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Author Topic:   Old Habits Die Hard (The "mark" on Cain)
tabularasa
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 16 (45462)
07-09-2003 12:37 AM


My humblest apologies if this has been discussed before.

When Cain killed his brother Abel, so the story goes, his skin turned black. UhhhhMkay. Now I know that "God can do whatever he wants," but am I the only one whose suspicions are raised by this idea? I think the physiology alone is laughable. But I am willing to let that issue rest for a moment. What I want to talk about are the racist precidents this scripture sets. You see, if you can convince a large enough group of people that black people are black because somewhere down the line their ancestors sinned agregiously it makes it a little easier to enslave them, and take away their God-given agency (look what they did with that agency in the past!!!)
When you fill a book with ideas like 'Cain turned black because he was bad,' and say that it is the irrefutable word of God, you have implied white supremacy.
I'll keep this short. What I'm saying is this: with what we now know about heredity and genotyping, unless Cain (through the grace of a loving God no-doubt) developed a delayed onset super melanin-producing gene mutation, this story can not be true. More likely, it is a myth developed by oppressors to justify their oppresion. (Do you think white supremacy is a new idea?) So why do most religions regard themselves as God's chosen people when it would be highly uncharacteristic of the classic christian God model to ever take sides? Because it's easy to justify mistreating people if you've convinced yourself that God is on your side. Then again, it could have just been an old fashioned miracle.

Sincerely,
That Girl From Utah

PS Even if Cain did "turn black," wouldn't his dirty race have been swept away during Noah's flood? Or did Noah take two of every ethnicity along with him?


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by crashfrog, posted 07-09-2003 1:53 AM tabularasa has not yet responded
 Message 4 by John, posted 07-09-2003 1:38 PM tabularasa has not yet responded
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 16 (45469)
07-09-2003 1:53 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by tabularasa
07-09-2003 12:37 AM


When Cain killed his brother Abel, so the story goes, his skin turned black.

As far as I know, it just says that he was marked. At least that's how it goes in the ol' KJV.

You see, if you can convince a large enough group of people that black people are black because somewhere down the line their ancestors sinned agregiously it makes it a little easier to enslave them, and take away their God-given agency

This, as you may perhaps know, was exactly one of the Biblical justifications for slavery of Africans in the past.

Even if Cain did "turn black," wouldn't his dirty race have been swept away during Noah's flood? Or did Noah take two of every ethnicity along with him?

The white supremacist's answer might be "Noah took two of them along as 'beasts.'"

Honestly I find white supremacism kind of dumb. I mean, compared to Asia's history, Europe is developmentally challenged. Asia has everything cool, and Asians usually do way better on tests. Plus they developed kung-fu, which rocks.

What do white guys have that even compares? (I guess I'm an asian supremacist, or something. And I'm a white dude, btw.


This message is a reply to:
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Karl
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 16 (45523)
07-09-2003 12:06 PM


That idea's not in the Bible, and to be honest I've never heard of it before. I notice you're from Utah - is it possibly an extra-Biblical Mormon tradition?

Traditionally, the black peoples descended from Ham. Some people have tried to make the prophecy that Ham would be the servent of his brother Shem into a justification for racism.


Replies to this message:
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John
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 16 (45535)
07-09-2003 1:38 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by tabularasa
07-09-2003 12:37 AM


karl hit it on the head. The Bible per se simply reads 'marked.' Some people have taken this to mean 'black skin.' The Book of Mormon, I remember from reading it ten years ago, specify that the mark was of black skin.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


This message is a reply to:
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truthlover
Member (Idle past 2105 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 5 of 16 (45548)
07-09-2003 4:02 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by tabularasa
07-09-2003 12:37 AM


I heard once from "Pastor Arnold Murray" of Arkansas, one of them 24-hour a day TV teachers, that Ham married a lady named Egyptus, and it was through her that the race of Cain was preserved and from whom the Egytians and all the Africans descended.

I'm not sure Arnold Murray thinks Cain is black.

I think Arnold Murray is a nut, though I have no reason to think he's a racist, since I don't know he says Cain is black.

