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Is Yahweh Gay?

Creazione di Adamo Wiki

Creazione di Adamo. Those angels surrounding God all look male to me too. (Source: Wikipedia)

There are probably some people out there that think even asking this question is blasphemy, or at least disgraceful and insulting, so there are  couple of things I unfortunately have to say before I even start. Firstly, being gay is normal; it is simply less common than being straight. Those who think otherwise are either misinformed, uneducated, stupid, ignorant, brainwashed by religion, or some combination of the above. If you have ongoing negative feelings towards homosexuality or homosexual people, please seek qualified psychological help. Secondly, Yahweh is a myth. As an atheist, it is impossible for me to commit blasphemy. I do not believe any god or gods are real. It is, of course, your right to believe otherwise; you don’t have the right to force that belief on others. I am simply exploring an idea presented by some of the stories contained in the Bible.

According to the Bible, Yahweh created male and female of all creatures and instructed them to go forth and multiply. There’s a bit of confusion about how many of each he created – there are two versions of a creation myth in the Bible. However, whichever one you go with, the modern notion of most of those who believe in the Abrahamic God is that Yahweh either created all the animals as they are today, provided the spark that started evolution, or somewhere in between. Basically, unlike atheists, they think He was involved somewhere along the line. With the lack of a better explanation, many people believed this version of creation for thousands of years. Nowadays science has shown us that the addition of a supernatural entity to the process isn’t necessary. We can explain how all living things today evolved from a single source. We don’t know exactly how that process started yet, but evolution by natural selection is entirely natural.

Anyway, after all the animals, he created man in his own image. But unlike with them, he didn’t immediately create a female version for him to multiply with. What I wondered, is why, after creating all creatures to “go forth and multiply,” when it came to man, he only created one. One of the most obvious reason for this is that Yahweh is gay.

Platypus

The duck-billed platypus.

There don’t seem to have been any women in heaven. Yahweh was up there with the angels, and thought creating the universe would be a fun project. He made a whole lot of different animals, and presumably invented their life cycle and the way they reproduce as part of that.

He handled things a bit differently when it came to people though. He only created one of them, a man in his own image. Why was that? Yahweh, we’re told, lives forever, so presumably he has no need to reproduce himself, so perhaps it simply didn’t occur to him to create a woman. However, the lack of a need to reproduce doesn’t mean a lack of sexual desire. If man is in Yahweh’s image, he has all the same bits as him, capable of doing all the same things. Yahweh and the angels must have done something with their time before the universe was around to monitor.

Ghost Demi Moore Patrick Swayze Wiki

Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in Ghost

So how did Yahweh go about creating Adam? He lovingly moulded (that’s how we spell it in proper English!) his body from clay. That’s a pretty erotic image right there. Remember what happened in the movie Ghost with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, and Moore was only making a pot!

And  Yahweh created Adam to frolic around in a garden, naked. The “No Clothes” rule is explicitly pointed out in the Bible – Yahweh made Adam’s brain so that was all perfectly fine. Adam may still have been an innocent at that point, but Yahweh wasn’t. If it happened these days, our first assumption would be that Yahweh was a voyeur, who spent his days watching Adam for his sexual pleasure. Yahweh seems to be perpetually clothed is a baggy white robe, which can hide a multitude of responses to Adam’s activities.

So in creating the universe, it seems Yahweh wanted a relationship with someone other than the angels, and he wanted that relationship to be with someone whose body was constructed like his. That sounds like the idea might have originated in a sexual fantasy. Now some might say he may have wanted an intellectual companion, but let’s get real here – Yahweh is omniscient. A human being just isn’t up to providing stimulating conversation to an omniscient being, and Adam didn’t even have Google yet.

No, Adam was either a pet or a sex toy. And if Yahweh wanted a pet, he’d already created cats and dogs. They both do an outstanding job in the pet department, especially if you treat them right. You just have to look at kittens and you feel good. Proof:

There! Don’t you feel better?

So Adam wasn’t a pet.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden by Peter Wenzler (Source: CatholicHerald.co.uk)

Adam must have noticed that all the other creatures had companions, and they were doing what was required to multiply, and he wanted a companion too. And, good on Yahweh, that’s what he provided in Eve.

