diningroom table so you could read it every day.

You, mainly on your own, raised three wonderful daughters who were able to stand on their own two feet.

How could God not have smiled on you?

I think I may have thought of a partial answer.

I don’t know the reason for your suffering but I do know that you proved your worth.

You withstood all that was tossed at you and managed to smile.

It gives new meaning to the book of Job in the Bible.

This brings me to the last day that you were home.

You had cancelled two doctor’s appointments because you did not want to leave the house.

You had been sleepy for a couple of days and spent much of your time in slumber.

I wanted to take you to the hospital but you’d smile and say, “I’m fine, I don’t want to go.”

On that last day our youngest daughter called to see how you were and you could not talk on the phone without falling asleep.

I decided to call an ambulance against your wishes.

Tragic mistake.

I should have known that God was calling you home.

You were smiling and peaceful and would have passed on in comfort after all the pain you’d been through.

As it was, all my religious teaching and my selfishness told me to save you.

The church says that prayer will heal, ask and you shall receive.

You had plenty of people praying for you along with the congregations of two or more churches.

As a result you had three more weeks of hell.

You had often said that you did not want to go through what your dad went through when he passed on.

But you went through much worse.

They had to cut new holes in your body to make room for the tubes they stuck in you.

Your mouth was a bloody mess where they forced a tube down your throat for a week longer than they should have before deciding to cut a hole in your throat for a different tube.

The original diagnosis was pneumonia, kidney failure, and congestive heart failure.

As a result you had multiple doctors.

A family doctor who was away at the time, who sent in a substitute who said she didn’t have your records.

You had a kidney doctor, who performed dialysis most every day,

You had a lung doctor for your pneumonia,

You had a cardiologist who complained that the other doctors weren’t doing enough to get the fluids from you body so he could treat you heart failure.

Too many cooks spoil the broth.

The final diagnosis was internal bleeding, five pints worth, and unknown sepsis, no blood pressure and death.

If I had listened to God instead of my faulty beliefs, your passing would have been peaceful.

I knew you were leaving me and the pain you had suffered and would have been much better off with your God.

Even had you gotten better you would still have had to suffer the pain of living.

I’m so sorry,

Please forgive me.


Thirty years of suffering.
1977 Broken back after falling off a ladder, helping an elderly neighbor wash her windows.
Two or three years in a brace with back pain that never ceased, eventual arthritis.
Compund fracture of the right arm after falling against a hearthstone. Improper setting by a quack with much of the loss of the right arm. Breast cancer with a full mastectomy of the right breast. Loss of her father from stroke and three years of suffering. Loss of mother under same conditions. Severe rheumatiod arthritis, loss of most of the use of hands and feet. Burst blood vessle in right eye causing total blindness in that eye. Unable to sleep in a bed, even an adjustable one. Last two or three years sleeping in a chair with me at her feet on the floor. Spent the last years of her life in a wheel chair that she could not move because she had little use of her hands.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Are you ready for the new world government? This government will tell you what to eat, what to wear, when to work and when to play. If you obey its leaders you will be rewarded by allowing you to drink from the Fountain of Youth and you will live forever. If you disobey you will be punished with the most horrible torture you can imagine. Well I have good news, you don’t have to wait. This government has existed for thousands of years.

The Pagans (Christians) have it, the Jews have it, and the Muslims have it. I don’t know about the rest of the world but I assume they also have it.

Yes, you guessed it. I am talking about religion. Religion is not a government you say. Then what is it? Name a country in the Pagan, Jewish, Muslim world that is not governed by religion.

Why are all of these countries governed by religion? I guess it’s because humans are too weak and stupid to govern themselves. Is it a fact that man cannot do right and be good without some supreme being looking over his shoulder and peeking into his mind? If this is true, not to worry, there are plenty of priests, rabbis, and clerics to keep us on the straight and narrow. They have their guidebooks written by other priests, rabbis, and clerics a long time ago. These books were inspired by dreams, visions, and necessity because certain people wanted power and control.

I have just finished reading an interesting article in the morning paper, “Church ATMs: modern-day donation plates.” “At the Stevens Creek Community Church, God takes credit cards.”