On the other hand, every time I've ever heard that the mark of Cain was to make his skin black, the person saying it was justifying racism. I've never heard any person suggest Cain was turned black, who didn't also advocated segregation, preferably by making all blacks leave America and Europe. They normally also think that Ham was cursed to be a slave, and that is why blacks are slaves, too. It's a Biblical double whammy, justifying slavery and demanding segregation. It's one of the most awful things I've ever heard, and I've heard it several times.

Pretty similar views are advocated in Dake's Annotated Version of the Bible, which used to be available in most Christian bookstores. I don't frequent Christian bookstores anymore, and haven't for over a decade, so I don't know if they're still available.


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mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4628
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 6 of 16 (45551)
07-09-2003 6:06 PM


this topic proves (for me) how some people are a mile off when interprating scripture.he put a mark on Cain so people would know what he had done,NOTHING to do with the colour of our skin!!
Replies to this message:
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Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3876
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 7 of 16 (45565)
07-09-2003 10:58 PM


Topic title modified
To better describe the subject of the topic, I've just added the "(The "mark on Cain)" to the topic title.

Adminnemooseus


    
John
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 16 (45566)
07-09-2003 11:06 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by mike the wiz
07-09-2003 6:06 PM


quote:
NOTHING to do with the colour of our skin!!

Right. It was probably something like a tattoo on the forehead, as was practiced in nearby cultures.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


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tabularasa
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 16 (45776)
07-11-2003 6:23 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Karl
07-09-2003 12:06 PM


Karl: That idea's not in the Bible, and to be honest I've never heard of it before. I notice you're from Utah - is it possibly an extra-Biblical Mormon tradition?

***

Actually, I was raised Mormon (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) although I have ceased to identify with that faith. Something you might find interesting is that Joseph Smith did recieve revelation that the mark of Cain was indeed black skin, and my entire life I believed that this was a belief held by all Christians. The origion of my first post was a criticizm of what I thought was a widely accepted theory. I didn't know that Mormons were alone in this.
However, the sweetness of discovery on this point is tempered by all the questions that are rasied by it. I think that this theory is socially damaging. It makes racism ok, and I vehemently disagree, but even in the 1850's, it was the mormons who first accepted blacks into their congregations. I have never witnessed a mormon having a racist bias in dealings with other people... what I'm saying is that in my experience as a mormon, and my experiences outside that church, I have never percieved racism to be a problem for the people of the religion. (Believe me- it's got it's share of issues, this just doesn't seem to be one of them) So I must admit, your logical assessment (that I agree with) doesn't seem to fit with my personal experiences in the Salt Lake Valley.
However, I think it's possible that we are both right. -Here's my hypothesis:

Looking closely at the populationone might find that most white, middle-class mormons I know secretly feel superior to every other race. They feel superior to other religions. The men feel superior to women. The LDS know they're Christ's Chosen, and it's an ego-trip. That's why I think Mormons are so nice to every one- they seek to embody the love of Christ, whose ambassador they are. Unfortunately, most of my friends and family who belong to this church are constantly trying to catch up to the wonderful person the church makes them want to be. (I think this is the truth behind the anti-depressant business here; people are so disappointed that they couldn't live up to God's (the church's) standards...) Anyway, thank you for opening up another realm for me to think about.

Tab


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Replies to this message:
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doctrbill
Member (Idle past 810 days)
Posts: 1174
From: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Joined: 01-08-2001


Message 10 of 16 (45803)
07-11-2003 11:58 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by tabularasa
07-09-2003 12:37 AM


Just read through this short thread and am glad to see the overwhelmingly skeptical response to the idea of Cain and or Ham being black skinned. As Tabularasa has suggested, and others supported, it is both bio-illogical and biblically illiterate.

I have seen black couples produce lighter skinned offspring but never the other way 'round. The genetic code for dark skin is more complex than that for white skin. Lack of melanin increases the risk of skin cancer and probably represents a genetic defect.

By the way, it was not Ham who was cursed. It was his son Canaan. He was cursed for raping his grandfather, Noah. If you read the text carefully (and between the lines) you will notice this.

