“Thou Shalt Not Question”

For a long time I have infrequently thought about the semantics and direct absolutism of the Christian bible.

I don’t know a lot of scripture — I was raised Roman Catholic — but I at one time had known “the hits” of the Bible very well. In the 3 cycles of the Lectionary, A, B, C.

So Paul in all his haughty cruelty is there (“wives, be submissive to your husbands”), some old testament that included descriptions of a “flaming brassiere”, as one Lector mispronounced it (it was actually about a flaming brazier) and I saw nearly everyone in the congregation trying like hell not to laugh.

I told you I remembered a boatload of “the hits”, and so I just had to sit there on my hands, lips pursed, and watch the train wreck about to unfold over the next couple of minutes: the word ‘brazier’ appears three or four times in that piece.

And then as I watched the Republicans swearing they know what everyones’ beliefs should be, hearing hate from a living caricature of a black preacher in what was supposed to be a benediction (which has no place in politics anyway).

And I found myself going back to the one thing I had been pondering for awhile now: supposedly we they are all created in God’s image.

One of Frank Herbert’s genius quotes — and he’s perhaps the most quotable author excepting for Shakespeare — goes something like this: “The first Commandment of any religion is implicitly ‘Thou Shalt Not Question’”.

And the more I see of public displays of what biblically are supposed to be privately done, the one question I would like to ask is a question that has no specific prohibition listed in the Ten Commandments from Moses.

And it would seem that there is a bit of encouragement to ignore the illicit eleventh. It says (somewhere…Genesis?) that “man [sic] was created in god’s image.

While often God the Father is drawn as Santa, but garbed in good-for-all-seasons couture. Or Dumbledore.

But God the Son — Praise Jesus — was 200% of an individual (all-man and all-god, definitely not half and half!) that alone would make him atypical. But even granting the “holy paradox of His Diptychy-ness”, there are serious implications of the statement “made in his own image”, and anyone who attempts to bang out the thought-space around that implication would immediately be seized upon as heretical or insulting.

These days I think it’s worse to insult a christian than appear as a heretic.

I digress.

So Jesus was a man. A human male. Born to a virgin — which could only reasonably happen to a divine even because there’s the intact hymen to consider.

So Jesus was circumcised. And in those days (and still in practice today, I believe, among the Jewish orthodoxy), part of the bris involves the Moyl (the rabbi performing the circumcision), after snipping off the foreskin proceeds to drink some kind of wine (sacred?), but keep the wine in his mouth. He then puts the infant’s penis into his own mouth to bathe it in the wine.

Good Christ.

I’m not belaboring anything here, and though I’m disgusted by a practice which is no longer used (mostly), I’m not poking fun at any of it. I’m just letting my ever-questing mind spend some cycles on the implication of all of the above.

So yeah, you’re damned right I have questions/thoughts:

  1. Was the newly-detached foreskin preserved as a Holy Relic to be venerated by all?
  2. Did anyone give Jesus the birds and the bees (or in his case the bees and the Almighty) talk?
  3. Did he masturbate a lot, at least during puberty?
  4. Since Christian extremists believe that homosexuality is just about sex, since Jesus didn’t have sex (they all presume) could Jesus have possibly been gay? Or probably bi/poly, since god loves all mankind.
  5. Why is the canonical Jesus painting depicting an Anglo/Aryan man with excellent bone structure?
  6. Was Jesus’ penis significantly, differently-sized than the average Jew of that era?
  7. Everybody Poops.

Again, I am not (so far as I know) maligning christians OR christianity. If I have a single concrete reason for this entry, it’s that the crux of the Judeo-Christian corpus lands on this one line. If we were not created in his own image, how could the bureaucracies and power bases have ever formed? How could they have taken The Homeric Hymns of Hermes and refit its timeline to what is now primarily considered Jesus’ timeline?

Thus, this specific language being so important, I think it deserves scholarly attention.

If I have offended, specifically WHY? I’m not dissing Jesus, and I intentionally side-stepped any questions about his divinity. I’m giving you that one, for the purposes of this piece.