Why the Bible Needs Bashing
By now, I suppose some of the Bible loving, God fearing Christians who may click onto the Painful Truth and read this series will begin accusing me of "Bible bashing". Which I don't mind a bit. I consider it an honor. In many instances it is the only way to get results. And it really isn't a matter of bashing as it is criticizing. God Gave us a mind and encouraged us to use it and reason together. I do believe that. I don't believe He wants us to believe that a braying jackass could talk. That is beyond reason. I don't believe that my God, who is kind, merciful, loving and forgiving, would, in a fit of rage, slaughter mankind often, and at will. Then tell us to love Him. This, too, is beyond reason. This puts Him in the same category as a cruel, abusive husband who constantly beats hell out of his wife then asks her forgiveness.
And it really isn't a matter of bashing the Bible as much as it is bashing Christianity, that tells us to shut up and to accept what they proclaim to be God's Truth. Not to question the Bible and its' many contradictions. "God said it, I believe it, that settles it, case closed". Well, you can believe it, I don't. I believe man said it, and man corrupted it when he wrote the Bible and took upon himself the authority of God with the blessing of Christianity. A Christianity, that, with its' bloody past, has ever since had a death grip on the minds of a large portion of humanity. It wields the Bible over our heads, instills in us the fear of God, and threatens us with retribution. It keeps us cowed, subjected, subdued, compliant, meek and submissive. This, also smacks of an abusive husband.
I don't recall who wrote the "Battle Hymn of the Republic", The Christian fight song. But did you ever analyze the words to it? "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, he is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath of are stored. He hath loosed the fateful lightening with His terrible, swift sword, His truth goes marching on". And the chorus, "glory, glory, hallelujah, glory, glory, hallelujah, glory, glory, hallelujah, His truth goes marching on".
Do you know what those words imply? Christ is coming, madder than a hornet, brandishing a "terrible, swift sword" heading a maniacal, blood thirsty swarm of Christians, who fully intend to make mince meat of the rest of us. Now, doesn't that just scare the hell right out of you? Who's He mad at? What did we do? (what did the abused wife do?)
There are six "glories" and two "hallelujahs" in the chorus. Meaning (a) it's glorious to do this, and (b) we praise the Lord and give Him thanks for doing it. How do we know this will happen? "Cuz (sic) the Bible told me so". Who wrote the Bible? Jesus? No. Mortal man. Who wrote that stupid song? mortal man. Are we supposed to believe it? You better believe it!
Reason, folks, reason! Do you honestly think God created man in His image, populated a beautifully crafted earth with that image, only to storm down much later in a blinding rage to kill off the majority of His creation? This appears to be a vitriolic God bent on revenge. This does not make sense. The God I believe in doesn't have such a low boiling point. The God I believe in is much more merciful, much more loving, much more understanding and much more lenient. He doesn't kill babies, slaughter armies, drown people or dismember bodies or hate women.
My God is benevolent and doesn't make mistakes. I will not put my God on the same level of a petulant brat who builds a structure of building blocks then angrily kicks it down. My God tells NO man what is on His mind. There is one truism I agree with. God's ways are not man's ways. God only knows what is in store for His creation. Not the Bible writers nor the lyricists. The Bible is filled with prophecies written by man. In the cult I left we had a leader who swore he was called by God, and imagined himself an apostle and duped over a 100,000 of us into believing it too. He made over a hundred predictions, none of which materialized. But if you are still convinced it's Bible bashing, so be it. Although bashing sometimes gets results. Little kids with sticks bash the piata to get at the goodies. Natives bash coconuts to get at the meat. New ships are christened by bashing wine bottles against their hulls. Liberals bashed Gingrich and forced him to resign. Our states' football team remains in the top ten due, in part, to its' line bashing offence. Angered and bitter ex-Worldwide Church of God cultists are accused of Armstrong bashing. Unfortunately, he died before he could face their fury and outrage. Now justifiably, they are stomping on his grave. All in all, the name of the game is to get results.
I think a better term would be Bible critique. Discovering data long suppressed and hidden away from inquiring minds that demand to know and reveal. Data that makes preachers squirm. I am merely echoing what men of learning have discovered by delving into the dark history of, and interpreting, the Bible in a logical and meaningful way. I do it mainly to help crack the hard cover Christianity has placed over the real truth. I want to assist in busting that tough crusted Pinata of Christianity wide open. So that the truth, kept hidden, stuffed, crammed and jammed for lo, these many centuries, comes spilling, and spilling, and spilling forth. Until it envelopes the the entire globe. So I'll keep taking healthy swipes at it...(You are invited to join in). Let's continue with this critique.
Word for word, here are both Prefaces of my two reference books. First is Leedoms' "The Book Your Church Doesn't Want You To Read" and second "The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy" by C. Dennis McKinsey. I hope they prove enlightening..
