If They Can Quote Bible Verses, So Can We

At Salisbury University on Maryland’s eastern shore, a campus Christian group chalked the ground (as groups do) with the following Biblical message:

Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!

So what are atheists at the school supposed to do? Respond with Bible verses of their own, of course :)

Reader John explains what he and a few friends did:

We began with Deut. 22:22 and graduated to Exodus 22:20. Then we wrote “Rape victims must marry their rapists” and correctly attributed it to Deut. 22: 28-29, and “God Supports Slavery” and the corresponding verses.

Within about 30 minutes, the campus police were called and took our IDs. Then the dean of students invited us into his office where we had a very productive conversation and he ended up supporting our free speech and our motives, and assuring us that if any of the chalk was washed away, all of it would be (not just ours).

When we came outside, someone had given an order to wash away our chalk, so the dean of students was forced to have the whole campus washed — his office apologized.

Sounds like a potentially bad situation that turned out alright. Everybody learned their lesson, right? The Bible is full of a lot of really shitty passages and context matters.

That’s not how local news station WBOC-16 spun the story:

Seeing chalk on the sidewalks at Salisbury University is a regular occurrence. Some groups and clubs use it as a way to promote events and get their messages out there. But early Friday some students say things went a little too far.

Statements such as “God supports slavery,” and “Rape victims must marry their rapist” [were] written on the sidewalk near Guererri Hall. Surveillance videotape helped Campus Police apprehend several Salisbury students.

No immediate disciplinary action was taken against the students but the school’s Dean of Students met with the students involved, and encouraged a more positive kind of discourse and use of the freedom of speech.

There’s no context to the story and no mention of what the Christians wrote to start the controversy. Just an implication that the atheists would get into trouble. Not true.

The reaction is just another example of a double-standard between Christians and atheists. When they quote the Bible, they’re righteous. When we do it, we’re dicks. It doesn’t matter what you quote.

I don’t think the Christians who started this should get in trouble either. They get their free speech, too. But atheists have every right to publicly mock the hell out of it.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Erik Cameron

    Am I a bad person because when I see a news source spin a story in a way that is not nearly neutral it amuses me? It’s like some sort of art form. How can you support one side of an issue while remaining neutral?
    Phrase the issue as a question whose implied answer supports your view? Check!Say that ‘some’ ‘people’ had this view? Check!Ignore information that contradicts this view? Check!I also give them bonus points for completely butchering context. “Atheists convince campus police that they were simply exercising free speech” is translated to “Campus police detained the athiests and let them off with a warning, encouraging them to support free speech”. Now that takes a special brand of disconnect with reality!

  • http://thestir.squarespace.com Servaas

    Hemant, I disagree with most of your posts but this is one of those that float by from time to time which I agree with. If the Christians had a better understanding of the Bible they’d probably realise that bit they quoted was not meant for such use. And yes, if they can write down scripture, so can the Atheists and Jews.

    • Lutz Biedinger

      “that bit they quoted was not meant for such use” who decides what bits can be used for what?

      • http://www.facebook.com/paul.buehler Paul Anthony Buehler

        Lutz: Why Jebus of course (an his emissaries in the church)!!!

      • Anonymous

        The person doing the quoting

    • Newavocation

      Servass, I find it frustrating when Christians critical of non-believers and apologists fail to adequately explain what they mean. What don’t these Christians understand about the bible? And if you disagree with most of Hemant’s posts I hope you can explain it more clearly so we can understand where you are coming from. But if you are coming from a belief in a sky god, be ready to provide some convincing evidence or you will be wasting your time here.

      • Karmakin

        Also, if said Christians were wrong, what can be done to help ensure in the future that this doesn’t happen?

        What education can be done to make Christians more aware of what is “true” inside their religion? (Personally I think that the first step is to retire the G-word, but that’s just me)

    • http://www.facebook.com/linda.gulley Linda Stout Gulley

      If the christians had ANY understanding of the bible, they would not be christians.  It endores rape and slavery and the treatment of women as livestock.  It is garbage, at best.

      • TheBlackCat

        Yes, but it is so poetic!

      • guest

        You’re comment is as ignorant as the Christians who think there actually exists an accurate translation in English.

        • EJC

          Explain WHY please.

          • guest

            I appreciate your request to explain why. I wouldn’t know how to accomplish that in this format.

            My original comment was a result of my annoyance with the ignorance in some of the comments. It seems that a number of the people who have posted have missed the basic points the author made (context matters and the double-standard) and have reduced themselves to the same type of ignorance to which he’s referring and that is seen so often portrayed by many of the religious…both set a poor example for intelligent discourse and are a disservice to the article.

            • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

              What format could be better than this for explaining your position? You just . . . say it. Heck, you even have the ability to look over what you say before posting and edit for clarity (as I just did in adding this sentence). If you disagree that the Bible “endores [sic] rape and slavery and the treatment of women as livestock,” than all you have to do is take the various passages that others have quoted and explain why they don’t mean what they seem to clearly mean. Others have tried, now you can take a shot. 

              (On the subject of mistranslation, I’m willing to accept that there may be parts of the bible that are not properly translated into English. However, it should be noted that the majority of Christians don’t seem to bother looking into the translations, and some (members of the church I grew up in, for example) refuse to consider any translation but the King James Version as valid. If they’re not going to make sure of the proper translation, then I don’t see myself having an obligation to check it for them. I’ll consider translation errors when talking to someone who does look into that.)

        • http://twitter.com/0xabad1dea Melissa E

          Ooh ooh may I write a grammar complaint for this one, too? 

          No, there is nothing ignorant about her comment. It is 100% true that the Bible says that God tells his people to rape, kidnap, murder, and enslave. 

          • Anonymous

            You’re clearly ignoring the context in which rape, kidnap, murder and slavery are the morally correct thing to do

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jada-Stone/100001704943944 Jada Stone

              Tongue in cheek, of course, Steve!

          • guest

            Yes, I stand corrected on the misuse of “you’re”…I didn’t thoroughly edit my comment before posting it.

            I stand by my statement regarding the ignorance of Linda’s comment and the lack of an accurate English translation. I will also add your comment to the list of inaccuracies.

        • Andy Anderson

          Because the creator of life, the universe, and everything only spoke Hebrew and Greek, right?

          • guest

            Not likely.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jana.t.piranha Jana T. Piranha

        I remember being 14 and hearing the story of Lot’s daughters being offered to the crowd of horny men, and I wondered if my mother would do that to me if she thought god wanted it. Anyone who says my fear wasn’t real or well founded needs to learn to READ. The hole babble is chock full of horrifying events, and the cherry-picking xians can apologise all they want but it will never be enough.

        • Anonymous

          The message of the story is pretty clear that Lot is to be considered to be the “only righteous” man in the entire city.  Just like how Abraham is supposed to be righteous for being willing to kill his son just to prove his loyalty to God.

        • Anonymous

          Wasn’t that the story where the mob was at the door wanting to rape a couple of angels?  So, to save the angels from rape the guy hands over his daughter?  I always wondered why a ‘divine’ creature would allow such a thing.  Or at least say, “Hey, how about we not give them anyone to rape and I’ll hand out some ‘divine’ justice to anyone who tries it.  Oh, and by the way, god says ‘thou shall not rape!”

          • Erp

            Actually according to the story the  men refused the daughters and insisted on the visitors at which point the angels struck them blind and told Lot to take his family and get out of the city.   It doesn’t excuse Lot, but, I’m not sure how much of a good guy Lot is suppose to be (the writer does make him the ancestor (by incest) of two of Israel’s hereditary enemies).

            • Anonymous

              The incest thing isn’t so much about Lot as it is a kind of racism
              targeted at those two enemy tribes. It’s denigrating to them to say that
              they are the product of incest. The whole story is nothing but an
              attack on them

      • Soulman

        Wow.  I understand that you may be a little testy when it comes to the bible, but let’s not lump a group of elitest Christian wing nuts with the ENTIRETY of Christian believers.  Not every Christian out there is out to get you k?  

        Also, I’m a Christian, and I don’t believe most of what that book says.  I’m a Christian, not a Biblinean.  You would be surprised what a big difference between the two are, and yet the latter is still summed up with the first.

        I fully support your feelings / rights / whatever the heck you want to believe.  It’s not my right to tell you what you can and can not believe, just as it’s not yours to tell me mine.

        So again, be careful when you group “Christians” with “Bible Thumpers.”

        • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

          Soulman, I appreciate your graciousness and your support for our basic rights, as I support yours. I guess the problem with Christians with your orientation being lumped together with “Biblineans” is that I’ve never heard anyone call themselves that, and I’ve never even heard of the term. The “Bible Thumpers” also call themselves Christians. Meanwhile, they’re saying that people like you are not “true Christians.”

          So I think you can understand the confusion that someone observing from the outside would experience. Who are we to believe when someone calls themself a Christian, and says that others are counterfeit? We have little choice but to take them all at face value.

          Yes, it’s not good practice to assume that all people who call themselves  Christians are antagonistic, boorish snots, but I’m afraid that the unfair association will continue until someone convinces the antagonistic, boorish snots to call themselves Biblineans or Bible Thumpers, or until Christians like you find a completely new name for yourselves.

          I sincerely wish you well.

    • Jeff Samuelson

      Whether the Christians in this situation have the right understanding or not (whatever that means to you) isn’t really relevant to the issue, is it? It’s enough to say that those who exercised their equal rights were wrongly (if unofficially) punished for doing so.

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      Servaas, I have been slapped in the face with Psalm 14:1 many times, so I have a personal interest in it. If you have the “better” understanding of it, and you know how it was “meant” to be used, please tell us right here and right now. This is your opportunity.

      Put your wisdom where your mouth is.

      If we don’t hear your enlightening understanding of this passage and its proper use right here and right now, then we can only conclude that your remark is just another variation of the No True Scotsman Fallacy. If some Christians are quoting and using scripture in a way that embarrasses you, then oh, they don’t have a true understanding of its meaning and its proper use. 

