11 May 2008

Mothers are dirty and sinful (according to the Bible anyway)

I know it's an awful thing to say on Mother's Day, and I certainly don't believe it myself. (Honest Mom!) But the God of the Bible does. There's a whole chapter about it in Leviticus. Here's what it says.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, ... If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days. ... And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days. ... But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days. Leviticus 12:1-5

So the proud, new mother of a baby boy is unclean for a week and must purify herself for 33 days after her son is born. And if the baby is a girl, the mother is twice as dirty; she is unclean for two weeks and must be purified for 66 days after giving birth. (The take-home message here is that, to God, girls are twice as dirty as boys.)

But a new mother is not only dirty to the biblical God; she is sinful, as well. So sinful, in fact, that she must sacrifice a lamb as a burnt offering and a dove as a sin offering (or two doves if she can't find a lamb to kill).

And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or dove, for a sin offering. ... And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering. Leviticus 12:6-8

Happy Mother's Day (to all you dirty, sinful mothers out there)!


Anon said...

Leave it to the Bible to come through with more good old family values.

I wonder how many new mothers committed suicide in those days. I'm sure postpartum depression isn't helped by being told you're unclean in the eyes of the almighty God.

And daughters being twice as unclean a sons? I assume this is pinned on the whole Eve and the apple thing again.

Hopefully no one gave their mother a Bible for Mother's Day.

RR said...

Just found your blog -- good stuff.

So many people blinded by iron age mythology. It would be funny except it seems to hold so much influence in our government.

If more people actually read the book - they'd see the truly evil stories and teachings it contains.

Fin said...


Sheesh, this is a bit extreme.

Unclean isn't a morally negative thing to those under the law, it's a part of life. Having a baby come out of a woman's vagina is a really messy process that still results in lots of infection and death throughout the world...

...In reality, this was a medical practice way ahead of its time.

As far as the offerings go-

Just typing in "Leviticus 12" into my firefox addy bar to bring up the verses to read myself, this page was brought up automatically:


That gives a pretty simple step by step explanation of the chapter.

There are people out there with legitimate questions about Christianity; and then there are people like you out there to demonize what you dislike.

Who goes through and wastes their time trying to discredit someone with no net personal gain to be had? What's making you so bitter?

Aquaria said...

K just doesn't get the hatred for women dripping from the Hebrew fairy tale's verses. Hell, it's not dripping, it's gushing.

Here's what the bible says--it's right there in front of your eyes, K:

Having a girl child no matter what the fucking order of birth requires twice as much postnatal purification for the woman. What medical justification could possibly require purifying yourself twice as long for a girl as for a boy child? There isn't any, and anyone with a brain knows that.

Only a moron wouldn't get the message being sent there that the Hebrews considered women twice as filthy as men. Ergo, it's perfectly valid to point out the misogyny and the sheer stupidity of the Hebrew fairy tale.

I don't know why I bother. No matter how often you point out the obvious to these religious whackjobs, they refuse to get it. Not only are they deluded, they're brain dead, too. Yeah, I said it. Use your brain, or get used to being called stupid.

RR said...

K - you can spin/rationalize/interpret these verses however you like. This was the methodology the priest caste employed to rule Europe in the Dark Ages. It was the most recent period when the church had control of society -- and it was a nightmare.

Anyway, back to topic. Sure -- you can give all these metaphorical interpretations of bible verses. That doesn't change the FACT that people were stoned to death and otherwise killed and punished in horrible ways for breaking the most inane of laws (like finding out your wife wasn't a virgin on your wedding night: punishment - stone her on her fathers doorstep; or something as simply as making cloths from two different types of cloth) ...

I'm sure you can tell me how virginity is some allegory for christ's sacrifice, etc. etc. but again it doesn't change the historical fact that these religious beliefs were used to commit heinous acts.

The whole enterprise is simply an exercise in wishful thinking. Once people realize we only have a short time on this planet to exist... and all we have is each other... the better it will be for us all.

Did you ever stop to think that you HAVE to interpret these verses in a non-literal sense because of your own innate morality filter? When you read "do unto other" you recognize it as "good"... but when you read "stone the adulterer" you realize it's something you don't want to teach -- so you turn it into a metaphor. The source of your sense of right and wrong is YOU -- not the bible. When the priests, pharisees and sadducees ruled they got to implement some of this non-sense literally...