should da Vatican ordain women as priests and allow priests to marry?

I agree with Makau Mutua on the matter but find this

Let’s separate man-made religious law from holy text. In the Church, canonical law are rules made by ecclesiastical authority, or Church leadership, for the governance of the flock. It shouldn’t be confused with the Bible. In the same way that sharia or Islamic law shouldn’t be conflated with the Quran and the Hadith. Sharia is man-made law even if the religious authorities and scholars derive it from the Quran and Hadith. That’s why using canonical law or sharia law to deny penitents basic rights of equality can’t stand scrutiny.

indefensible. Is holy (sic) writ not equally work of men? And does this claim not weaken his argument? In the NT, women are told to keep quiet in church. How then would he justify having women priests when the bible forbids it? Paul says marry only if you can’t control your urges.

Anyone with some time in their hands should read William Cussel’s supernatural religion.

I think he would make a stronger argument if he argued that holy writ is work of men. The rules can be changed.

A time when the priests were the physicians

Leviticus 13

Friends, these times we live in are not the best of times but I can tell you there are those who lived in worse times. There is a time in the history of men, not so long ago, when the priest was the physician, the teacher, the prosecutor, the judge and the executioner. These times are far behind us except if you are living in a Muslim majority country where every law is based on the Koran, hadith or pronouncements by Imams. In Leviticus 13 we have the priest as the physician, the disease in question is leprosy and the one person giving medical advice, the scientist per excellence, is one YHWH. Why I find the scenario in this whole chapter wrong is the priests, Moses and Aaron, instead of just telling YHWH or whoever is issuing instructions to just deal with the disease once and for all for the benefit of us all, they are just there listening.

This chapter is 59 verses long on just the diagnosis of leprosy which I don’t think I will want to bore you with but that notwithstanding we will look at a few verses, just so that you know some of these things. They say knowledge is power and it is my intention to empower you 😀 and I hope you shall allow me to do so.

First, leprosy

 also known as Hansen’s disease (HD), is a chronic disease caused by the bacteriaMycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Leprosy is primarily a granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract; skin lesions are the primary external sign

Now that you know what leprosy is, let us see what god instructs his priests to do and you will be grateful that we have physicians in our times.

The priest shall look at the mark on the skin of the body, and if the hair in the infection has turned white and the infection appears to be deeper than the skin of his body, it is an infection of leprosy; when the priest has looked at him, he shall pronounce him unclean. But if the bright spot is white on the skin of his body, and it does not appear to be deeper than the skin, and the hair on it has not turned white, then the priest shall isolate him who has the infection for seven days. The priest shall look at him on the seventh day, and if in his eyes the infection has not changed and the infection has not spread on the skin, then the priest shall isolate him for seven more days. The priest shall look at him again on the seventh day, and if the infection has faded and the mark has not spread on the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him clean; it is only a scab. And he shall wash his clothes and be clean.

You had to pray for the gods to smile on you so that you are not put under observation. It seems to me, nothing was done to you once the priest decided you are to be under observation. How change was expected after 7/14 days I don’t see how the upside of it though was if you were pronounced clean all you needed to do was wash your clothes!

“When the infection of leprosy is on a man, then he shall be brought to the priest. 10 The priest shall then look, and if there is a white swelling in the skin, and it has turned the hair white, and there is quick raw flesh in the swelling, 11 it is a chronic leprosy on the skin of his body, and the priest shall pronounce him unclean; he shall not isolate him, for he is unclean. 12 If the leprosy breaks out farther on the skin, and the leprosy covers all the skin of him who has the infection from his head even to his feet, as far as the priest can see, 13 then the priest shall look, and behold, if the leprosy has covered all his body, he shall pronounce clean him who has the infection; it has all turned white and he is clean.

This verse left me confused. Is it that if your body is covered in leprosy you are no longer unclean?

17 and the priest shall look at him, and behold, if the infection has turned to white, then the priest shall pronounce clean him who has the infection; he is clean.

Am still confused. If a person has the infection how is he clean? Maybe someone understands this for I honestly do not!

24 “Or if the body sustains in its skin a burn by fire, and the raw flesh of the burn becomes a bright spot, reddish-white, or white, 25 then the priest shall look at it. And if the hair in the bright spot has turned white and it appears to be deeper than the skin, it is leprosy; it has broken out in the burn. Therefore, the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is an infection of leprosy.