      Christians are disowning each other for their reprehensible behaviors as “not true Christians” so frequently, I think the logical fallacy will eventually be called the “No True Christian Fallacy.”

      • Matto the Hun

        Recently, my wife and I watched the movie, Troll Hunter. In the movie the trolls can smell the blood of a Christian Man. It made me think of the No True Scotsman/Christian fallacy. I thought wouldn’t it be interesting to round up a whole bunch Christians of differing sects who like playing that card and seeing if the trolls only go after certain ones.

        Sadly, there’s no such thing as trolls.

        • TheBlackCat

          I disagree, we get them here all the time…

        • donut section

          I find that very hurtful.

      • Demonhype

        Yes!  Put your money where your mouth is!

        I think that’s why I enjoy reading Slacktivist.  Fred does seem to believe that some people are not true christians in a general “I don’t think they are practicing christianity correctly or well”, but he never does it in the usual way–or at least I haven’t seen it.  He’ll say “I think this group of christians is misunderstanding/misinterpreting/misusing [bible quote], and here is why” and then he will go into detail about things like actual historical contexts, such as how some authors were not speaking of some distant time in the future but were speaking in a kind of code about a current despot, in order to communicate rebellious sentiments without being disemboweled and fed to dogs and such.  And he never uses any such context, such as “well, if she didn’t marry her rapist she’d be unmarriageable, so that was actually moral”, to justify the morality of the more hideous and evil parts of the bible.  Or at least I haven’t seen it, and I’ve been reading for years.

        To be fair, he does seem to see the bible as a very human document written by humans during various struggles and eras of human history and not some Eternal Holy Book that is True from cover to cover and must be literally obeyed Or Else.  He seems to focus less on the Bible and Christ’s life and death and a little more on enacting the nice things he believes about Christ in our society today, more interested in feeding the hungry and obtaining justice for the downtrodden in a real and human sense than using charity as a coercion tool for conversions.  He also never props up his faith by spitting on or lying about atheists and non-christians either, which really makes him a cut above in my book.  If all christians were like Jimmy Carter and Fred Clarke, I’d have no beef with believers at all!

        What he never seems to do is to say “these people are not very nice and I don’t like them or approve of their opinions, so therefore they are not Christian”.  He doesn’t declare all good people to be default christians or all bad people to be default non-christians or atheists using such tactics.  There are a lot of believers who could take some cues from him.

        Which is along the lines of why this situation pisses me off.  That Christian group was deliberately baiting the atheist group with that quote, knowing that they’d likely get a free pass on it despite it’s bigoted “all bad people are atheists and all atheists are bad people” message.  Why is it considered offensive to chalk quotes about the inferiority of women and such, but not to chalk a quote that claims that all atheists are the epitome of evil and capable of no good?  Yes, the school handled this well and I’m glad to hear it and I hope it continues that way, but the news station sounds like it’s over-christianized and needs a reality check, if it’s going to take the real story and change it to “atheists get uppity, get taught a lesson”.  As if the Christians and believers were just sitting there innocently, being all Christian and all, when the ebil gnu atheists slunk up and started mocking them cruelly and harassing them–for no reason!  And then the dean spanked the naughty atheists and told them to play nice, and that was that.  How the hell do they get that from the actual facts if they’re not over-christianized?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

    It is funny that we don’t need to change the bible to make it offensive to christians, we just need to quote it accurately.

    • EJC

      Post of the day Gordon! Post of the day!

    • Randy S.

      Very well put Mr. Duffy! This is very much like two other recent incidents that have upset Christians, namely the “Wal Mart Brick Testament incident”, and the incident where the man had the Christian shop print the tshirt with the scripture passage from the book of Timothy, commanding women to be submissive and silent.

    • Randy S.

      Gordon’s comment also reminds me of a great Mark Twain quote. “It’s not the parts of The Bible that I don’t understand that scare me, it’s the parts that I DO understand.”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Le-Falchion/100000751936799 Richard Le Falchion

      Agreed, you hit the nail squarely in the head there.

    • Anonymous

      I agree that the atheists’ freedom of speech was being encroached upon; however, they were not “quoting scripture”; they were making sweeping (and incorrect) statements of what the Bible generally teaches.

      • Mark Berry

        No they weren’t, they made statements of fact, and backed them up with evidence. They did not say that the bible EXCLUSIVELY or even PREDOMINENTLY supports slavery, simply that it does do, which is fact.

        The passage chosen by the Christians is offensive to atheists, claiming that they are evil and do no good; the atheists have more to complain about here than the Christians do.

        • Anonymous

          I’m not complaining, but simply pointing out a mistake; you have to define slavery if you want to say that the Bible supports it. In biblical times, “slavery” was when one man sold his services to another. It was a two-way deal that was made. If the slave ran away, that was a form of theft–breaking his contract.

          It has nothing to do with slavery such as was in the US, which was horrible, demeaning, and wicked.

          • Rich Wilson

            Some instances of slavery in the bible, yes.  You are correct.  But not all. 

            If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master.  But the slave may plainly declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children.  I would rather not go free.’  If he does this, his master must present him before God.  Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl.  After that, the slave will belong to his master forever.

            People (especially women and children) are property.  There is no other way to read that.

            • Anonymous

              I am not an expert on biblical slavery, however I can assure you it had nothing to do with kidnapping, as in the US. “Slaves” were bondservants and sometimes prisoners of war. In the passage you quote above, I don’t know what you are trying to show me; if a master frees his bondservant, that doesn’t mean the freed bondservant has a right to free other slaves of his master. when a bondservant becomes a bondservant, he knows that if he marries another bondservant this will be the case. This law gives him the option of remaining with his family. Right? I don’t see how that is oppressive. It’s all in the contract. Some people had to become unpaid dependents to survive.

              • Rich Wilson

                That biblical slavery wasn’t the same as US slavery is hardly reassuring.  Just the fact that it is talking to Hebrews strikes me as very tribal- not a “we’re all children of God”

                However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you.  You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land.  You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance.  You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.

                I guess some humans are more human than other humans. 
                As for specifically what I was trying to say above, maybe a little more context relating to how women fit into this:

                When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.

                Why not?  If you ‘give’ a wife to a slave, then why can’t you free both of them when their six years are up?  Heck, even if you bought her after having him for 5 years, you should let them go after his 11, her 6, no?  And what about their kids?  Born into slavery sound cool to you?   Women were chattel, plain and simple.  So God can tell us not to wear mixed fiber, and not to eat shrimp, and exactly what to kill and burn for any of a huge list of ‘sins’, but HE can’t tell us to respect women?  That women have the same rights as men?I get cultural context.  Really.  I do.  What I don’t get is how God is bound by cultural context.  A loving omni-everything God would have women treated fairly.  Period.  Anything less is a fucked up God.  Or the fiction of men.

          • Rich Wilson

            (God must be making Disqus eat my comments)

            If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master.  But the slave may plainly declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children.  I would rather not go free.’  If he does this, his master must present him before God.  Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl.  After that, the slave will belong to his master forever.

            Women and children are property?  Are you saying that that’s NOT horrible, demeaning, and wicked?

          • Mark Berry

            So your saying the bible is relevant to its time, not now? I thought it was gods word to all his people, including those living now, not the word of man which understandably would need to be taken in context?

            I find it incredible (in the true sense of the word) that your god is such a poor communicator.

            And anyway, you’re wrong about biblical slavery. There are plenty of unequivocal examples of evil acts (not just slavery) being “encouraged”. If it were the word of the god you describe, there would be none regardless of context.

            The bible makes COMPLETE sense as the word of men, and is a great book as such. It makes no sense at all as the word of the god Christians describe, and is the greatest evidence against his existence

          • Fr Neil38

            Israel though-out its History enslaved people, especially its conquered enemies. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/beth.ford.104 Beth Ford

             There is a reason that some things are anonymous and some books have no author.

      • http://www.facebook.com/beth.ford.104 Beth Ford

         You are either lying or retarded. Read the book! I’m sure they have one on tape if you don’t read so good.

    • Jon S.

         I am a christian and found this disturbing (I bet you’re surprised lol). I’ve read the Bible and checked the verses, which the one in Exodus is completely off and I couldn’t find it. I’d like to note that these were laws given to the Israelites before Jesus. Before Jesus came Jews were allowed to divorce, but Jesus said that you can only divorce your spouse if he/she is unfaithful. Why was divorce allowed before? “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard.” -Matthew 19:8
         Same goes for slavery. It never talks in the Bible about God’s opinion on slavery until Jesus, who said “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Also yes, later Paul does talk about how masters and slaves should treat each other, however this is once again because of the “hard hearts” of people. Also slaves were sometimes slaves because of unpaid debts, and they were able to work hard enough to free themselves. Another pointer is that some born as slaves would have trouble surviving in the world. They’d likely do the same jobs as slaves, but with little income. Since Christian masters were to treat their slaves fairly, the slaves could possibly live more comfortable lives in slavery than free.
         As for rapists marrying their victims? Back then culture was different. Women were not given as many rights as now, and they desired mostly to marry, and no one would want to marry someone who had been raped. For a women have such relations with a man that wasn’t their husband under any circumstances would have been considered detestable. By making the man marry the woman, it would keep her from living her life alone. Also it acted as a warning to the man; next time he’d get stoned. And as for the people who think that he would continue to abuse her, people would do something once they found out, namely relatives to the woman (who most likely would drop in from time to time to make sure he wasn’t mistreating her). Don’t forget that these are more “basic laws”, and that if an issue arose (i.e. the woman didn’t want to marry the man, or he was mistreating her) the matter would have been given to the leaders, which as this time would have been Moses and later the Judges and kings.
         I agree that those students shouldn’t have written that. As followers we are not to insult other people, especially unbelievers. This is an unkind thing to do.
         The Bible is the most difficult book to understand because it talks about God. People still don’t understand it completely, and because of its complexity (among other things) many people no longer believe in God. You have to look at it like a puzzle; you can’t tell what the whole picture is with only one piece.

