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My pet goat

Happy Eid al-Adha, everyone (this year, it runs from Sunday the 6th until Wednesday the 9th). The Festival of Sacrifice celebrates Abraham’s willingness to cut his son’s throat in obedience to God — one of the more disturbing chapters in the book, I’ve always thought.

Today, a taxi driver told my mother in law this story: when he was a lad in Kashmir, his grandmother bought a young goat every Summer and raised it as a pet. She stroked it and spoiled it with treats until it loved her and followed her everywhere.

Then they killed it for Eid al-Adha.

Because, see, Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, you should sacrifice something you love, and that loves you back.

I’ve been trying to tell myself that of course the gods must ask you to do difficult things; but I’m not sure it follows that the gods must tell you to do rotten, shitty things. You can draw a pretty straight line between people who think God expects them to kill their pets, and people who rejoice when their sons fly airplanes into office buildings in the name of God.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 4, 2011, 11:27 pm

Man. Just when I’d gotten over my Bambi’s mum PTSD.

But at least I decided against posting the animated version, where his eyes shimmer with moisture. To be honest, I’m pretty sure they vibrated at the frequency that causes epileptic fits.

Comment from Redd
Time: November 4, 2011, 11:49 pm

You love your chickens, do you not? When the time comes, would you be able to wring their little butt-butt-beak-beak necks?

p.s.: I asked my dad what was going on and he told me they had killed Bambi’s mom. That shut me up. I couldn’t speak until the next day. Trauma!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 4, 2011, 11:57 pm

I would not, Redd. Unless they were injured and I was putting one out of its misery.

If I were keeping chooks for meat — something I’m extremely unlikely to do unless things get a whoooole lot worse out there — I would be very careful NOT to make pets of them or give them names. It’s the only way I could stand it. And even then…

…eh, I’ve almost gone veg a few times in my life out of sheer revulsion. I grew up on a small farm. I’ve eaten plenty of game. But I really didn’t like knowing my food.

Comment from Mono The Elderish
Time: November 5, 2011, 12:03 am

Heh, Wanna hear something funny? Thats a Jewish feast. (Or, at very least very, very, similar.) They don’t do it now (stopped when the last temple was destroyed ) but the whole point was to create more impact(paraphrasing here and totally not a authority on this) e.i. not a faceless animal but one would you would be sad to see go. Not “sacrifice that one on my behalf.” They would have to do it themselves. As a personal thing. Point being, you don’t see many jews flying shit into buildings now do you? Yet, their feasts are at the very least as violent as anyone elses and they don’t behead people. or blow people up. or celebrate the misfortune of anyone else on a national scale. (well, except for the Asswipes lauching rockets into their country. ) Or ban women from driving.

Sorry for the Text Wall.

Mono the Elder. (מונו הבכור)

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 5, 2011, 12:15 am

But the temple was destroyed a couple thousand years ago, Mono. Could modern Jews bear to do this? I submit they could not, as a general rule.

The sort of horrendous violence Christians got up to finally burned itself out half a millenium ago. Before that…well, they were capable of quite a lot of nasty things in the name of religion.

The question isn’t what people can do. It’s what people can do today.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: November 5, 2011, 12:25 am

Well, Whats the difference between ancient and modern jews? And I agree, Nope. They’d still have to do it though.

Also, By definition, If they did those things, (like the crusades, inquitions, etc,) they weren’t christians. It was just easy to get a army together under the single banner of a common religion. The whole crusades thing was just expansionism.

Isn’t that the same thing? I mean, Other than technological advances whats different? I mean, there’s stuff that wasn’t morally reprehensible before that is now, but People were just as capable and had the same potential back then as they do now.

Comment from Mono The Elderish
Time: November 5, 2011, 12:27 am

Whoops. The above is me XD

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: November 5, 2011, 12:34 am

Ummm, NO?

when you take a pet into your life, you have a responsibility to that pet. To kill it for no other reason than someone was willing to do it (and was stopped from doing so) to his own son thousands of years ago is nuts. I don’t see where God has asked it of us.

