Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cole Slaw Bible study: Take off your clothes


Happy Sunday, my brothers and sisters.

A few posts back I mentioned that I'm trying to read only old books this year. I became an atheist in third grade, so I've never read the Bible. I bought a paperback copy of the King James Bible, deciding that I would occasionally read key portions in the year ahead. It seemed like it might make for interesting reading.

Brothers and sisters, my margin notes include observations like, "God is not an animal rights activist" and "farming is god's punishment."

What I want to preach about today is being naked. It came as a surprise to learn that the Bible is confused about nudity. The big episode is well known, even to a heathen like me: Adam and Eve were happy being naked until they ate forbidden fruit, at which point being naked was horrible. God's punishment: clothes. Basically, clothes are punishment for being stupid and greedy, which is self-explanatory to anybody who's walked past Bergdorf-Goodman or seen an episode of Sex and the City.

So I think to myself, "Huh. According to the Bible's logic, I guess that means if you like being naked, you're a better person and not messed up by fruit-eating." Someone else must have thought of this I'm sure, and at some point after Martin Luther, I bet a sect had Naked Church, where you're not supposed to wear clothes and just be naked. Because, basically, if you're okay walking around naked, that means you follow the rules and aren't a rebel.

Later on, there's a bizarre passage that throws my logic into doubt. Noah (of flood fame) plants a vineyard. According to the Bible, he then gets drunk and passes out naked in his tent. (I swear to G_d, brothers and sisters; turn to Genesis, Book 9 in your Bible.) Now there's drunk naked Noah lying around in his tent, passed out. The details about the party aren't included, but it probably was a rager, which makes me think that the Bible approves of getting plastered and silly.

Noah's got a son named Ham. He appears to be an asshole. Ham sees "the nakedness" of Noah, and immediately goes and tells his two brothers about it. The two brothers go to cover up naked Noah, and, according to the Bible, "their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness."

When Noah wakes up from his drunken stupor, he's pissed that Ham looked at his junk, and he curses him. Ham gets in trouble and is exiled, and the other two brothers are in good shape because they didn't look at their naked dad.

This Jerry Springer scenario raises all kinds of questions. Obviously, it's implied that Ham looked at Noah's dick and told his brothers about it, and that this was a major problem for everybody. And when Noah woke up with a hangover, one of the brothers was like, "Dad, Ham just looked at your dick when you were passed out," and Noah was like, "Whaaaat? I'm kicking him out of the trailer park."

What's the message from all of this? One is that you shouldn't take advantage of drunk people by looking at their privates. In this lesson, the Girls Gone Wild are Noah and dudes are Ham. Another is that you shouldn't look at your dad naked -- again, a good Jerry Springer lesson. Third is that if you repeat stories about things that people do while they're drunk, you're an asshole -- a good lesson that most of us figure out when we're teenagers. Fourth is that apparently you're not supposed to be naked (or at least notice that other people are naked) which seems to me hard to reconcile with the early incident with Adam and Eve, where feeling bad about not wearing clothes was punishment. Seems to me that if you're into nudity, you should be square with God, as long as you don't run around telling your brothers about other people's junk.

28 comments:

dmbmeg said...

Beautiful. Really extraordinary and better than hearing you tell it drunk in a bar.

Also, why is Noah getting drunk? Hello, gluttony!

crimenotes said...

I think getting drunk is offically sanctioned?

Theologians don't know nothing about my soul.

JHC said...

This is why things were easier back in the day. Noah just banished the little weasel (not a reference to his penis, but rather to Ham*). A parent couldn't get away with that today.


* also not a reference to his manhood

JHC said...

You know, I've always patterned myself after JHC, but after the drunken dudity talk, now I'm thinking I'm more of a "Noah". Working off the Sex and the City namecheck, I think this would be a great time to start the official Cole Slaw Blog t-shirt department -

I'm a Noah

As you regale us with more bible stories, you can create more t-shirts. You guys will be flush with cash and rolling boots at the pussy bar in no time!

You're welcome.

dmbmeg said...

I'm a Noah

Is this cause you always drunkenly pass out naked?

Conversely, if someone isn't a Noah, what are they?

JHC said...

Is this cause you always drunkenly pass out naked?

No. It's because he got drunk, then naked, then acted a fool the next day (while he was probably still drunk). That's a side to Noah I've never seen. I like it.

Conversely, if someone isn't a Noah, what are they?

That's one of the 7 beauties of my idea! This can be a running feature (on Sundays perhaps???) and every week, they'll have a new shirt and a new character for people to identify with.
Brilliant!

CrimeNotes said...

