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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 3:10

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat."

This 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!"

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 2:12

But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

Misogynists 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.

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 15:3

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.

They teach this verse to children. Today. Aren't the little tykes so lucky?

The Guardian: How Christian fundamentalists plan to teach genocide to schoolchildren

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 2:18

Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.

Of 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.

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 1:27

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.

Oh 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!)

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...

Originally posted to ApostleOfCarlin on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 04:15 PM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets and Progressive Atheists.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I know, someone's going to tell me... (29+ / 0-)

    ...that editing or redacting the Bible is a horrible thing to do and that I'm burning in Hell for it.

    I never was the best listener!

  •  First I'd have to get a bible. (8+ / 0-)

    And I'd have to open it.  Two things I can't see myself doing.

    "Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you"

    by TheFern on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 04:21:41 PM PST

  •  As long as it's not to tell a revisionist history (6+ / 0-)

    then this is a good idea.  But be careful.  One of the motivations for purging things an ideological movement has said in the past that are embarrassing to modern sensibilities is for the purpose of trying to pretend that following the ideological movement can't steer you wrong and will always lead you to good results.

    By selective purging of all the evidence to the contrary you can tell the myth that following Christianity is wonderful and perfect and so much better than following those nasty boring materialist skeptics.  You can support the myth that everything horrible and nasty is the result of people failing to be Christian enough.

    That's why I cringe every time a liberal Christian chooses to be dishonest by claiming that the fundamentalists' hatred of the non-conformer is somehow an anathema to the tradition of Christianity.  It is entirely in line with it and pretending otherwise glosses over the danger that comes from allowing faith to trump reason.

    Yes, it's true that people who claim to follow Christianity and yet come out with a conservative fundamentalist mindset have to be either ignoring, or be unaware of, large parts of the scriptures.  But the part that liberal Christians tend to ignore is that the SAME THING is true of them.

    Christianity is a schizophrenic religion that is not consistent with itself, which is why people with directly opposite views can both claim they got them from Christianity and BOTH be right about it, and they can both claim the other is getting it wrong and BOTH be right about that too.

    You're all ignoring half the religion.  You're just not ignoring the same half of it as each other.

  •  Old testament or new testament? (0+ / 0-)

    Didn't Jesus say something getting rid of old traditions or something???
    Non-Christian asking.

    PS-I just hope I have time and remember to check back here.

    PPS-Just 5 verses?

    Un pour tous et tous pour un aka United we stand

    by livebyChocolate on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 05:15:11 PM PST

    •  It doesn't really matter, does it? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      radmul, BYw

      The fact remains that all Christians believe that Jesus is actually a god.  The god of the old testament.

      A god who thought that telling his followers at the time that stealing and raping women was ok, slaughtering children was ok, slavery was ok, but homosexuality was gawdawful.

      I would posit there is absolutely no circumstance under which any moral being could give such advice, even if it was no longer legitimate now.

      And, as a biblical fact, Jesus equivocated the hell out of that.

      But my principle remains.

      •  What is moral? What is 'the Good'? (0+ / 0-)

        I ask this, because it is a question which has never been answered by Philosophers without an appeal to an Absolute.

        I am not referring to the idea that 'God is necessary to make someone act morally because of fear of punishment." Rather, the question is what does 'good' even mean if there is no absolute standard of goodness? In a universe with no absolute goodness, there can be no such thing as a 'moral' or 'immoral' act.

        No atheist has ever offered a solution to this philosophical conundrum. In fact, earlier atheists refused to admit there was any such thing as universal good or bad because they knew it inevitably, logically points to an Absolute.

        What is the 'moral being' you seem so sure actually exists in your response to Old Testament passages?

        "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." Upton Sinclair via Al Gore; -6.62, -5.28

        by bluejeandem on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:21:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Consequentialists did pretty okay (5+ / 0-)

          as did everybody throughout history who ever coined a variant on "You know that thing you don't like other people to do to you?  Don't do it to other people."  None of them were absolutists.

          The notion that there can't be any good or bad unless there exists some absolute good or bad is frankly bollocks.  Good and bad can be subjective, and we have the capacity to respect each other's subjective judgments, to find and agree on overlapping subjective judgments when we can, and to call those agreements civilization.

