1And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.Ah, the Tower of Babel story.
2And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
3And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
4And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
5And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
6And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
7Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
8So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
9Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
10These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:
11And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.
12And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah:
13And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.
14And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber:
15And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.
16And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg:
17And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters.
18And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu:
19And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters.
20And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug:
21And Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters.
22And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor:
23And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.
24And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah:
25And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters.
26And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
27Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.
28And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.
29And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.
30But Sarai was barren; she had no child.
31And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.
32And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.
I could see how this could be a reasonable message — if God had made it clear that there was a right way and a wrong way to get to Heaven, that you had to earn it through good deeds. But God doesn't seem to have provided any kind of guidance beyond don't kill each other, and he's been a piss-poor role model, with his barely justified and outrageously excessive punishments.
It seems that the people who built the tower were demonstrating a healthy desire for togetherness and an impressive aptitude for teamwork.
God, in what seems to be a continuing theme, is jealous of man's ascent, and he decides to fuck us up by making it harder for us to communicate with each other and by breaking up a happily tight-knit culture.
This holiday season, if you're shopping for a God, see if you can find one who wants man to aspire to the greatest heights possible, not an insecure one bent on cutting us down.