The Curmudgeon


Sunday, October 17, 2021

Bad Theology

Text for today: Exodus 32 xxv-xxix

After the embarrassing incident of the golden calf, Moses calls to him all those who are on God's side. The tribe of Levi gather around him, and he orders them to go throughout the camp and murder their brothers, their companions and their neighbours. The sons of Levi kill about three thousand men, and Moses congratulates them on their ordination in God's service.

Like many other successful dictators, war criminals and génocidaires, God inspires His henchmen to form an élite caste and bonds them together through an act of blood-letting and renunciation. The act of conspiring to commit a ritual atrocity is useful both in severing the ties of common humanity and in strengthening the mutual dependency between those involved, and God is doubtless to be congratulated upon His foresight in creating humanity after His own bloodthirsty and malignantly co-dependent image.

Undoubtedly it was a similar moral insight that inspired the Saviour when He assured His disciples that many of their own people would be sentenced to eternal damnation before they could be granted the chance of a redeeming grovel. There can be few better teachers in the art and psychology of mass murder than the God of Abraham, the God of Moses, the God of Elijah and the God of Him who came to fulfil and not to abolish.


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