Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Amusing Tale of Er and Onan

Briefly within the pages of Genesis, we have an interesting and very brief story about two men that God didn't like. He liked them so little that he killed them. This is not an unheard of act of God--the personal killing of individual men--but it is an exceptionally rare event.

The story is so short that it is possible to miss exactly why it happened, and in any case, there is no explanation of the actual mode of death utilized by God. So the imagination has a little fun with this one, if you think about it for more than a minute.

Er was mentioned first. He married Tamar, the daughter-in-law of Judah. That was the only intro I got before God decided he didn't like his face and smacked him right off the planet. Or maybe it was an anvil? The book doesn't say. Before, when God would personally kill people, the book would explain how. But apparently with individuals, nothing is forthcoming. Still... probably an anvil.

Tamar was now a widow without children. Judah asks Onan if he will have children with her. And then, once more, God decides he doesn't like Onan and another anvil comes down. Maybe two this time. Three? Either way, he was quite dead, and God was the culprit.

So what happened?

From what you can gather from the text, Tamar was an extremely beautiful woman. Onan wanted to keep her this way by executing a little maneuver at the near end of having sex with her. (He pulled out.) It is likely that Er did this first for the same reasons. Apparently these two don't understand the phrase, "Be fruitful and multiply," which were the ongoing orders direct from God at the time. This was a direct act against Him, and so God killed them.

The story gets a bit kinky from here on out. Tamar actually wants to get pregnant after all this, but she specifically wanted a child direct from the Judah line. She disguises herself as a prostitute and goads Judah to hire her services. I believe the payment was a goat. Seems about right, I guess.

He sleeps with her and she gets two children out of the deal: Perez and Zerath. She did get into trouble for prostitution and it was Judah who announced that she should be burned to death. She happens to slip him a few mementoes from the event, he realizes what really happened, and so removes her sentence. Talk about whoops.

But still, we all have to admit that the funniest part of this story was the fact that God just went and squished two fellows that he did not at all like. Few in history have ended up in that bucket. Just remember, when you are doing something that you know is evil, God has killed for such things before. And I still think it was an anvil. Maybe two. Three?

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Monday, May 10, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Genesis [Book Review]

Here we have the very first book of the Holy Bible. I read the King James Version because I was having a lot of trouble finding a more modern version that I could vet as 100% trustworthy. I basically just defaulted back to the English translation that has been around the longest in the hopes that it would stand the test of time.

So, the book of Genesis serves mostly has a history lesson of the very first part of the beginning of time. It was supposed to have been written by Moses. In this case, the author skips over a lot of specific details of things and glosses over the fine details as a means to let you know how humans originally spread out across the world. I like to think of it as a written time-lapse. It details the progress from Adam to Joseph.

The author occasionally breaks away from the general history to tell more detailed stories at very specific epochal moments. The story of Adam and Eve was the first of these. Noah was another big one. But the story almost breaks away from history telling altogether with the advent of Abram, later known as Abraham. His lineage is given special attention, and it is the point at which Genesis becomes less of a history book and takes on more of a proper narrative.

As interesting as the Abraham and Isaac stories were, I really enjoyed the Joseph tale the most, and it seems that Moses did as well. It got the most detailed attention than anything else. The whole story of Joseph shows how God can manipulate a situation in order to make something very specific happen.

He allowed Joseph's brothers to be jealous of him, so that they would sell him into slavery. This led into a new chain of events that caused Joseph to become the second most powerful man in Egypt. Because Joseph had a gift for being able to interpret dreams, he was able to figure out that there was a horrible famine about to hit the country. Basically, because his brothers were jealous, the world was saved from a famine.

Notice how God did not just fix the situation instantly. He manipulated people so that things would work out in a much more interesting and narrative manner. Were his brothers really evil? Yes, they did a bad thing. They repented it it later. Heck, even Joseph wasn't all that mad at them, because he knew God had intended it that way. Their evil got used by God for the betterment of the land many years in the future. This is really quite extraordinary.

Naturally, I am not going to go over all the stories found within this very real and true fairy tale. But I do recommend it if you are willing to take it all within the context of it being a very simple and sometimes blandly written history book. If you are not interested in the lineage of the original humans, then it may come across as a bit dry.

But the real big thing that I really enjoyed about Genesis was how often God communicated with, manipulated, and acted harshly against humans within this story. The Great Flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah are two great examples of God pretty much just showing his might against evil humans.

But perhaps the most remarkable moment comes when Abraham got a visit by someone who seems to be a man but who is also God. Sorry, folks. God the Father is incapable of pushing himself into our world. He exists outside of our reality. But there is one aspect of himself that can exist with us. That would be his son, Jesus. Abraham met Jesus. Whether he met Jesus before or after the resurrection is unclear. There was no mentioning of nail holes in his hand, but if you understand how the Trinity works, Abraham met and broke bread with Jesus himself... and that is freaking amazing.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: God Was With Us

I thought I might just drop a little note here and let you all know that I have begun reading the Holy Bible from cover to cover for the first time in my life. I finally felt that I had achieved the necessary level of maturity to pour through it with a calm and curious mind. After all, the Bible is anything but children's literature. I will be posting reviews for each and every book in the ancient collection as I finish them. They are, after all, books.