      • Rich Wilson

        Back then culture was different. Women were not given as many rights as now

        So, are God’s laws objective morality, or a reflection of human culture?

        • Jon S.

             I’m having some trouble understanding what you’re asking, but I’ll try to explain:

             Like I said, culture has changed. Back then men took care monetarily for the women, and men would not want to marry a non-virgin. So if she did not marry the man then she would struggle to support herself after her father’s death because women were not allowed the same job opportunities as men. However, nowadays women have MUCH more job opportunities and can support themselves more easily, so this law is not as necessary in the present America. Also by rights I mean that men would not allow women to have certain rights they enjoy today. This is more culturally. I live in a Muslim country, which culturally is VERY much like that of  past Israel and women still have few privileges. Also I am basing the idea that men would not want to marry a non-virgin by situations in the Bible. I should say that Israel’s culture back then is VERY much different from modern-day American culture. Here’s a good quote on this page from my friend A. N. Omynous:

          “The real meaning of this verse is being misunderstood, perhaps
          intentionally. The idea was that a rapist could not be permitted to
          leave the raped in disgrace with no husband. In their culture, because
          of how shameful it was to have been raped, no one would want to marry a
          raped woman. This law was for the benefit of the woman who otherwise
          would not get to be married at all. The law is meant to be binding on
          the RAPIST–not the raped. A casual rapist would not want to make the
          commitment to support a woman who hated him for the rest of his life.
          This law is AGAINST rape”

             gtg, maybe I’ll answer more tomorrow, was supposed to be doing school but had to reply to this.

          • Rosemary

            So you are saying that the Biblical laws are culture and time bound. 

            The problem with that is that there is no indication in the Bible whatsoever that these laws are meant to be changed according to circumstances.  It has been left to human apologists to decide that this is so – and they do not all agree on this.   If whoever made up these laws was wise, omniscient, loving and all powerful then they would certainly have included text that made this clear.  Since there is no such text, and consequent rampant confusion over is an immutable law and what is not, then the laws were clearly not made by someone with these characteristics.

            The bottom line is that you either have to accept that the laws were made by ignorant men who were bounded by their culture and their time in history, or you have to accept that the laws were made by some god who does not have the characteristics traditionally attributed to it.  I do not believe that there is a valid third choice without committing semanticide (=word murder).

            • Anonymous

              Actually, the Bible does address what laws only applied to the ancient Israelites and what ones transcend everything. Yes, the law of Moses was written to a particular culture. God was making an agreement with them. God gave them an easier law for them to follow, because they were hopelessly wicked and unfaithful to Him. And yet they still couldn’t keep it! Jesus explains this. That is why Christians believe Jesus had to come and pay the price for sin so that we could be reunited with God. It’s a beautiful thing, really.

              Anyway, we have to realize when reading the old testament law that, yes, it was written within the confines of their culture. No one said it wasn’t. That doesn’t mean it didn’t come from God–however, it was not the end of God’s plan.

              • Anonymous

                Yeah, torture, executions and human sacrifices are really beautiful. And an all-powerful being couldn’t come up with any other way to fix the mess he is responsible for.

                Damn, you know that it’s morally wrong, yet you have to find some twisted, convoluted way to justify it just to hold on to your beliefs. It’s mind-boggling

                • http://www.facebook.com/beth.ford.104 Beth Ford

                   They are still not listening.

              • http://profiles.google.com/kelvins273 Kevin Smith

                The numerous draconian provisions of Leviticus are easier to follow than “Love God and love thy neighbor?” You have some interesting definitions of words.

              • http://www.facebook.com/beth.ford.104 Beth Ford

                 Does it hurt to be so deluded? Can you even feed yourself?

              • rlwemm

                 Then why not reject ALL of the Old Testament outright?  It obviously does not concern anyone but ancient Jews.   Of course, you would also have to reject the reported sayings of Jesus that he did not come to change anything in the Law and the Prophets (aka the Old Testament stuff).  So who is right:  you or Jesus? 

          • Anonymous

            What you are saying ONLY makes sense if the Bible is a man-written book that is only reflective and applicable to the time it was written in.

            That is not what Christians believe. Christians believe that the Bible was either written by god or inspired by it. That it’s “God’s word”. Some believe it’s error-free.

            So again:
            Why would the omniscient and omnipotent creator of the universe write a book and set down laws that are so clearly time and culture bound? Why would his book reflect the laws of those ancient times when he know – the instant he created the universe – that things would be different in a few thousand years? Shouldn’t his laws and morality reflect our more advanced understanding of human interaction and ethical conduct? How can the holy book of an allegedly all-loving god condone such conduct?

            You’re wrong about slavery and rape btw. There are verses where god explicitly commands his people to enslave other tribes and/or rape their women and/or outright kill them. God commands that. Not people doing it just by themselves

            • Anonymous

              “god explicitly commands his people to…rape their women ”

              …reference please?

              • Anonymous

                Deuteronomy 20:10-14
                Deuteronomy 21:10-14
                2 Samuel 12:11-14
                Numbers 31:7-18
                Judges 21:10-24

                At the very least, god never once condemns any of it – and there is plenty more where people rape in gods name. Hundreds of rules where he sets the death penalty for the most trivial offenses and thought crimes, but not for raping and slaughtering people during one of his genocidal crusadesIt really makes no difference whether god said “Go out and rape” or not. You have god commanding Moses and the Isrealites to wipe out some other tribe and in the process they kill all the children and married women, then rape all the virgins. And god is fine with that.

                Now, again, rape in warfare was was extremely common and basically standard for many centuries. It’s still used extensively in some African wars. But for Christians, the Bible isn’t just a history text book. It’s the Absolute Guide To Morality. It’s God’s Holy Word That Absolutely Must Be Obeyed. It’s inerrant. Given that, it’s completely barbaric and devoid of any morality.

                • Rich Wilson

                  Let’s be fair, the precedent was set by Zeus and Apollo who couldn’t keep it in their pants.

                • Anonymous

                  I’ll grant that if you believe God owes you anything, or that you are good or righteous, the Bible, and particularly the OT, makes no sense. God ordered many, many tribes to be killed down to the last man (not raped, though. none of those passages approve rape, unless you have an unusual definition of rape). But those who believe that humans are a wicked, hateful race understand. They all deserved death, but God held it back from some of them. That was mercy.

                  I’ll also grant that if you believe you are not a sinner, the “gospel” is no good news to you. The gospel is for those who realize their own sin, as I do.

                  Anyway, there are too many comments being made to reply to all of them. I can give you all my personal testimony, though, that God is good to His children, and He wants you. He doesn’t want enemies.

                  Over and out. ;)

                  P.S. Yeah, I know you’ll all try to refute that. I know it from experience, though.

                • Anonymous

                  You have an unusual definition of mercy. You are the one who is sick and wicked. It’s frightening to me that I have to live in the same world as people like you

                  And yes, all those passages are about raping the women of enemies. Don’t pull the historical context card again. It’s about men having sex with them or marrying them against their will. That’s rape. Believe it or not, but 2000 years ago people knew that was rape.

                • Rich Wilson

                  It won’t happen today.  And it won’t happen tomorrow.  But someday you may gain the strength to realize that you don’t deserve to be abused- that you deserve to be really and truly loved.  Good luck, and we’re here for you if/when you do.

                • http://www.facebook.com/beth.ford.104 Beth Ford

                  Experience? Did God help you find your keys while millions of children and infants starved, were raped, beaten and murdered? Wow you are special!

                • http://www.facebook.com/beth.ford.104 Beth Ford

                   Thank you.

              • Rich Wilson

                Deuteronomy 20:10-14 and 21:10-14
                although it’s not so much ‘commands’ as ‘encourages’, and no so much ‘rape-rape’ as just ‘rape’, since you don’t have to rape them, and in the latter case  you have to give her a whole month to mourn her family, that you’ve just finished killing.

            • Djgar1

              God gives men and women the choice of free will. God gives us the power to chose our own path, if influenced the writers. The writers would write in a way where everyone could understand. As society progresses we see laws change that make more sense to our world cultures and ideas.

              • K8T

                Its not free will if you go to hell for not obeying!

              • Hdjska

                Everyone has been saying the laws are culturaly bound or made to fit the time period. If God really is this all powerful being why should he make his laws cater to anyone elses culture. Why not make laws to change the culture to form to what he desires?

                • RLWemm

                   And why would an all powerful, all knowing, all loving, all competent, all responsible, all mature god dictate to or influence human writers to write down laws and regulations and rules that will be kept by people with rigid minds long after they fail to match the collective moral beliefs of that community for which they were originally written?  How could such a perfect being write some ambiguous material and then threaten to eternally torture anyone who didn’t manage to translate and modify it correctly for their current community?  It doesn’t make sense unless (a) these commandments were not influenced by a god OR (b) were influenced by a god that lacks one or more of the “basic” characteristics traditionally attributed to it (see the list above) OR (c) an evil god OR (d) written by a delusional and relatively ignorant person from an age where owning and selling slaves and beating them to within an inch of their life was considered not only moral but approved and commanded by the Community God. 

                • Renifer

                  Because “God” is not forward thinking, which means that “God” is not a god at all, but men writing down what they want, and using those writings to enforce their will on others. It’s a form of bullying that allows it to be institutional. No one understood this better than Saul/Paul of Tarsus, the Hebrew cop and Christian killer who converted and became an enforcer for another religion.

            • Zatty

              You don’t get to tell a Christian what Christians believe in contradiction to what he believes.. That’s a level of raw ignorance along the lines of… well, pretending that God supports slavery. But then, if you really think the Bible quotations of the above article are equally representative of Christian theology or modern Christian practice, then you’ve deluded yourself too deeply to change your mind.

