Continuing my somewhat heretical exploration of scripture by doing artwork right into the Bible and by responding in Haiku. I found that I was Grumpy Cat today. So I went with it. Side note, I have encountered a lot of people that are more than a little disturbed by the way I am using this Bible. I do hold the Bible to be sacred to me however I resist idolizing it. And as you would see reading Joshua, it's all about killing in the name of God. That calls for resisting and pushing against the text.
Yesterday, our resident skeptic, James Cowles, and I were talking online about the way scripture is treated today and in historicity. We both drive through the enlightenment and observe these two things:
- The enlightenment allowed people to begin to move away from scripture and allows some to place what they read in the wider context of the advancement of thinking about science, etc. And this then means that the God of the mainline church is a far cry from the God of the pre-enlightenment church. That is James' point (correct me if I'm wrong).
- The enlightenment also allowed people to start seeing science really begin to thrive. And it was the beginning of formulaic thinking. We see it and test it, therefore it is true. For me, this is where fundamental literalism is rooted. We see the words, we test it by seeing God "wipe out sinful Florida in a hurricane," therefore, God's word is true. Fundamentalism was at its peak in the early 1900's. John Wesley was a man of the "high enlightenment" (I'm Methodist, so Wesley's my dude). He veered away from fundamentalism and literalism and started doing what I am doing...he began marking up his Bible and changing the translation. I wish I could find the photo I've seen of his mark-ups but alas, I didn't save it when I should have.
I think we are both right. The enlightenment is the root of two divergent branches of thinking.
Anyhoo...here's my haiku, "art", and notes on Joshua. I am already regretting choosing Joshua to read, by the way. But I'll get through it! I'm a nasty woman. 😉 If you want to follow the daily postings of my thoughts (although they are not as thorough as they are here), you can find me on Instagram. I'm @cloakedmonk.
Laid out on the curb
Fragile necks exposed to prey
No survivors left
There are interesting things hidden in these two chapters that are mainly about death and destruction in the name of God.
First, we have the folks from Gibeon. They trick Israel, Joshua, into an alliance by pretending to be people from far away. Joshua makes the alliance with them before he realizes what’s happening and before he prays or takes it to God.
When he realizes what has happened, and he still upholds the alliance. This leads to more war.
Then we have the very strange versus: “Sun standstill at Gibeon! And moon at the Aijalon Valley! The sun stood still and the moon stood motionless until he nation took revenge on its enemies. Isn’t this written in the Jashar scroll? The sun stood motionless in the middle of the sky for a whole day it was in no hurry to go down. 10.12-14
From Jewish virtual library: BOOK OF JASHAR (Heb. סֵפֶר הַיָּשָׁר, Sefer ha-Yashar; "the upright [one]'s book"), one of the lost source books of early Israelite poetry.
In my beginning days as a literal fundamentalist, people did gymnastics to do math that proved that the earth stood still one day Interrupting the natural cycles of the world.
Anyway we have a lot of death and killing, weird things happening in the sky, and an unholy alliance is formed! Sounds like the plot to a really interesting movie.
Also I would like to note that they execute the Kings that are coming against Joshua by having them lay down in the streets and putting their foot on their necks. That is one method of gangland killings. The enemy lays with their head on the curb in a street and someone stands with their foot on the neck and stomps down and snaps of her neck. If you want to see what this looks like, the movie American X has a graphic portrayal.
I think the only thing I can come up for leadership is these folks from Gibeon. Sometimes you have to go under cover to survive. That is something we as #queer folk know. I would encourage those of us who can pass, to remember everyone who cannot pass and is oppressed. It is tiring to be undercover all the time. But at least it is safe in the worst of situations. Be #intersectional.
Note on my “artwork.” I have been saving this grumpy cat washi tape for just this type of Scripture. Everyone is killed. Men women and children. That sucks. And it is in our religious heritage. We have to own that.
#bible #joshua #poetry #leadership #leaders #haiku #umc #christianity #poet #pnwumc #scripture #gonzaga #seattle #moral #ethics