It's Sunday, and time for an atheist-led Bible Study! So I thought I would do the honors.
I've been chewed out a few times for saying that all Christians are Cafeteria Christians. You know what? I stand by that statement. All Christians are Cafeteria Christians. You all pick and choose which parts of the Bible you follow. You know what else? I say embrace the cafeteria. You cannot follow all of the Bible. And I've got a collection of verses that demonstrate why you shouldn't. Those of you who are Christians, and regulars on this site, tend to follow the red-letter parts of the Bible. You know... Love your neighbor, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, feed the hungry, heal the sick, follow Wheaton's Law, that sort of thing.
But there is a different kind of Cafeteria Christian. They're the ones that tend to vote for the other political party. They're the ones that take the shittiest, meanest, most vile parts of the Bible, and embrace them, as a reflection of their shitty, mean and vile selves.
You know what I say? Rip those verses out of your Bibles. And make your holy books a little more holy. Here's my list of five vicious, and cruel, and shitty Bible verses that need to be torn out of your Bible, and burned!
Just because I had to pick a translation, I picked the King James version by default.
2 Thessalonians 3:10This shitty Bible verse has been getting a lot of press lately, as an excuse to leave people in suffering. It was used by Congressasshole Stephen Fincher most recently, to support the GOP's bid to cut food stamps. Granted, this verse was taken out of context - it was used by Paul to chide a group of Christians who were waiting for the Second Coming instead of doing necessary tasks for survival, like farming. It was the 1st century way of saying "What are you crazy? You going to let yourself starve? You need a reality check!"
For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat."
That's not how today's Christoons use the verse - they use it as the catch-all verse for when they're asked to do a little more for the sick and hungry and poor, but they don't want to. In their eyes, if you're sick, or poor, or hungry, or were raped, or something else horrible happened to you, you earned it, and that just means God hates you. That's the religion of love for you...
Since this verse is so abused, I say it's time to get rid of it. Take your Bible, flip it open to 2 Thessalonians 3:10, grab a Sharpie, and black this verse out. Trust me. Your Bible works better as a moral guidebook without it.
1 Timothy 2:12Misogynists following this verse is why the Roman Catholic Church, and many other denominations of Christianity, still have their clergy as a boys-only club. Really. Here in the 21st century, women still have to get paid less money for the same work at the same jobs as men, they get passed over for leadership positions, get harassed, threatened with physical violence, and sometimes assaulted for daring to say they deserve the same respect and dignity that men get.
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
So today, we see a bunch of micropenised cowards, who couldn't handle a level playing field, take a verse out of the Iron Age and demand we apply it in the exact same way in our 21st century, technological society, as it way applied back when the cool thing to do was nail people to pieces of wood and use them as hood ornaments.
Throw it out. Take your bible, find the page with 1 Timothy 2:12 on it, and rip it out. We don't need it in 21st century America.
1 Samuel 15:3They teach this verse to children. Today. Aren't the little tykes so lucky?
Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
Groups across America, called Good News Clubs, are going into public elementary schools, and among other parts of their curriculum, like creationism, are teaching this verse.
The whole point of using this verse it to teach children obedience. They blow off the red-letter parts of the Bible where Jesus says to be nice to each other, but boy do they emphasize the genocide of the Amalekites. The lesson: "You, little child are worthless, evil, and rotten, unless you get forgiven through US. And the way to get forgiven and get into Heaven? OBEDIENCE! When God, (or his chosen deputies - the religious leaders) tell you to pray, you PRAY. When you're told to believe, you BELIEVE. When you're told to ostracize people who are not like you, you do what you told. And when you're told to be a Soldier for Jesus and kill the unbelievers, YOU DO WHAT YOU'RE TOLD, OR YOU'RE GOING TO HELL!"
They really start on these brainwashing lessons when they're six or seven or so - they know to get 'em while they're young.
This verse has got to go too - it's used to teach all the wrong lessons. Find that verse in your Bible, and cut it out with a pair of scissors. See, your Bible is getting better and better!
1 Peter 2:18Of course! Slavery is biblical! Am I the only one who also noted that the Ten Commandments, despite having three commandments dedicated solely to telling people how to worship God correctly, somehow manages to completely miss humanity's worst moral failure, slavery? I didn't see a "Thou shalt not own human beings like animals." commandment in the Ten.
Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
Must've slipped His mind.
Back in the bad old days of the Civil War, the defenders of slavery got out their bibles and used this verse to defend owning people like pack animals, beating the shit out of them when they didn't work themselves to death, and fighting the bloodiest war in American history to defend the practice.
Hell, even today, at places like CPAC, we still have characters using that verse and defending slavery. Why didn't you know, slaves were beloved pets, and they had a good life, if you believe some of the people at CPAC.
Rip it out. Any book that defends the practice of slavery is a terrible book to rely on for formulating your morality. Tear that page out.
Romans 1:27Oh yes. The fundamentalists have grown wise to the fact that atheists like me, and most sensible Christians, completely ignore those verses in Leviticus (there you go, picking and choosing, you awesome Cafeteria Christians, you!)
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
So now when fundamentalists get in debates over homosexuality, they cite this verse from Romans as justification for declaring that the GLBT community lives in sin, and deserves to be stripped of civil rights.
The Good Christians always seem to space out those red-letter parts of the Bible, which is why those they have brought us a society where gay people are discriminated against, arbitrarily forbidden from marrying or otherwise exercising civil rights that heterosexual people take for granted, where they're beaten or killed at random, disowned by parents and thrown out on the street, etc.
Romans 1:27 is another shitty Bible verse that needs to go. Take a Zippo lighter to your Bible, burn the page with this verse, and reconsecrate your holy book with purifying fire.
Granted, I've only gotten to the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bad Bible verses that are used to justify shitty behavior. But it's a start. I suspect that if you really went cover to cover, you could cut the Bible's word count in half by removing all the nasty verses that people use to justify atrocious behavior. Well, that Bible's not going to edit itself...