The Christian Bible is truly the book that is bought by so many yet read by so few.
The new Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Christian theocrat Mike Johnson, is one of the minority of people who see themselves as being a Christian* who actually does read the Christian Bible.
Mike is very impressed with the Christian Bible. He is so impressed he said the Bible is his worldview. With Mike being the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, which makes him second in line to be US president, it’s important for Americans to know more about the Bible that Mike has adopted as his worldview.
Here is a small sample of teachings from the Bible/Mike’s worldview:
Slavery. The Bible never condemns slavery. In the 10 Commandments, instead of commanding the Jews (even though Christians have coopted the 10 Commandments to be for them, they are clearly only for the Jews as is clear by Deuteronomy 5:6 in which God is addressing the 10 Commandments to the Jews) not to own people as slaves, Deuteronomy 5:21 commands Jews not to be jealous of the slaves their Jewish neighbors own.
As a Gentile, Mike should be concerned by Leviticus 25:44-46 in which the ancient Jewish clergymen who wrote the Hebrew Bible claim God commanded the Jews not to own their fellow Jews as slaves. Instead, the Jews should only own Gentile people and their children as slaves who the Jews can pass down to their children as an inheritance and the Jews can own Gentile slaves forever.
If Mike finds himself as a slave owned by Jews, the New Testament part of his worldview instructs him on how to behave. Ephesians 6:5 instructs slaves as follows: “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.”
Gay people. Currently there are some people who are trying to make gay people acceptable to Christianity and/or trying to make Christianity acceptable to gay people. One way in which they do this is to claim the anti-gay verses in the Bible are misinterpreted. This article looks at both sides of this claim, those who promote it and those who reject it. As the article shows, one quote they don’t touch is Leviticus 20:13 which claims God clearly commanded the Jews to kill gay men. It has God saying, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” For some reason, I believe this Bible verse is one of Mike’s favorites!
Witches. The superstitious authors of the Bible believed in many things that are not real. One of those things is witches. They believed people, usually women, who were witches could put supernatural spells on people that would cause them everything from sick farm animals and a bad crop harvest to pain and discomfort to death. Like Adam and Eve, witches are not real. That didn’t stop the ancient Jewish clergymen who wrote the Bible from writing at Exodus 22:18 the claim that God commanded, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” Belief in this nonsense by the Christians who claimed the Hebrew Bible for themselves and made it the Old Testament part of their Christian Bible was the reason for the brutal torturing and killing of thousands of innocent people in Europe and North America who were believed to be witches. This ungodly, irrational and harmful nonsense is part of Mike Johnson’s Bible-based worldview.
Women. Both the Hebrew Bible/Christian Old Testament and the Christian New Testament are overflowing with misogyny. For just one example out of many, we have 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. These verses teach:
“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”
This too is part of Mike’s biblical worldview.
Cruelty and Greed. Often when Christians are confronted with brutal and repulsive teachings from the Hebrew Bible/Christian Old Testament they respond with something along the lines of “Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament law, and the New Testament teaches that Christians should live under the new covenant rather than the old one.” This goes against what the anonymous authors of the Christian Gospels wrote. For example, Matthew 5:17-18 has Jesus saying he did not come to destroy the law or the prophets, but he came to fulfill (he was under the delusion that he was the Jewish messiah). He goes on to say that the ungodly and cruel laws and commands in the Torah will remain in effect “until heaven and earth pass” which hasn’t happened. This means they are still in effect.
Mike Johnson’s biblical worldview is reflective of a story the anonymous author of Matthew claims Jesus told at Matthew 25:14-30. It portrays God as a cruel and wealthy slave owner. Before going on a long trip, the slave owner gives money to each of his slaves. The slaves all used the money to make more money. However, one slave knew that his master was cruel and greedy and was afraid to invest the money, so he dug a hole in the ground and hid the money in the hole. When the slave owner returned, he was pleased with the slaves who made a profit for him with his money and he was very angry with the slave who did not make a financial profit. Verses 29-30 state:
“For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
The cruelty promoted by Jesus in the “God as a cruel and greedy slave owner” story could be an inspiration for Mike Johnson’s desire to cut “$2 trillion from Medicare, $3 trillion from Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, and $750 billion from Social Security.” This anti-God Christian Bible story is of the same worldview as is embraced by Mike Johnson.
A Solution to the Problem. As Henry David Thoreau wrote, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” The root problem in the case of Mike Johnson and his bible-based worldview is Christianity and the Christian Bible. A very viable solution to the problem is Deism. Deism is “the recognition of a universal creative force greater than that demonstrated by mankind, supported by personal observation of laws and designs in nature and the universe, perpetuated and validated by the innate ability of human reason coupled with the rejection of claims made by individuals and organized religions of having received special divine revelation.”
A very important historic reality that derails the false claim promoted by Mike Johnson and the theocrats of the religious right, that America was created by Christians as a Christian nation, is that many of America’s key Founders were not Christians, they were Deists.
The most outspoken Founder and Deist was Thomas Paine. Paine made a very strong case for Deism and a very strong case against Judaism, Christianity and the Bible in The Age of Reason. In that important and enlightening book, Paine called for a revolution in religion based on our innate reason and Deism. This is a sure way of breaking the stranglehold the Christian theocrats currently have on the US.
*There is no clear definition of what a Christian is. The Deist Thomas Paine pointed this out in The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition when he wrote:
“The Calvinist, who damns children of a span long to hell to burn forever for the glory of God (and this is called Christianity), and the Universalist who preaches that all shall be saved and none shall be damned (and this also is called Christianity), boasts alike of their holy [revealed] religion and their Christian faith.”
This is why, prior to the Age of Enlightenment, the American Revolution and the ensuing separation of religion from government, “Christian” sects waged war against each other over which “Christians” were true Christians. These religious wars cost millions of people their lives as is evident from the 30 Years’ War and from many other examples of Christian violence.