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The Problem of Blood

By Wertbag ~ 

Blood is an important part of life and seen throughout history as a source of life and power. Medically people have tried leeches and bleeding to remove bad blood, human and animal sacrifice has been used to spill blood to please various Gods and even our language has developed to consider the heart the source of emotions and various phrases like "make your blood boil" or "there's bad blood between them" being common.

This was no different back in ancient days, where blood sacrifices were common and in Christianity's case was topped off by Jesus being the ultimate blood sacrifice. However, looking back at what was considered normal and described as pleasing to God is quite horrific to our modern morals. Imagine this scene playing out in a modern church service, Exodus 29 "You shall slaughter the bull before the Lord at the doorway of the tent of meeting. You shall take some of the blood of the bull and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger; and you shall pour out all the blood at the base of the altar. You shall take all the fat that covers the entrails and the lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys and the fat that is on them and offer them up in smoke on the altar. But the flesh of the bull and its hide and its refuse, you shall burn with fire outside the camp; it is a sin offering. You shall also take the one ram... and you shall slaughter the ram and shall take its blood and sprinkle it around on the altar. Then you shall cut the ram into its pieces, and wash its entrails and its legs, and put them with its pieces and its head. You shall offer up in smoke the whole ram on the altar; it is a burnt offering to the Lord: it is a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the Lord."

Blood-soaked priests carrying freshly butchered entrails to burn for the pleasing aroma, while pools of blood are poured on the base of the altar. This is more akin to a Hollywood's movie example of a Satanic ritual than something an all-loving God should request.

But it wasn't just the innocent animals slaughtered in blood soaked rituals, but the priests themselves were blessed by blood "You shall slaughter the ram and take some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear and on the lobes of his sons’ right ears and on the thumbs of their right hands and on the big toes of their right feet, and sprinkle the rest of the blood around on the altar. Then you shall take some of the blood that is on the altar and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and on his garments and on his sons and on his sons’ garments with him; so he and his garments shall be consecrated, as well as his sons and his sons’ garments with him". Because nothing says a trustworthy priest like a guy with blood dripping from his ear, thumbs and toes while his clothes are splashed with fresh blood and a further burning of entrails can begin. Perhaps our modern priests just aren't consecrated in the correct way anymore? Would it matter to God if the blood was on the wrong ear or big toe? Does the smearing of blood have to be done in such specific ways to make the magic work?

The very first thing that it is claimed Noah did upon arriving on dry ground was to slaughter an animal and offer it as a burnt sacrifice to God. Considering his lack of animals to start with, this may well have wiped out a species. These kinds of sacrificial rituals are done because the bible says the aroma is pleasing to the Lord "Present as an aroma pleasing to the Lord a food offering consisting of a burnt offering of thirteen young bulls, two rams and fourteen male lambs a year old, all without defect", and yet we have to wonder why the all-powerful God needs or wants such bloodshed and butchery? I'm unsure how a vegan, let alone anyone in the western world, can read such verses and not be horrified?

All this so the sins that you have done could be forgiven by killing an innocent animal. I looked upon a lady with lust, sorry sheep you'll have to die now.

It is also worth mentioning blood in regard to a woman's monthly period. In modern days we look at this as a natural event and understand it is a refreshing in preparation for future pregnancy. Back in ancient days it was often seen in much more negative ways. Leviticus 15 says "When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. Anyone who touches her bed will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening. Anyone who touches anything she sits on will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening. Whether it is the bed or anything she was sitting on, when anyone touches it, they will be unclean till evening. If a man has sexual relations with her and her monthly flow touches him, he will be unclean for seven days; any bed he lies on will be unclean." Setting the example that women are impure and anything they touch is as well. In the OT it was said that women on their period could not enter a temple. Another way to force inequality between the sexes, to blame people for things outside of their control and to make women ashamed of their bodies natural processes. This would be bad enough coming from ancient men who didn't know better, but once you try to claim this negativity comes from an all-loving God, it conflicts with human decency.

Originally posted in the Reasons for Disbelief thread on Ex-Christian.Net