I’m not going to say the bible is racist, but the authors of Numbers 12:1 do seem to think people are intrinsically evil if they’re from Ethiopia. Or Canaan. Or Amalek. Or… no wait, the bible it totally racist! To be fair, it’s the characters that are being racist, and we don’t say Mark Twain was a racist just because he wrote Huckleberry Finn. However, Aaron is supposed to be the holiest of priests; a paragon of virtue; a role-model for all others to live up to. So, what gives?
Like the many times before this, I’m not directly faulting the authors of the bible. They grew up in a period where racism was a way of life. People from outside their tribe were viewed as less-than-human. Thankfully, we as a species are slowly becoming less racist, and I long for the day when people will stop hating each other because of their race, and only hate each other based on their decisions… to be Bronies.
But while I don’t fault the authors for being too provincial to comprehend why saying “all Ethiopians are trouble” is wrong, I do fault modern people for not recognizing how awful it is to honor such a book. I fault them even more for failing to realize just how inconsistent their views are. Even an ardent Christian Conservative who has a huge boner for the USA’s founding fathers will still say they were wrong to own slaves, so why is it they refuse to apply this same reasoning to the bible?
And for those Christians who don’t care about the Old Testament, the racism didn’t disappear in the New Testament. Remember the Parable of the Good Samaritan? Jesus tells his followers that a man was mugged and left for dead on the side of the road, a priest and a Levite pass himed by, but the Disciples are shocked when Jesus reveals that a Samaritan went out of his way to help the man. Granted, there is a mutual hatred between the races, but why is Jesus trying to astound us with the idea that maybe not all Samaritans are blood-thirsty psychopaths? That Mitchell and Webb Look explains it best.
Racism aside, since when did Moses marry an Ethiopian (or Kushite)? Moses’ wife is Zipporah, a Midian. Well, Flavius Josephus tells of Moses marrying an Ethiopian woman named Tharbis back when he still considered himself an Egyptian. The story is incredibly misogynistic and treacherous, full of violence, astrology, and magic. The original writings are lost which is a pity because the story fits right in with the bible. Tharbis even makes an appearance in the Ten Commandments movie as the Ethiopian queen who offers Moses a valuable gemstone, but her full story remains untold.