Gender is not a social construct

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I thought I’d take a second away from religion to focus on something slightly different, but none-the-less ridiculous.

It is a very popular position these days, particularly in the feminist crowd, to say that gender is nothing more than a social construct and has no backing in biology whatsoever. This claim contradicts both scientific knowledge and other positions that these people themselves hold.

Society may emphasize and reinforce the ‘stereotypical’ genders; however it is by no means the root cause of it. Throughout all of history, in all different cultures, (And in some animal species) the genders have been apparent, and the traits that define masculinity and femininity, although not always the same, have been relatively constant. The notion that all people across the globe and throughout history have made these identical gender ‘stereotypes’ for a social reason is nothing short of a conspiracy theory, and has no scientific backing.

Furthermore, scientific research shows that the differences we see between the genders are indeed caused by biology. For instance, male and female brains work differently, and through tests done on young children, we find that boys gravitate towards technology more than girls, which is a contributing factor to the lack of women in fields like physics, biology and computer science.

Finally, if gender is nothing more than a social construct, one must ignore transgender people, dismissing them as nothing more than ‘confused’ individuals – It is widely accepted that transgender people have something called ‘Gender Identity Disorder’, which is a condition that causes them to feel as if they have the wrong body. How can there be a biological cause for transgenders if gender itself is nothing more than a social construct?

The New Bible – Exodus 3

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God finally decides to do something about the enslavement of the Israelites, and he does this by telling Moses what to do… in the form of a plant.

  1. Moses was out tending the flocks of Jethro, the priest of Midian, when God spoke to him.

2. Now, instead of just showing up and being his usual freeloading self (like he did shortly before destroying Sodom and Gomorrah) he turned into a plant – and lit himself on fire.

3. Moses saw the burning bush and noticed that it did not burn up, so he went to go and get a closer look.

4. At that moment God called out to Moses, probably scaring him half to death and making him question his sanity – And God’s, for that matter.

5. “Do not come any closer, this ground is Holy, so take off your shoes,” God said, “I am the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob… by the time this book of mine is finished this introduction will take hours!”

6. “Anyway,” God said, “I heard the Israelites calling out, and they were making so much noise I couldn’t get to sleep. I remembered my covenant, and I have decided to help them and save them from the hands of the Egyptians.

7. I will give them a new land – the one that is already inhabited by the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.

8. And I, the all-powerful God, need your help.”

9. “What should I do? I can’t just walk right up to the Pharaoh and demand that he frees my people, now can I?” Moses asked.

10. “That’s EXACTLY what I want you to do!” God exclaimed, “Great minds think alike, eh?”

11. “Go with your elders and tell the Pharaoh that the God of the Hebrews has spoken to you, and that your people must spend three days in the wilderness to sacrifice animals to me.”

12. “Now I’m not stupid,” God said, “I know the Pharaoh will be suspicious, and won’t let you go, so I will stretch out my hand and strike them with wonders. Those wonders, of course, being horrible plagues and mass murder.”

13. God was still not finished, he was quite enjoying this scheming. “You shall also ask the Egyptians for silver and gold to put on your children, because I haven’t made a rule banning that yet. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.”

14. But the Lord still wasn’t done, and his scheming will continue in the next chapter.

The New Bible homepage can be found here.

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

God and human sacrifice

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Most people know about the story of Abraham and Isaac, but that is not what I’ll be talking about, because God backed out of the idea at the last minute and passed it off as a test. A real case of human sacrifice in the Bible can be found in Judges.

“Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jephthah. He crossed Gilead and Manasseh, passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from there he advanced against the Ammonites. And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”

Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave them into his hands. He devastated twenty towns from Aroer to the vicinity of Minnith, as far as Abel Keramim. Thus Israel subdued Ammon.

When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of timbrels! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter. When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to the Lord that I cannot break.” – Judges 11:29-35

So, God helps Jephthah destroy the Ammonites, and in return he promises God a human sacrifice. God never says anything against it, and if he is real and omniscient, he clearly knew what was going to happen.

It gets even more ridiculous when Jephthah’s daughter agrees to this! Indoctrination at it’s finest. But before she is sacrificed she goes off into the hills and ‘weeps because she will never marry’. Yep, she’s not sad because she’s about to be killed and sacrificed to God, she’s only sad because she’ll never get married.

