16: The Bees (Part I — Middle fingers & farty noises.)
I’m at a friend’s cabin for the weekend. The same cabin I was at the day I made my very first post way back in July. Nostalgic! Everyone else is out running errands, but I opted to stay behind and blog by the warmth of the fireplace. Not because my calves are killing me from the punishment I inflicted upon myself at the gym yesterday. No, sir. I stayed because I care. About the Quran. And writing about it. Yup. Nothing to do with my inability to walk. It’s Quran time.
Chapter 16 is called The Bees. Why? Because of the following verses:
(68) Your Lord predisposed the bees to make their hives in mountains, trees and trellices,
(69) And suck from all fruits and flit about the unrestricted paths of their Lord. A drink of various hues comes out of their bellies which contains medicine for men. In this is a sign for those who reflect.
Bees and honey are a sign of God’s existence. Honey — like urine — contains medicine, so don’t go to the doctor or anything. Just drink some pee mixed with honey and all your various ailments will melt away! Huzzah! You can find it at the supermarket, right next to the snake oil.
If honey’s not enough to convince you of God’s awesomeness, check out the next line:
(70) It is God who creates you, then makes you die; and some reach the age of dotage when they forget what they had known before. God is indeed all-knowing and all-powerful.
Somewhere in between creating you and killing you, God makes you senile. And that is what makes him all-knowing and all-powerful. Oh, sure. That makes perfect sense. Alzheimer’s disease is a sign of God.
But I’m getting too far ahead of myself. Lets start at the beginning.
(1) THE DECREE of GOD will surely come; so do not try to hasten it: Too glorious and high is He for what they associate with Him.
Oh. Em. Gee. Conceited much? I noticed something this past week while talking to a couple of friends at work. The people who talk about sex the most are getting laid the least. Pretty sure the same principles apply to God’s glory talk.
(2) He sends the angels with revelation by His command, to any of His creatures as He please, (saying): “Warn that there is no god but I, so fear Me.”
Ding ding ding ding! Contradiction alert! Read that verse again. God says he sends down angels with revelation — ie the Quran — to warn people that he’s the one and only. Got that? Now check out these verses from the last chapter, and be prepared to gloat:
(6) And yet they say: “You, to whom this Exposition has been sent are surely possessed of the Devil.
(7) If you are a man of truth, why can’t you bring the angels to us?”
(8) But then We never send the angels down save with the purpose (of enforcing their doom), after which they will not be given more respite.
Ha! Ha, I say, ha! When the people asked Mohammed why he can’t bring some angels to back up his stories, God conveniently reveals that he never — I repeat, never — sends down angels unless it’s for destruction. Busted! You’d think with all-knowing, all-powerful business he shoves down our throats every other verse, he’d realize that you never say never. Not unless you want to contradict yourself and look like a total fucking asshole. Which, if you’ve been reading along, God does a lot. Case in point:
(4) Man He created from a drop of semen; and still he becomes an open contender.
You sick of this one yet? I am. So much so that it makes me want to claw out my fucking eyeballs each time I have to read a “man was created from x” verse. Which, you know, is a lot. This book is hella repetitive, remember? I won’t even bother discussing it. I’ll just post a link to the Skeptic’s Annotated Quran’s convenient chart. You can keep your eyeballs, too.
Verses 5 through 8 talk about horses, mules & cows — how God created them just so we could benefit from them.
(5) He created the cattle from whom you get warm clothing and (other) advantages, and some you eat.
(6) There is life and cheer for you as you drive them home in the evening, and lead them out in the morning to graze.
OK, whatever. I’m a total city girl, so I can’t say I find much life or cheer in cattle. I do enjoy leather goods and a big, juicy steak now and then. So, I guess, thanks for that God. Although technically I should be thanking the cows. Or apologizing to them — I’m not really sure which they’d prefer. Anyway, God is really, really proud of the cows because he can’t shut the fuck up about them, already:
(7) They carry your burdens to lands so distant you could not have reached without much hardship. Indeed your Lord is compassionate and kind.
(8) He created horses, mules and donkeys for riding and for splendour. He created other things too which you do not know.
Notice how trains, cars and planes are missing from that list? Notice, dammit! Now, an apologist might say something like, “It’s all mentioned in that last sentence about “other things too which you do not know,” blah blah blah, I’m a fucking idiot.” OK. Still not buying it.
Look. I know that there are many things that exist that I do not know about. I realize that every time I watch a nature documentary or visit a different country. I am surprised by new things all the damn time. So the only thing that sentence says to me is that Mohammed admits there are things out there that he does not know about. He doesn’t go into details about these things because — duh! — he doesn’t fucking know. Apologists will be all, “Wooo wooooo! Mysterious! Cryptic! It could mean anything.” Well, yeah. And?
End rant. Moving right along.
This next verse sounds all scientific and stuff. It will blow your mind:
(15) He placed stablisers in the earth so that while it revolves you live undisturbed, and rivers and tracks so that you may find your way;
(16) As well as many other signs, as by the stars (you) find direction.
