You may have noticed that I sorta suck at keeping up a weekly schedule, but I’m going to keep putting the “of the week” in there so I’ll at least continue to try. It’s the thought that counts, right?
This week, we need look no further than the Bible.
Mark 9:43: And if your hand offends you, cut it off.
(It is important to note that the site I found this on said “Mar” and not “Mark” and I did some extra research in order to find out what the hell “Mar” meant. Because I care. About you guys, that is.)
So the real question is: Should we stop at hands? And the answer, I feel, is “no”.* Taking the Bible too literally has gotten us into all kinds of messes before. I mean, look at the Spanish Inquisition. Do you want to start the next Spanish Inquisition? Didn’t think so.
I guess we could look at the definition of “offends” here. The most obvious would be phantom hand syndrome–when you cut the corpus callosum, which is occasionally used as a last-resort treatment for seizures, you’ll lose conscious control over one side of your body. And it’ll do whatever the fuck it wants. So it might actually offend you in the way you’re used to the word. Maybe you’ll be sitting there talking to someone and your hand will flip you off. Or it could be like in that House episode where the dude punches his girlfriend.
But there’s a second definition of “offend” which most people aren’t aware of and this passage in the Bible probably wants you to be aware of.
“To be displeasing or disagreeable to; to vex, annoy, displease or anger; (now esp.) to excite a feeling of personal upset, resentment, annoyance, or disgust in”
And that’s straight from the OED.
So now, if we’re not taking the Bible too seriously: If [some body part] [vexes/annoys/displeases/angers] you, cut it off.
Think of how many problems this could solve:
Bruised leg? CHOP. Not bruised anymore!
Carpal tunnel syndrome? CHOP. You won’t be getting that again!
Performance anxiety keeping you down? CHOP. Imagine how ballsy you’ll look!
Migraines? CHOP. Now you’re migraine-free AND can do a kickass Marie Antoinette impression!
Obviously, there will be times when this isn’t quite so easy. Stomach ulcer? You’ll have to go get surgery to have them cut your stomach out, and then you might have some issues with doctors thinking that’s a bad idea. You could probably say you want it done AMA, but then you’d have to fill out paperwork. And your insurance wouldn’t cover it. Oh, and they have the right to refuse to do it, anyway.
So, the next time you have a problem with something that isn’t an internal organ, you’ll know what to do. Don’t thank me. Thank the Bible.
Dr. Boyfriend Says: Please don’t cut off your extremities. This is horrible medical advice. Don’t listen to Rachael. She’s never even read the Bible.
*Note to Grammar Nerds who are annoyed at the placement of this period: That’s how David Crystal does it, so nyah.