              • Rich Wilson

                So, you don’t believe that

                the Bible was either written by god or inspired by him.

                Fine.  I didn’t say that, but I’ll apologize on behalf of Stev84.  Sorry for mis-representing you.

                Now, would you mind telling your fellow Christians that:
                a) Atheists are not amoral
                b) Atheists have fulfilling purposeful lives
                c) Atheists don’t trust God
                d) Atheists are not under God

                kay?  Thanks!

              • http://www.facebook.com/beth.ford.104 Beth Ford

                 But God says I have to serve my master even if he wants to rape me, force me to have his babies and beat me nearly to death because he owns me. When, how and to whom does that make sense?

            • Jon S.

                    Now I think I understand. I believe that those laws were more to keep order among the Israelites who had just gone out of Egypt. They had to have laws at this time. The laws needed to be culture bound. Later as culture changed the punishments would change. Nowadays prison time is used to punish rapists. However, since the Israelites were still nomads, they had no place to keep prisoners. Also prison was not as bad a punishment. I would rather go to jail for a year then have to care for someone who would hate me the rest of my days. What other way could have been better? The woman needed someone to support her, and the man needed to be punished. Making him pay was already part of the punishment, and he had to pay a lot to the father. The woman would have been better off marrying the man because no one else would marry her because she was no longer a virgin. Also this takes us back to the beginning, “and the two will become one flesh”. Since he’s had relations with her, this has happened.
                 There are no verses in the Bible where God tells the Israelites to rape to women. If men wanted to sleep with captured women, they had to marry them (Deuteronomy 21:10-14)
                 God also tells the Israelites to completely destroy the people they conquer. There are two reasons: 1) The people in the area had done detestable things (sacrificed their children, worshiped idols…) and God used the Israelites to punish them and 2) if they let them live (which the Israelites ended up doing sadly), the survivors would turn them away from God.
                 Sometimes God let the Israelites take women as “plunder”, but as stated above, the Isralites were to marry them if they wanted to sleep with them. Someone here said that culturally many people would rape the women in the towns they attacked, but the Israelites were not to do this.
                 If any prisoners were allowed to be taken, they were virgins. God knew that the Israelites would marry them.
                 For a few posts down someone mentioned Samuel 12:11-12 as an example of God allowing rape. This is not true. David had commited the infamous sin of sleeping with Bathsheba, and later Absalom sleeps with David’s concubines at his palace. God used this to punish David. Also, it does not mention either way how the concubines felt about this. Because David had left them at the palace while he ran from Absalom, they might have felt that they should have done it to get back at Absalom. Also at this point it looked like Absalom would become king, so they might also have wanted to insure that they got to stay at the palace. Also it was Absalom’s choice to sleep with the women.

                 I wish I had more time to completely answer, but this is the best I can do for now. I know that whatever I say here will not convince you or change your mind. I do hope that you all realize that Jesus is God and that He does exist. lol you all probably think I’m just some “moron who doesn’t know what he’s even talking about”. I probably won’t be posting here anymore (kind of just dropped in for the first time yesterday), and I’m sure you’ll have more questions, or counter-arguments, but if you do, just share them with a pastor. As a teenager my knowledge of the Bible is not as great as a pastor’s, so if you really want to know for sure if you’re right (or wrong), then ask them (and wait for an answer). You’ll never get to hear the other side of the story by spending time around non Christians, because they don’t try to prove that God’s real. It’s like at an election, you’ll never know what the republicans are truly saying they stand for if you’re only around democrats.

              God Bless,
                             Jon S.

              • Rosemary

                Thank you for trying to answer this John S.  It is a big pity, though, that you do what most other theists do when faced with material that challenges or disconfirms their beliefs:  they dump a whole lot of stuff that they naively believe will be “new” to the readers and then run away so that they do not have to face any more uncomfortable experiences.  Cowards!

                You claim that atheists do not know the other side of the story because we have not spent enough time around theists.  This is very funny.  The reverse is true: you have spent too much time around Christians and do not know the other side. 

                What you do not seem to have considered is that there is not much point in us talking to “pastors” to get the real story because many of us are ex-pastors and ex-theology students.  We know as much, or more than the average pastor.  If you do work up enough courage to return long enough to see how your comments are received that think long and hard about that.

                Your answers are typical of the kind of stuff we used to believe (at least those of us who are ex-Christians rather than ex-something else.)  To be blunt, you are very naive (like most devout Christians) and obviously trying very hard to bolster the belief system that you have been indoctrinated into before you were old enough to use your critical abilities to assess it.  Now, of course, it is very hard for you to stand outside the dogma and see it from the outside.  You may never be able to do this.  Around two-thirds of people people brought up to believe in some kind of god or religion cannot so this.  In the U.S. that figure is much higher and in Saudi Arabia higher still.

                There are a lot of problems with your argument.  I will mention just a few.

                First, “marrying” someone whom you got as the result of the spoils of war is no more than legalized slavery.  The woman is no more than property and has no say in it. 

                As you say, the Top Ten Commandments (both the original 10 that Moses smashed and the god-amended New Nine that were stored in the Arc of the Covenent) as well as all the commandments that were supposedly handed down by god to his people via the local prophet, these were all meant to control the Jewish people.   The glaring problem (which has yet to glare at you) is that the cultural dependence and temporary nature of these rules is not spelled out anywhere in the Bible, with the exception of Paul of  Tarsus who argued that his visions informed him that it was O.K. for the Gentiles to avoid complying with the Jewish rites that gave generally prevented them from taking up Judaism or its sectarian offshoots.  This is the opposite of what Jesus of Nazareth taught and what the Jerusalem church continued to believe.   Modern Christianity stemmed from the Pauline and Roman (Gentile) modifications.

                What you  probably do not know is that the original version of the Top Ten Commandments was devised by members of  rival nations in the area (the same ones that the Jews believed their god wanted them to exterminate because they or their ancestors were  “wicked”).  Look up the Laws of Hammurabi, for example.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_of_Hammurabi

                The Bible is a very derivative document.  It borrows stories and ideas from all over the place and repackages them with a Jewish flavor.

                The Creation and Flood stories and the story of the Garden of Eden were plagiarized from the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh.  If these Old Testament stories are true, then they support the existence and power of  THOSE foreign gods, not the one the Jews worshiped (either El or Yahweh).  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_of_Gilgamesh (See the section titled: Relationship to the Bible)

                You are probably also unaware that the stories of the Old Testament do not all refer to the same “one god”.  Both the El god and his pantheon and the Yahweh god are both credited with having created the universe and their stories are listed one after the other in the Book of Genesis.  That is why there are two conflicting stories about this in the first couple of chapters.  The English translation treats them as one and the same.  They are two quite distinct gods who were eventually merged.   http://drchris.me/higgaion/?p=445   It is a little difficult to worship “the one true god” if there is more than one of them, isn’t it?

                You argue that the “those laws were more to keep order among the Israelites who had just gone out of Egypt.”  The problem with this argument is that modern archeologists are almost unanimous in stating that there was never a large group of Jews living in Egypt, either enslaved or free, and that the Exodus never happened.  http://thewordofme.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/the-exodus-never-happened/  This has been politically  described by journalists not wishing to offend the Jews, Christians and Muslims as a “controversial  consensus”  view.  It is not “controversial” as far as serious prestigious archeologists are concerned.  The arguments are so convincing that even Jewish scholars are being forced to accept them.

                There is not a scrap of evidence to support these biblical contentions, when there should be at least something if the Jews were wondering around the Sinai desert for a full 40 years.   The evidence supports the view that the Jews originated in Sumeria and the archeological findings show that there was insufficient time in their history for a significant section of the population to have spent time elsewhere.  

                http://www.raceandhistory.com/historicalviews/doubtingexodus.htm

                “Many scholars have quietly concluded that the epic of Moses never
                happened, and even Jewish clerics are raising questions. Others think it
                combines myth, cultural memories and kernels of truth.”

                Besides, there are multiple archeological disconfirmations of Biblical stories and claims. Cities were not in existence at the times supported by the biblical record.  Bethlehem did not exist in Judea at the time of the birth of Jesus.  The walls of Jericho had fallen years before Joshua  was supposed to be there.  And on and on.  All material that early archeologists with Christian agendas have ignored or deliberately tried to conceal.  

                In other words, John, you are still operating from scientific ignorance as well as ignorance of a number of other relevant issues.   You have been misinformed by the similarly ignorant and misinformed.   I am sure you know the saying about the blind leading the blind.  

                You cannot be truly free to make up your mind about these things if you have only been exposed to material that fails to challenge your indoctrinated world view.  You already know this.  It is just that you had not suspected that the focus is on you rather than the people who your religious leaders insist are theologically ignorant.  Psycho-analysts call is “projection”.  In most cases, especially in the young, I prefer to call it immature naivete.  You can fix that, you know – provided that your real goal is to find out the truth, no matter how personally uncomfortable it may be.  If you can learn to do this then you will make a good researcher or scientist one of these days.    Good luck!

                • Rosemary

                  Whoops!  Slight mistake.  Archeologists believe the Jews originated from Canaan (not Sumeria). 

                  Here ‘s an excerpt from the article by Teresa Watanabe

                  Los Angeles Times
                  April 13, 2001 
                  http://www.raceandhistory.com/historicalviews/doubtingexodus.htm

                  = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

                  Today, the prevailing theory is that Israel probably emerged peacefully
                  out of Canaan–modern-day Lebanon, southern Syria, Jordan and the West
                  Bank of Israel–whose people are portrayed in the Bible as wicked
                  idolators. Under this theory, the Canaanites took on a new identity as
                  Israelites were perhaps joined or led by a small group of Semites from
                  Egypt–explaining a possible source of the Exodus story, scholars say.
                  As they expanded their settlement, they may have begun to clash with
                  neighbors, perhaps providing the historical nuggets for the conflicts
                  recorded in Joshua and Judges.

