There’s a bit in the movie ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ where King Arthur asks a question of a peasant, and instead of fearful obedience, he is treated to some modern day individuality. Clip linked here.
The peasant becomes especially incredulous that Arthur is king because “strange women, lying in ponds, distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.” Angered by this, King Arthur grabs the peasant, who begins yelling “Help, help! I’m being oppressed!”
If you don’t usually understand jokes, I’ll explain. This is funny because once upon a time, any stupid but magical sounding idea WAS how governments were established. People were kings based on who their parents were, circumstances of their birth, driving women insane by invoking a god, magic mirrors, trading age with young children, visions, etc. Basically, anything except competence.
We are (sometimes) much smarter now. We realize how ridiculous this sounds. In addition to being able to call “bullshit” on these magic stories, we have the benefit of living in an age of democracy, representative democracy, parliamentary or congressional systems, etc. In the western world, we recognize that our leaders should represent us, not just control us. We (usually) want our leaders to be competent leaders.
This Monty Python bit was what leaped to my mind as I read some of the “good book.” May I please direct your attention to II Chronicles, chapter 10.
Here’s the story in short: King Solomon has just died, and his son Rehoboam has taken over the crown. King Rehoboam (KR for short) gets a visit from a few subjects, who ask that he back off of the taxes just a bit, cuz it’s killing them. KR tells them to come back in 3 days for a decision. KR then asks both his father’s advisors and his buddies what to do. The old guys say ease up and the subjects will be loyal forever. The young guys say screw the peasants, and hit ’em harder and tell them you’re the man. KR, being a stupid leader, does the latter, and the people revolt.
So far, seems like this is a really good moral story about how not to be a bad dictator or something. BUT…
Well, like everything in the bible, Bible God is an idiot and takes a good moral lesson and turns it into a petty ass-kissing contest. You see, the last line of the chapter is “So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.”
Yes, Bible God is screwing over his chosen people because they rebelled against the king with the correct dad. It doesn’t matter that he was being an asshole. It doesn’t matter if the peassnts were starving. It doesn’t matter that the very story itself reads like a moral lesson in what not to do as a leader. God has decided that sperm is the way to decide leadership, and a sperm lineage of David is the only way he is happy.
As Americans, we tend to have a bit of rebellion in us, even to this day. We were rebel colonies that dissolved our relationship with the King of England and fought a war because of *gasp* TAXES! We root for the underdog. We dislike exorbant displays of power. We cringe at the idea of birthright leadership.
KR was the exact same prick as the King of England. Tax war, exorbant power displays, no representation, birthright and incompetent leader.
The British today realize that King George was acting foolishly, and as a result of that concession we are very strong allies today. But Bible God, in his unwavering douchiness, just can’t bring himself to reconcile with the Jews for breaking away from his sperm-anointed, incompetent leader.
So every Jew on earth is getting figuratively bent over and sodomized because Bible God cared more about who provided a Y chromosome than selecting a role model and praiseworthy leader. A good leader would have been able to lead the Jews down the right path. But Bible God has chosen to humiliate and nearly drive his chosen people to extinction because of where David’s sperm ended up.
Yes, Bible God is everything we dislike about dictatorships. Repression is his favorite tool.
The Spartan Atheist