Thursday, March 10, 2011

Old Testament Follies

Been thinking about Job tonight. The whole Old Testament, actually. It dawned on me that crazy as most of those stories were, they helped illustrate the capriciousness and madness of life on this planet. The conclusions drawn in those books are nuts IMHO, but the experiences... timeless.

I don't recall precisely what got me thinking of Job. Eric and I were mulling the meaning of existence and how to live a better, more authentic life and I started riffing on the OT. Regardless, the story is infuriating. I don't how anyone can read it and then go back to the well for more. Here you have a guy who thinks he's doing everything right. Good father, good husband, good community member. Hell, he is doing everything right, even by yhwh's impossible standards.

Then Satan comes along and, for shits and giggles, makes a dollar bet with good old, it-which-can't-be-named. And based on that taunting bet, the good lord goes and fucks Job's life up beyond measure. Merely to see if Job remains loyal! That is remarkably fucked up.

Now, my Jewish friends will tell me that there are several levels on which to read and interpret that story. Fair enough. Even now, I can read my own metaphorical take into it. But there are people on this planet—lots of 'em—who take that story literally. And still they want to worship that god.

I can't believe we've come this far as a species.

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