                  “Scholars have known these things for a long time, but we’ve broken the
                  news very gently,” said William Dever, a professor of Near Eastern
                  archeology and anthropology at the University of Arizona and one of
                  America’s preeminent archeologists. Dever’s view is emblematic of a
                  fundamental shift in archeology. Three decades ago as a Christian
                  seminary student, he wrote a paper defending the Exodus and got an A,
                  but “no one would do that today,” he says.

                  The old emphasis on trying to prove the Bible–often in excavations by
                  amateur archeologists funded by religious groups–has given way to more
                  objective professionals aiming to piece together the reality of ancient
                  lifestyles. But the modern archeological consensus over the Exodus is
                  just beginning to reach the public. In 1999, an Israeli archeologist,
                  Ze’ev Herzog of Tel Aviv University, set off a furor in Israel by
                  writing in a popular magazine that stories of the patriarchs were myths
                  and that neither the Exodus nor Joshua’s conquests ever occurred. In the
                  hottest controversy today, Herzog also argued that the united monarchy
                  of David and Solomon, described as grand and glorious in the Bible, was
                  at best a small tribal kingdom.

                  = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

                • http://www.facebook.com/beth.ford.104 Beth Ford

                   Wow, you are committed. They won’t listen but thanks for trying.

              • Rich Wilson

                you all probably think I’m just some “moron who doesn’t know what he’s even talking about”

                No, you’re not a moron, by any stretch.  I know this will probably come off as offensive, so I hope you know it comes from the same place as your ‘God Bless’ does.  I have done volunteer work with domestic abuse prevention.  It is very common for victims of abuse to rationalize and justify their abuser.  It is really difficult for the human psyche to deal with being abused by someone you love, and who is supposed to love you, and people come up with all kinds of crazy stuff that to those of us on the outside seems totally insane.  They quite simply have a different perspective. I know you don’t feel like an abuse victim.  In fact very much the opposite.

                But, what I am saying is that the deity portrayed in the OT is EXACTLY an abuser.  That’s why we are so sure that the OT is not the work of a deity.  It is the work of men.  Most of us also think there is no deity, but that’s kind of beside the point.

                • Rosemary

                  That’s a very interesting perspective, Rich.  I’d never thought of it like that, but now that you mention it, it seems to make a lot of sense. 
                  (I’ve worked with abused men and women also.)

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous
                • http://www.facebook.com/beth.ford.104 Beth Ford

                   ‘Why God won’t go away’ by Andrew Newberg

                • Renifer

                  Rich Wilson,

                  You wrote: “the deity portrayed in the OT is EXACTLY an abuser. ”

                  I very much agree, having studied psychology and worked with those that have suffered abuse.

          • Rich Wilson

            A law benefiting women would have said “any person who has sexual contact with another person against that person’s will shall be required to pay that person 50 shekels per year for for as long as both shall live”.  Was that too hard?

            The law is meant to be binding on 
            the RAPIST–not the raped.

            You honestly think a woman had any choice in the matter?  Like you said, “Women were not given as many rights as now”.  The question is, why?  Instead of all these rules that are “better that she should have a husband who raped her than no support at all”, how about “a woman who has been raped  is no less deserving of respect”.  Or, “A woman who has been raped shall have her choice of any man to marry”.  Or “A woman who has been raped shall be the burden of the rapist’s family”.  You can bet that would get men working against rape!

            Apologists keep talking about cultural context and “it wasn’t really that bad”.  And the rest of us are saying “no matter what cultural context, by today’s standards it was messed up”.

            As I sorta said elsewhere, a loving omni-everything never would have written that shit in the first place.  Either God doesn’t support equal rights, or God can’t support equal rights.  (Equal meaning men/women, gay/straight ‘Hebrew/foreigner, take your pick)

            • K8T

              This is one of my favorite reply’s! Very well said.
               

          • Sharonlynnvn

            Against rape? Tell that to the Pope and his peodephile buddies.  Most, fortunately not all, “Christians” believe what they want the bible to tell them and how it will support anything including hate. The book was written by men, and rewritten by men over and ever to do just that.

          • agnostic

            That makes no sense, if the Bible is the word of God then how can it change with the changing of the times? Isn’t God’s word supposed to be absolute? It sounds to me like the typical thing that Christians do and change things in their religion to suit their needs.

      • Rosemary

        “The Bible is the most difficult book to understand because it talks
        about God. People still don’t understand it completely, and because of
        its complexity (among other things) many people no longer believe in
        God”

         You are arguing that your version of god is an extremely poor communicator.  :-O

        Nowhere in the writings this god caused to be written by others, or in the writings he took a long time inscribing on stone tablets while Moses was on top of a mountain, does this god mention that the rules he dictates or prescribes are only to be followed by the people with whom he is communicating that the time.  There are no clues about when to reject them.

        As for the Trinity, the concept does not translate to the simple “masks” and facades that a human being wears.  The doctrine of the Trinity did not become part of main stream Christianity until the 3rd century.  There was vigorous oppositon to it at the time.  After it was proclaimed by the Church Fathers those who had been in opposition and those who expressed disagreement thereafter were cruelly slaughtered and their manuscripts destroyed.  Is this in line with how you think your version of god works?  

        The early Jerusalem Church (the brothers and disciples of Jesus of Nazareth) did not believe that Jesus was divine.  Nor did the Gnostics, the intellectual branch of Christianity in the 3rd Century. 

        The earliest gospel writings included material that makes the divinity of Jesus quite problematic. 
        1. Jesus prayed to his god.  Why would he pray to himself? 
        2. On the cross, he is reputed to have asked why his god has forsaken him.  If he was god then he could not very well forsake himself.  An alternative explanation is that the god part removed itself while the human half of Jesus suffered and died.  How cruel is that? 
        3.  Jesus, or more likely his followers, claimed that Jesus was the Messiah.  However the Jewish Messiah was depicted as a human warrior who was to save the Jews from slavery. The Messiah was definitely NOT god.  The only way he could be made into a god was to remove the Jewish background and substitute it with Greek and Roman mythology:  most of these gods as well as the “divine” emperors, were claimed to have been born of virgins, and to be capable of performing miracles.  Like many of these these gods, the new Jesus god was born during the Winter Solstice on December 25, when many of these gods were supposed to have been born.  

      • Rosemary

        “The Bible is the most difficult book to understand because it talks
        about God. People still don’t understand it completely, and because of
        its complexity (among other things) many people no longer believe in
        God”

         You are arguing that your version of god is an extremely poor communicator.  :-O

        Nowhere in the writings this god caused to be written by others, or in the writings he took a long time inscribing on stone tablets while Moses was on top of a mountain, does this god mention that the rules he dictates or prescribes are only to be followed by the people with whom he is communicating at the time.  There are no clues about when to reject them.

        As for the Trinity, the concept does not translate to the simple “masks” and facades that a human being wears.  The Trinitarian god is at least two separate individuals who apparently have very different ways of thinking and interacting with humans.  The Father god is warlike and monstrously cruel;  the Son god is a passive-agressive pacifist who invents the idea of a Hell that requires the “gift” of eternal life to experience its full excruciating horror.  Would a really loving creature create such a place and banish people to it for finite crimes or crimes of ancestry?  Of course not!

        The doctrine of the Trinity did not become part of main stream Christianity until the 3rd century.  There was vigorous opposition to it at the time.  After it was proclaimed by the early Church Fathers, those who had been in opposition and those who expressed disagreement thereafter were cruelly slaughtered and their manuscripts destroyed.  Is this in line with how you think your version of god works?  

        The early Jerusalem Church (the brothers and disciples of Jesus of Nazareth) did not believe that Jesus was divine.  Nor did the Gnostics, the intellectual branch of Christianity in the 3rd Century. 

        The earliest gospel writings included material that makes the divinity of Jesus quite problematic. 
        1. Jesus prayed to his god.  Why would he pray to himself? 
        2. On the cross, he is reputed to have asked why his god has forsaken him.  If he was god then he could not very well forsake himself.  An alternative explanation is that the god part removed itself while the human half of Jesus suffered and died.  How cruel is that? 
        3.  Jesus, or more likely his followers, claimed that Jesus was the Messiah.  However the Jewish Messiah was depicted as a human warrior who was to save the Jews from slavery. The Messiah was definitely NOT god.  The only way he could be made into a god was to remove the Jewish background and substitute it with Greek and Roman mythology:  most of these gods as well as the “divine” emperors, were claimed to have been born of virgins, and to be capable of performing miracles.  Like many of these these gods, the new Jesus god was born during the Winter Solstice on December 25, when many of these gods were supposed to have been born.  

      • http://www.facebook.com/beth.ford.104 Beth Ford

         Every version of the bible is different, they all reflect the bias of the authors and there are hundreds of versions.

    • Djgar1

      It’s funny too see many atheists, if not all, take their quotes from the old testament. In the old testament it talked about the history and the laws of the Jewish people(as well as their struggles), NOT CHRISTIANITY. So when quote beginning Jewish laws about rape and slavery, they mostly all took place about 2000 years before the common era(B.C.E). Also it was common to see laws that don’t make sense back then.  It wasn’t until the new testament where Jesus came and spread christianity. He tweaked many of the laws to become more modern. So you don’t offend me when you use quotes that came from that long ago.
      Have a nice day.

      • Rich Wilson

        Also it was common to see laws that don’t make sense back then.

        So God’s laws (at least some of them)  don’t make sense? Always nice when we can agree on something.

      • Anonymous

        The OT isn’t that old. Most books were written from 800 to 300 BCE, even if some of the material is older

        It’s interesting to see the cognitive dissonance in action when people know that certain parts are immoral, but do everything they can to rationalize them away to uphold the beliefs they have been programmed with. Interesting, but sad. And still doesn’t answer why an all-knowing god would change his mind that quickly. Why not get it right in first place? No one can answer that because the answers would be very uncomfortable for them

        Dismissing the OT entirely has been declared a heresy twice by the way, as was the case with Marcionism and later the Cathars

        • Fr Neil38

          Yea, and how did the Catholic Church treat the Cathars?  Pillaged their towns and Killed all of them in the name of true Faith,…” there just Heretics, ya know!”