          I believe in God, but I would believe in good even if I were dead certain that there was no god -- because it's laughably easy to observe.

          •  I think definition of Good evolves (0+ / 0-)

            It becomes larger and better, incrementally but still.

            Un pour tous et tous pour un aka United we stand

            by livebyChocolate on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:56:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If by "evolves" you mean "changes" (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JDsg, BYw, samddobermann

              then yes, absolutely.  I don't know about becoming "better"; it's logically impossible to decide which definition of Good is better without using some definition of Good, which will kind of inevitably point to itself.

              I mean yes, I think my personal standard of Good is better than most of the ancient standards, but look what's telling me that.

              But that's really beside the point.  We don't have to compare standards; we just have to stick with the one we've got, and do our best to change with it as it changes.

            •  Better how? (0+ / 0-)

              Incremental towards what? How do we judge that today's 'Good' is better than yesterday's 'Good'?

              "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." Upton Sinclair via Al Gore; -6.62, -5.28

              by bluejeandem on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:08:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  You're stating something inherently contradictory (0+ / 0-)

            'Good' cannot be both a 'subjective judgment' and yet have be universal. If it is subjective, then there is truly no 'right' or 'wrong'.

            Good and bad IS easy to observe-- there we don't disagree. But how do we recognize it is good in the first place?

            Why should we treat others the way we want to be treated? There is no reason to apart from some standard beyond 'subjective moral reasoning'.

            What I find laughable is that I'm saying this to someone who is not an atheist. lol

            "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." Upton Sinclair via Al Gore; -6.62, -5.28

            by bluejeandem on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:06:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nope. Sorry. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BYw, samddobermann

              You're the one insisting that "Good" needs to be universal in order to exist at all, not me.

              We should treat others the way we want to be treated, and establish codes wherein everybody agrees to do the same, because of enlightened self-interest: we will all be better off if we do that.  There's no need to have any universal objective standard of "good" for that to work, only (as I said above) a mutual decision to abide by whatever the most of us agree on.

              And the fact that you're hearing this from someone who's not an atheist should make you stop and think, rather than laugh.

              •  Why should we all be better off? (0+ / 0-)

                The desire that we should act in a way so that we're all  'better off' stems from  some ideal  of what the Good is.

                If there is no absolute 'Good', there is no reason to have that desire that we all be 'better off'.

                Moreover, self-interest does NOT necessarily require that we all be better off, only that <strong>I am better off. Adding the qualifier 'enlightened' to it does nothing to refute an ideal grounded in an absolute but rather bolsters the opposite argument.

                "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." Upton Sinclair via Al Gore; -6.62, -5.28

                by bluejeandem on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:25:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  In other words... (0+ / 0-)

                  You believe in an Absolute of 'the Good' and don't even realize it. You just call it 'enlightened self-interest' so-as not to sound too theological. And yet you believe in God, so it's not even necessary to make such an argument. Not that you can't. Only that your own position on God makes the argument against an absolute Good moot and void. That's why it's funny :)

                  "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." Upton Sinclair via Al Gore; -6.62, -5.28

                  by bluejeandem on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:33:48 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  oh for the love of little green apples. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BYw, samddobermann

                  You are the one who keeps insisting that Good has to be absolute in order to exist at all, and you've brought no argument whatsoever to support that.

                  Is the term "enlightened self-interest" new to you?  The qualifier "enlightened" has nothing to do with an ideal grounded in an absolute or its refutation; it has to do with the basic provable fact that a focus on solitary self-interest gets you less benefit than a focus on common and mutual interest.  And that is true regardless of how you define 'benefit', provided that the group is in agreement on that definition:  each is better off when all are better off.  

                  That's not talking about spiritual or moral betterment, mind you, just pure selfish materialist preferences -- i.e., being fed instead of hungry, sheltered instead of homeless, well-rested instead of overworked, and so on.  Spiritual and moral betterment are separate, and astonishingly enough follow the same rules.

                  •  I am making the claim explicitly. (0+ / 0-)

                    You are making the claim implicitly and don't realize it.