OK, fine. It won’t really blow your mind. I just wanted to get you all greased up for the footnote. See, in my copy of the Quran, there’s a little asterisk next to “stabilisers in the earth.” If you follow that footnote to the bottom of the page, it says this:
* See note on page 239.
Well, shit. That’s anticlimactic. Ahmed Ali’s a tease. Here’s what the footnote on page 239 says:
Stabilisers, rawasi, are actually mountains in the interior of the earth made evident by modern geophysicists who mapped the earth’s interior. At some places they are 6 miles high and 6000 miles wide with a valley as deep and wide, situated between the liquid core and the crust of the earth. Their function is to stabilise the crust and rotation of the earth. (Reader’s Digest, May 1987).
What. The. Hell? My brain just exploded. The Quran — the word of God, himself — uses the Reader’s Digest* as a source?! And not just Reader’s Digest, but Reader’s Digest from 19-fucking-87? Are you kidding me? No wonder Ahmed Ali tried to bury that at the end of the chapter where it might be ignored. He’s pulled over some pretty dumb tricks before, but this one wins. Hands down. He just shat out the last of his credibility and flushed it all down the craphole.
By the way, other Quran translations don’t even mention “stabilisers” or the earth’s rotation:
A. J. Arberry
(15) And He cast on the earth firm mountains, lest it shake with you, and rivers and ways; so haply you will be guided;Pickthall
(15) And He hath cast into the earth firm hills that it quake not with you, and streams and roads that ye may find a way.Yusuf Ali
(15) And He has set up on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with you; and rivers and roads; that ye may guide yourselves;
Mountains and hills. What do they do? They keep the earth from moving when you jump up and down. …you can’t make this shit up. You just can’t. Wipe the tears from your eyes, babies, because it just keeps on going. We’ve got 98 more chapters chock-fucking-full of wisdom like this! Whoo! Brace yourselves!
You godless heathen types will find the next verse interesting:
(22) Your God is one God. But the hearts of those who believe not in the life to come are filled with denial, and they are puffed up with pride.
Uhhh, really? I’ve always kind of seen it the other way. The people I know who don’t believe are filled with awe at the very idea that they exist and have one shot at rocking life. They’re open to the idea that they’re wrong, but go with evidence over stupidity. And the ones who believe tend to be full of foolish pride and live in denial, even in the face of evidence. *Coughcreationistscough* Just sayin’.
Lets see where he’s going with this:
(23) Surely God knows what they hide and what they disclose. He certainly does not love the proud.
(24) For when they are asked: “What has your Lord sent down?” they say: “Tales of long ago.”
Ohhh, where to start.
- God doesn’t love the proud? Well, he must really fucking hate himself then. Ain’t nobody more proud of himself than God, what with all the patting-himself-on-the-back and greasing-up-his-own-dick that goes on in the Quran.
- No. We do not say “Tales of long ago,” when asked what God sent down. That would be a history book. Here’s what we would say: “God sent down fiction.” And then we’d add, “Because he is fiction.” And perhaps we might toss up a couple of middle fingers and make a farty noise with our mouths. By we, of course, I mostly just mean me. I realize there are atheists out there who are nicer than I am.
Anyway, we’re all going to hell, blahblahblah (damn our insufferable pride). Hell has gates and we will dwell there forever (16:29). The asskissers who say “God sent down the best,” (16:30) will go to heaven. And — big fucking surprise here — heaven has gardens and streams of water (16:31). Eyeballs. I’m gouging ’em out. Did I mention this book is really, really repetitive?
(35) The idolaters say: “If God had willed we would not have worshipped anything apart from Him, nor would our fathers have done, nor would we have forbidden any thing without His (leave).” So had the people done before them. Therefore it is binding on the prophets to convey the message in clearest terms.
Yeeeeah. Anyone else think the prophets have done a piss poor job at conveying the message in clearest terms? Anyone?? I know it’s not just me and the idolaters. If the prophets existed — and I’m gonna go ahead and throw out that I don’t think most did — they seriously sucked at their jobs. But I guess you can’t blame them all that much. Look at the material they’re working with here:
(63) By God, We sent apostles to many a people before you, but Satan made their acts seem attractive to them, and he is their friend this day, and a painful torment awaits them.
God just swore by himself. Seriously. Read that again. Double you. Tee. Eff. That’s what the prophets were given to work with. It’d be hilarious if so many people didn’t actually believe this bullshit. Wait, no — it’s still hilarious. But more in a sad-clown-painting kind of way. Know what I mean?
Stay tuned for part 2 of chapter 16, coming up after I’ve had a few cups of espresso and some snuggle time with KafirDog. Whoo! Blogathon!
* No offense to Reader’s Digest. I do remember getting a good chuckle out of a Humor in Uniform story in a doctor’s office once. I’m sure it’s a fine publication.