After that though, things go downhill a bit. To be fair to Yahweh, it’s not like he had good examples of normal, healthy relationships growing up to learn from. He didn’t even have shows on TV like Who’s the Boss, Coronation Street, or even Game of Thrones to help him out, so he was flying blind. However, you’d think being all-knowing might have helped. The fact that omniscience didn’t help is, to me, a sign that his emotions got in the way.

So anyway, setting up the couple for failure, Yahweh instructed Adam and Eve that they couldn’t eat the fruit of a particular tree. Now Yahweh created humans, he’s omniscient, and he didn’t realize telling them not to do something without explaining why pretty much guaranteed that fruit was going to be eaten sooner or later? Give me a break! In the event, it turns out to be sooner rather than later. At this point, a talking snake intervenes to persuade Eve that eating the fruit is a good idea. Yahweh failed to intervene (setting a precedent) and the rest, as they say, is history. Except it’s a myth, but “the rest is myth” doesn’t sound as good. Eve ate the fruit and persuaded Adam to do likewise.

Now Yahweh’s reaction here was a bit OTT. What we see is a jealous ex taking revenge, a revenge that falls far more heavily on the new lover than the ex. This is another indication that Yahweh might be a bit more emotionally involved than we’ve been led to believe.

For a start, it’s Eve that takes all the blame. The angel who’d disguised himself as a snake who started it all doesn’t seem to be in any trouble at all at this point. Perhaps Yahweh recognized he appears to have been motivated by jealousy too and understood. I mean the snake/angel had been thrown over for a mere human  As it was who Eve persuaded Adam to eat the fruit, Yahweh places all responsibility on her for Adam’s action.

The story of man according to the Bible has barely started and we already have full-blown misogyny. In a society dominated by women, the lesson from the story might have been that men are petty, jealous creatures that are as malleable as the clay they were made from. This wouldn’t have been any better as a lesson than the anti-women message we got of course – I’m simply pointing out that the lesson actually came from society, not a supernatural being. So all those who use the Bible to justify treating women as less than men, get over yourselves. We are equal. Neither is better nor more important than the other. If you don’t like it, pray for it to change.

Detail from a stained glass window depicting Adam and Eve being banished from the Garden of Eden, St Andrew and St Peter's Church, Blofield, Norfolk

Detail from a stained glass window depicting Adam and Eve being banished from the Garden of Eden, St Andrew and St Peter’s Church, Blofield, Norfolk

Punishment ensues! Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden of Eden, never to return. No second chances from the god we’re told is kind, loving and benevolent. There’s even an angel with a flaming sword placed at the entrance in case they try to creep back in. Yahweh gave Adam the companion he wanted, but he couldn’t bear that he chose her over him. Now that kind of reaction is the result of a bit more than just disobeying an order, Yahweh is acting like someone who has been hurt really, really badly. And I think we can assume that a being who’s never been in a relationship before, and who doesn’t have examples of relationships around him, just doesn’t know how to handle the situation. His omniscience has failed him – what was that Hili and Cyrus were discussing on Jerry Coyne’s website the other day about emotional intelligence? It looks like Yahweh just hasn’t got it.

There’s really no reason for the attitude that pervades the Bible that women are lesser creatures than men from Yahweh’s point of view. The truth is, of course, that the Bible was written by men in a time when physical superiority meant they dominated society. The attitude of those men has been made part of the character of their god. If they’re trying to say the male dominance of society came from Yahweh himself, one of the few ways to explain it is that he was so hurt by Adam choosing Eve over him, that his pain became anger towards all women and a subsequent desire to make suffer. A pain that deep is most easily explained by a lost love.

13 Responses to “Is Yahweh Gay?”

  1. Ken says:

    Heather, you have too much free time! Love the first paragraph though (and the kittens, of course).

  2. Mark R. says:

    Nice piece Heather, thanks. It’s time for the sentient to stop equating physical prowess to superiorty.
    Yahgeh!

  3. Ben Goren says:

    Ooh…evil. I like! My kind of blasphemy.

    It’s a very reasonable interpretation of the Bible as it stands today, especially considering who’ve stood as its guardians over the millennia and who shaped it to be what it is.

    But it’s also worth noting that YHWH actually had a wife.