If you want to prove you love God, go volunteer at the local Mission food bank or something. Personally, I think God would find this far more satisfying….

Of course, I’m not a particularly RELIGIOUS person, I just try to be a MORAL person when I can…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 5, 2011, 12:36 am

I figgered 🙂

The difference is cultural; it’s certainly not racial. In the West, we have the luxury of being soft-hearted. Raised differently, we’d behave differently. I’m awfully grateful I don’t have to behave differently.

Historically, any culture that doesn’t cherish life and the individual is going to be someplace pretty shitty…whether it’s Communism or hardline Islamism.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 5, 2011, 12:38 am

Thinking about the Vikings or the Hundred Years War, for example. Oh, we have plenty of nasty in our heritage.

And now, it is time for Badgers and Weasels to drink…

Comment from Mono The Elderish
Time: November 5, 2011, 12:48 am

Well, A:It had to be a blood sacrifice. Better a animal than a person for that. (although I agree with you. people that kill stuff just for the sake of killing it are nuts and need to be dealt with. ) B: It wasn’t just that they were willing to do it. If you had a all powerful being, and it told you “And thou shalt walk unto these dudes and buy this lamb and make a pet of it and then kill it.” and he could, in theory blink you out of existence, wouldn’t you do it? also, it was rendered obsolete after jesus died. (ultimate sacrifice etc,) SO, we don’t have to that anymore and yay for that. I just find it odd that the Jews and the Muslims both celebrate the same feast basicly and yet they differ so wildly in culture and temperment.

Also, I’m not particularly good at this stuff either. I just read too much for a normal person. I mean, I practically a book myself. I fear the mildew.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: November 5, 2011, 12:53 am

Sure you can draw the line, but the line is faith, and faith is neither good nor evil, its just faith. What you do with it and why, and what else your faith tells you is what matters. If your faith tells you to live among the lepers and care for them in a life of chastity, self sacrifice, and poverty, that’s no more or less faith than the one that tells you to crash a plane into a building and murder people.

Why you do it and what drives you is what matters. And that’s based on the character and meaning of the object of your faith.

You have faith your spouse isn’t cheating on you, you have faith your car will start when you turn the key. The object of your faith is what makes the difference, not the faith its self. If you believe in an all-righteous, just, merciful, and knowing God, that’s a big difference between a god that demands death or submission from the whole world and cares nothing for you, or mercy.

Comment from Mono The Elderish
Time: November 5, 2011, 1:04 am

Well, Its combination of the god you believe in and the culture your raised in. I just think that I’d rather have people who believed in a merciful god than one who demands the subjugation or death of the entire world.

Way, WAAAAAY off topic, but, ( http://news.yahoo.com/ventura-miffed-court-says-hes-off-mexico-174718110.html ) good riddance. Hopefully he’ll stay there.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: November 5, 2011, 1:23 am

Christopher Taylor….evil is evil and evil is generally universally recognized, except by the adherents of one faith. That faith is the only one that drives airplanes into buildings, murders women for showing their faces, murders women who have been raped, mutilates the genitals of females, raises children to believe that blowing themselves up while killing the maximum number of innocent people is a worthy goal, on and on with every despicable attribute. That faith is islam. To claim that all faiths are the same is moral equivalence of the worst order. Evil is evil and should be called evil.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: November 5, 2011, 2:25 am

Well, I draw a very strong distinction between humans and animals. There is no animal I would not kill & eat. & yeah, just in case Oceania is reading: black people are in fact humans, dipshit.

Comment from Sven In Colorado
Time: November 5, 2011, 2:36 am

OK folks….time to set the story straight!!!!

