Saturday, January 14, 2012

Rating the Bible NC-17

Actually NC-17 is probably generous. Much of the Bible deserves a definite R rating. I love the grand Old Testament stories, but every time I re-read them, the tales of sexual misconduct startle me. There's Abraham and Sarah and the housekeeper, Hagar, who had a triangle even more scandalous than Arnold and Maria. In the OT, Sarah was involved in the scheme, but later got jealous and kicked Hagar and her baby out into the wilderness where they were saved only by the grace of God administered through an angel.  Abraham probably didn't feel like he had too much say in the matter since earlier in the marriage he had passed his wife off as his sister to save his own skin. He'd rather let his own beautiful wife sleep with the king than face danger to himself. Prince of a guy, huh? Then of course there's Sodom and Gomorrah and the men who want to rape the visiting angels. And later the incest incident between Lot and his daughters. Whew. I'm not even halfway through Genesis! Just like Disney cleaned up all the blood and gore from Grimm's Fairy Tales, we often sanitize the stories in the Bible to give them a little more respectability.  I wonder what would happen if people read the Bible for the subversive shocking treatise that it actually is.

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking the same thing as we read those passages AS A FAMILY!! Talk about uncomfortable. The idea that Lot was willing to give his own daughters over to the rapists still gives me chills and I must have read over this in the past, but I love how Isaac repeated the same action of telling King Abimelech that Rebekah was his sister, just as his father had done. Talk about passing character traits down to your children. Don't get me started on the entire Jacob/Leah/Rachel triangle!