As I have been traveling down the long road of Genesis, I did notice something quite fascinating. God seemed to have a line of perfect communication with people on Earth. He doesn't do that anymore. My interest is not in the fact that he actually did talk to us, but rather that there was quite a bit of evil despite this fact.

It goes a bit deeper then that. You see, many of the people who worshiped false gods seemed to act as if they knew of the monotheistic God's existence. They appeared only to act against Him as long as it suited there desires. If the presence of God became a burden to them, they would almost always acquiesce and temporarily bend to His will as a means to save themselves from the fully recognized greater power.

Why is this factoid important? It, in very basic terms, proves that proof and knowledge of God will not stop everyone from turning to evil. For this reason, I am fine that God chooses subtlety in this day and age. Those who seek Him will find Him, but having found Him, they still have to choose if they want to serve Him. There is no real point to God exposing Himself in form or in voice to us. We're still going to choose what we want, and there are many people on this planet that flatly do not want Him.

Before I end this blog, I want to give you a little food for thought. Sodom and Gomorrah is not the same as with Nineveh. If Jonah had been sent to Sodom and Gomorrah, telling them that God would have destroyed them for their sins, they would never have bothered with it. Some people would rather die than serve a God they despise. Those people made their decision. They went to the grave for it. The only regret they have can be found in that same grave and their eternal separation from the true joy found within God Himself. As for Nineveh, they tilted the wrong way, at first... and then tilted back. Sometimes people need to be told the truth to be set right. And with others... it just doesn't matter.

I'm looking forward to writing those reviews.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at You can also visit my website at Check out my books! Thanks!

Monday, May 3, 2021

Fairy Tail Spotlight: Frankenstein [Book Review]

[Spoilers ahead for a classic piece of literature.]

Oh! What time has been wasted! I could have been doing something else! For what then could such time have been used, if I had not carelessly subjected myself to this misery? And by misery, you must understand that I was reading what many consider to be a classic book. But why should they do this, but only to give credence to what inspired later triumphs. But in this case, the inspiration falls terribly flat and ends with exactly what it sets out to portray... that being ample misery, of course.

The book is called "Frankenstein" or "The Modern Prometheus." It was written by Mary Shelley and published in 1818, later revised in 1831. Although my copy did not say which version I had, my research into the differences suggests that I came into possession of the original.

The story relates of one Victor Frankenstein who discovers the method of creating life. He does so, but in the attempt creates a monster. From what I read, I did not see Victor as doing anything other but attempting to push forward into the boundaries of human science. He had his heart in the right place. I never once faulted him for the attempt.

As it turns out the monster was very hideous to look upon. The monster shown in the original 1910 film is likely a decent representation of his ugliness but perhaps not his stature. I've included it in this blog as a reference. But back to the story: Frankenstein is utterly terrified of his creature's hideousness and he, for lack of a better term, flips the heck out.

Let me simplify this for you. This book is all about how the good intentions of Victor become his undoing. For a good 90% of this book, he is miserable and has absolutely no problems in telling the reader just how miserable he is. Every waking nightmare he has about that monster he created comes true. There are no surprises. His life becomes hell. He blames himself, but honestly I cannot help but blame only one person for the train wreck that is this book: Mary Shelley.

The problem with the author is that she has absolutely no clue what a man really is. Every male character in this book, including the monster himself, acts like a hysterical woman. Men constantly pass out. They get locked into seizures of fright and agony at the mere mention of anything negative. All the characters in this book are extremely impassioned, and it never lets up.

I cannot even begin to convey how often the author goes over and over about how miserable the characters are. Even when  nothing bad is happening, the idea that something bad could happen still lingers, nearly driving them mad. I felt like I was reading Hans Christian Andersen stories again, but at least they were not a novel in length. I had to endure this book for about three weeks.

Listen to me and understand what I say: The movies are better! In the book, there is no castle. There is no hydraulic lift. There was a storm, but it was only there to add to the depression! Frankenstein was never mad in the book. He was a soft-natured man who just wanted to be a boon to the world, and absolutely everything goes wrong and nobody wins!

If you want my advice--and I am happy to give it to you--go watch Mel Brook's "Young Frankenstein." It is, in my humble opinion, the best version of the tale, despite leaning towards comedy. It takes virtually nothing from the book, and it is better for it.

Save thyself! I have been your guinea pig! I walked a hundred miles in Frankenstein's shoes! I have experienced the frantic and feverish thoughts of a hysterical mind trapped in a never ending nightmare that can only end with the sweet release that only death can bring! Don't walk the path that I have traveled for you! See the movies! Enjoy them! Let this classic fade away into the darkness, steeped in the viscous black melancholy where Victor and his Monster yet writhe!

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