Abraham and his wife, Sarah never bore a child until both were well past the age we would expect old codgers to be able to conceive. Sarah, told one of her servant gals, Hagar, to go and sleep with her hubby. She did and Ishmael was born of that union. Meanwhile, Sodom and Gomorrah were being destroyed. All hell was breaking loose…….and God told both Abraham and Sarah, both well up into their nineties, that they would sleep together once again and bear a son.

That boy was Issac.

When he was old enough to help his aged father. God told Abraham to take oil, wood and his son to a place of sacrifice. He was to build an altar, tie up his son, pour oil on him and cut his throat and then burn him.

Abraham, humbled and weary and old, did as God asked…..right up until the last moment when God stayed his hand. God told the old man that there was a ram caught in a thicket. He was to take the ram and sacrifice it instead of his son.

Point being……God will provide even when we think we have to sacrifice that which is dearest and closest to our hearts. THAT!!!, beloved, is the whole story of God’s interaction in the Judeo/Christian text that we call the Bible. It ends with God sending his only son, Jesus to be the final, certain sacrifice that reconciles all of mankind (that would be you and I, our ancestors and our progeny) to full communion with Him.

Long story short, Abraham was willing to make the sacrifice, and God stayed his hand….and the genealogy from Abraham, Issac, Jacob, on to Saul, David, Solomon and Jesus is unbroken because of that one man’s choice.

Killing a goat as a ritual sacrifice because Abraham chose not to is an affront to God’s choice to send his own son.
Islam, it’s Prophet Mohammed and his writings and followers have twisted the truth, turned it into an political ideology that has NOTHING to do with orthodox Judeo/Christian theology.

That, beloved ones, is why we are involved in an ongoing world war some thirteen hundred years old.

(I’ll get off my soapbox now…..and grab some bacon and a big glass of wine!) 😉

Comment from Armybrat
Time: November 5, 2011, 2:43 am


Comment from Alice
Time: November 5, 2011, 2:48 am

I don’t know about goat ceremonies, but I am reminded of this very moving 2005 Eid post by Ali (brother of Omar and Mohammed of Iraq the Model): http://liberaliraqi.blogspot.com/2005/01/best-eid-i-ever-had.html

“It’s like the Eid but only a thousand times better.”

He recounts the day in January 2005 when he and all Iraq got to vote freely for the first time since – I don’t when.

“I cast my vote and got out, not in a rush at all. This is my Eid and I felt like a king walking in his own kingdom.”

Comment from MIke C.
Time: November 5, 2011, 7:45 am

Fond memories of driving through the compound in Doha and having to explain to my daughters why there was blood running down the streets…

MInd you, I’m as willing to chow down on a bit of cabrito as the next man. But that’s no reason to do food processing in the neighborhood streets. If nothing else, it’s just unsightly.

Comment from Ric Locke
Time: November 5, 2011, 11:31 am

As noted above, there was a time when people who were at least nominally Christian had practices not very distinct from those of today’s Moslems. Eliding a lot of history, that came to a head in the Thirty Years War, the survivors of which more or less decided that That’s Not The Way To Do It.

One of the main reasons Western societies are so scarily effective is that our ancestors practiced on one another for a couple of millenia. That sort of thing kind of separates out what works from what doesn’t. The problem in dealing with Islam is that we don’t have either the time or the resources to let them go through the equivalent process. Among other things, Gustavus Adolphus didn’t have the option of A-bombing Vienna.


Comment from unkawill
Time: November 5, 2011, 4:35 pm

Andy Roony Dead at 92 whjo won the dick?

Comment from RushBabe
Time: November 5, 2011, 4:41 pm

There are a couple Dead Pool posts at Weasies. Could the latest one be located at the sidebar on the right? Pretty please?

Comment from jwpaine
Time: November 5, 2011, 5:42 pm

I tend to see the story of Abraham and Isaac as an annual reminder from God (or at least from his “spokesmen”), to whit: “Nice son ya got there. Shame if sumpin was to happen to him.”