The Israeli's have spent the better part of three thousand years trying to exterminate the descendents of Canaan. The whole story of the curse is probably a fabrication fed to young soldiers in order to whip up some loathing for the women and children they were about to butcher. If these people were descendents of a homosexual rapist, then they didn't deserve to live. See?

db

------------------
Bachelor of Arts - Loma Linda University
Major - Biology; Minor - Religion
Anatomy and Physiology - LLU School of Medicine
Embryology - La Sierra University
Biblical languages - Pacific Union College
Bible doctrines - Walla Walla College


This message is a reply to:
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Agent Uranium [GPC]
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 16 (47414)
07-25-2003 12:19 PM


I thought God cursed Ham because Noah ended up pissed as a fairy after surviving the flood (read: drunk) and his sons took him to bed. Ham accidentally saw his father's genitals and this, for some reason, caused God to treat him as a bad man. Lord knows why.

As for Cain, I can only find this in the KJV:

GENESIS:
[15] And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
[16] And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

This only seems to mention a mark, nothing about blackening his skin.

------------------

quote:
All the boys think she's a spy

Replies to this message:
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Peter
Member (Idle past 1969 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 12 of 16 (47677)
07-28-2003 7:08 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by tabularasa
07-11-2003 6:23 PM


In this context (and given the dates for Joseph Smith etc.)
could this have been an addition to foster BETTER relations
with the negro populace?

After all the bible says the mark is put upon Cain so that
any man finding him shall NOT kill him.

Just a thought.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by tabularasa, posted 07-11-2003 6:23 PM tabularasa has not yet responded

    
doctrbill
Member (Idle past 810 days)
Posts: 1174
From: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Joined: 01-08-2001


Message 13 of 16 (47795)
07-28-2003 9:41 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Agent Uranium [GPC]
07-25-2003 12:19 PM


Agent Uranium writes:

I thought God cursed Ham because Noah ended up pissed as a fairy after surviving the flood (read: drunk) and his sons took him to bed. Ham accidentally saw his father's genitals and this, for some reason, caused God to treat him as a bad man. Lord knows why.


Actually, it was Canaan who was cursed. Genesis 9:24,25

A linguistic and contextual analysis suggests that Noah was raped by his grandson. Note that the text says, "younger" or "youngest son." But Ham was not the youngest son, he was the oldest. Turns out that the Hebrew expression here is qatan - little, as in little son; i.e. grandson which, indeed, Canaan was. And the expression, "look upon the nakedness" is a euphemistic metaphor of "have sex with," in which the Hebrew word rendered "naked" is derived from a root meaning bed. Compare this to the unabashed nakedness of Adam and Eve, where the word for naked is derived from a root having the sense of nudist, and always used in a context free from moral judgement.

I am skeptical regarding the veracity of this tale considering how important it was for the Hebrew people to demonize the descendants of Canaan: The Canaanites. What better way to whip your troops into a killing frenzy than to tell them, "Your enemy's grandfather raped our great grandfather"?

The Curse of Ham, is a persistent myth; evidence of the marginal literacy of American Sunday School dropouts.

db

------------------
Doesn't anyone graduate Sunday School?


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doctrbill
Member (Idle past 810 days)
Posts: 1174
From: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Joined: 01-08-2001


Message 14 of 16 (47797)
07-28-2003 9:51 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Agent Uranium [GPC]
07-25-2003 12:19 PM


Agent Uranium [GPC]

I just noticed that I had posted something along the same lines earlier in this slow moving thread. Oh well, now you have a bit more detail.

BTW AU, When you post without linking to the thread, your post can get lost in the shuffle when people trace backward. For example, I cannot be sure which message you were responding to in your post (#11).

db

------------------
Doesn't anyone graduate Sunday School?


This message is a reply to:
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Agent Uranium [GPC]
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 16 (48507)
08-03-2003 10:33 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by doctrbill
07-28-2003 9:51 PM


I meant it as a general reply, but thank you for explaining the roots of the various words and, thereby, the greater meaning of the corresponding passages in the bible. And, of course, the traditions & conventions of this forum!

------------------

quote:
All the boys think she's a spy

, 08-03-2003


This message is a reply to:
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