Monday, June 06, 2005

Whadya mean "Dangerous Books?!!"

What I like best about the conservative list of the most DANGEROUS books is their use of the term 'dangerous' to describe books. Ok, books contain ideas and ideas are dangerous because they can lead to thinking and action. And we all know how the cons, neocons, and religious zealots feel about action that they don't approve of! Of course, even when the ideas aren't written down they still might be dangerous, right? And people are dangerous because they get ideas... which they may write down... and then act on... its all bad, right?

Also, the far right's oh-so-modern political correctness rhetoric is a nice way to stop debate or to hide their own biases. Hell not so long ago Harriet Beecher Stowe would have made the cut for that little list of danger. But racism they say is obsolete, "Why we live in a color-blind society!" Well at least in public that is what they say, even our pal Trent Lott has to toe the line in public. Come on we all know how he feels! I may even come out with my own list in the future, so perhaps I can't be too hard on the righties. My list will begin with a book called "Numbers:" (from a book that many of you may know, if you don't own it you sure know someone who does...)

"15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel
of Ba'laam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of
Pe'or, (Num. 25.1-9) and there was a plague among the congregation of
the LORD.
17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill
every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying
with him, keep alive for yourselves*.
19 And do ye abide without the camp seven days: whosoever hath
killed any person, and whosoever hath touched any slain, purify both
yourselves and your captives on the third day, and on the seventh day.
20 And purify all your raiment, and all that is made of skins, and
all work of goats' hair, and all things made of wood."

This is dangerous stuff, right?

There's so much talk these days about returning to biblical precepts that it is very enlightening to go to the source and see just how family-friendly biblical values are. Yeah, there aren't many sins that can't be made good by purifying the goats' hair! A moment aside: these wrong wing conservatives are pretty preachy these days about marriage being "between one man and one woman." What they steadfastly ignore is that most of the guys in the bible were just about as polygamous as they could afford to be, and women were chattel (bought, sold, and traded).

"Adultery" in the bible had a very specific meaning: it meant sex between a man and SOMEONE ELSE'S (female) PROPERTY! (That someone else might be her father or husband -or whoever else had title.) Now it occurs to me that the Christian Right is poring endlessly as it must over those sacred texts, are they even aware of the privileges of patriarchy and all of their implications. So maybe - just in case the Rapture is off by a century or so - they can reinstate The Old Ways as a consolation prize?

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