Thursday, December 05, 2013

God 1.0

One of the things that I find interesting when I read the Christian Bible is the evolution of how God presents himself to us.  There is no denying that the God of the Old Testament comes off as a rather different 'cat then that of the New Testament.  Yes I know about the parallels and foreshadowings and prophecies, blah, blah, blah.  But He clearly would have a different Facebook feed than his later incarnations, wait, bad word, his later versions.  This God, I'll call him God Mark 1, not to be confused with Mark who wrote about God Mark 2 hmmm.  Okay new plan: the OT God is God 1.0.  Which actually makes sense because IT versioning nomenclature allows us to recognize minor releases within a version. For example 1.0 was a genial fellow who liked long walks, animals, humans and had a tragically understated leadership style. I mean there is no way Eve would have bit that fruit had she been properly threatened.  A bit of a pushover in Eden, God vowed to 'get tough on both sin (hence the fruit kerfuffle) and the causes of sin namely: Adam Human and his termagant wife Eve.

And boy did He. God 1.1, now known as 'Wrath of' God* was one tough hombre.  For example he got so ticked at Noah and his family that he forced them to live in a giant floating crap factory for months on end with only six tiny windows at the top.  The amount of methane venting from those little holes must have been enough to power a small city. The rest of the world he mercifully drowned.  And if you ask Job what it was like to be God 1.1's 'very bestest friend in the whole wide world' I think Mr. Job on behalf of his deceased wife, sons, daughters, sons in laws, daughters in laws, grandchildren, great grandchildren, slaves, chattels, cattles and rattles would say:  thank you very much for the honor but can I please, please be your second best friend?  Of course God 1.1 did work out well for some of his followers.  For example Methuselah lived pretty damned near forever which was great if you were him but an absolute ancient nightmare if you were waiting to inherit the family business.  And depending upon the exchange rate between wives and salt, Lot, hereafter known as 'Lotta Salt' could have made out like a bandit.***  But the consensus opinion was that God 1.1 was a shall I put this? Too Much.

Which was why Abram had to change into a clean loincloth after God gave him a call.  When God told him that he'd gotten the job, ancient Abe thought that He had said that he had got to be Job and this upset him because he liked his aged, wrinkly wife and clear, boil free skin.  But fortunately for Abe he wasn't paying close attention to what God was saying and didn't even get smote (smited?) for it, not even a little smite.  Clearly God had mellowed into a new release: God 1.2 or 'Dad' God as he was known. You see God wanted to create an earthly family and he realized that all his smoting and smiting and burning down and flooding up was interfering with this goal so he decided to pick one man from among the handful of surviving humans cowering in the wreckage.  Abram was that man - it is a testament to the thoroughness of God's smiting that He had to go all the way to Ur of the Chaldees to find a suitable candidate.  But to this day no one understands why God made Abe and his elderly wife walk all the way back to a spot in suburban Tel Aviv to do so.  It didn't have city water and the local schools taught in Hebrew for gosh sakes.  Who the hell speaks Hebrew?

That was why God had to go so far to find His man:  because God was going to turn Abram and his clan into Jews.  And aside from the normal concerns about restricted country clubs and school quotas and having to forswear bacon, becoming a Jew meant.....well let's just say ouch, baby, very ouch - to say any more would be inappropriate for a family blog.  Which must have been tough for Abraham but not as tough as telling all of your slaves and hired men that they had to make the same sacrifice.  I mean, have you ever tried to catch a shepherd who didn't want to be caught when you were 99 and right after you had just gone through a painful procedure 'down there'?  Whatever else Abe was he was definitely a believer.

Which would be proven by God's next move:  babies.  At this point it would have been reasonable for Abe to get a bit upset at YHWH (which is what God liked to call himself in Hebrew, which was why it was such a stupid language - no vowels...what was wrong with those people?).  After all, Abe pointed out, he and Sarah had been twerkin' and workin' it for over 80 years with no results and frankly if He had wanted them to get a lot more mileage it would have been nice had God planned ahead and asked for it before the 'minor surgery'.  The Bible says that Sarah 'laughed' but I'll bet that was a nervous laugh.  It certainly wasn't a lusty one. But God was adamant:  you are going to have kids so get busy.  And of course God, being God and all, got his way and before long the bambinos were popping out every nine months or so, actually a bit faster because it seems that God 1.2 wasn't particularly worked up over how the family got started, whether is was old and busted Sarah or new hotness Hagar that had the honor.  Which is a significant departure from some regional versions of God 3.0 such as the the 'Pope' God version which classify babies from non-approved sources as 'fake' or in the latin 'adulteri' kids.

