Sunday, May 18, 2008

Badass Biblical Verses

I love the story of Elisha being taunted by those rowdy kids. Read a somewhat unorthodox summary of that story as well as some of the other ones here.

Here is another sample. I hope some of the debaters on XGH take note:
[Story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal]

That is how they used to do religious debates back in the day.

The situation was that people of Israel had taken to Baal worship, a faith that added a lot of whores to its rituals and thus gained immediate popularity. Elijah (not the one with the bears, that was Elisha) decided that the people had to choose between Baal and God.

Rather than write a series of books or give a bunch of boring speeches, Elijah invited 450 Baal prophets to a contest, where both sides would set up an animal sacrifice. Whichever God could rain down fire on its sacrifice would be the one everybody worshiped.

It's brilliant in its simplicity, and we're surprised religious debates were ever carried out any other way after that. You can raise all the intellectual challenges you want about faith and the origins of the universe, but at the end of the day, you have to worship the god who can set you on fire. It's common sense.

We like to think Elijah stood in front of the howling column of heavenly fire, straightened his robes, turned to the crowd and said, "Thus, my opponent's argument falls." Then, he finished the debate in the way that all debates should be finished: by having the losers slaughtered.

[ hat tip to Simon Holloway]


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