Bible's undeserved respect goes on and on

“Imagine the Creator as a low comedian, and at once the world becomes explicable.”

H.L. Mencken

Infidel, n.  In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does.”

Ambrose Bierce

“Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.’

Isaac Asimov

“Our Bible reveals to us the character of our God with minute and remorseless exactness….It is perhaps the most damnatory biography that exists in print anywhere.”

Mark Twain

Here in New Hampshire, the land of “Live Free or Die,” the government purports to dictate educational curriculum – not a good sign in a supposedly free society.   The legislature, as reported in the Feb. 3, 2012 Keene Sentinel, is contemplating a law that would require schools to offer an elective course on the Bible.

Say what??

Isn’t the damn thing in our faces enough as it is?  Are there no other collections of folk-tales, pseudo-history and kindergarten morality that merit our attention?  Is there no civilization, however primitive, that doesn’t have its version of how things came to be and how people are supposed to act?  This is just forcing the dominant religion’s version to the fore once again. What is this, Saudi Arabia?

Fortunately, opposition was quick in coming.  The best quote came from Claire Ebel, of the NH ACLU: “This is a specific attempt to hold one religion over others and hold a religion over no religion.”

Inflated importance

The problem with the Bible is its inflated importance, maintained by both civil and clerical authorities.  The cause and effect is circular: It’s important because it’s always been – and that’s partly because clerics have filtered and whitewashed its more primitive stories.  Massive numbers of rabbi-hours have been invested in giving the Torah far more respect than it deserves.

Once again: the Bible is not inherently unique.  It is very special mainly TO CHRISTIANS AND JEWS, who exert a disproportionate influence on the actions of Western nations.  A heavily armed, religious nation like the US is a threat to the stability of the world.  I wouldn’t mind if Denmark had nukes.  But religion drives policy in many other non-Christian nation as well. 

God and the Presidency

And of course, there is no way an atheist could be elected to lead this great land of ours, even though a person free of religious superstition (I’m willing to believe that Obama’s such a person; he just goes through the motions) is a much better choice, because he/she can make decisions without having to believe that God is on our side (they ALL believe that).

Milllions of people believe the Bible represents history, despite all efforts to disprove its truth (especially the most primitive parts: why do people cling to the psycho-killer God in the Torah?).  Disturbingly large numbers of people believe without proof.  There’s no debate about the folk-tales of other religions; they’re false.

NOT a Christian nation

Another factor that’s inflated the importance of the Bible is the fallacy that every time the Founders said anything about God, it bears on the question of whether this is a Christian country.  WTF?  I hate the way religious believers cherry-pick their quotes, but that is the way of ignorant, devious people. 

The truth is that some of the Founders were outright atheists.  Jefferson cut out all the mythology and isolated the parts that were relevant and worthwhile.  Maybe some of the Founders mentioned God because they were politicians and the rabble expected it.

The point is that the government they created in no way rests on religious fantasy.   And before that, they didn’t rely on prayer to deliver them from the British.  They acted exactly opposite to the church poster I saw in Troy, NH: “Put your faith in God, not yourselves.”  Passivity, always.  God will take care of everything. 

God as underachiever (Woody Allen)

Except that he takes care of nothing.   He didn’t stop the Holocaust (sorry, cheap shot).  His resume is thin.  Prayers may or may not be answered.  Anything clerics say come from God – forgiveness, grace, salvation, strength – comes in fact from people themselves.

The NH proposed law is just another example of creeping Bible-worship.  I’m sure it’s not the only such legislative proposal in this great religious land of ours.  But give it a rest. There’s plenty of Bible study going on.  Way too much, in fact. Along with all the Bible courses, formal and informal, that we already have, there are entire institutions devoted to obsessing over it.

Who the hell do these politicians think they are, deciding what knowledge is important?  As one of the measure’s opponents said, the Roman Empire is just as important to our history and culture – why not mandate that?

Politicians should get out of education, stick to the Constitution, and concern themselves with the threats to our rights and liberties, chief among which right now is the government itself.

 

Views: 119

Tags: Bible, Christianity., God, Judaism, faith, religion

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Comment by Alan Perlman on June 9, 2012 at 12:01pm

Tammy....this is exactly the frustration I've been feeling for many years.  Jefferson said there shouid be a revolution every 20 years.  Same complaint applies to term limits.  The system will never change because the people with the power to change it are in charge of it.  There are Americans who envision violent solutions, but they are marginalized.  Besides, the governmet has all the major weaponry,  And what's the guarantee that the current crop will be replaced by anything better?  Still, limits on terms of office and revolving-door lobbying could accomplish a lot.

Comment by Tammy S on June 8, 2012 at 10:41am

I'm frustrated... not that you could likely tell from my previous posts LOL. I think the only solution is to bar these idiots from being able to work for known lobbying organizations for at least 10 years after leaving office. The better solution would be to outlaw lobbying.... The likelihood of either of those things happening without the use of force... slim to none...

Comment by Alan Perlman on June 8, 2012 at 10:16am

PS. to Loren -- GREAT collection.  Thanks again.

 

A.

Comment by Alan Perlman on June 8, 2012 at 10:14am

Loren,

There is indeeed wisdom all over the place, if one is willing to look.  In my other blog, www.thejewishatheist.com , there's a substantial number of examples of "secular wisdom," which I've collected from many sources.  I even have a book of Star Trek wisdom, subtitled ""Make it So," which I used in speeches I wrote.   Thanks for the clip.

Comment by Alan Perlman on June 8, 2012 at 10:09am

Tammy,

I don't know the answer to the states' rights question.  Ideally, the federal govt. would do a few things (enumerated in the Constitution); everything else would be left to the states and people (Tenth Amendment).  Such a system would generate many different solutions to problems, not a one-size-fits-all federal policy.  The reality is that incompetence, stupidity and greed are found at every level of government.  This is because politicians are a special type of person - busybody control freaks who couldn't hold real jobs.  Plus, they are career politicians, which was not part of the original game plan, so everything they do is focused on getting re-elected.  So the Founders' grand experiment, alas, has failed.

Comment by Tammy S on June 8, 2012 at 7:01am

Coming from the last state to add an amendment to their constitution prohibiting gay marriage and taking away the rights of 'all' unmarried couples, I beginning to think state rights and sovereignty are not a good idea. Our state is run by ignorant people, ignorant, bigoted, mean spirited, irrational people who are convinced of their own righteousness. Arizona, same kind of people, had to take the likes of Sheriff Joe to federal court to try to make him OBEY the law of the land, don't even get me started on Jan Brewer... 30 states with OVERT religious laws in their constitutions that spit outright in the face of the US Constitution... yeah state rights... not looking like such a bright idea anymore. One nation my ass...

Comment by Loren Miller on June 7, 2012 at 8:39pm

Personally, I find infinitely more wisdom, thoughtful, measured and considered, from the pens of those who wrote for Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-D than I have EVER seen or read in the bible.

Exhibit A:

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