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Followup on Golden Calf thing
Bar Harbor
I recently posted an entry which presumed that your average Christian would have heard the story of the Golden Calf at some point. Yesterday, I found myself waiting in line at the pharmacy next to a bookcase full of various god-bothering books. I surveyed three different Kiddie Bibles, to see if they covered the Golden Calf. One did, but the other two did not. Just a random anecdotal data point for your afternoon...

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Isn't the golden calf an old testament story? I know that Christians generally are supposed to read that too, but my impression is that many do not.

Right. What matters (to a big chunk of Christianity in the USA) is that you are born again in the Lord. Neither good works, nor knowing your bible, matter.

Besides, there's something anti-capitalist about the whole Golden Calf story--the way they redistribute the wealth by demanding that all the ex-slaves contribute their jewelry to it, and then Moses comes along and spoils the whole thing and they have to melt it down and redistribute it again. . .

Are you being sarcastic, and I'm just not catching it? *Tons* of the Bible is anti-capitalist.

Well, these were explicitly books intended to teach Good Christian Children. They all skipped over lots of the OT, naturally, but at least one thought the Golden Calf was part of the core curriculum.

"I know that Christians generally are supposed to read that too, but my impression is that many do not."

How is that different from any other part of the Bible?

As a Jew, I am not entirely sure. But my impression is that it is. Sort of a 'lesser book', by the way many Christians I know seem to know far less about it than they do about the new.

My guess might be that the new stuff is directly Jesus-related, and the old is not, and Jesus-worship is the focus of Christianity in many ways?

Rick's right--and I was trying to be funny and obviously not succeeding.
Of course the Bible can be read as anti-capitalist--or pro-capitalist, just as it could be used by plantation owners to justify slavery (the New Testament says Slaves obey your masters, just like it says Wives obey your husbands) and by Abolitionists to oppose slavery (God did take the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt--and in another proto-socialist move, the Egyptians had to pay reparations!) Seriously, this time:
Exodus 12:36 "And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. And they despoiled the Egyptians."

That's bizarre. I certainly had the Golden Calf story (with some editing) in my Children's Bible growing up. It's such an important part of the 10 commandments story.

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