The Raving Theist

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God Squad Review CXXXII

June 13, 2005 | 18 Comments

How do Jews perceive God? a Squad reader wants to know. Specifically, the letter asks, “[w]hat are his physical and spiritual attributes?” (emphasis supplied). The Squad begins its response by address the sexism inherent in the question:

First of all, He isn’t a He. Hebrew only has masculine and feminine genders (there is no way to say “it” in Hebrew), so the masculine is chosen, but not because God is a guy. God is not a person of any gender in Judaism.

See, ladies, it’s all been just a big misunderstanding. A simple grammar problem, in fact. The omnipotent, perfect being gave its chosen people a limited language. Because Hebrew has both male and female pronouns but nothing in between, the masculine must be chosen. Think of it this way: if there were both men and women in the world, but no words for “hermaphrodite” or “android,” the men would necessarily have to get all the money and power. Linguistically speaking, that is.

But not because God is a guy. How anyone could read the Old and New Testaments and get that idea is beyond me. God is just an infinite, genderless consciousness who does all sorts of guy things and treats women like shit because the Jews can’t say “it.”

Other than that, he’s (oops, “it”) is a pretty nice guy (oops, thing). I mean, just look at It. On second thought, DON’T LOOK:

The Bible says, “No man may see me and live” (Exodus 33:20). This is why Jews reject the idea that Jesus was God, because people saw him and did not die. For Jews, God is the invisible creator of the world and will one day be the redeemer through his appointed messiah who will be coming for the first time (Jewish belief) or the second (Christian belief).

Look, omnibenevolence has it limits. It’s not that God’s a paranoid, violent psychotic, just don’t fucking stare at it or it will massacre you, okay??? Oh, and the word “man” in “no man may see me and live” includes women this time because there is no Hebrew word for “person,” and because God likes to kill women.

Note that another good reason not to look at God is that it is invisible. There’s nothing to see anyway! You could be looking at God right now. Don’t see anything? Now you’re dead!!!

I have to say, I don’t like the Jews’ reason for rejecting Christ. Is the Squad saying that the Jews would have accepted him as their Savior if the New Testament was full of stories of people dropping dead whenever Jesus walked into a room? If they want bad stuff to happen when they look at their God, why don’t they just worship Medusa?

In any event, I look forward to the day when the Jews get their wish and the invisible one kills us all for taking a peek. In case you’re wondering, the reason he’ll use an “appointed messiah” is that he’s genderless

Comments

18 Responses to “God Squad Review CXXXII”

  1. ocmpoma
    June 13th, 2005 @ 10:26 am

    “You could be looking at God right now. Don

  2. leon
    June 13th, 2005 @ 1:28 pm

    Other than that, he

  3. PTET on atheism, religion and creationism
    June 13th, 2005 @ 3:48 pm

    God – a paranoid, violent psychotic role model?

    If you want to see the “clash of worldviews” in action, consider these two recent posts… First is my old friend Darkstar218. He writes of his six year old daughter…

  4. Radi
    June 13th, 2005 @ 4:25 pm

    Yes, women find this quote funny too, Leon :)

  5. Kafkaesquí
    June 13th, 2005 @ 8:50 pm

    So we’re to refer to God as “It.” Really… It. Somehow I don’t think the majority of the faithful would agree with this proposal, but I’m more than willing to refer to It as It, if that’s really what the brothers Scrod are hoping for (or perhaps it’s just the kosher one). Hey, how do I know It doesn’t want it that way? I don’t. So It it is.

    Note how I avoided any jokey references to the Segway. Because that would be too easy.

  6. Mikel
    June 13th, 2005 @ 9:25 pm

    “Look, omnibenevolence has it limits. It

  7. qedpro
    June 13th, 2005 @ 9:36 pm

    yes and let’s not forget that the benefit of being an IT is that all you can do is lick yourself. oh wait that’s a DOG that does that.

  8. mind-drool
    June 13th, 2005 @ 9:42 pm

    Has God been neutered and if so who did it? I’d like to buy them a beer.

  9. Jean-Paul Fastidious
    June 13th, 2005 @ 10:38 pm

    The GS are not giving the whole story. Here’s a fuller quote from Exodus 33 (KJV, since it’s the One True Bible)…

    [20] And he [God] said [to Moses], Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me, and live.

    [21] And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:

    [22] And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:

    [23] And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

    While one cannot look upon God’s face without dying (presumably in some spectacularly gruesome way like the Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark), His/Its back parts (and the palm of His/Its hand) are fair game.

  10. PTET
    June 14th, 2005 @ 6:24 am

    Compare this which I read on a Fundie site:

    “I told her [my 6yo daughter] that when she looks to me, she should see God. I told her that someday, she will have a relationship with God much like she has with me – that I might be her father on earth, but God is our Heavenly Father. And whereas I might not always be perfect, God is perfect always. If she learns to trust me, obey me, and love me – she will someday understand how to trust, obey, and love God as well.”

    !!!