Isn’t that nice? I wonder if that came through a dream or a vision, probably more like a necessity. People are more free with their plastic than they are with their cash.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Genesis Chapter Three

Before we get into the Netty- gritty of this chapter I would like to clarify my feelings about Adam and Eve. The Garden of Eden was a very large place and I don't believe that we can look upon Adam and Eve as just being a single couple. I believe the God named LORD created dozens or maybe hundreds of Adams and Eves. Whether this was a miraculous act or a scientific action using already existing people, I don't know.

I believe the world was already well populated with people from the Chapter One creation and these people are the ones we call "Out of Africa," where the original creation probably took place. These people may have been a previous step in the evolution of man. Perhaps homo with only a single sapiens.

I believe that Adam and Eve were the next step in evolution of mankind and we know them as homo sapiens sapiens. These people came into existence in what we call the fertile land of the Tigris Euphrates delta. These were the people that the God called LORD trained in the art of agriculture and animal husbandry. After the God called LORD drove them out of the Garden of Eden at the end of this chapter, they went on to form cities and spread out over the world, gradually eliminating all of the original people created in Chapter One.

Now to Chapter Three

In this chapter we are introduced to a character identified as the "The Serpent." The serpent is often identified with Satan or the devil. It is also identified with many ancient religions and in this case, I think it is used to describe Eve's attempt to start or convert these new people into a religion.

We are also introduced to two trees. If you eat from the one tree you will be like a god and know good from evil and if you eat from the other you will live forever. To me these trees represent the church which both promises to tell you the difference between good and evil and also promises eternal life.

The God named LORD tells Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of these trees which means that he doesn't want them involved with a church. I can understand his thinking, a father wants his children to stand on their own two feet and not come running to daddy every time something goes wrong.

The woman is tempted, however, and the serpent feeds her the knowledge of good and evil and she passes it along to to the rest of her kind. They are taught that sex is dirty and and shameful and nakedness is not tolerated. They cover their bodies and hide from their creator.

We also learn that the teaching of the church that God is all-knowing and omnipotent is not true. Adam and Eve are able to hide from him and he does not know they have formed a church until he sees them covering their nakedness. He also has to question them to find out how they sinned.

He then puts curses on the the various individuals and throws them out of the garden because he knows they are now polluted with the false teachings of the church and will no longer be able to advance intellectually because of their superstitions. He did feel, however, that he should cloth them properly before ejecting them.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Chapter Two

Genesis 2

Let me state again that I am not promoting creationism. I am just giving my view of what the authors believed and wrote about in the Old Testament. The things they wrote about in the early chapters of Genesis were just stories about things that they thought happened thousands of years before their time.

The most obvious thing the authors were trying to do was to give a group of people an identity. They also wanted to give them a religion. Back in those days and even extending up to the present time, government and religion were inseperable. The Islamic countries of today are perfect examples of that. The same governments are perfect examples of why the United States constitution insists that we separate church and state, one reason being, when you have more than one form of religion who's to govern?

Having said that, back to Chapter Two. Click on this link and open a seperate window to follow along.

The first thing I will do is eliminate the first three verses or this chapter because I believe they were supposed to be part of Chapter One and they were added by the author in order to justify the law of the Sabbath for the Israelites.

This chapter is a radically different version of how the heavens and the earth were created in comparason to Chapter One. In Chapter One, man and woman were created last, after all of the other living things were created. In this chapter man is created first and then the other plants and animals are created and finally woman is created last. How do we explain this?

I think that we have descriptions of two different creations. Chapter One describes the original creation and the humans were what we would now call, 'hunter gatherers.' These humans spread over the earth and lived in harmony with the other living things that the gods had created. There was no guilt or shame and all lived together in peace and harmony. Yes, humans killed animals for food but it was done naturally and with respect. It was all a part of nature.

Chapter Two describes the time when agriculture began and man first domesticated animals to do his work and supply him with food. By the time we come to verse eight the first humans had already been created as described in Chapter One but there was not, as yet, a man to 'till the earth.' In other words human beings had not started farming and were just getting their food where they happened to find it.

I guess that the God named LORD didn't much care for the humdrum peace and harmony and he decided to liven things up by creating (training) man to till the soil and start farming and later build cities and learn many other trades.

The first question I have is who was the God named LORD? In my opinion, he was one of the gods of Chapter One who had a slightly different opinion than the other gods on how to handle the creation that they had made.

If I understand verse seven correctly, it appears that the God named LORD wasn't able to train the hunter gatherers to till the soil and he had to create a new man to do this work. I believe this refers to modern homo sapien sapiens that came into existence a couple of hundred thousand years ago. Perhaps hominids like Neanderthal man were unable to comprehend farming and couldn't compete with the newly created humans and so became extinct.