Now here is where it gets a little complex. You have suffered and the priest has ruled it out to be leprosy. You know when things are thick if all the physician does is to look and diagnose!

45 “As for the leper who has the infection, his clothes shall be torn, and the hair of his head shall be uncovered, and he shall cover his mustache and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ 46 He shall remain unclean all the days during which he has the infection; he is unclean. He shall live alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.

If you really want to know the meaning of stigmatization, here it is proceeding from the mouth of YHWH, the all-powerful. How a person who is sick i expected to take care of themselves alone is beyond me unless YHWH had ideas of reaching them while the village is asleep or else what I see here is a community turning a blind eye to its problem. It’s like having a brother you all know exists but no one likes him so you purposefully ignore his existence. Maybe we can forgive the priests, it is god who commands and god must be right!

47 “When a garment has a mark of leprosy in it, whether it is a wool garment or a linen garment,48 whether in warp or woof, of linen or of wool, whether in leather or in any article made of leather,49 if the mark is greenish or reddish in the garment or in the leather, or in the warp or in the woof, or in any article of leather, it is a leprous mark and shall be shown to the priest. 50 Then the priest shall look at the mark and shall quarantine the article with the mark for seven days. 51 He shall then look at the mark on the seventh day; if the mark has spread in the garment, whether in the warp or in the woof, or in the leather, whatever the purpose for which the leather is used, the mark is a leprous malignancy, it is unclean. 52 So he shall burn the garment, whether the warp or the woof, in wool or in linen, or any article of leather in which the mark occurs, for it is a leprous malignancy; it shall be burned in the fire.

What I like with the good book is there is always the ridiculous in almost every page. You don’t have to look hard for it, they are always looking at you waiting to be discovered. And here we have a taste of the ridiculous! Why for the life of me would you quarantine a piece of cloth for 7 days and then take it to a priest to look? If the garment was worn by a person with leprosy or any ailment of the skin, for that matter, that causes oozing, it will be definitely on the cloth. Depending on how bad the infection was, a decision ought to be made whether cleaning would be sufficient or complete destruction and for this I truly see no need to see a priest unless the intention of god was to make priests so powerful as to control even the thinking of men!

 

Reasons why I want to be a priest

No, I have never tried burning flour so I don’t know how it smells.

2 ‘Now when anyone presents a grain offering as an offering to the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour, and he shall pour oil on it and put frankincense on it. He shall then bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests; and shall take from it his handful of its fine flour and of its oil with all of its frankincense. And the priest shall offer it up in smoke as its memorial portion on the altar, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the Lord. The remainder of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons: a thing most holy, of the offerings to the Lord by fire.

Interesting god doesn’t discriminate on the smells, anything goes so long as there is frankincense. Who would not want to be a priest if you get fine grade flour without having to work. All you need to do is to claim to mediate between people and god then you are assured of square meals. Am joining priesthood.

‘Now when you bring an offering of a grain offering baked in an oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, or unleavened wafers spread with oil. If your offering is a grain offering made on the griddle, it shall be of fine flour, unleavened, mixed with oil; you shall break it into bits and pour oil on it; it is a grain offering. Now if your offering is a grain offering made in a pan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil. When you bring in the grain offering which is made of these things to the Lord, it shall be presented to the priest and he shall bring it to the altar. The priest then shall take up from the grain offering its memorial portion, and shall offer it up in smoke on the altar as an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the Lord. 10 The remainder of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons: a thing most holy of the offerings to the Lord by fire.

What was the problem, was there a shortage of yeast or was it a lack of storage facilities? I need help here, anyone knows how the memorial portion of the grain could have looked? How would one tell this the memorial portion or was this knowledge only in the reserve of the priests?

11 ‘No grain offering, which you bring to the Lord, shall be made with leaven, for you shall not offer up in smoke any leaven or any honey as an offering by fire to the Lord. 12 As an offering of first fruits you shall bring them to the Lord, but they shall not ascend for a soothing aroma on the altar.13 Every grain offering of yours, moreover, you shall season with salt, so that the salt of the covenant of your God shall not be lacking from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.