        • http://www.facebook.com/beth.ford.104 Beth Ford

           I still think it’s just ignorance. My dad is a backwards, racist, bigoted, Baptist. I never believed a single word of it.

      • Rosemary

        Many New Testament writers and characters,  including Jesus, misquoted text from the Old Testament (= the scriptures) or attributed text to it that does not appear in any of the books in the current cannon. 

        If the Yahweh god exists and is identical with the Jesus character, or exists and guided the people who misquoted the material then he appears to one or all of contradictory,  ignorant, powerless to get his real message across or an expedient liar. 

      • Jewess

        Well, I’m glad you’re not offended and that your wonderful Jesus had only brilliance to contribute to the world. Unfortunately, many of his followers (very modern ones at that) have spewed hate from every orifice condemning homosexuals, Jews, Atheists, Pagans, Muslims, foreigners and anyone else who didn’t fit the mold. Good thing he died so that the Christian conscience would be clear.

        • Darling Donna

          Just because you are in the garage, doesn’t make you a car.  Just because you are in the oven, doesn’t make you a biscuit.  God is LOVE and he does not hate anyone.  But you all know this because you seem to know the Bible better than anyone!

          • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

            And apparently you don’t, and didn’t bother to google the question. If you believe the Bible to speak truth about God, then check Psalm 5:5 “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”

            Psalm 11:5 “5The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”

            Leviticus 20:23 “And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.”

            Proverbs 6:16-19 “16These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
             17A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
             18An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
             19A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

            Hosea 9:15 “15All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.”

            (all from the King James Version, pulled from biblegateway.com)

            Seems God does hate certain people. 

          • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

            And apparently you don’t, and didn’t bother to google the question. If you believe the Bible to speak truth about God, then check Psalm 5:5 “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”

            Psalm 11:5 “5The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”

            Leviticus 20:23 “And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.”

            Proverbs 6:16-19 “16These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
             17A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
             18An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
             19A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

            Hosea 9:15 “15All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.”

            (all from the King James Version, pulled from biblegateway.com)

            Seems God does hate certain people. 

          • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

            And apparently you don’t, and didn’t bother to google the question. If you believe the Bible to speak truth about God, then check Psalm 5:5 “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”

            Psalm 11:5 “5The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”

            Leviticus 20:23 “And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.”

            Proverbs 6:16-19 “16These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
             17A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
             18An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
             19A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

            Hosea 9:15 “15All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.”

            (all from the King James Version, pulled from biblegateway.com)

            Seems God does hate certain people. 

            • Rich Wilson

              Yes, but all those people made God hate them.  And it really hurt God to hate them.  And he promises to never hate them again as long as they behave.  And then he gave them a rainbow.

              • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

                Oy. The way you say that makes me think I should have put a trigger warning on those verses.

            • http://www.facebook.com/beth.ford.104 Beth Ford

               Truly. And Jesus throws a fit when he doesn’t get enough attention.

          • http://www.facebook.com/beth.ford.104 Beth Ford

             Wow, great comeback aunt Jemima! Is that wat Granny used to say?

          • rlwemm

             And your authority for this statement is:  the Bible that you have not properly read, and the say-so of people whose word you have never actually critically examined.  And yes, there is proof (from no less than the =Christian= Pew Report) that athiests know what is in the Bible far better than the average devout Christian.  Shame on you!

        • Darling Donna

          Just because you are in the garage, doesn’t make you a car.  Just because you are in the oven, doesn’t make you a biscuit.  God is LOVE and he does not hate anyone.  But you all know this because you seem to know the Bible better than anyone!

      • Rosemary Lyndall Wemm

        Another point to consider is that Jesus also invited Hell, the concept of eternal torture for small and finite “sins”.  That is better described as monstrously unjust than “modern”, don’t you think?

      • Rosemary Lyndall Wemm

        Another point to consider is that Jesus also invited Hell, the concept of eternal torture for small and finite “sins”.  That is better described as monstrously unjust than “modern”, don’t you think?

      • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

        Did the New Testament quotes that have been given offend you? Not that I want you offended, but I am curious.

      • http://www.facebook.com/beth.ford.104 Beth Ford

        Lol, It’s Jesus you want? He was deluded. God had godly sons and Jesus wasn’t one of them. The Jews do not believe he was the warrior king/messiah. He was arrogant, cranky, moody, drunken, cowardly and no one was ever crucified on the sabbath. He was also wrong about the second coming.

        Have a nice day!

    • Chachynga

      Yet you never ever do or can.
      Have you seen a man who seems to himself to be wise? There is more hope for the foolish than for him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=523496606 W.J. Walton

    I tried posting a link to this story with the comment “Tell the full story WBOC, not just the ‘safe’ one,” on their Facebook wall, but they deleted it within minutes.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve posted this link several times on their Facebook wall too, and they have been quite efficient in deleting it within seconds in those cases as well.  It took them a while to figure out that they can prevent me from commenting, lol.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1615224910 Anonymous

    By the way, the Christian group misquoted the verse anyway. It does not say “Only fools say” it says “The fool has said.” 

    • jen

      Yes, but they are staying  true to form…christians are always twisting the words  in the bible around to fit their agenda.

    • Hyperbolicious

      It’s possible they’re reading a different translation which reads as such.  I haven’t bothered to read every English translation available, but I know there are differences much more significant than that wording twiddle.  Not to say that outright misquotes do not occur with some frequency, but this particular instance could go either way.  

  • Johannsone

    The Old Testament reads like a really good porno at some points. My favorite defense against OT quotes “Christians recognize the Old Testament as history, not as a way to live” – One counters with the 10 commandments and it’s always about Jesus’ 2 commandments. Love God, love each other.  I guess ignorant masses need simplicity? In the end, I guess freedom of speech only applies as long as it conforms to what is deemed socially acceptable- I think that tide is changing quickly though. As to news spin…Surprise, right?

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

      Can’t really argue with Jesus’ saying, “dudes, PLAY NICE.” It’s the bit about loving The One True and Only God EVAR (when said God is, well… the biggest dick in the universe).

      • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

        Well, yea, except
        Matthew 10:34: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

          Er, yeah, there’s that, too.

          But you still can’t argue with “PLAY NICE.” (It’s… kinda part of being a social creature, you know?)

          • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

            Well, ok, I can’t really argue with “play nice” (maybe if I really stretched my brain. . . but why bother?)

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

              That, and it’s just too much work to create drama and discontent! (Go, Sloth!)

    • Demonhype

      Four legs good, two legs bad!  Four legs good, two legs bad!

  • Anonymous

    Matthew 5: 22 

    “But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

    • TheBlackCat

      No, not Mr. T! 

  • BrandonUB

    I’m pretty impressed with the dean in this case. I was expecting things to go poorly and the story turned towards the good. The media coverage though? Not so much.

    • Atheistbob

      Seems to me that the dean ought to set things straight with the media if he really wants equality!… Put out a news release explaining the ENTIRE story.

  • Gone Apostate

    Has there been any follow up with the news station? A letter or other form of objection raised to them? If not there should be. Then if they don’t address it there then letters to the editor of local papers, etc. I’m not saying that we get antagonistic, just that we shouldn’t let leave these things alone. This post is a great way to get word out to this community but we need to call out the media to their audience when they demonstrate such clear bias. 

    • EJC

      Unfortunately, the news station did nothing LEGALLY wrong. I know it is splitting semantic hairs, but that is how it works. As a reference, I am a journalist.

      However, it is stuff like this that continues the erosion of my profession.

  • Skeptic

    Interesting story. But please spell all right correctly. All right is proper; alright is slang. Thanks! 

    • EJC

      What about the ebonics version of “Ahhite”? Where does that fall on the “all right” spectrum?

      • http://www.facebook.com/llance Lance Buckley

        I guess it’s alright if you don’t worry about inconsequential stuff too much.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

      Right, then… um, what about “The Kids Are Alright”?

  • Anonymous

    The perfect way to deal with christian chalk messages.
    Maybe if they they read the bible they wouldn’t be quoting it so much.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

      If they actually sat down and read it, they’d go mad from the revelation… oh. Wait. Wrong book.

      *puts down her copy of De Vermis Mysteriis and picks up a KJV bible*

      If they actually sat down are read the Bible, they’d deconvert.

    • Anonymous

      Deuteronomy 22:28
      “she shall be his wife, because he has VIOLATED her. He MAY NOT divorce her all his days.”

      The real meaning of this verse is being misunderstood, perhaps intentionally. The idea was that a rapist could not be permitted to leave the raped in disgrace with no husband. In their culture, because of how shameful it was to have been raped, no one would want to marry a raped woman. This law was for the benefit of the woman who otherwise would not get to be married at all. The law is meant to be binding on the RAPIST–not the raped. A casual rapist would not want to make the commitment to support a woman who hated him for the rest of his life. This law is AGAINST rape.

      • george.w

        So tired of the argument that God made oblique adjustments to current culture without addressing the primary injustice.  If he is eternal and trying to bring humans up to speed, wouldn’t it be simpler to just say: “If a man rapes a woman all the dishonor is on him, she has done nothing wrong”?  

        Or as my Church History professor used to say, “Biblical interpretation?  You mean God doesn’t say what He means?” 

        • Anonymous

          Well, God does say basically just that a few verses before. But if no one wanted to marry her, it wouldn’t really help. That is why the law was made, to ensure that she could have a husband to support and protect her (even though she would probably never love him). It’s just a bad situation no matter what. The law is trying to make the best of it in the context of the culture. That’s my take on it.

