Smashing babies against rocks, means whatever you want it to mean
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04-11-2013, 12:12 PM
Smashing babies against rocks, means whatever you want it to mean
It’s difficult to be kind to Christianity. I was having a positive conversation about Christianity with my Theist friend (the details of why I was having this conversation aren’t important to this post, but it was one small part of a larger conversation). I was stating how, before I actually read the bible, when I was still a small child, I still had a positive view of what a “true” or a good Christian should be, and that I would be fine with Christians if they all were actually like this perfect clean version of Christianity I had in my uninformed, child’s mind. I’d disagree with the pretext of it, or it’s lack of foundation, but I could at least be okay with them if they acted as these good moral people I thought they were supposed to be. It was an idealized version of Christianity that I had as a child due to the fact that I was too young to know what was actually in the bible.

The conversation begun with morality of shooting someone to save your own life, or another’s, or choosing not to and allowing others to die due to your inaction, and the boundary of what was moral or immoral around this…along the lines of the trolley problem. I had stated that based on this fuzzy Sunday school version of Christianity, I had come up with this ideal of what Christianity should be, and even though I didn’t believe in the pretext of the religion itself. I did clarify that it was simply an idealized version that was unfounded on the bible, as having had read the bible, the bible clearly had no problem with killing.

This is where the point comes in...

She stated that there is not anything bad in the bible (that is actually a very bad paraphrase, but it would be too wordy to write what she actually said, but that is a less than ideal gist of what she said). I wasn’t feeling in an argumentative mood today, so I just dismissively said, “Well there is that part where it says, happy is he who smashes little babies brains out on rocks”. I thought that would be that...but she didn’t believe me that it said this, and said I must not know the context, and it depends on whose saying it, and the situation, the correct translation, and blah, blah, blah… It amazes me that they already have a defense for a scripture that they, not two minutes ago, did not even know existed. So I got sucked in, because I couldn’t let that stand, and read her the passage that follows:

Quote:Psalm 137
New International Version (NIV)

8 Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
happy is the one who repays you
according to what you have done to us.
9 Happy is the one who seizes your infants
and dashes them against the rocks.

And without the slightest hint of hesitation, almost as the last word left my mouth, she said that “the one who repays you…” and “the one who seizes your infants…” are to different people. That “the one who seizes your infants…” is talking about what was done by others to “the one who repays you …to what you have done to us”. That the seizing of infants and dashing them against the rocks is what was done in the “what you have done to us part” by someone who is not the “us”, and claimed that these are two different people.

I explained that this is not how language works. If you establish who you are referring to, and call him “he”, you can keep calling him “he” (or “the one” in the case of this text) and we still know you are talking about that same person. If you are going to change who you are referring to when you use the word “he” then you have to introduce who that new person explicitly, or else you are still taking about the same “he” (or “the one”) you have already been referring to. She disagreed with this, and said it was clear that they are two different people, and the second, the baby basher, is not Christian (or Jewish), but the one who is doing the action to the first person.

I told her, you can’t just make up how language works to suit your needs. She just dismissed that, and says that she just disagrees with me about who “the one” is referring to. This is infuriating to me. She also added, that she would have to read the whole chapter in context to know anyway, and she doesn’t have time to study the whole chapter, but it clearly is talking about someone else.

Second thing that drives me nuts…now she will never look at that chapter and ask questions about it. She feels that she already has it figured out, and no more thought need go into it. If anyone ever brings it up again in the future, she’s going to say she already knows it’s not talking Christians (or Jews) bashing babies heads against rocks.

Uggh…

...
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04-11-2013, 12:13 PM
RE: Smashing babies against rocks, means whatever you want it to mean
The whole thing...that she did "not have time to study"...

Quote:Psalm 137
New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 137
1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.
2 There on the poplars
we hung our harps,
3 for there our captors asked us for songs,
our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
4 How can we sing the songs of the Lord
while in a foreign land?
5 If I forget you, Jerusalem,
may my right hand forget its skill.
6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you,
if I do not consider Jerusalem
my highest joy.

7 Remember, Lord, what the Edomites did
on the day Jerusalem fell.
“Tear it down,” they cried,
“tear it down to its foundations!”
8 Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
happy is the one who repays you
according to what you have done to us.
9 Happy is the one who seizes your infants
and dashes them against the rocks.

...
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04-11-2013, 12:32 PM
RE: Smashing babies against rocks, means whatever you want it to mean
Ah, the Psalms; reported to be so lovely they can move some to tears.

Uh huh. Drinking Beverage

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04-11-2013, 12:34 PM
RE: Smashing babies against rocks, means whatever you want it to mean
This is the go to defense for the bible. I have heard it so many times. The verse must be taken out if context, read the whole story, you need to know who was saying this to understand, it is just a story not one of god's commandments, blah blah blah.
I had a woman tell me that the verse which tells us to stone a woman to death if she is raped within city limits is actually about adultery not rape "read the whole story". It is frustrating. It's not a freaking story, I told her, it is a list of rules for selling your daughter into slavery and other such things. She told me, well then it is obviously not a commandment of god.
I don't get how anyone can ever reason that these things are not bad. Regardless of context, your life is based on a book about the merry smashing of babies skulls. You live your life for a book that encourages rape, murder, and enslavement. How could that ever be okay?
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04-11-2013, 01:14 PM
RE: Smashing babies against rocks, means whatever you want it to mean
(04-11-2013 12:34 PM)LostandInsecure Wrote:  ...I had a woman tell me that the verse which tells us to stone a woman to death if she is raped within city limits is actually about adultery not rape "read the whole story". It is frustrating. It's not a freaking story, I told her, it is a list of rules for selling your daughter into slavery and other such things. She told me, well then it is obviously not a commandment of god.
...