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: November 5, 2011, 6:42 pm

To claim that all faiths are the same is moral equivalence of the worst order.

I think you misunderstood me. All religions are different, but the basic act of faith is the same between all of them. “Faiths” refers to systems of belief, “Faith” refers to the act of trust its self divorced from any system or object. I’m talking about the concept of faith its self, which is the same regardless of the object.

The object of your faith is what makes your beliefs (or as you use it “faiths”) different. And while Islam has as the object of its faith an uncaring Allah who offers no redemption or mercy, the object of Christian faith is completely different.

Which makes the difference in how each behaves and why.

Comment from James the lesser
Time: November 5, 2011, 7:30 pm

If you have a look at the way different spirits are treated in animist Africa, you find that the more important and powerful the spirit is, the greater the sacrifice you have to make to get that spirit’s favor. The lesser ones are happy with a cola nut, but the most powerful ones (the ones they don’t like to talk about much) want human sacrifices. I gather the ancient midEast was similar. The story of Abraham and Isaac changes color a little bit when you think of it that way. Abraham learned that the god he worshiped was one of the important ones–important enough to require human sacrifice. But he learned more than that–this powerful god not only didn’t _actually_ require human sacrifice, he supplied the sacrifice himself.

Mono, we can’t get away from crusades/inquisitions by redefining Christian to be merely the obedient–or there’d be no Christians around at all. And I think the crusades were more defensive than expansionist in the beginning.

Comment from Mono The Elderish
Time: November 5, 2011, 9:05 pm

Never said that. But, theres a point at which if the actions of a person split off so completely with the religions beliefs that you have to assume that they don’t follow that belief.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: November 5, 2011, 9:07 pm

Well the key difference between, say, the inquisition (and other religious-driven horrors in the medieval period) and the modern jihadi is that while the Koran commands Muslims to take the world over and either force submission or kill non believers, the Bible says to spread the word in love and humility.

In other words, Christians in that time period were behaving in direct violation of their own stated faith, while Muslims today are following exactly what their faith says.

A lot of evil things are done by people in spite of their beliefs or what they claim to believe in (liberty, for example) but more are done in the name of what people actually do believe in (communism, for example).

Comment from Oceania
Time: November 6, 2011, 8:05 am

I love how simple you Americans are ….. religion, God, and Biblical stories …..

Incredible how you can misplace common sense for something that is not real, and is a myth.

No wonder China and Russia are more advanced than you are!


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 6, 2011, 11:29 am

That’s right Oceania: Americans invented religion. Every other country in the world operates on science.

Comment from Oceania
Time: November 6, 2011, 11:36 pm

That’s not what I said …. of course, the God Bothers/Jesus Perves don’t like being told that they are whack jobs worshipping some 2000 year old dead guy.

I wonder if your goat is a Goy?


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 7, 2011, 12:02 am

Jesus Perves? Is he that dude from Cancún?

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: November 7, 2011, 1:20 am

There’s something delicious about one religious zealot telling the other they’re stupid and worthless for being so zealous.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: November 7, 2011, 5:49 am

Armybrat: Neither honor killings nor FGM are mandated by Islam.

Honor killings are nominally illegal, but de facto condoned in Middle Eastern countries, and not just among Moslems. They happen among Druzes, Sikhs, and even Hindus. And, I have heard, among some Middle Eastern Christian communities. What drives it is the “honor-shame” culture shared by all these societies.

The killing of rape victims is due to a peculiarly Arab fixation on ird (purity). The woman is regarded as contaminated, and must be removed to restore the purity of the family.

FGM is mainly an African thing. It is practiced widely in non-Moslem African cultures as well as in Moslem Africa. It is highly prevalent in Egypt, but much lsss so in Saudi Arabia, even though Saudi Arabia is much more rigidly observant of Moslem doctrine.