Awhile back I spent time on Cafe Press considering Cole Slaw Blog T-shirts, less for sale to the public than a limited distribution among friends. Our banner (minus the blog name) was looking pretty good as the front side to a tee.

Noah's family dysfunction was a startling contrast to his flood antics, and it's a shame "Evan Almighty" wasn't more ambitious. I spent a little more time with Genesis last night and the wild misbehavior continues. (The fallout associated with Sodom and Gommorah must be read to be believed.) I'm enjoying my time with the Bible, where snuff films and a Jerry Springer ethos collide to produce disastrous, grimly wacky results.

Maybe we will revisit this next Sunday, brothers and sisters.

dmbmeg said...

Our banner (minus the blog name) was looking pretty good as the front side to a tee.

BAR CRAWL!

I am not sure why, but the thought of your trying to read God's word alone at night is wildly entertaining.

I want a t-shirt that says "I'm a CrimeNotesian" or "I'm a Jeebsian".

CrimeNotes said...

You will not get such a CrimeNotes/JHC T-shirt, and I will be shot dead before going on any kind of bar crawl that involves thematic matching outfits (unless it's in Ann Arbor, and it's after a football game, and everyone in my group happens to wear matching T-shirts, which won't ever happen because some people wear blue).

Further, it's not really me reading God's word. It's more like the sequence in Se7en when Morgan Freeman stays up late in the library rooting out how the classics inspire madness.

dmbmeg said...

and I will be shot dead before going on any kind of bar crawl that involves thematic matching outfits

WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S!

I'll make sure to give a cigarette to the CrimeNotes corpse so it looks life like.

JHC said...

I'm seething with jealousy that I didn't come up with this idea myself. The thought of doing a translation/book review of excerpts from the good book sounds glorious.

The t-shirt idea's just gravy.

Dammit.

dmbmeg said...

Perhaps you can be a contributor, JHC. I would love to see your interpretation of the King James Bible as well.

Wecan start a religous cult with CrimeNotes playing the role of Boots, our beloved Koreshian leader.

dmbmeg said...

dammit, I meant roll of Boots. Even when I try and mess up, I mess up.

CrimeNotes said...

There will be no cult.

Although I laughed at the last word of Genesis 15. Look it up.

dmbmeg said...

Oh my god.

CrimeNotes said...

Just did some googling. Apparently they're all over the place in some upcoming chapters. Can't wait to see what happens next!!!

dmbmeg said...

My guess is they all die in one giant cat fight.

JHC said...

Although I laughed at the last word of Genesis 15. Look it up.


I can't believe it took them that long to mention me.

ryan said...

I can't wait `til you get to the book of Job...

I can has guest post?

dmbmeg said...

On the 8th day, God created JHC.

This is all making me want to go out and buy my own KJ Bible to read along with CrimeNotes.

Kind of like a Bible study for the fallen.

JHC said...

Maybe if he'd've gotten to me sooner I wouldn't be the way I am. Jesus, I'm made of what's leftover for chrissakes.

crimenotes said...

Maybe someday our Bible study will lead us to a comprehensive history of your people. It's an open curriculum.

flop said...

One of the minor benefits of a Jesuit education was getting to learn just how bonkers the Bible can be.

Anonymous said...

(1) The "Drunkenness of Noah" story is the first appearance of ethyl alcohol in the Bible, and it assumes that Noah was unaware of the potential effects of wine consumption.

(2) The rabbis have always been aware that Noah's reaction is disproportionate to the report of Ham's (and perhaps Canaan's) actions, and assumed that the story was bowdlerized or otherwise incomplete. In common conjectures, Ham actually either castrated or sodomized his father--details which were left out of the written version, which might fall into the hands of children. Either version would make Noah's later curse somewhat more understandable.

crimenotes said...

The Bible keeps getting better! I can't believe they edited the sodomy section! Revisionist history blows.

servant of christ said...

this is a bible blog right.

Anonymous said...

Basically like most atheists yo are mistaken both about God and then to the point that you poorly make clothes. God sweety invented SEX! He is the master mind behind sensuality and getting it on. The part where you screw up is that fruit eating made the pair Adam and Eve feel GUILT. That was never a gift offered to them by God - That was the by-product of their knowing that the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and of evil was off-limits. The reason - In the cool of the day Adam would walk with God -- Why give all that up? The clothes sister were leaves and the tailors were Adam and Eve - NOT GOD. You dont get it the simple knowing of things without God in your life is what ushers you out of the garden - Not God
Your Bible Study is not quite as good as cole slaw - More closer to the stuff floating in the water after Katrina -- poop!

dmbmeg said...

Crimenotes you are so stupid.