          I don’t feel that I am really “interpreting” anything, just reading the passage in its entirety so I can understand the full import of it.

          • Anonymous

            If god really disapproved of their actions, why is he content with just weakly adjusting his laws to fit their society? Why doesn’t he do what he usually does? Destroy their cities in a rain of fire and turn everyone to salt!

            Remember, we aren’t talking about just human law here. According to Christianity this is God’s law

      • Anonymous

        The shameful act wasn’t the rape. Very far from it. The shame was not being a virgin any longer. Just like at various Islamic countries where exactly that kind of thinking still exists. It’s about men being psychopathically obsessed with only sleeping with virgins – which has grown to the point that few people know what that mattered once (making sure the children are really theirs).

        And of course you’re forgetting that’s the rapist probably wouldn’t mind much marrying his victim. Especially in a culture with legalized polygamy. But for the woman it’s a real punishment

      • Citron8871

        awe and when in context it makes perfect sense 

  • Rod Chlebek

    I agree with the actions of these students who challenged the writings. As far as the news station, they can kiss my derriere.

  • Jake

    Rape is used in a different context than what we use it today. The passage describes what happens when a man has sex out of wedlock with a woman whose family practices arranged marriages. Old testament Hebrews practiced arranged marriages for economic reasons. That is why the man who has had sex with the woman has to pay the father. I know it doesn’t sound fair by today’s standards. But it does not in anyway condone rape as we know it.

    • Anonymous

      *facepalm*

      Even if that were true, there are plenty of other instances in which god commands and condones the rape of women in warfare (or the complete slaughter of entire tribes for that matter). Which was a very common practice for many centuries, but just because something is common doesn’t make it right. Or the countless other immoral commands such as executions for trivial offenses

      But the point is that god is supposedly all-knowing and benevolent. And that many Protestants believe that the Bible is error-free. Why did he allow these practices in his great book back then and then changed his mind? Why didn’t he tell his people of the moral standards we have today? Or maybe it is because there is no god and humans themselves have grown up a bit and realized that certain behavior isn’t ok.

      • Jake

        My point is that eventhough the students have freedom of speech, they took the passage and twisted it.

        • Anonymous

          No, they didn’t. It’s immoral and disgusting either way, but what people read into it is entirely up to them. If someone reacts outraged to it, it’s because they have a moral compass and know that it’s wrong. It’s only when people try to reconcile their morality with the warped teachings of their churches, that the mental gymnastics and the rationalizations begin.

          • Jake

            They took part of it. If all of it is read as it is suppose to be, then it means something different. Not angry. I would just like to highlight what that passage means.

            • EJC

              Jake,

              May I ask what makes you the expert as to what the passage “means”. Because it is pretty damn cut and dry. If there is a way we are supposed to read it, could you please direct me to the tome so I can order up a copy at Amazon; you know, something like a Dick and Jane Reader for Bible Stories or such. Or even  the rulebook for reading it. Anything would help.

              • Jake

                 28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

                The bible was translated into English. The word rape is error in translation from Hebrew word shakab.

                to lie down
                (Qal)
                to lie, lie down, lie on
                to lodge
                to lie (of sexual relations)
                to lie down (in death)
                to rest, relax (fig)
                (Niphal) to be lain with (sexually)
                (Pual) to be lain with (sexually)
                (Hiphil) to make to lie down
                (Hophal) to be laid

                Sorry, not an expert. Just try to look past the obvious. Try it sometime.

                • EJC

                  We are here for you Jake. We are here for you.

                  We understand. I know it is scary at first, but when you take that first step toward the light, the other foot just follows along. 

                  We hate your “sins” little sparrow, but love the man. As always, we will research advanced algorithms in the hope that one day you too will find a path out of the rectal-cranial inversion you have been cursed with.

                  May science, logic and reason be your guiding salvation to redemption,  my lost brother.

                  :)

                • Jake

                  Ejc,
                  First I would like to say that I have never said what my beliefs are. Dont assume what my beliefs are by me correctly saying that we are all reading a mistranslation of the word. Rape was translated from the Hebrew word shabaz. It is an error. So, using that passage to state that god condones rape is false. Look past the obvious. Use all the science and logic that is sprewing out of you to educate yourself better on the things you hate. Maybe reading a little more history will help you understand more about the bible and how it was written.

                • Anonymous

                  Still, no matter the exact word, the woman seems to have no say in this transaction at all.  So, perhaps this verse applies to any woman who’s had sexual context with a man, whether willing or unwilling.  However, that STILL covers RAPE.  Oh, and also the subjugation and slavery of all women.  Basically, the verse is a nasty piece of text and no one today could make a decent argument for promoting that kind of treatment for women as being moral.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

                  THIS x 1,000

                • Demonhype

                  “They didn’t have a distintive word” is not an excuse.  Who cares if they had a distinctive word for “rape” when it is clear from the book that they had a distinctive concept of rape, as evidenced by the fact that whether she “wanted it” or not comes into play and determines whether she can be blamed in any way and whether she will or will not be put to death.

                  You are the one who needs to look past the obvious, stop obsessing pedantically over a single word, and look at the whole context.  They may not have had a single word for “sexual assault”, but they sure as hell had the concept of it and incorporated it into their legal code.

                  For example, you could explain precisely why a woman would be expected to call for help if raped in the city if she’s just screwing some dude her dad hasn’t given her to or why being raped in the country meant she was innocent because her cries for help wouldn’t be heard, if “rape” just mean “illegal but totally consensual sex”.  Or why she would be expected to cry for help at all, if “rape” was considered consensual and they had no concept of “illegal sex” vs. “sexual assault”.  This is being repeatedly pointed out and you continue to ignore it to piss on about the translation of a single word.

                • http://fantasticastoria.blogspot.com Chana Messinger

                  EJC, Jake didn’t make any ad hominem attacks or arguments from faith. Everything we’re discussing here is philosophical or empirical in nature. Biblical scholarship is a respected and rigorous discipline. There’s really no need for that kind of condescension, especially when your opponent has said nothing warranting it.

                • EJC

                  biblical scholarship is a red herring. That “discipline” is nothing more than a glorified degree in myth.

                  You may as well say that Spiderman scholarship is well renowned.

                  And yes, it does require condescension if not  worse.

                  Jake’s sophistic shell-game is both disingenuous and distasteful.

                  And I will not recognize this biblical scholarly bullshit as anything but hokum and pap.

                • EJC

                  Oh and Chana, go back and reread the post where Jake calls me a jackass…this PRIOR to the alleged condescension. 

                  So your statement regarding his lack of ad hom is false.

                • EJC

                  Jake,

                  I am writing this to you because I felt it was important to let my true feelings be known. I love you. No one has ever cut so deep into a post of mine like you have done. “Do more research.” “Open your eyes.” This is the highly detailed stuff of genius. I may not have been around when “The Bible” was being edited but I can’t imagine it was any different than our situation.  

                  Therefore it only makes sense that we get married. I’m not sure whether you’re a man or woman but does it really matter at this point? Our man/woman, woman/man, man/man or woman/woman bond is too strong to be denied. I suggest a June wedding but I’m open to suggestions.

                • Ritchie Annand

                  Yet Deuteronomy 22:28 uses וְשָׁכַ֥ב (w-shaakab – “and lies down”) in combination with  וּתְפָשָׂ֖ה (u-t’paasaah – “and seizes”) in about the clearest context of rape there is.

                  The fact that Hebrew has no unique solitary word for “rape” does not justify such bent-over apologetics.

                • Andy Anderson

                  That’s an interesting take, actually. Can you offer the Hebrew explanation for the phrase “for he has violated her”?

                  Sure sounds like rape to me.

                • Erp

                  Quite likely it was rape; however, the punishment was for making her ‘spoiled goods’ for a future husband who was expecting a virgin.  Basically women fell into four categories:

                  Never married
                  engaged (aka pledged)
                  married
                  widowed
                  (also prostitute)

                  Never married and engaged women were expected to be virgins and if not the Bible laid out the various responses.  If never married, the man had to marry her whether or not intercourse was consensual on her part.  If engaged, both were to be executed (though if forced, the woman was excused [the countryside/city difference seems to be for cases where the judges were not sure about force]).   Nothing is said about what happens to married women who are raped (though consensual means execution for both parties).  Nothing is said about what happens to widows who are raped or who have consensual sex (though the penalty for prostitution might apply).  Nothing is said about prostitutes who are raped.  Nothing is said about a woman who had been raped once, not married and is then raped again.  Rape was not considered the major crime but extenuating circumstances for the woman in certain cases; the major crime was spoiling a virgin.

                • TheBlackCat

                  Wait, so you base your entire analysis on one word, without looking at any of the other words in the passage, and yet you criticize us for taking things out of context?  Are you kidding me?

                  You readily admit you don’t actually know what you are talking about, so let’s rephrase the question: 

                  Can you name any expert translation of that passage that concluded it was not talking about rape in the modern sense?

                • http://profiles.google.com/kelvins273 Kevin Smith

                  But you still provide no evidence that this decree applies only to consensual premarital sex. I’m willing to believe that it could have applied to both rape victims and women who had consensual premarital sex. However, if it applies to both, then the Israelites were still marrying rape victims to their rapists. The fact that they were also marrying women who had consensual sex to men they had agreed to have sex with doesn’t excuse the former act.

            • TheBlacKCat

              Make up your mind.  Is it a mistranslation, or quoted out of context?

              If it is a mistranslation, then quote a legitimate translation of the entire passage by an expert in the language who disagrees with this translation.  

              If it is an out-of-context quote, then please show us what context changes the meaning and explain how. 

              But you accuse them of taking it out of context, and when asked for the context you instead post a random list of translations of a single word with absolutely zero context.

              • Demonhype

                He’s been given further context and has been ignoring it!  I asked!  Why the hell would further passages use whether or not she cried out for help or whether or not she could be reasonably heard crying for help to determine whether she is or is not executed as an adulterer or a whore, if “rape” just means “illegal sex”?