                    I guess we'll have to leave it at that.

                    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." Upton Sinclair via Al Gore; -6.62, -5.28

                    by bluejeandem on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:48:47 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You're making an explicit claim (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      BYw, samddobermann

                      without sufficient grounding in the subject.  As evidenced by your insistence that the question "has never been answered by Philosophers without an appeal to an Absolute" and your subsequent failure to recognize a fairly common philosophical concept that is, in fact, precisely that kind of an answer.

                      And your assumption that because I believe in God I must agree with you without knowing it is frankly offensive.

                      We can leave it at that if you like.

        •  As I pointed out in my diary above... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BYw

          ...the Bible and the concept of One Deity to Rule Them All doesn't help with putting together a consistent concept of Good. Judging by the verses I pointed out, I'd say that the Bible can't get such questions answered well at all.

          I'd say that philosophers and ethicists are doing a far better job at figuring out such questions than the clergy...

      •  Actually this is not an accurate (0+ / 0-)

        description of the Christology of ALL Christians, or even all large denominations.

        Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

        by benamery21 on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:48:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  French Catholics (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          samddobermann

          were the Christians I went to school with at one point. Coming to North America in the 70s has been quite an education in many ways.
          My religious ancestry is mixed and so my interest is a bit as an outsider to the big religions. And I am more interested in how people live it.

          Un pour tous et tous pour un aka United we stand

          by livebyChocolate on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:01:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yea (0+ / 0-)

        1- How can they believe Jesus is a God and and that there is only one God at the same time?

        2-Old testament seems to me to be a mix of narrated history and spiritual instruction, old instructions at that, adapted to the people of the time. But everything is on an equal footing. Weird.

        Which brings me to 3- advice and history being mixed, prophets and kings put on the same level, what's what ?

        I will have to read the complete New testament ...but not the addendum/extras by the apostles. My Catholic turned Babtist friend quoted stuff on marriage once. I almost run around the house screaming and pulling my hair out.

        Un pour tous et tous pour un aka United we stand

        by livebyChocolate on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:53:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Matthew 5:17-19 (0+ / 0-)

      Short answer to Your question is no, here is the longer answer though:

      17"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18"For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19"Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.…
      or the KJV:
      Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
      For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
      Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

      "I want to keep them alive long enough that I can win them to Christ," - Rick Warren, Professional Greed Driven Scumbag

      by josephk on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 10:20:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know where religious people (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radmul, atana

    got the idea there was any relation between what was "true", and what made them personally happy and comfortable.

    Likewise, I have no idea why anyone who worships the bible in any part thinks it an exceptional moral authority.

  •  Well, if something isn't immediately accessible (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluejeandem

    No sense working through it, discussing it, being in community over it. Just burn it out of the book, and go on your merry way. All the rest of that stuff is just so hard.

    Brilliant.

    •  What lesson should I learn from the Amalekite... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gffish, BYw, samddobermann

      ...genocide?

      The larger story from 1 Samuel is that the Israelites were on a conquering spree under King Saul, the Amalekites were next on the list, so the prophet Samuel said "God said kill them all!" Saul spared the Amalekite king, and that tiny act of mercy in the midst of a divinely-ordered genocide pissed God off, so Samuel said Saul was no longer one of the cool kids, and Saul went from cool king to asshole king until David took power.

      Like I said, the Dominionist types use the Amalekite genocide verses to teach people that they must give God absolute obedience, even when he orders genocide.

      That's not what I'd call a positive example of good religious morality. In fact, I'd call those verses the exact opposite.

      •  And yet, that story remains in the Bible (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JDsg

        Why might that be? Are there any lessons to be learned from the Amalekite massacre? Or should we just burn that story out of the Bible, forget it, and proceed as if it never happened?

        Perhaps we talk about the danger of assuming God is on your side? Or the episode could be placed in the larger story of the Hebrews coming into possession of the promised land. Is there an analog to the process of the individual in becoming a new creation in Christ?

        Those are just a couple off the top of my head. The scriptures are meant to be engaged, wrestled with, and discussed. New meanings arise out of the organic process of community discussion and thought. Why do individuals, congregations, denominations and even Christendom, emphasize certain passages over others? What do those emphases tell us about ourselves and others? Where do we find commonalities, where do we find differences?

