National Bible Week (1997)
by John Patrick Michael Murphy
Today marks the beginning of National Bible Week. According to its sponsors we are all encouraged to open our bibles and to read them and then to instill the values found there into our lives and those we love. We need this week and I applaud the efforts of the sponsors. The bible is an all time bestseller, but of all the bestsellers it is the only one that, for the most part, is not read. So, consistent with the ecumenical movement, this freethinker wants to join in and encourage his listeners to read your bible this week. Now, today you will be goaded into reading parts of the bible never mentioned in church. You might want to keep a pencil handy to mark down the citations given to see if this material is really there. I caution you to read the unexpurgated King James Version (KJV), what has been described as the most accurate translation of the bible done by mortal man. It hasn't been cleaned up, or should I say altered, as much as the New King James Version or the Jerusalem New International and others. For example The KJV Bible tells us that after the children laughed at a bald headed prophet, god sent two she-bears after them who ripped and tore them to pieces. Basically, god murdered 42 children for acting like they were kids. Now if you open a more modern bible, you will read the same story except they take out the god ordained murder. It simply says, "and they were punished." (As if they had to go to study hall for an extra hour.) Whip out your bibles, if you will, and turn to 2 Kings 2 in the 20's. See if you have a real bible or one that has been altered, like an X-rated movie with certain scenes clipped to get an R rating. Don't blame me if your bible is the altered word of god, as I use only the real Acabaca.
Now comes the fun part. I'm convinced I can't be removed from the air by reading the bible, but I'm still plenty apprehensive about it. There are some parts I simply refuse to air because they are simply too gross and rank. But I'll share some that are close to the line and give you a few citations to the parts that I won't read, so you can read them for yourself, if you wish. Here are some of my candidates for the worst parts of the bible. Think of reading these verses to your children, as we are encouraged to do by the promoters of National Bible Week.
Now I caution you, this is just a sampling. You can find sex and obscenity, gore, violence, child murder, and outrage (much of it god ordered), throughout the Old Testament. From the first mistake in Genesis to the last curse in Malachi, it is filled with it. Think of reading this to children in a bible study class and then saying to them, "this is the word of god given to inspired mortals who wrote it out at his direction."
One more caution, I haven't joined this movement of National Bible Week to ridicule anyone. I want respect for freethinkers who look at the bible as man made. I assert we have a right to read the bible and share our honest thoughts on the matter. We are told we must believe and I want to say why we disbelieve.
Lets take a fast run through the Old Testament where god tries experiments which always fail. In a nutshell, ole Yahweh starts out with Adam and Eve, and in no time they irratate him and get evicted from a lovely garden, and finally he kills all their offspring except a family of 8 that he saved for restocking. He also put every other species on the endangered list as he only saved two or seven of them, depending on how clean they kept themselves. Then he tries Prophets, then Kings, then Judges, and finally the Jews to make his experiment work. They all enraged him and were declared to be failures, so he kills his son who brings us hell.
That's the bible in a nutshell, but along the way from Genesis to Revelations the book is filled with god ordered death, suffering, and genocide. The innocent must suffer for the wrongs of the guilty, and the guilty ones are pardoned, for the most part.
Lets take the fast tour of the Old Testament and remember that death was a philanthropist for these lucky folks. Once god killed you, your suffering has ended, no more pain and tears, just endless sleep. The New Testament gets worse. Jesus brings us hell where we are endlessly tortured for the one sin that cannot be forgiven - disbelief.
Think of a fine illustrated bible, with pictures of what I am about to read, or a TV documentary graphically portraying these scenes that I am about to describe. What would Dobson say if Disney came out with a movie strictly adhering to the Good Book's description of this loving god?
"National Bible Week" is copyright © 1997 by John Patrick Michael Murphy.
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