    …which, of course, merely presents the other horn of the dilemma for the Abrahamists to impale themselves upon….

    b&

    • Yeah – someone else reminded me on Twitter. And the annoying thing is, when I first started writing this, I was going to weave Asherah (and Lillith) into the story, and it was going to go differently (obviously). I’ve got a couple of good pics of Asherah and everything!. But I completely forgot about her, and this is what I ended up with. I’ll blame old age, although I’m not sure I can really get away with that at 51!

      “… horn of the dilemma for the Abrahamists to impale themselves upon …” would have made a good phallic symbol to include too! 🙂

      • Ben Goren says:

        There’s nothing to beat yourself up about. It’s a good piece — and Asherah is (basically) nonexistent in the Bible as it survives today, so, as far as the Abrahamic religions are concerned, she’s not part of their pantheon and never has been. Leaving them stuck with Jealous jilted Jehovah.

        I doubt there’s any response any apologist can make aside from spluttering bluster about how sacrilegious this blasphemy is.

        b&

  4. Diane G. says:

    LOL, hilarious, Heather! And it makes perfect sense. 😀

    I guffawed when I got to this: “Yahweh failed to intervene (setting a precedent)…”

    • Thanks Diane. I got the idea before I even had a website, but I was too scared to post it, so no more than the title and a few lines ever got written. It’s taken a year of posts for me to get up the courage!

      However, it turns out that I’d forgotten how the story was supposed to go (because that’s what it originally was – a short story) and Asherah (God’s wife) got forgotten, as Ben points out. I also forgot Lilith, but I don’t think I thought about her when this first came to mind anyway.

  5. paxton marshall says:

    Outrageous post Heather! And I mean that in the best sense. I’ve revised my opinion of you. I pictured you as a somewhat prim conformist, whose most rebellious act was giving up Christianity, but with rather conventional views otherwise. Forgive me. I see now that you have the courage to think outside the box. I’m not convinced by your analysis. Certainly Yahweh was created in the image of the leaders of Hebrew society, who were most certainly male paternalists, and, as we would say misogynists. If sexual preference is, as we believe, biologically determined, then it stands to reason that 5-10% of these leaders were sexually attracted to other men rather than women. In early times the Hebrews were a pastoral society, in which the men would have been absent from their women for considerable periods of time, providing motivations for gay sex. The origin story certainly exhibits and ambivalence about the role of women, and their sexual allures. So maybe there were gay elements in the hodge-podge of stories that eventually crystallized into the book of Genesis. Still, it seems a stretch to say that the primary characteristics of Yahweh in the OT was as a gay. Still, I’m glad you brought it up, and I think it is worthy of further exploration. Thanks!

    • Not sure if this is a compliment or not! I’ve been called a lot of things in my time, several uncomplimentary, but never “prim.”

      I don’t see my atheism as very “rebellious” either. It’s another word that’s probably never been applied to me. I just do what I think is right , so deciding on atheism was probably more “prim” than “rebellious.” Maybe you’re right after all! 🙂

      I’m a very calm person, generally tolerant and laid-back. So in writing, I guess that could come across as conventional.

      Anyway, this isn’t really a serious analysis. The whole God thing is a myth, and all this is, is a poke at those who take the Bible seriously and use it as an excuse for their homophobic bigotry. As has been proven many times, you can use the Bible to justify whatever attitudes you choose for your religion. Both the slavers and anti-slavers invoked God and the Bible. Same with the white supremacists and their opponents.

      • Mark R. says:

        “Anyway, this isn’t really a serious analysis. The whole God thing is a myth, and all this is, is a poke at those who take the Bible seriously and use it as an excuse for their homophobic bigotry.”

        Exactly…I interpreted this piece as a sarcastic reaction to Kim Davis. And it is spot on from that pov.

  6. Paxton marshall says:

    But I think it is a legitimate issue, and the role of homosexuality in history, systematically repressed by the anti-gay majority, might be fruitfully extended to other investigations, most prominently the role of gays in the Roman church. Monasticism in particular is crying out for a new interpretation.

    Heather, I worried a bit about my use of “prim” in my previous comment. It’s not a word I had associated with you before, but only occurred to me as a contrast to the blatant anti-conventionality of this post. It was all meant in an admiring way.

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