Anyway, Abe ended up with a whole bunch of kids which was what God wanted so it was a bit suspicious when Ike told his mom one day that 'dad tried to kill me but missed and killed the goat'.  Abe vociferously denied the callow lad's calumny:

"I did not try to kill...okay I did try to kill him but....well God told, you see...but then He didn't...when? Uhh, well right before I...yes, on the downswing but then there was this goat, you the goat didn't run in front of Ike, I went and got the goat.  What?  Ike didn't see me go get the goat?  I swear, God said kill Ike and then a moment later he said Kill the goat instead.  No, God's never done that before.  Yes, He talks to me all the time...well, not all the time but sometimes.  What do we talk about? Things, you know, this and that."

At this point Abe realized that he was standing neck deep in a hole that he was digging and wisely decided to stop.  His wives and kids were looking at him with that suspicious glare that they get when you come home drunk 'from the office' at 2am and the shepherds were grumbling about how had they known that 'crazy' Abe was going to keep flashing his knife around they would have run faster. Suffice it to say that while the Kill Ike incident put a crimp on new babies for a while, he was eventually forgiven.  But his days of going for long walks in the desert with his kids were over.

One of the results of 'Dad' God's Focus on the Family was a population explosion which tragically coincided with one of the mega-droughts that the middle east is known for.  And since they still didn't have city water, most of the family was forced to move to Egypt where they had much better public infrastructure a guaranteed job program in public works and schools that taught in a real language:  pictures.  Which meant it was time to transition from 'Dad' God V1.2 to 'Jew' God V1.3 - also known as the 'God who takes sides'.

I guess at this point I should deal with the inevitable objection that the Jews weren't called the Jews until Judah (Jew-dah, get it?) got created which was after the Exodus which is why there are Jews for Jesus but no Israelites for Jesus. Yes, you are technically right oh seminary breath but I think Israelite sounds like a failed Hannukah light company from Hoboken, New Jersey while 'Jew' has such a beautiful old world feel when you say it (as in 'kill the Jews' or the more historically accurate: 'töten die Juden').  And therefore by the symmetric property of equality: if truth=beauty then beauty=truth and since Jew is prettier than Israelite, Jews they will be.

And with that I think I will call a pause to the story of God according to software.  Stay tuned for release 1.3 coming soon.

*The nomenclature 'Wrath of' God dates from the 19th century, replacing the then commonly used term 'Death' God which had to be replaced due to its similarity to a rather elaborate hack**.  God 3.x or the 'God is Dead' hack was the brainchild of one Fred Nietzsche, an obscure German coder who thought it would be 'neat-si' to build an app that would knock out the entire God infrastructure from moBible apps and legacy church servers all he way to the heavenly cloud.  He failed of course, and for his troubles he was sentenced to life as nuts.  However, other members of his hackers collective "Deutschland uber alles" sustained and extended the app as Reich 2.0 and 3.0 resulting in two of the greatest global network crashes of all time as well as a clever new linguistic transition:  Nietzsche: Neat-si: Nazi, get it?  All in all Nietzsche was a bit of a prat.

**The history of God is filled with ambitious hackers attempting to hijack God.  One of the most ambitious was the 2.x 'Allah' God hack.  An ambitious coder from the Hejaz named Mohammed was convinced that the official God 2.0 release schedule failed to include "Allah" God, well at least certain parts that were important to Mohammed, known as 'More'hammed because of his rather voracious sexual appetites.  Morehammed was particularly vexed by official limits on how many wives you could have and how many concubines you were allowed when the wife slots were filled and how it was so hard to get rid of wives when they clogged the slots and how old wives had to be before they could be wives and so on.  So he developed two releases of his award winning alternative software:  God 2.Me or as it's known the "Please don't hit us, we'll be good" version for when the faithful lived in Mecca and didn't run the show and the God 2.Mh also known as the "You be good or we'll kill you" version for when they got to Medinah and definitely ran the show. I plan to go into alternative hacks in more detail whenever I get around to writing my Heretics, Loonies and Liberals: But I Repeat Myself series of posts so stay tuned.

***Yeah, yeah I know that Lot was Abe's nephew and therefore he should be part of 1.2, not 1.1 but Lot, by going to Sodom and Gomorrah chose not to upgrade to the new version, thereby wiping out two whole cities and conclusively demonstrating why following the Developer's upgrade cycle to the letter is crucial to life as we know it.

No comments:

Post a Comment