I had a simalar conversation with this one, about that. She said the same thing, (so predictable) that "then it obviously wasn't a commandment of God". I got her to admit, and agree that all these things were horrible and bad things. She agreed, saying that it was not “God's” laws but man’s laws, and was just put in the bible to showed how immoral and evil people were at the time. The whole point, she said, of including it in the bible (cause I did ask, then why include it) was to show how much mankind needs Jesus, and all the evil in the old testament was to show us, today, how much worse off we are without “God” and how much we need Jesus to save us from our wicked ways.

After I got her to commit to how horrible all those laws were, such as the one mentioned, I showed her wear it says, “God said unto Moses, tell the Israelites…” and then all the laws followed from that, that it was the law as dictated directly from “God” “himself” and not man’s law.

She thought about this for a brief moment, than pulled out of her ass, “Yeah, but God says to tell the Israelites…not the Christians. That was not meant for us”. …fucking really?!?!

Even if that was true, which it’s complete bullshit on her part, that still doesn’t explain the lack of morality of “God” and that fact that “he” ordered such things by anyone. Plus, she’s full of shit!

...
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04-11-2013, 01:17 PM
RE: Smashing babies against rocks, means whatever you want it to mean
I'm embarrassed to admit that I used to make arguments like that too. Blush

As long as a believer can construct any kind of explanation, no matter how much it strains credibility, then an apparent problem in the Bible ceases to be a problem. If a believer can't find an explanation, then it's due to their own limitations and not a problem with the Bible.

Either way, God's off the hook.

I think the key is finding a way to get them to look at their own argument from a perspective of an outsider so they can see their own bullshit for what it is. Although how anyone can reliably accomplish that is still a mystery to me.

"I feel as though the camera is almost a kind of voyeur in Mr. Beans life, and you just watch this bizarre man going about his life in the way that he wants to."

-Rowan Atkinson
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04-11-2013, 01:20 PM (This post was last modified: 04-11-2013 01:24 PM by kim.)
RE: Smashing babies against rocks, means whatever you want it to mean
(04-11-2013 12:13 PM)Raptor Jesus Wrote:  The whole thing...that she did "not have time to study"...

Quote:Psalm 137
New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 137
1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.
2 There on the poplars
we hung our harps,
3 for there our captors asked us for songs,
our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
4 How can we sing the songs of the Lord
while in a foreign land?
5 If I forget you, Jerusalem,
may my right hand forget its skill.
6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you,
if I do not consider Jerusalem
my highest joy.

7 Remember, Lord, what the Edomites did
on the day Jerusalem fell.
“Tear it down,” they cried,
“tear it down to its foundations!”
8 Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
happy is the one who repays you
according to what you have done to us.
9 Happy is the one who seizes your infants
and dashes them against the rocks.

For one thing, it's a song. It's sung by captives who are made to sing by their captors, even though they don't want to.

The captives are essentially remembering their hometown being bombed into oblivion and the people who cheered it on.

From what I gather, the previous Psalm refers to praising god for slaying the first born of Egypt. This seems to have metaphorically sealed the fate of the Zion.

They feel a sense of loyalty singing about violent revenge fantasy.
Quote:Happy is the one who repays you
according to what you have done to us.
Happy is the one who seizes your infants
and dashes them against the rocks.

It's a slave song - like the blues.

Could be mistaken, though.

Those books had too many writers and way too many edits causing it to be like a Hollywood blockbuster on steroids; total hype, no substance - major bomb that quickly becomes dated yet, continues to earn millions from the pockets of international hillbillies.

Just my nickel take. Drinking Beverage

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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04-11-2013, 01:36 PM
RE: Smashing babies against rocks, means whatever you want it to mean
Hmmm. I think I see where you guys have gone wrong.

You just aren't reading it with the right defensive cognitive dissonance guidance of the Holy Spirit. Yeah, that's it...

... this is my signature!
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04-11-2013, 01:47 PM
RE: Smashing babies against rocks, means whatever you want it to mean
(04-11-2013 01:17 PM)Can_of_Beans Wrote:  I'm embarrassed to admit that I used to make arguments like that too. Blush

As long as a believer can construct any kind of explanation, no matter how much it strains credibility, then an apparent problem in the Bible ceases to be a problem. If a believer can't find an explanation, then it's due to their own limitations and not a problem with the Bible.

Either way, God's off the hook.

So, essentially... you had a close, personal, co-dependant relationship with god. Sadcryface Bummer.


Feels good to start making sense... out loud, huh? Wink

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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04-11-2013, 05:36 PM
RE: Smashing babies against rocks, means whatever you want it to mean
(04-11-2013 01:47 PM)kim Wrote:  Feels good to start making sense... out loud, huh? Wink

It sure does! Smile

"I feel as though the camera is almost a kind of voyeur in Mr. Beans life, and you just watch this bizarre man going about his life in the way that he wants to."

-Rowan Atkinson
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