Other verses that support the idea that God likes human sacrifice include:

Exodus 22:29 “Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats. You must give me the firstborn of your sons.”

Numbers 31:25-28 The Lord said to Moses, “You and Eleazar the priest and the family heads of the community are to count all the people and animals that were captured. Divide the spoils equally between the soldiers who took part in the battle and the rest of the community. From the soldiers who fought in the battle, set apart as tribute for the Lord one out of every five hundred, whether people, cattle, donkeys or sheep. – Shortly after comes Numbers 31:40, which says: “16,000 people, of whom the tribute for the Lord was 32.”

Well, God makes it clear in the Old Testament that he likes animal sacrifice, and I guess humans are just a step up from that!

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

The New Bible – Exodus 2

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This chapter deals with Moses and his childhood.

  1. In order to stop the Israelites from growing in numbers, the pharaoh ordered that all male Israelite babies must be thrown into the river Nile.

2. Now an Israelite woman gave birth to Moses, and managed to hide him for 3 months, before putting him in a basket and hiding him in the river.

3. And by some coincidence the pharaoh’s daughter came down to that exact same stretch of river, and she saw the basket.

4. Being lazy, she sent one of her servants to retrieve it, and sent another one of her servants off to find someone to nurse that child, and by another coincidence found Moses’ mother.

5. She named the child Moses, and kept him as her own son.

6. Fast-forward a couple of decades and Moses was busy murdering people. He had seen an Egyptian beating one of his people, and the moral protagonist of the story proceeded to kill him. Good thing God wasn’t looking!

7. He hid the Egyptian in the sand, and the next day he found two Hebrews fighting.

8. “Hey, why are you guys fighting?” he asked. “Who made you our king? Are you going to try and kill us like you did to that Egyptian?” One of the men said.

9. “Damn it, I thought no-one was looking” Moses said, before fleeing from the pharaoh, who wanted to kill his own grandson.

10. Moses found himself in Midian, and he found a priest’s seven daughters watering their flock. A bunch of shepherds tried to drive them away, but Moses went and killed them too.

11. The daughters returned to their home, and their father invited Moses to stay and ‘gave’ him a wife. And before you know it, Moses had a son!

12. Meanwhile, the king of Egypt died, and the Israelites cried out to God, asking for his help.

13. It was only then that the forgetful God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, so he had a look at what the Israelites were up to, and became concerned.

14. “Oh dear,” he said to himself, “I’d better do something about that.”

15. So he came up with a plan, which involved several plagues and killing at least 500,000 people.

The New Bible homepage can be found here.

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Islam, the religion of peace?

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No other religion must constantly shout from the rooftops that is is peaceful more than Islam, but is it really the religion of peace?

Here are some interesting statistics:

  • One of the suspected terrorists involved in the Paris bombings was helped more by friends and neighbors than by the Islamic state – There are reports that when he was finally caught and arrested after four months, his neighbors tried to stop the police and called him ‘their hero’.
  • According to polls, 20% – 40% of Muslims all across the west believe that suicide bombings are ‘sometimes justified’ and that they have sympathy for the motives behind the Paris attacks.
  • 40% of Muslims in the UK want to implement Sharia law in some parts of the country – you know, the extremist ‘eye for an eye’ sort of thing. Speaking of which, a man recently had one of his eyes gouged out in the middle east for attacking another man with acid. You see this is why ‘an eye for an eye’ is a bad message.
  • A third of Muslims in the UK think that violence against those who criticize or mock the prophet Muhammad is justified.
  • There has been 28,090 terrorist attacks in the name of Islam since 9/11, with 117 attacks within the last 30 days, killing 906 people.

So you can already see the Muslim community as a whole has mixed feelings about terrorism and violence in the name of Islam. Now to look at some of the verses in their Holy Book.

And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers. Quran 2:191-193

“Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things.” Quran 2:244

“As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help.” Quran 3:56

“And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…” Quran 4:104

“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” Quran 8:12

“O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.” Quran 9:123

Hmm…doesn’t look very peaceful to me.

Let’s not forget Muhammad went about destroying the idols of the lands he went to, and killing and destroying anybody who disagreed with him. And why are all Muslim theocracies terrible when it comes to human rights?

Now to be fair, Christianity is not much better. It has it’s fair share of death and destruction, and an extremist Christian group could use the story of the invasion of Canaan to ‘prove’ that genocide is Biblically justifiable. And thankfully the majority of both Christians and Muslims cherry-pick the good verses in their books, and quite frankly I will take that over consistency in this case.

