Monday, 20 February 2012

Abraham: The Delusional Father of 3 Faiths. Part 1

Abram, whom Yahweh renamed Abraham.  He's the father of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  Without him - whether he's historical or mythical, and the evidence points to him being an entirely fictional character - the three monotheistic faiths that came to dominate the Western World would not exist.  The stories about him in Genesis are the foundational myths for the Jewish and Islamic faiths and both claim him as an ancestor.  His story is seen by Christians as foreshadowing Jesus.

Now, for the sake of discussion and because it's what the majority of religious people believe, let's assume that Abraham was a historical person and that he really was the father of the blood-lines of the Jews and Arabs.  First off - having a man who was obviously mentally ill and morally corrupt contribute the genetic blueprint for your races is not something to proud of... but let's not go down that potentially racist road.  Let's look at the legacy of his story, instead.  We'll go through the Genesis account, first.
Abraham was one of three brothers.  One of his brothers married his own niece, by the way... totally not creepy in those days.  Abraham started having his one-on-one chat sessions with Yahweh at about age 75.  Now, remember, people lived a long time in those days; Abram's father Terah lived to 205.  Basically Yahweh told him where to go and what to do.  It doesn't say whether he was either hearing voices in his head or Yahweh was booming an audible voice out of thin air, or appearing as some spectral ghost or something.  Whatever the case, I guess that was considered normal back then - either that or they edited out the accounts of his family members questioning him about his imaginary friend.  Then again, maybe he was just the kind of head of household no one dared question, despite all the crazy stunts he pulled.  The only one who actually calls him on his shit is the pharaoh (ever notice that the bible never actually names any of the various pharaohs it vilified?).  Abram heads to Egypt with his wife, Sarai, who, despite being in her late 60s, is apparently so hot that Abram thinks anyone who sees her will kill him to get their hands on her.  So he devises a plan to keep himself safe: he tells the Egyptians she is his sister and pimps her out to the Pharaoh in exchange for wealth and influence.  Yeah, no moral qualms here - you know, she's just a woman, go ahead and have her.  Yahweh objects for reasons that aren't explained, but instead of just telling Abram, or punishing him for being an ass,  he decides to instead inflict plagues on the innocent Pharaoh. I think he just has a thing for sending plagues on poor Egypt.  Pharaoh comes to the obvious conclusion that the plagues are from Yahweh because he's doing the nasty with Abram's wife, and kicks Abram out of the country, but let's him keep all his riches. (Genesis 12:10-20).

Abram got filthy rich from pimping out his wife by the time he left Egypt.  So rich that he and his nephew Lot, who were traveling together, realized their respective households were too huge to have both of them living off the same land - so they split up.  In a typical delusion of grandeur, Abram has another chat with Yahweh who tells him that not only will he father whole nations, but hey, all this land you see, it's yours.  Go and take it.

Then there's some fighting between a bunch of Kings of different cities who just can't seem to get along.   Abram's nephew Lot get's kidnapped by one side, so Abram takes a war party and rescues him.  A priest comes and says some nice things to Abram, so Abram gives him a tenth of everything he owns (yep, that's that whole foreshadowing thing going on!)  Since he defeated the other kings, the King of Sodom is happy with Abram.  But for no apparent reason, Abram doesn't like the King of Sodom (that city isn't yet know as the birthplace of gay sex).  The King says let me have the people you rescued, but you take all the loot.  Abram refuses to take anything from him because he doesn't want anybody to say he got rich from the King of Sodom.  Nope, better to be known as the guy who got rich pimping his wife out to the Pharaoh of Egypt by lying to him, that's much more honorable than accepting a freely given gift of loot that you earned in a fair fight. (Gen 13)

The next chapter has Abram whining to Yahweh about not having a son, and more promises from Yahweh, including a prophecy about exiling his people for four hundred years.  Then again, prophecy might be the wrong word here, perhaps historical revisionism might be more accurate. (Gen 14)

Now starts the really fun parts.  First, Abram's super hot wife is apparently sterile - it can't be Abram, since the Pharaoh didn't knock her up either - so she suggests Abram should try impregnating one of the slaves.  Like any sane man, Abram thinks it's a good idea to get it on with the Egyptian slave girl and isn't about to say no to his wife.  So, he makes her his wife - like she has any choice in the matter - then he gets her pregnant.  Now, remember, we get morality from god's eternal law and it was acceptable then to own slaves and sleep with them, and have more than one wife so... ummm... why is that not OK now?  I don't remember Yahweh ever saying "thou shalt not have a sex-slave" or "thou shalt have only one wife".  Anyway, so, sex-slave Hagar becomes pregnant, and I guess she thinks that makes her something special so she starts being a bitch to Abram's first wife - her owner - Sarai.  Sarai gets pissed about it and Abram says hey, she's your slave, you deal with it.  So Sarai dials the bitch knob up to 11 and Hagar runs away.
Yahweh appears to Hagar and says go back and obey your mistress like a good little slave and I'll make your son and all his descendants a bunch of blood-thirsty barbarians that will be perpetually at war for centuries.  Hagar thinks the idea of having a "wild-donkey of a man" as a son is a good deal, so she obeys.  This kid is born and named Ishmael - no, not the guy from Moby Dick, that came later. (Gen 16)
Fast forward thirteen years.  Abram, now 99 years young, is having one of his chats with Yahweh, who tells him he wants him  to slice off his foreskin and then do the same to every man in his household, and then every one of his descendents should do it at the age of eight days old.  Yahweh also tells him that his wife will conceive and bear a son.  Abram proves he is completely insane by making his first question how is my 90 year old wife going to get pregnant instead of you want me to do what with my penis? Actually, he never questions the whole circumcision command at all, and neither does anyone else!  Imagine 13 year-old Ishmael as wrinkly old dad comes home, pulls out a knife and say "C'mere boy! Our god told me to chop of the tip of your wee-wee."  I think, in his place, I might protest just a bit!  If I was one of the slaves, that would be the time to make a break for it!  But nope.  Not a word of protest from anyone is recorded.  I guess they all just lined up and whipped it out for this surgery to be performed - without any anesthetic, antibiotics to prevent infection, and no choice in the matter.  Great idea, Yahweh!  Dude, no wonder you're a god!  What wisdom to come up with such a great idea!
Oh, Yahweh also told Abram to change his name to Abraham at this point, and Sarai to become Sarah.  Thankfully he didn't get some weird symbol as a new name or they would have called him The-Patriarch-Formerly-Known-As-Abram.

To be continued in Part 2.


  1. Love it! Love the religious product placement in there... yes, if it's a priest, it's okay to give a 10th of your wealth to him. I believe he accepts personal cheques, credit and paypal.

  2. Great stuff! Personally, I think one of the Egyptian slaves took revenge on Abraham by biting off the tip of his wee-wee and then Abraham put the whole Yahweh spin on it to keep gullible Sarah from discovering the truth!.