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Blogging the Bible, an Explanation…and Other Things
January 9, 2007 — 9:12 pm

I was asked today why I thought it necessary to “blog the Bible”. The person asking seemed to think it was a bit over the top; as if I were mocking the worst part of Christianity, and doing it boorishly.

I think he had a pretty good point, were that my objective.

I said from the outset that it wasn’t my intention to mock anyone’s faith. Granted, I don’t think that any ideas are safe from strong, robust criticism (even strongly held religious beliefs), but I just don’t have very much use for the “in your face” mentality.

So, why am I blogging the Bible?

The obvious answer is that I want to gain a better understanding of it. I haven’t read it in years, and when I did, it was through the lens of either child-hood innocence or religiosity. I thought it might be beneficial to read it again with those lenses removed.

I’m not out to disabuse any Christian of their faith. I’m neither equipped or inclined to do such a thing. I do, however, want to point out just how fantastically preposterous a literal interpretation of the Bible really is. We live in an age where science has proven beyond any reasonable doubt (indeed, beyond any doubt at all) that biblical literalism is false. Modernity in ethics, morality, psychology and philosophy have demonstrated that to take a literalist view of the Bible is nothing less than insanity. And yet, in spite of it all, fundamentalist Christians refuse to go “gently into that good night”.

Which would be OK, if they could only learn to stop pushing their beliefs on the unwilling.

I have no problem with the Bible, per say. So far, it is a fascinating piece of literature. It is certainly on par with the Iliad and the Odyssey. It also contains many lessons that can be taken to heart. “Love thy neighbor as thyself” is so completely revolutionary…so perfect in its simplicity…so…”right” that it demands to be woven into our social fabric.

But, to take it any further…to take a literalist view of the Bible, makes no more sense than taking the Iliad or the Odyssey literally. We don’t believe that Ares rained arrows down upon Agamemnon any more than we should believe that God flooded the earth to wipe out wickedness.

So, that is why I’m “blogging the Bible”. Besides, it’s good to be writing again.

Now, to address some of my lingering points from yesterday’s post.

I think the whole “atheists have killed more people than Christians” argument is patently ridiculous. It almost sounds like the excuse Republicans continuously used early in the G.W.B. presidency. “Well, yeah, but Clinton did it too”.

The idea that Hitler was an atheist is the easiest to debunk. It has been so roundly disproved that it hardly seems necessary to go into it here. One only has to think of the slogan “Gott Mitt Uns” to remember the horrors of Nazi Germany.

Stalin and Mao are a bit more difficult. History makes no bones about it; both were ardent atheists when it came to organized religion. But, so what? Stalin and Mao did not kill millions of people in the name of disbelief, they murdered them on the altar of a horribly irrational economic policy (Communism), shrouded in a narcissistic cult of personality. Stalin and Mao didn’t have to believe in religion…they were religion: the Alpha and the Omega, the Christ-heads of their populations.

Lest that sounds a bit hyperbolic:



The term “fundamentalist atheist” is the most clever of the rhetorical tricks used in this whole debate. It’s purpose is two-fold: to imply intolerance and to label atheism as a religion. I addressed the “atheism as a religion” canard in an earlier post, but it bears repeating. Atheism is nothing more than a lack of “theism”. In essence, atheists are defined by the belief system of theists. Frankly, the entire label is counterproductive since it is privative. Besides, we have no such term for disbelievers in ESP or telekinesis, for example. The term non-believer may serve better, but I have my doubts as to whether that will catch on or not.

I was going to try to address the “intolerance” fallacy today, but I find I’m running out of time. I want to write about it in length so I don’t want to do the subject injustice by hurrying through it. So, I’ll take the keyboard up again tomorrow.

— Justin M. StoddardComments (0)

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