But the fact still remains that Islam is not a religion of peace. It is a particularly potentially dangerous ideology that can easily be used as both a cause and a justification for all kinds of horrible acts.

Further reading and Citations used:

http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages…
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-fra…
http://www.pewresearch.org/files/old-…
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknew…
http://www.comres.co.uk/polls/bbc-rad…
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknew…
http://www.frontpagemag.com/point/251…

Imgae courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The New Bible – Exodus 1

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A new pharaoh rules Egypt, and decides to enslave all of the Israelites. Somehow he does this, despite being completely outnumbered.

  1. Joseph and all of his brothers died, and so did the pharaoh, and a new pharaoh came into power.

2. The Israelites had grown in numbers, soon becoming so numerous that the land was filled with them. Looks like God might have finally fulfilled one of his promises.

3. And the new pharaoh said to his people, “The Israelites have become far too numerous, we must put a stop to this before they join our enemies and attack us.”

4. “Doesn’t that sound like a bit of a conspiracy theory or something?” A soldier asked.

5. “Don’t be stupid, those haven’t been invented yet” the pharaoh replied.

6. So the conspiracy theorist pharaoh and his people set out and somehow enslaved all of the Israelites, despite the fact that they were probably outnumbered at this point.

7. The Egyptians made the Israelites build cities for the pharaoh, but the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied.

8. The Egyptians came to hate the Israelites, and instead of taking a page from God’s book and committing genocide, they just oppressed the Israelites even more.

9. Funny how God never stepped in to help his chosen people, isn’t it?

10. Finally, the Pharaoh decided his current tactic wasn’t working, so he ordered both Hebrew midwifes to kill any Israelite baby boys – that’s right, apparently there were only two.

11. But fearing God – because that’s what you’re supposed to do when you love someone, according to the Bible – the midwives did not.

12. They told the pharaoh that the Hebrew women gave birth before they could arrive. So basically, they were too slow.

13. So God, who was watching all of this, rewarded the midwives for their fear of him, and the Israelites continued to grow.

14. Still thinking of himself more moral than God, the pharaoh refused to commit full-scale Biblical genocide. (you know, like when God drowned the planet and killed EVERYONE) Instead, he ordered all baby Israelite boys to be thrown into the Nile.

The New Bible homepage can be found here.

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Does God have multiple personality disorder?

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Okay, so this is one of my less serious posts, like ‘Jesus was an ugly baby!‘, but there might be an interpretation of the Bible which supports the idea that God is not quite right in the head. Well, on second thoughts… God has fully supported killing people, so he’s already a psychopath.

According to most Christian denominations, Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit are both three people and one person. There are verses in the Bible that support this, but are somewhat flimsy evidence, such as 1 John 5:7 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” And there was some summit back in the 15th century where Catholics decided that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were all the same person. But I don’t know all the details.

So it’s pretty clear that somehow God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one guy whilst also being three guys, so are Jesus and the Holy Spirit just God’s alternate personalities? If so, God probably has multiple personality disorder. Why? We can see this by comparing his actions to the actions of Jesus.

God: “The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open.” Hosea 16:13

Jesus: A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34

God: “Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'” 1 Samuel 15:3

Jesus: You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:43-45

God: “And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the Lord said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses.”  Numbers 15:32-36

Jesus: “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” John 8:7

God: Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’”  The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died.”  Exodus 32:27-28

Jesus: “Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.” Luke 6:30

God:  When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. The army fled to Beth Shittah toward Zererah as far as the border of Abel Meholahnear Tabbath.” Judges 7:22

For a full list check out my post, ‘Death count in the Bible‘.

There are a few exceptions, like when Jesus said he came to bring a sword and turn people against each other, and that he wanted to watch the world burn, but we can see a general trend here. God is a dangerous, unpredictable being who advocates slaughter, Jesus is pretty much the opposite. God and Jesus act completely differently, and if they’re supposed to be the same person, there is a bit of an issue with consistency.

While we’re talking about God and his questionable characteristics, we can see that he also has an obsession with the number 7. Not only does he provide very strict instructions in Exodus and Leviticus about how many times to do certain things, but we have crazy documents like this that show God’s obsessions. God also likes other numbers, like 12, 10 and 3.

Image courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net