Thursday, August 16, 2007
By this point it should be clear that figuring out "what the Bible says" and "what the Bible means" is a national pastime in many countries. When it comes to the Bible, everyone's a scholar and thanks to the Internet, everyone is also a student (albeit, not always a willing one).
I am not breaking any earth-shattering ground here. But in my defense, neither does Evil Bible.com, the official website of The Church of Theists Suck. Its primary purpose is to point out the Bible's cruelty (or, in its own words "to spread the vicious truth about the Bible") by highlighting instances of rape, murder, slavery and human sacrifices. It also counts 143 inconsistencies.
This need to vent about the Bible--its ridiculousness, its inapplicability to modern life--is an itch many have needed to scratch. And not just recently. Thomas Jefferson cut out all the bits he did not like, Mark Twain's wrote his own hilarious account and Robert Ingersoll in the late 19th century offered a large sum to any pastor who would preach the passages he chose.
It is an understandable itch. Of course, I have to ask the same question of Evil Bible.com as I have of Hitchens, Dawkins, Dennett, and Harris: who is your audience?
The fire to talk about the Bible is coming from all directions. So how do we get light out of this heat?