        It's a dynamic process, always becoming, but not arriving, as new generations and new interpretations arise. Received wisdom may be useful, but it isn't the final word.

        •  Let me get this straight. (0+ / 0-)

          The story is of God commanding King Saul and the Israelites to slaughter all of the Amalekites, even the babies, and then God punishes Saul because he missed one...

          ...and the lesson you learn is "don't assume God is on your side?"

          At this point, you're abstracting yourself so much from the story that you might as well be cold-reading like a TV psychic.

          What is the lesson I learned from this Bible story? That sometimes, you get incredibly poor moral lessons from a bunch of Bronze Age stories written by tribalistic goat herders.

          •  Well then, by all means (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JDsg

            Since it discomfits your tender sensibilities, burn it out of the book. There's apparently nothing for you to gain from the story, so just forget about it. Nothing more to it than what you personally get from a cursory reading, it's just too hard to think about, and it makes you feel bad and stuff.

            You poor dear;contemplating life over these last hundred years or so has to be just such a burden on your beautiful mind, especially the depradations of such famously atheistic governments such as the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China.

            •  compared to the depravations of (0+ / 0-)

              our aggressively christian government of the US which is in the process of wrecking the earth as we know it? Or the hyper christian government of hitler who murdered some 9 million in his forced labor and extermination camps as well as tens of millions more during his war?

              Or the militant christians who went on crusades and held inquisitions and wiped out all they didn't keep to enslave?

              Those famously religious governments?

              Then your sneeringly clever hyperbolic putdown of someone with a different viewpoint just caps off your content free argument.

              I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

              by samddobermann on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 03:45:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  The Bible is a complex document (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDsg, FrankRose

    A simplistical reading takes a single verse out of the context of the whole to justify idiotic, 'unchristian' behaviors.

    You're applying the same simplistical technique to try to discredit the Bible and mischaracterize it as barbaric.

    How many verses have been used to bolster positive behaviors? Peace, love, charity, freedom: all these are also evident in numerous other pages of the Bible.  

    If you ignore the 'good' parts, you're doing the very same disservice that is the ire of your diary.

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." Upton Sinclair via Al Gore; -6.62, -5.28

    by bluejeandem on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:07:52 PM PST

    •  Never Forget--the Bible is a bronze age document (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moonbatlulu, BYw, samddobermann

      What worked in the Bronze (and into the Iron) Age may be unevolved in the Information/Nuclear/Space Age...like putting entire populations to the sword; like stoning homosexuals, prostitutes and many others; like promoting slavery; like...the list goes on.

      I agree with the diarist that the authoritarian right trolls for mean, nasty and judgmental passages to validate their existing hatred. I must disagree with bluejeandem's second paragraph:

      You're applying the same simplistical technique to try to discredit the Bible and mischaracterize it as barbaric.
      The diarist did not "mischaracterize" the cited passages as barbaric...THEY ARE most emphatically barbaric. What most people fail to recognize is that the Bible is not always a nice document because it was not written by people who were trying to be nice. It was written by religious zealots whose primary concern was that their commitment to YHWH was the most rigorous to be found and placed that expectation on the entirety of the "chosen people." They were also not immune from using breathtaking hyperbole to nail a point and which is the source of much misunderstanding today.

      I think the important point is that the Bible is not a "casual" document...something that you can pick up like a Sue Grafton novel. It not only doesn't speak for itself...it takes years of study to understand the culture that produced it, the religion that lived it and the world it addresses.

      Finally, I didn't get that the diarist was trying to paint the entire Bible as "barbaric," but was saying that the passages he cited "had to go." I totally agree. In fact I walked 40 years ago...not because of that...it is an ancient religion which cuts across time and place and has produced both blinding glory and vile inhumanity. My disagreement with the "Abrahamic religions" began with "original sin" and pretty much included much of what followed.

      I'm comfortable and at peace without it.

      "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana

      by GEldridge on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 08:11:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some parts have complexity... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BYw, samddobermann

      ...and sometimes, a verse that commands that women submit to men is exactly what it looks like.