  11. GeneralZod
    June 14th, 2005 @ 9:16 am

    If God is an “it” and not a “he” how did he/it knock up Mary w/ fetus-Jesus? Maybe the Holy Spirit has the penis and testicles? And maybe God sent the HS to bang Mary? Can some theological scholars out there help me here?

  12. paul rinzler
    June 14th, 2005 @ 8:51 pm

    “[23] And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.”

    Wait minute. You mean that I can look at god’s *ass* and it won’t kill me, but looking at his face will!? Whew, that must be one *ugly* deity!

  13. Bob
    June 15th, 2005 @ 9:04 am

    Although the scripture implies that one seeing the face of god would die immediately, it does not seem to say so explictly. Since all of the people who did see the face of Jesus are now dead, why can’t he still be god?

  14. Con Man
    June 15th, 2005 @ 10:57 am

    “[23] And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.”

    OMGOMGOMGOMG, God! Your backparts are showing!

    All that aside, yes, everyone who saw Jesus is now dead, and everyone who claimed to see Jesus today migh as well be dead becasue they have no lives.

    As for likenesses of Mary in a grilled cheese…

  15. eric bloodaxe
    June 15th, 2005 @ 6:35 pm

    I have heard of Moon goddesses, but this is the first Mooning god. As he hasn’t been Bah Mitzvas, is it a Goy?

  16. ballantrae
    June 23rd, 2005 @ 10:32 pm

    I’m not sure you that you understand this passage correctly. As far as I personally understand it, and I’ll admit that my knowledge is limited, it doesn’t mean “see” as in seeing with one’s physical eyes. It means “see” as in “understand”. In particular, Moses was asking why it is good people suffer and bad people prosper (I’m oversimplifiying the case to a ridiculous degree, but that’s the general idea). The concept of “back parts” refers to a general understanding of why He does what He does.

    Basically, Moses wanted to understand the Divine Plan in it’s entirety and the response was that there are simply limits to what can be done within a limited world.

    To make my case, I’ll point out – Exodus 33:11, “and G-d spoke to Moses face to face”. Obviously this is an allegory as is the above. Note that I’m not trying to “prove” that these two verses are in contradiction, because one could, and should, say that perhaps one verse is talking about speaking without seeing and one is talking about seeing. What I am trying to point out is that allegories are frequently used throughout the Bible. Particularly when refering to the nature of G-d. A better book on this would be the first few chapters of Maimonides “Guide to the Perplexed”.

    Btw, I’m not a scholar and I don’t pretend to be one, I’m just sharing a few things I’ve picked up here and there. I’m the first to admit that I could be wrong on all of this. And frankly, this is about the extent of what I know.

    Also, with regards to some confusion regarding G-ds’ “gender”. In the Hebrew language, there is no 3rd gender. Everything is described in either masculine or feminine terms.

    In particular, at least according to Judaism (I can’t speak for anyone else), G-d is described in terms only relating to the way in which He is perceived. For example, “Elohim” refers to his aspect of justice or mastery of nature. The tetragramaton refers to His aspect of mercy. The feminine term / name of G-d – “Shechina” refers to the Divine Presence. All of these are “names” of G-d describing our interaction with him.

    We generally use the masculine to decribe “Him” because we perceive Him to be proactive… ie. males generally initiate and cause change. When we refer to G-d in the feminine, for example, the Shechina, this is our perception of G-d as a more maternal manifestation.

    Basically, what I am trying to hammer home here, is that G-d is neither male nor female (at least the Old Testament version of G-d). It’s a complicated idea. That G-d is unity “the rock, He does not change” (sorry guys, I don’t remember where that quote is from – like I said, I’m not a scholar), i.e. His actions, whether perceived as mercy or justice are neither one or the other per se. These are just words we use to describe our reactions, our perception of His interaction with us. This is explained better in Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato’s book “Derech Hashem” or “the way of G-d”, you can pick it up in Jewish bookstores if you’re interested. Incidentally, it was well regarded by atheists as well as true believers in it’s day. So you don’t have to regard it as blasphemous. :)

    Oh, and just to explain. I’m not here to convert anyone, I’m too lazy for that. I was directed to this site by Frank J. at IMAO.us and I saw this article so I decided to post. If anyone wants to respond or just chat you can email me.

    Flames should be sent to /dev/null for fast and efficient processing. Cheers!

    -ron

  17. Tim
    June 26th, 2005 @ 8:24 pm

    Unless there are some very(!!) old people somewhere in the muddle(oops I mean middle) east. I would say its a good bet that all who had seen Jesus have died.

  18. Painini
    June 28th, 2005 @ 6:36 pm

    If God is an “it” and not a “he” how did he/it knock up Mary w/ fetus-Jesus? Maybe the Holy Spirit has the penis and testicles? And maybe God sent the HS to bang Mary? Can some theological scholars out there help me here?

    Easy. It turns out Mary was a native speaker of Icelandic; with Hebrew as a second language, she didn’t understand the masculine-default concept and… aw, fie.

    Shorter transgender deity: Jews dig it, and you Christians get an F in grammar.

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