The story of Onan in the bible has long been used as a justification against birth control and masturbation, and for sex with hookers. Judge for yourself as I detail the tale.
A guy named Judah goes to see a friend. He meets a dark-skinned girl whose name is never given. He marries her and they have children right away. “Right away”, of course, is code for “Oops”. The dates can’t really be confirmed. Where is the long form marriage certificate!?
He has 3 sons. Er, Onan, and Shelah. Judah picks out another local girl named Tamar to be Er’s wife. Before they can have children, God kills Er. Er should have expected something when his parents didn’t bother to even give him a full name.
So Judah comes to Tamar and tells her that Er is dead.
“There was an accident…”
“It was Er”
“It was…er…what? Spit it out”
“Errrr..what? Do you have some kind of mental problem?”
“No, your husband Er! He’s dead”
“God said he was wicked”
“That’s it? What the fuck does that mean?”
What can you do when God kills your husband? It’s like when Don Corleone whacks your better half. You just have to take that shit.
If Tamar had used Christian Mingle to find God’s match for her, maybe it wouldn’t have been someone so wicked that God himself had to kill. How often does that even happen nowadays? He must have been a real prick! What did he do? Who knows? The bible didn’t think it was terribly important since it didn’t mention it.
Anyway, Judah brings a fruit basket, some flowers, and oh yeah, tells her that he’s sending her husband’s brother to have sex with her. I bet that really cheered her up. Back then it was all about the kids and the biblical definition of marriage. Which is of course, whoever picks you out and gives your dad some livestock, and then if your husband dies…well then, his nerdy brother also.
Tamar was pretty disgusted, as Er was already not the greatest guy. But Onan did not seem to have the best hygiene, kind of smelled, and spent a lot of time alone “reading” his magazines. But he slapped on some Old Spice, and brought some wine. After a while, she finally warmed up to Onan and they got down to biblical business. As Onan came closer to wrapping things up, they started talking about possible child names. “ELLIOTT? You’re gonna name the kid Elliott?” He had reared back a bit in disgust and accidentally spilled his seed. God storms out from the closet and beats Onan over the head. Tamar passes out.
Tamar awakes to see Judah.
“God said Onan was wicked”
“Wicked? Again? What the hell? Stop jerking me around. I didn’t do anything! Why do I keep getting screwed?”
“Look, that’s the way it is. Maybe thousands of years from now you’ll be able to tell your husband what to wear or make him go and take out the garbage, but we’re just not there yet.”
So Judah took Tamar to live in his house. After all it was his two dipshit sons that got the poor lady’s hopes up for kids and then we’re slain for their “wickedness”. He figured he had another son growing up and once he started pitching tents on his own he could come over and have sex with her, too. Judah’s wife dies and it’s not said how. Maybe more wickedness. Judah starts to wonder if God is actually just racist. After the unnamed wife dies, it says he goes up to where his sheepshearers live. It is unclear whether he’s visiting the shearers or the sheep. Judah starts thinking that if he sends Shelah over for a rendezvous with Tamar, he might be taken down as wicked as well. So he doesn’t send him.
Tamar, obviously feeling rejected by not having yet another smelly brother sent to impregnate her, did the only logical thing and dressed up like a hooker, covered her face, and hung out on Judah’s street corner. When Judah walked by and asked for some sexual action including finishing up inside her (probably because he remembered what happened with Onan – By the way, none of this is wicked, or else we would have seen a smiting by now). She asked what he’d give her to be allowed to do that. After all, she could become pregnant (especially since it’s really easy to get pregnant in the bible), and she’d have to pay for preschool (possibly private), a donkey, college, maybe a wedding… So Judah offered a goat and it was a deal! (If you’re keeping score, still not wicked). He had his way with her, but didn’t have the goat on him, so she kept his wallet and keys. She dumped her hooker outfit and put her all-black mourning stuff back on. Judah then did the honorable thing… sent his friend to pay the goat to the hooker, but he couldn’t find her.
When he found out that Tamar was pregnant because she dressed as a hooker, he ordered her to be burned. Wait, I thought God was taking care of the killings? Anyway, dressing as a hooker? Getting pregnant and dishonoring her dead husband(s)? Totally wicked. I suppose he was doing the right thing. But then she showed Judah’s wallet and keys…BAM! After Judah realized that it was actually he, himself, that had impregnated his daughter-in-law…he declared her not wicked anymore, and in fact totally righteous because he didn’t send his younger son to have sex with her. Which was totally wicked. But not wicked enough to be killed over. Her actions preserved his name as one of Abraham’s descendants. Which apparently was a big deal. See how this all works?
Tamar had twins, who grew up to be great tennis champions, and they all lived happily ever after. Though Judah couldn’t marry Tamar, because she was not a virgin and therefore, “totally gross”.
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