From College to Calves
May 7, 2012 3 Comments
Things I Have Done Since My Last Post
1. FINISHED COLLEGE.
A. Wrote a paper
B. Wrote another paper
C. Wrote another another paper
D. Took an exam
E. Hopefully did not fail at any of those things
2. Won an award for “outstanding contributions to intercultural and race relations at Harvard College” – unexpected, but fun!
A. Ate a delicious eggplant cheese thing at the award dinner
B. Wrote one of my papers on the bus to and from the award dinner (see item 1A).
3. Sold a bunch of my stuff
A. Packed some of it up and put it into dorm storage for the students who bought it to claim when they come back in the fall
B. Left a lot of it lying around my room waiting to be packed up
C. Lost a microwave that I sold to somebody…awkward. Oh, speaking of which…
4. Organized a totally unnecessary film series for one of my classes
A. Hopefully obtained some kind of unofficial extra credit to make up for not really studying for final exam
B. Lost my microwave, which I generously carried all the way to the Yard (aka a long way from my dorm) so students could have freshly popped popcorn for the movies
C. By “I lost it” I mean “somebody stole it from the classroom where the movie screenings were”
D. Attempted to relocate microwave
F. Entered denial stage (ongoing)
G. Will eventually tell the girl I sold it to that I lost it and will sadly refund her money (pending)
5. Continued to possess a lot of stuff after selling some of it
A. Got really angsty over what to do with ticket stubs, birthday cards, posters, and photos (ongoing)
B. Packed a tiny amount of my stuff up
C. Flung the rest of it around the floor so it would feel like I was making progress
D. Brought one suitcasefull of stuff to boyfriend’s apartment so it would feel like I had started moving
6. Walked 24 miles in one day, that day being yesterday
A. Raised money for hunger relief by doing so!
B. Felt really cool (see item 6A)
C. Felt like dying (see item 6)
D. Felt like this
7. RETURNED TRIUMPHANTLY TO MY BIBLE BLOG (ongoing)
OT: Exodus 32
The Israelites wonder what is taking Moses so long up on the mountain. Eventually they get impatient and tell Aaron to make them some new gods that won’t lead them on and then break their hearts. Ohhhhhh snap – shit is about to get real in the kosher grocery store parking lot.
Aaron decides it’s time for some creative problem-solving. He tells everyone to give him all their gold jewelry, which he melts down and molds into a bull calf. The Israelites, who apparently cannot count, say, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” (4) Aaron rolls with it: he builds an altar for the calf, and declares a festival day in honor of the calf-god, and people make sacrifices and celebrate.
God warns Moses that his peeps “are ruining everything” (7), because God is an eight-year-old whose parents are doing something embarrassing at his birthday party. God tells Moses to get out of the way so his “fury” can “burn and devour” the Israelites (10). Moses tells God to chill the fuck out, and reminds him of his promises to many of the Israelites about giving them lots of descendants. And then – get this – “the LORD changed his mind about the terrible things he said he would do to his people” (14).
So, let’s tally up for a second. God has…
- Forgotten promises he made
- Changed his mind
- Made false promises
So where exactly do people get the idea that God is omniscient or omnipotent? Oh, and also…
4. Threatened to kill everyone
…And he’s perfectly benevolent, too? Give me a break.
Anyway, Moses goes down the mountain and brings the two covenant tablets with him, which apparently were written in “God’s own writing” (16). I wonder what his handwriting looks like?
Moses gets back to the camp and sees the calf-worshiping festival party, and flips out. He smashes the tablets with God’s actual handwriting on them on the ground in a rage, burns and pulverizes the calf and makes people drink its remnants in water. He yells at Aaron for sinning. Aaron is like “but the people were out of control!” and Moses is like “yeah because you LET them get out of control!”
So then, for very unclear reasons, Moses orders a genocide. Yes, really. He makes all the Levites (are those the same as the Israelites? Or a subset? I forget) gather round and arm themselves, then he sends them off with the command to “kill your brother, your friend, and your neighbor!” (27). They do it, killing three thousand people. Which, for comparison, is approximately the number of people killed in the 9/11 attacks. So let nobody say Islam has a monopoly on jihad, religious violence, or scripturally condoned terrorism. Best of all, when the killers return, Moses tells them that each one has gained a special blessing from god for his noble actions.
Excuse me while I vomit.
Moses reminds his whole tribe what sinners they are, and goes back to God to ask for leniency. Instead of really answering him, God sends Moses away with an angel to an undisclosed location, promises to judge sinners at the end of times, and sends a plague on the calf-worshipers.
I’m literally falling asleep at my desk, so stay tuned for more tomorrow! Probably starting with a psalm, because I haven’t slogged through one of those in forever.