The book you are holding in your hands is delivered to you with the hope that some fires will be ignited in your mind. The editor and authors who have spent years of study, research & investigation share in a general point of view--The view that the religious beliefs held by many people in the United States and other countries are totally unfounded. The Book has incorporated a hard look at beliefs, evidence, stories, churches and acts of omission and commission.
The foundation of the book is the spirit of free inquiry, from the ancient Greeks--Protagoras, Socrates, and others--through the Renaissance humanism of Erasmus, and Spinoza, followed by the Enlightenment--Voltaire, John Locke, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson--to the present secular culture of great scientific achievements. All through these times, those who thought for them-selves, who explored new questions and found new answers, had to contend with the repression's of religious orthodoxy. This was inevitable, since their work was a mortal challenge to old ways of thinking. We who stand on their shoulders thank them.
None of the scholars or theologians who have contributed to The Book is naive to the point of believing that this anthology will create a "Rapture" in reverse. Knowing the reaction of established religion in the past to critique and examination, we anticipate a strong response by those who won't even read The Book. These leaders and followers continually take the attitude, "don't bother me with the facts, I've already made up my mind."
The Book is an inquiry into crucial issues of today. These issues need examination, for we are all now villagers in the global electronic village of the world of which social commentator Marshall McLuhan spoke 30 years ago. As McLuhan pointed out, the "potential is tremendous for the advancement of knowledge and understanding through television and electronics." However he went on to warn, "the reverse of this is chilling". The reverse of "the advancement of knowledge and understanding" is "the retreat of knowledge and the diminution of understanding." also known as brainwashing, dumbing down and bubble gum for the mind. Both the advancement and retreat are happening in fulfillment of McLuhan's prophecy.
The Book sets its tone with Robert Ingersoll and Thomas Paine. It does not back off from the challenge of and exposure of the Bible and religion. The mere mention of pagan origins, astrotheology, and mythology always brings howls of protest and denial from the church. The Book makes more than mere mention. It shows religion for what it is.
You will not find the uniformity of belief that you find in a religious tract. There are some lively disagreements among the authors. This is fitting in a book meant to challenge.
Discovering the truth of evidence of other saviors and of stories identical to many in Old and New Testaments, which appeared 1000 years before Jesus, will be unsettling, as will the exposure of modern-day abuses and policies in the name of God.
To be sure, just as many will be shocked by these facts, many will be surprised by the number of intelligent, patriotic, sincere and kind men and women who do not embrace the God of the Bible. Despite the pronouncements of U.S. Presidents, like Teddy Roosevelt's calling Thomas Paine "that filthy little atheist," or Ronald Reagan's claim, "the atheists expelled God from the school," the truth will prevail even against the tele-evangelists who have made the marketing of religion a fine art.
Many religious people are kind, peace-loving and good. Many are not. Whether it's the belief system that molds them or their nature, it is hard to say. Most are woefully misinformed and underexposed to material that could change them for the better. But literacy takes reading, change takes effort and enlightment takes courage. In the end, "Ye shall know the truth and truth shall make you free." --(John 8;32) Tim C. Leedom, Editor
And here is the preface from The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancies
This work is the essence of articles that appeared in the monthly newsletter Biblical Errancy from January 1983 to July 1993. The periodical, which is subcaptioned, "The only national periodical focusing on biblical errors, contradictions, and fallacies while providing a hearing for apologists," was condensed onto twenty-four audio tapes with a sixteen- to twenty-one-page transcript of each.
Biblical Errancy grew out of a need to create the most comprehensive and relevant critique of the Bible available in the English-speaking world. Balance is sorely needed. One need only to turn on the radio or watch television to see that Americans are receiving an almost daily one-sided presentation of the Bible. They are hearing all of the pros and none of the cons. All of the positives and none of the negatives. Only when people are given both sides of an issue can a truly objective analysis be possible and the danger of mass indoctrination be averted. This Book and Bible Errancy" teach a kind of Sunday school in reverse by telling people all the things they should have heard on Sunday morning but didn't. After all, if atheists, agnostics, free thinkers, and humanists don't reveal the contradictions, errors, fallacies, and problems in the Bible, who will?
Certainly ministers, priests, and rabbis aren't going to perform that function. That's not what they are paid for. Much of the information contained herein will be reinforced by quotes from biblicists themselves, so I am by no means alone in my observations. Indeed, apologists, even some of a very fundamentalist philosophy, will corroborate many of my observations. All biblical quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise noted. C. Dennis McKinsey (Unquote)
So I say we'll have to challenge the Bible fiercely. To paraphrase Hoagy Carmichael who wrote "Stardust," We gotta a-a-a-accent-uate the negative, and e-e-e-e-elim-inate the positive. and don't mess with Mr. In-between. (the fence straddler.)
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