God meddled with a family so egregiously that He turned brother against brother. I tell ya, this old-testament God was a real bastard!
> Jacob continued on his journey, until he found his Uncle Laban’s farm, where he was welcomed and put immediately to work. After a month, Jacob thought it time to broach the subject of wages. “Damn.” said his unc. “I was hoping that since you are a relative, I could exploit your labor indefinitely.” But Jacob was no fool. He knew what he wanted- for Laban, it turns out, had two single daughters: ugly Leah and sexy Rachel. He’d gladly trade Rachel’s hot flesh in payment, after a seven year “internship”. So it was agreed… Or so Jacob thought.
But at the end of his seven years of indentured servitude, when Jacob demanded his bridal payment, slick uncle Laban pulled a fast one on his callow nephew. Having arranged for a convenient power failure during the wedding ceremony, Laban used the cloak of darkness to substitute Ugly Leah for Sexy Rachel. After the vows were exchanged in the dark, and the lights came back on, Jacob was predictably pissed. “Motherfucker!” he cursed. Filled with schadenfreude, Laban only laughed at his nephew’s position, and attempted to placate him with promises of future bigamy. “Okay- okay. I had to marry the ugly one off first. Its tradition! But work just seven more years and I’ll throw in Rachel too. (Why not? They were just chattel to him.) And poor dumb Jacob went along with it all, loving the sexy wife and tolerating the other one. But for some reason, no matter how often he fornicated with Rachel and how rarely he bonked Leah, Rachel never got knocked up, while Leah was a babymaking machine, churning out infant after infant after infant. Finally, cruel God took what passed for pity on the poor barren Rachel, giving her a son named Joseph, saggy breasts, chunky hips and fat ankles.
After 20 years of servitude to greedy uncle Laban, Jacob had built quite the empire for himself. By now, he’d amassed a whole menagerie of squires, sex slaves and livestock. The guy thought he was sitting pretty, until one day he overheard his cousins complaining bitterly that his good fortune was their bad fortune, because he was getting all the cool stuff they believed were rightfully theirs, as Laban’s sons. Trouble was brewing in Jacob’s paradise. Laban had cooled considerably toward his toady nephew, and was beginning to see things his sons’ way. Noticing this, God tapped Jacob on the shoulder and whispered in his ear, reminding him of their agreement that he would one day return to the Altar of the Stone Pillow, suggesting now might be a very good time for an exodus.
Stealthily gathering in entourage together, Jacob had them pack all his worldly goods discreetly onto the backs of his livestock. Then, gathering his two wives, legions of slaves and hoard of sons, and stole away secretly while Laban was busy fetishizing his sheep. Being kind of involved with this, it was three days before Laban realized Jacob and gang had fled to Mount Gilead. He resolved to lead a posse to go get them the following morning. But strangely, that night God the Meddler came to Laban in a dream, telling him “Whatever you do, don’t you DARE say one word to Jake! No praise, no criticism, nada.” warning him “If you do- I will fuck you up!”
Come dawn, the hunting party set out to follow their trail.
On the seventh day, Laban and his troops caught up with Jacob and his crew on top of the mountain. Forgetting God’s admonishment, he blurted out: “Nephew! What gives, dude?” Jacob was cornered. “Why did you kidnap my daughters and steal all my porno? (Unbeknownst to Jake, just to piss him off, Rachel had stolen her father’s entire collection of fine Phoenician pornography on her way out of the tent.) Offended at the accusation, Jacob gave Laban permission to search all his tents for the any stolen items, assuring his angry uncle: “If you find your prized porno collection the thief will put to immediate death!” Laban’s men searched thoroughly but Rachel was hiding it under her saddle, and she was sitting on that. Once Laban admitted that he could find no contraband, Jacob read him the riot act.
“Uncle! I’ve served you faithfully for years and years, but you’ve ripped me off at every turn! Now when I’ve earned my retirement you chase me down and accuse me of stealing what I worked twenty years to earn! I’m sure you’d try to rip me off again, if you weren’t chickenshit scared of the mighty wrath of my fearsome God! I’d done with this crap Laban! I call for tribal arbitration. Let our brothers hear my complaint and pass judgment! And so it was agreed.
But these folks didn’t do a damn thing without making another altar. This time, Jacob instructed his band to gather together large stones and place them in a giant heap. They had a nice picnic on the stones before getting down to business. It was agreed: the pile of stones would be witness to their truce. (Convenient, as a pile of stones cannot give testimony.) To seal the deal, they murdered an innocent creature on top of the mound then partied all night long amid the blood, decaying flesh and greasy sinew. A good time was had by all. The next day, nursing a bad hangover, Laban kissed everyone goodbye, which was kind of freaky, then he and his minions returned home, sadly without his prized porno.
Jacob and his crew resumed their pilgrimage, meeting more angels along the road. (The land was just lousy with them!) Jacob recognized them at once for the prissy stick up their asses, and their holier-than-thou attitudes. He was preparing to send a message with one of them when…
God-Guy grew bored. Maybe He got disgusted with Himself over what a total dick He had been to so many generations of men who had given Him their blind fealty. Or maybe that is just wishful thing. I dunno. I wasn’t there. But somehow He grew weary of all the curses, the plagues, the wrathful retribution, the senseless drama and obscene metaphor that offered no real enlightenment but only false hopes and vicious cruelty. He came to regret the nasty bait-and-switch tactics He used to gleefully fuck with innocent people. In any case, the “old testament” He was writing just kind of petered out as He lost interest, with a few more inscrutable parables and unlikely fables that obfuscated rather than shed light on the truth. Gradually, He came to the sad realization that nobody liked Him! Fear is not the same as love. Beginning to feel sadly lonely, He decided to give Himself a make-over.
Time for a brand new testament, filled with the same old false hopes and offensive lies as the old one, but with a new, improved “friendlier” deity at the center of it all. He decided to rehabilitate His tarnished image by sending His boy Jebus down to earth in the form of a skinny, flesh-and-bone peacenik- so they could beat him and torture him and murder him. Brilliant move! Now he really had them under his Big Fat Thumb! Threats and vindictive bullying were no longer necessary, because God Dude made them all feel so guilty about the way they treated the kid, that their own bruised consciences made them self-enforce all His random and egregious rules and laws. With the Jebus trick, He shamed these gullible beings into being their own little vengeful demi-gods, setting up a self-sustaining cycle of “sin” and “redemption” that freed The Big Guy to do other things.
> Kicking back in a giant heavenly hammock, God-Guy conjured an ice-cold pitcher of cold margaritas and set about inventing more subtle but equally insidious torments… like Justin Bieber, and Kim Kardashian. Brilliant!
* * *
A few years ago, I came across a copy of a children’s illustrated Bible in a free pile at a yard sale, and perusing the garish and lurid drawings I decided it might be an interesting read. No kidding! What a strange, twisted, perverted bunch of elaborate hooey it is. Intended to brainwash and indoctrinate impressionable young minds, I found it both alarming and as fascinating to watch as a train wreck. Part way through, I found myself reinterpreting each passage in my mind as I read it, in a most amusing and sacrilegious way, and thought it might be fun to transcribe these reimaginings as I went, with a bent toward illuminating the hidden or inferred meanings buried in the text. As I neared the end of the Old Testament, I became aware that as a piece of literature, it is crap, providing no ending whatsoever, but just kind of petering out in a couple half-hearted parables that seemed all but devoid of meaning. So I scrapped the project and forgot all about it. But when the first draft reemerged from the jetsam of my life, I gave it a read, and found myself laughing out loud throughout. As far as I’m concerned, this is an appropriate reaction to the Bible…
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