According to verse eight, even the new man that the LORD had created could not comprehend farming because the Lord had to make the first garden in order to show the man how to do it. Verse nine states the the LORD also had to domesticate the first plants.

Verse nine also indicates that by giving the first humans the knowledge of farming he was also training him in biology/zoology, and making it possible for the humans to discover how to prevent their own death which they are still working on today. Also farming allowed man to settle in one place and start claiming land as his own personal property. Once man started having possessions then he had to make laws to protect them. The concept of 'good' and 'evil' came into being.

Verses ten through sixteen describe the area where the LORD decided it was the best place to start his project.

Verse seventeen describes the start of man's religious training to dumb him down and keep him from using his new found abilities to their fullest. Superstition is a great inhibiter of knowledge.

The rest of the chapter tells of how the LORD trained the first farmer and how he had to create a woman who had the same abilities as the man whom he created. By the end of the chapter the man and woman were still as innocent as the hunter gatherers they were replacing and had not yet developed the laws of good and evil which is, of course, religion.

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

There went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. The God named LORD formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

The God named LORD planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

A river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.

The name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. The name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.

The God named LORD took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.The LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

The God named LORD said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

The God named LORD caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

They were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Genesis Chapter One

So let us start right at the beginning. Genesis Chapter One, what is the real purpose of this chapter? The first thing I noticed was the fact that the chapter seems to extend over into the first three verses of Chapter Two and Chapter Two seems to really start at verse four. Why should this be? The first thing one might think is that whoever did the translation put the ending in the wrong place and the first two chapters should have been divided differently. I think there is another reason.

If we jump ahead to Exodus 35:2 we can see a reason.

Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.

It seems that whoever rewrote Genesis Chapter One wanted to show why this particular law was written and why the Israelites should obey it. If we remove certain lines then we may be able to see the way the chapter was originally written.

Genesis 1

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. God said, "Let there be light:" and there was light. God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light "Day," and the darkness he called "Night."

God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters." God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. God called the firmament "Heaven." God said, "Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear:" and it was so. God called the dry land "Earth;" and the gathering together of the waters called he "Seas:" and God saw that it was good.

God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth:" and it was so. The earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth:" and it was so. God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

God said, "Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven." God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth."

God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind:" and it was so. God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

God said, "Let 'us' make man in 'our' image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. God blessed them, and God said unto them, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."

God said, "Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat:" and it was so. God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.

I personally think that this writing is from a very old oral tradition on how the universe came into being and precedes the Israelites by thousands of years. I think the sequence pretty much corresponds with how science looks at the universe now that I have removed the highly improbable six days of creation.

I think that the only purpose that the writer had for using this old tradition was to add the six days of creation and to justify the law of the Sabbath. The rest of the chapter is much different than the following chapters of the OT on how a different god named the LORD was claimed to have created the world.

People of the humanist bent should be very interested in the parts I have made red because it apparently shows that the gods' intention was that mankind was to be an image of them on earth and have dominium over the rest of its creatures. There is no mention of trees of life or good and evil and God was 'very pleased' with what it had done.

The purpose of this blog is not to affirm or deny the existence of God. The purpose of this blog is to discuss the Old Testament and why it was written. I would like to try and stick to facts and ideas that most everyone can agree on. I know total agreement is impossible but what the hey, I'll try.

First let's make it clear on who wrote the OT. I don't think that anyone believes that God wrote it personally, with the possible exception of the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments, which are currently lost and therefore not subject to examination. We can all agree that the OT was written by humans. I won't go into whether they were inspired by God because I want to stick to something everyone can agree on and some people do not believe that they were.

So, the thing that stands out to me is that whoever wrote the OT did so in order to convince the tribe of Israel that it was something special. They did this by saying that a god chose Israel as its own and was going to guide and take care of them as long as they obeyed it.

Some people believe that the OT claims there is only one God but if you read carefully you will see that many times it refers to God in the plural. Some Christians talk of a trinity but we will ignore that at the present because not everyone agrees with this.

So, I think that we can agree that however many gods there may be, one of them, which we can refer to as LORD, adopted Israel as its own. Whether this is true or not I don't know. The only thing we can say for sure is that this is what the writers of the OT are trying to convince us of.