I missed the memo on salt. And I find it peculiar the priests then didn’t like honey, I guess it was so readily available there was nothing special about it. Any student of archaeology here, please weigh in here on what could have been the crops and agricultural produce of these goat herders. Thank you

14 ‘Also if you bring a grain offering of early ripened things to the Lord, you shall bring fresh heads of grain roasted in the fire, grits of new growth, for the grain offering of your early ripened things. 15 You shall then put oil on it and lay incense on it; it is a grain offering. 16 The priest shall offer up in smoke its memorial portion, part of its grits and its oil with all its incense as an offering by fire to the Lord.

Am going to try to roast some green maize with frankincense and will report back here some day how it smells. I need to savour the aroma as god did whenever the priests made their offering.

On other news, who else is joining me in priesthood unless these rules have changed then I’d rather keep my day job. I have an idea though, we have to go back to following the word of god and so people must bring their best offerings. I will be announcing vacancies for assistant pastors and an accountant soon.

Of tabernacles, curtains & contractors

Well friends we are back at it again. If you were a christian I bet your minister never read any part of these two chapters. I will tell you why, they are so boring and two it is the first time priests said they had had enough which your pastor would never say.

 So Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, “Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary.” Thus the people were restrained from bringing any moreFor the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it.

I am not sure they still make altars, curtains and places of worship following god’s specifications. Last time I checked, the churches get grander and the ministers richer, maybe that will be a post for a bad day; how to become rich as a church minister.

I don’t think we need to waste time reading god’s specification on how to make altars and tabernacles.

What quantity of goat hair did this guy need to make curtains?

14 Then he made curtains of goats’ hair for a tent over the tabernacle; he made eleven curtains in all. 15 The length of each curtain was thirty cubits and four cubits the width of each curtain; the eleven curtains had the same measurements. 16 He joined five curtains by themselves and the other six curtains by themselves. 

And men, these guys had so much gold to waste

37 Now Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood; its length was two and a half cubits, and its width one and a half cubits, and its height one and a half cubits; and he overlaid it with pure gold inside and out, and made a gold molding for it all around. He cast four rings of gold for it on its four feet; even two rings on one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it. 

Any archeologists out there, has anyone of you been lucky enough to get any of this gold and bronze items. It would be a great thing if you think of it.

17 Then he made the lamp stand of pure gold. He made the lampstand of hammered work, its base and its shaft; its cups, its bulbs and its flowers were of one piece with it. 18 There were six branches going out of its sides; three branches of the lampstand from the one side of it and three branches of the lamp stand from the other side of it; 

I tell you, for a omnipotent and omniscient god, he pays too much detail to perfumes.

 29 And he made the holy anointing oil and the pure, fragrant incense of spices, the work of a perfumer.

Of beggars and artisans

Happy new year!

I do hope that you had a good holiday season and are of good cheer as we begin the new year. Now the beginning of the year doesn’t bring any magical effect, I hope however that you learnt from the mistakes you committed in the last year and are striving to make more this year.

When we were last here, YHWH had opened a photocopy business for churning out tablets, with Moses as his able deputy or is it business attendant.Let us see what this great god is up to, maybe he has changed his mind from being violent and murderous.

35 Then Moses assembled all the congregation of the sons of Israel, and said to them, “These are the things that the Lord has commanded you to do:

“For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy day, a sabbath of complete rest to the Lord; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. You shall not kindle a fire in any of your dwellings on the sabbath day.”

If Moses is my representative in parliament, this is the time to put the recall clause to use. How does he take such silly instructions without a word of protest. How do you command a person to be put to death for working? If he wanted one day to be holy then he should just have created just that one day but as it is, we must work to it and chose when to rest, so this command is spurious.

Moses spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “This is the thing which the Lord has commanded, saying, ‘Take from among you a contribution to the Lord; whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as the Lord’s contribution: gold, silver, and bronze, and blue, purple and scarlet material, fine linen, goats’ hairand rams’ skins dyed red, and porpoise skins, and acacia wood, and oil for lighting, and spices for the anointing oil, and for the fragrant incense, and onyx stones and setting stones for the ephod and for the breastpiece.

