So the lovely minister (hi!) talked about how God chose Jacob, even though he'd been a greedy, conniving, sneaky prick (my words, not hers, believe it or not.) He couldn't handle the idea of getting less than his brother, the first born son, and was even pulling at his heel when they were born. He wasn't satisfied with being the younger son. Growing up, not knowing how the laws worked in the time of Jacob and Esau, I had a different take on it. I thought that God was rewarding Jacob for at least trying to make things right in his family. After all, the way I saw it, twins were born at the same time, and one minute didn't matter for anything. The birthright should have been split evenly between the two. If his father was too much of an idiot to see that, well, then Jacob was right to at least try, and God was giving him what should have been his in the first place. It's amazing what a little perspective and education does to a story!
The lady who comes over to clean for me on Fridays (don't judge me!) is a darlin' old lady who insists that there is no interpretation in bible reading, and that the Holy Spirit always guides us to the right meaning. I laugh. Because very good people come up with very different readings of the same passages regularly. Of course, she thinks she's completely right, because the Holy Spirit tells her so, and anyone who disagrees, well, they're letting their prejudices get in the way. I cannot help but laugh. She laughs along with me, but I'm pretty sure she's praying for my soul.
Another example of how education changes the reading: Did you know that male homosexuality was considered to be a weakness, something one engaged in if there were no women around and one was just really horny? There was a large trade in young, male prostitutes, and the laws, at least in the times of Paul, were really meant to say, "Um, no... keep it within your marriage". And I think that's pretty good advice. But people have terribly twisted the passages, based on their limited knowledge, and have done an awful lot of damage with it. Just today, I was reading about some christofascist who was saying that it is a moral thing to kill gay people. And this isn't just some wingnut with no power. This is someone whose group is supported by Michelle Bachmann. I mean, really, this is disgusting. First of all, even if you do believe homosexual behaviour is sinful, Jesus himself saved a woman from a legal death by stoning for a "sin" of a similar nature. So where do these asshats get off acting like they know better than Jesus? It's absolutely infuriating.
Anyway, this was meant to be a much better post with a much better ending, but MrFCS is in Toronto (haha! of all the times to have to go down east, they picked a heatwave), and the kids are driving me NUTS.