      •  where is there a verse that says all women must (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gffish, samddobermann

        submit to men?

        There are verses on marriage that discuss wives submitting to their husbands, but that is because that is how marriages were at that time .. and not just Jewish or Christian marriages, but Roman marriages and other cultures also ... at that time, that was the lot of women.. either the property of their fathers or husbands and that was not confined to the Jews and Christians

        Paul supposedly said that he didn't allow women to teach men or talk in church.

        Now I have heard most theologians say that 1) Paul didn't write the epistle that this admonition is in ..2) it was referencing a problem in certain communities..

        In his epistle to the Romans, Paul commends Phoebe, a deacon (he uses a masculine title) who carries the epistle for him to the Roman church.  What he states about her indicates she held a leadership position.

        When reading the epistles, we have to keep in mind that Paul or whomever was not writing 'universal rules' but was addressing specific communities on specific issues .. Later, much later, like almost three hundred years later, a bunch of men got together and decided to make the writings "Holy Writ" and apply to everyone.

        Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

        by moonbatlulu on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 09:16:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Im ok with the first one (7+ / 0-)
    2 Thessalonians 3:10
    For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat."
    But read it carefully - unwilling.

    Unwilling is not unemployed.
    Unwilling is not unable.
    Unwilling is not retired.
    Unwilling is not too young.
    Unwilling is not too old.

    I have no issue telling an able man who is unwilling to work that he faces a hungry future.  There is an old saying in the Army - "Ill take willing over able because I can make a willing man able."  The implication of course is that you cant make an able man willing.

    There is a TINY percentage of the unemployed who are unwilling.  There is a TINY percentage of those on public assistance who are unwilling.  But for every unwilling there are 10 who are proud...too proud.  Too proud to say "please help me."  Too proud to ask for anything.  No one who needs help should be denied it.  No one who needs help should be made to feel like less of a person for asking or receiving help.  Every time POS TeaPublicans rail against public assistance they drive one more person toward being too proud.  

    Instead we should thank the poor for the opportunity to help.  Thank you for allowing me to help you.  Thank you for allowing me to meet my responsibilities to my fellow man.  

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:10:15 PM PST

  •  not sure how widely used (0+ / 0-)

    the King James version is anymore.  people have it, sure. and they surely are cheap because of copyright is nonexistent.  i would say most people that aren't retired probably have King James as well as NIV or maybe NKJV along with a study bible (or if they have the money/teach the word:  26 translations).  King James is pretty rough.  hardly anybody "james's it" exclusively anymore.

    The Senate has no guts. The House has no brains.

    by gossamer1234 on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:27:00 PM PST

    •  In fact, not only is it not often used (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mookins

      for theological discussion, outside of a few fundamentalist circles, but the King James Bible is widely recognized to contain blatantly mistranslated material.

      The authors of the KJV were not as well-versed in the original languages as the authors of more recent translations have been.

      For that reason, I've never heard the KJV being favored among modern theologians in the Church for any purpose other than an aesthetic one. Theological debates happen using other translations: NIV, NRSV, etc...

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." Upton Sinclair via Al Gore; -6.62, -5.28

      by bluejeandem on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:36:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I just pulled KJV out of my butt... (0+ / 0-)

      ... because that was what came up when I googled those bible verses.

      By all means, use your translation of choice.

  •  The bible deserves (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mookins, radmul

    all the respect that we give to other books of fairy tales.  We can put them up on a shelf and dust them once in a while and even read them to our children (if we're of a mind to frighten them); where we get into trouble is when we start taking the fairy tales seriously.  Can you imagine a world where Hansel & Gretel was used as the basis for a code of law?  No?  Then how can you imagine using the bible that way?

    190 milliseconds....

    by Kingsmeg on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:37:14 PM PST

  •  The holiest verse in the Bible, Genesis 27:11 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mookins, TheFern
    Behold, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man.
    This great truth must be defended to the death against all the heretics who deny it.
  •  I opened a bible once, said 'ok book, tell me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atana

    something good'; it was a letter of Paul saying:  "A woman should be quiet and under the control of her husband."

    So I threw it away. I'm glad it's not my job to defend such childish self-importance.