Both honor killings and FGM have been formally prohibited in some Moslem countries, and even condemned by some Moslem clerics. This would be impossible if they were mandated by sharia. In practice they are condoned, in substantial part due to the deep misogyny of Islam.

If any Moslem clerics raised a fuss about honor killings or FGM they’d be told to mind their own business. The cultural imperatives behind these practices override even the precepts of religion. Not that any of them would; the misogyny of Islam reflects and enables the misogyny of Arab culture.

Which is not to say there aren’t huge problems with Islam itself, as well as with Arab and other Middle Eastern cultures. But it’s necessary to understand what is and is not actually “Islamic”.

Comment from Oceania
Time: November 7, 2011, 8:40 am

I’m going to steal that art for a Goy Goat presentation


Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: November 7, 2011, 10:43 am

Sweas, a big part of the point of that story is that God was actually teaching the Jews not to sacrifice children. It’s hard for us to get because we don’t live in a world where child sacrifice is practiced all the time. Abraham did. There was a LOT of child sacrifice in those days. So while Abraham didn’t want to sacrifice his son, he didn’t have the same reaction we would. Part of God’s message in saving Isaac was that child sacrifice is wrong.

When the Jews are traveling around the Promised Land defeating all the nations that are larger and better equipped than they, Moses keeps reminding them that they have been chosen not for their own worth but because the other nations are so vile, and he specifically mentions child sacrifice as one of the things God hates. God really, really, really doesn’t like child sacrifice.

(Incidentally, notice that embryonic stem cell research has resulted in exactly 0 cures.)

Comment from Oceania
Time: November 7, 2011, 12:55 pm

Moses? Moses is buried in the Valley of the Kings in the Ramesseum. It is a bit of a scramble to find, as it is downstairs on the second level. His name is inscribed on a tomb Stella, and it is off limits, at the Request of the Vatican.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 7, 2011, 1:06 pm

You’ve been a busy boy this morning, Oceania. Lay off the Jews and the coloreds, m’kay?

Comment from Oceania
Time: November 7, 2011, 1:19 pm

For some reason, you appear to be uncomfortable with people describing their own history?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 7, 2011, 1:25 pm

Heh. You can’t quite remember what I’ve deleted, can you?

Interested to hear a Kiwi using Cockney rhyming slang, though. Is that just the influence of BBC TV productions moving around the English-speaking world?

Comment from Oceania
Time: November 7, 2011, 1:30 pm

Yes, I can – would you like me to repost it?

Comment from Oceania
Time: November 7, 2011, 1:41 pm

Cockney? No real New Zealander would lower themselves to even attempt it. Such programmes have been removed post UK involvement in the EEC.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 7, 2011, 1:45 pm

But you did. “Porkies” is Cockney rhyming slang.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: November 7, 2011, 7:11 pm

Female Genital Manipulation is actually required by Ismaeli sharia court ruling; something about Islam that is odd is that there are different “districts” of a sort and each one can have different official Islamic ruling, even ones that conflict with the others.

The Koran its self says nothing of the sort, and neither does the Hadith that I’m aware of, but Islam isn’t limited to its writings. Sharia court rulings can add officially to the religion (kind of like an official ex cathedra statement by the Pope can add to Catholicism – or take away, like the recent decision that Limbo doesn’t exist any more).

Oh and as I understand it, the criminal rhyming cant was carried to Australia by criminals and it persisted quite a long time, I think some of it still is part of their slang. Interestingly enough it was part of San Francisco’s past as well in the late 1800s.

Comment from mojo
Time: November 7, 2011, 7:30 pm

One for the Mustelid:


Comment from Doubting Rich
Time: November 8, 2011, 3:28 pm

So Eid al-Adha is basically a celebration of a nasty episode of schizophrenia 4000 years ago?


Comment from Noelegy
Time: November 8, 2011, 8:46 pm

@ Christopher Taylor: “Female Genital Manipulation?”

I know what you meant, but it still got a *boggle* out of me…

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