The church has always been a beggar and for the fine stuff! They claim their god demands these things. If he is all-powerful, he could have all the gold if he wished, why has his representatives here be beggars and of only fine stuff? What business has god to do with goat’s hair, porpoise skins. Please help me.

10 ‘Let every skillful man among you come, and make all that the Lord has commanded: 11 the tabernacle, its tent and its covering, its hooks and its boards, its bars,…………..18 the pegs of the tabernacle and the pegs of the court and their cords; 19 the woven garments for ministering in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, to minister as priests.’

I don’t get it. It is the habit of petty people to be so concerned with so minute details. Why would a god who claims to be powerful as this one be so concerned with a tabernacle, altars and so on and even with who makes it? And  I don’t get what is so special about Aaron’s family besides when the people made golden calf, he was the chief architect.

20 Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel departed from Moses’ presence. 21 Everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him came and brought the Lord’s contribution for the work of the tent of meeting and for all its service and for the holy garments. 2………….. 29 The Israelites, all the men and women, whose heart moved them to bring material for all the work, which the Lord had commanded through Moses to be done, brought a freewill offering to the Lord.

Am sure had the people known better, they would have told Moses to take a rope. Moses was lucky there were no free thinkers in this group of goat herders or else he would have had quite a difficult time explaining why an omnipotent and omniscient god would need such offerings and what stopped from addressing everyone. 

30 Then Moses said to the sons of Israel, “See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 31 And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship; 32 to make designs for working in gold and in silver and in bronze, 33 …… 35 He has filled them with skill to perform every work of an engraver and of a designer and of an embroiderer, in blue and in purple and in scarlet material, and in fine linen, and of a weaver, as performers of every work and makers of designs.

This Bezalel, which means in the shadow of god, was the Da Vinci of the Israelites. He was the master craftsman, the perfumer, the sculptor. The only trades this god seems to have no interest in is the scientist and  the philosopher. No wonder in no pulpit do you find a scientist or a philosopher. God didn’t need them, he knew they wouldn’t believe this magic.

Genesis 47

Jacob’s Family Settles in Goshen

At the close of the previous chapter, I said the old patriarch and his household have packed and come into Egypt. The old man is 130 years, and when he meets Pharaoh the ultimate ruler he blesses him! The scribes at this point have surely not read the earlier verse that decreed the days of man shall not exceed 120 years. Jake/ Israel will live to be 147 years and before dying he asks Jose to swear he will not be buried in Egypt. Since the bible is not yet written, they swear by placing hands on the thigh, what I way to swear!

We are faced with a problem, the reason for leaving Canaan or wherever it was they lived was because of a famine. If there is famine in Egypt as well, what will the livestock feed on? If the Egyptians see livestock as abominable and his family came here at his behest, then why ask them to sell their property? And why do they offer themselves into slavery so easily? Isn’t easy to go back home than to be slaves unless this is written after the event as most stories in this [sic]holy book are?

People are offering their parcels of land or are willingly selling themselves to slavery and here is the contention; if the reason the Egyptians were asked to store food was so that they will have enough reserve for the duration of the famine, why then do they have to be slaves to get the food? Is it possible that a whole population become slaves? There could have been resourceful Egyptians who had stored their own food and would not need to sell their land or themselves to become slaves! Has the store keeper mismanaged the reserves? If the famine is global as we were told at the interpretation of the Pharaoh’s dream, doesn’t it follow that we would have had an influx of people into Egypt that the reserves would have been depleted within months and there would be death by starvation and if anyone survived the famine would be too malnourished to reproduce and we will have said goodbye to man at this point in time?

It is here for the first time we find priests under the protection of the ruling class which has remained to this day in many places. If there was famine and the priests were exempt, I bet their property would have been torched to the ground or taken by force for the open inequality it would have displayed in the midst of a starving and suffering populace even the pharaoh wouldn’t have survived. If anyone has doubts, then read what happened during the French revolution where even the monarchy wasn’t spared but suffered the brunt of the poor and the middle class!  The priests did not sell their land but lived off an allowance by pharaoh and a tax was also introduced[any Egyptians here, do you still pay the 1/5th to pharaoh?] where again the priests were exempt and if this is not the reason churches don’t pay tax in many places, I will need to be told a better explanation.