  •  The Jefferson bible (0+ / 0-)

    Thomas Jefferson, of the Declaration of Independence fame, edited his Bible to remove miracles, among other things.  You might enjoy his slim version, which is still available on Amazon.com.  

  •  Re: Thessalonians 3:10... (3+ / 0-)

    ..."unwilling to work, shall not eat." Should apply to
    John Boehner's House of Reps.

  •  Many modern liturgy books have omitted certain (0+ / 0-)

    verses from use in the readings or prayers.  

    In certain psalms, the psalmist ask God to slay his enemies, even killing the babies among them ...
    such verses are now left out ... not to hide anything, but because when we pray the Psalms during our services, we are praying!  and we don't want to pray for such things, so they are deliberately not put into the service ..

    Pulling certain verses out and using them without any context is a big problem .. fundamentalists insist that each scripture verse is equal in weight to the other verses, along with their insistence that the Bible was dictated verbatim to humans

    We 'Cafeteria Christians', as you called us, realize the Bible is a collection of writings that tells us the experience and understanding of a religious community that was constantly evolving in its understanding of itself and its relationship to other communities ... we know that the writers were not writing history or taking dictation, but writing prayers, songs, plays, moral tales, a bit of history here and there, some really neat stuff celebrating sexuality, exhortations, laws, and dozens of other kinds of writings .. and we understand that to really grasp the meaning of  any text, we have to get in the mind set of that anonymous scribe in that scribe's time and culture ...

    Your advice to eliminate certain verses has some merit, (although I would argue that we need to insist those verses be explained) .. Have you noticed that in all the Presidential primary debates at some point some idiotic reporter has to ask the candidates what there favorite Bible verse is?  I just hate that ..1 Why does someone have to have a favorite Bible verse? why not a favorite amendment to the constitution ?  2 it is falling into the trap of all scripture verses are equal and independent of one another.  Just once I would like a candidate to respond that this is the favorite verse (and no, you can't cut it out):

    Matthew 23:27
    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.

    such a useful verse!

    Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

    by moonbatlulu on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 09:45:44 PM PST

    •  Ever since Obama became President, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      samddobermann

      right-wingers have displayed bumper stickers stating "Pray for Obama--Psalm 109:8" or just "Pray for Obama: Psalm 109."  Billboards have carried the same message.

      Psalm 109, verse 8 states:  "Let his days be few; and let another take his office."  The following verse says "Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow."

      I have seen such stickers on cars which also display parking passes for the nearby army base.  If I didn't live in a thoroughly red, Bible Belt state, I would be surprised that the military allowed such overt calls for the death of the commander-in-chief.

      •  Yes, I have seen those things also (0+ / 0-)

        I am not denying they exist .. I am just stating that many Christians do not believe in praying these verses..we do not believe they were dictated by God..  

        We do not hold all Bible verses in the same regard.. Some of us emphasize those verses that command us to love God and others as the most important

        The Bible as an entity evolved .. just as the people writing it evolved ..
        We have had the same thing with our Constitution .. at the time it was written, women and blacks and Native Americans were given full citizenship ...

        Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

        by moonbatlulu on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 11:00:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Another verse used to defend slavery... (0+ / 0-)

    Goes something like this - "Cursed be the descendants of Ham.." Don't remember which book, maybe Genesis? Of course to use this to defend slavery, it was conveniently extrapolated that Africans were the descendants of Ham.

  •  The only thing more obnoxious than a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moonbatlulu, JDsg

    Christian Bible literalist is an athiest Bible literalist.

    Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

    by FrankRose on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 05:35:30 AM PST

  •  You must think we don't know (0+ / 0-)

    these passages & many others, & are really stupid.

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 02:07:18 PM PST

    •  Meaning "we" not "you" (0+ / 0-)

      are stupid. I don't consider it my duty to engage conservative Christians in endless debates over scripture. The place to smite them is in the public arena, with law & legislation. & the smiting is incidental.

      "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

      by DJ Rix on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 02:30:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How about...... (0+ / 0-)

    I would rather list the verses that show the bible thumpers cherry picking verses, the ones they choose to ignore.

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