                The overall context shows that they did have a concept of “illegal sex” as opposed to “sexual assault”, no matter what pedantic little word they used to define sexual sins.

                And anyone who saw the chalkings could open their damn bible, look up the verse, and see that context, BTW.  I’m getting tired of the god-nuts who cry out “out of context!” no matter what is quoted.  How much should we quote?  The entire chapter?  The entire book?  Should I just copy out the whole freaking bible on the sidewalk?  You take the relevant part, quote it, and give them the citation that they can use to look it up themselves.

        • EJC

          The students chalked VERBATIM. How is this twisting anything?

          For example:

          My point is that eventhough the students have freedom of speech, they took the passage and twisted it. 

                                                                          – Jake 12:04 – 2012

          Did I just twist your words in anyway? No. So then when the students take words VERBATIM out of a book and print them, how are they twisting them?

        • Andy Anderson

          Jake, lying for Jesus is still lying.

          Is there some part of “He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight” that you do not understand?

          • http://fantasticastoria.blogspot.com Chana Messinger

            Come on, Andy, that’s not really productive discourse. Jake’s not making any arguments from faith or religious authority; he’s giving a substantive response to a matter of Biblical scholarship, which is an academic and secular discipline. Calling him a liar is rude and without backing. Assuming he’s Christian is equally unfounded. For all you know, he might be an atheist using ‘He’ and ‘Him’ in order to demonstrate the Biblical view. He might even be Jewish :)

            • TheBlackCat

              No, he’s not.  He’s dodging and weaving like the best of them.  One moment it is “out of contex”, next it is a “mistranslation”, he can’t seem to answer simple questions, he admits he doesn’t have any actual clue what he is talking about.  This is not “productive discourse” by any stretch of the imagination.

              Considering he has ignored repeated requested to explain how, exactly, it was taken out of context, I think it is justified at this point concluding that was a lie.

        • Anonymous

          No, the students didn’t twist the meaning.  Anytime a person has no say in what sexual acts are done to their person, it’s considered rape.  If you then want to argue about the morality of how “way back when this stuff was OK” then you essentially are admitting that your ‘god’ isn’t perfect and doesn’t understand the basics of morality.  If there really was a god things wouldn’t have changed so much for the better as they actually have in reality!  A god would have known this stuff thousands of years ago.

        • Martha

          You have at least a decent argument about the translation issues.  
          http://answering-islam.net/Shamoun/ot_and_rape.htm However, the students didn’t twist the passage because they quoted the Bible as translated.   That isn’t twisting the Bible.  If it was twisted, it was twisted by the translators.    If the Christians want to clean up the errors in translation in the Bible, they can do so.   

           

    • EJC

      Do you realize just how disingenuous that is?

      Jesus Titty-Fucking Christ, do you people stay up at night trying to figure out how to spin the bad shit in this musty old book to suit your needs?

      Rape back then is different than today because….do you even hear yourself and the absurdity here? Cognitive Dissonance at its finest.

      That has got to be some powerful Kool-Aid they serve down at the church.

      • Jake

        The word rape. You jackass! Read the passage and tell me what it says. The bible uses the word rape in a different context in the passage quoted above.

        • EJC

          No Jake, you are INTERPRETING the word rape the way that fits your world view. There is NOTHING, and I repeat NOTHING, in the words written that indicate anything other than rape is just that. You choose to read and interpret one way to suit your delicate worldview and needs. For you to do otherwise calls into question each and every little passage you live life to, and I would imagine that is incredibly scary.

          But, when you are ready to read as is, and live using intellect and reason, we are here for you. Embrace it. We are here and ready to listen.

          We don’t hate the person Jake, we hate the sentiments of the bible and the hatred in causes.

          We understand. We know your reticence. Let go of the myths and free yourself and bask in the glow of truth and reason.

          (anyone else see that…..I just LOVE to use their ways and words as they do!)

          • Conspirator

            I think Jake is trying to make the point that the bible would declare sex out of wedlock to be illegal, and illegal sex is considered rape in this context, consensual or not (think statutory rape). 

            However, the bible also says in some passages that if a woman is raped in the city, kill her and her rapist because clearly she did not cry out for help and thus wanted it.  But if a woman is raped in the country then it can be assumed that she could not be heard, so just kill the rapist.  Then it goes on to say that if the guy pays the father of the country girl he can keep her as his wife.  That definitely implies forcible rape.  

            • Demonhype

              Exactly!  It’s clear as day that the bible differentiates between “rape” and “illegal consensual sex”–unless you are bound and determined to protect your beliefs.  I’m glad to hear I didn’t just dream that stuff up!  (I’m a bit too lazy right now to go sieving the bible for quotes).

              BTW, didn’t the bible tend to call people who had consensual-but-illegal sex “adulterers” or “harlots”?  My whole life that was the distinction:  that if it was “adultery” or “harlotry” that meant the sex was consensual on both parts but illegal in a biblical/moral sense, but that “rape” meant that sex was forcible and non-consensual by one party.  I’ve heard the “rape means she wanted it” line, but never in the biblical context, and I grew up at a religious school in a religious neighborhood too!

              • Coconut

                It seems ‘rape’ is a popular mistranslation in this particular area:

                ‘Suppose a man has intercourse with a young woman who is a virgin but is not engaged to be married. If they are discovered, he must pay her father fifty pieces of silver (50 shekels of silver). Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he may never divorce her as long as he lives.’ (New Living Translation, 2nd Ed., Slimline Reference Edition)

                It might be that’s what Jake was getting at. You could interpret this as rape or consensual. I would think this seems more consensual, since there are also laws on rape victims (as mentioned above about being raped in a city versus a field). — Not that the Bible doesn’t have contradictions.

                And, please, don’t think I’m defending the Bible or its so-called ‘morals’.

                • http://profiles.google.com/kelvins273 Kevin Smith

                  Adding to the fun, here’s the New King James version:

                  (28) If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, (29) then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days.

                  This one seems to support a forcible rape interpretation. Of course, the reason the man has to pay the 50 shekels is because he has “humbled” the woman, which would presumably be the case whether the sex was consensual or not. Jake’s argument is still, at best, inaccurate. The fact that the OT definition of rape may have been broader than the one we use today doesn’t mean that the ancient Israelites and their god didn’t marry victims of forcible rape to their rapists.

                • Anonymous

                  That one leaves out the “seizes her” part, which – given its use in other verses – clearly means the use of force

    • Anonymous

      Deuteronomy 22:23-24 says that the woman is to be stoned to death for “Not screaming for help while in town.”  Why would a woman need to scream for help if the sexual act isn’t forceful?  You know, rape?

       23 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, 24
      you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to
      death—the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for
      help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge
      the evil from among you.

      http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%2022:23-24&version=NIV

      • Jake

        So if she screams she is being raped and won’t be stoned? They are stoning the adulterers not a person being raped. I’m not saying any of this was right but the old testament was a book of laws. How many laws do we still have that don’t make sense?

        • Scotanthony

          So now we have a clear definition of rape, rape only occurs if the victim screams for help

          • Anonymous

            And how many would be killed for screaming?  Seems being raped is pretty much a death sentence no matter what.

        • Anonymous

          So if the rapist holds her mouth shut so she can’t scream, she should be stoned just in case?

          That might be a valid excuse if Christians could admit that their holy book is an anthology of ancient texts written by men. But instead they insist that it was written or inspired by their god. And in the case of many Protestant sects that it is inerrant, i.e. error free. That would mean that everything in it is true and that it still applies. Which is it? Or why did an omniscient, eternal god change his mind in such a short time?

        • Semipermeable

          But our laws are, by your reckoning(I assume), human laws and subject to flaws and so on. But these, these are supposed to be laws of  an omnipresent sentient being, but then why are many of our current human laws superior in many case such as this? Shouldn’t the god have gotten it right the first time?

        • TheBlackCat

          So there is absolutely no situation where a rape victim would be unable to scream, unable to be heard screaming, or too scared to scream?

          • Demonhype

            Now that is a whole ‘nother bag of shit where biblical morality is concerned.  I think the attitude is something like “if you didn’t scream you must have liked it and deserve death” or “if you didn’t scream you obviously don’t value your ‘purity’ enough and so deserve death for allowing someone to take it from you”.

            But at least they had a concept of “sexual assault” as being different from “illegal sex”.

        • Demonhype

          They were stoning the person being raped.  It says right there that if she was raped in the city and did not scream out for help, she will be put to death.  That was their deeply flawed way of determining whether she was a victim of assault or a whore who wanted it.  If she was raped in the country, she’s seen as innocent  because no screams for help could possibly be heard so they, in a rare moment of fairness, give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she didn’t want it.

          Why the hell would they be stoning the rapist if he raped a girl in the city and she didn’t cry out, but give him a free pass if he raped her in the country?  The whole “city/country” dynamic is in reference to how much she did or could do to fight back and defend her “purity” and therefore whether she is a rape victim or an adulterer.  The only thing that determines whether the rapist is put to death or gets married is whether she was a virgin when he raped her–essentially, whether he broke it and bought it or broke another man’s property and can’t buy it so has to be punished in some other way.

        • Anonymous

          Wow, way to defend rape there, boss.

      • Anonymous

        Fact: in some countries with Sharia law rape victims are stoned to death or otherwise punished for adultery. When it happens, Western countries are outraged, but that the Bible prescribes the same punishments is ignored

        The justification for that one is that if she didn’t scream for help she clearly must have enjoyed it and/or it was consensual. If she didn’t scream because she couldn’t, she should be killed just to be sure

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jada-Stone/100001704943944 Jada Stone

      It does, plain and simple. God took the time and trouble  to tell His people what was abominable to Him (including “a lying tongue”) and how he wanted to be worshipped, in all a total of 613 commandments, yet he didn’t bother to list slavery or rape, ergo, he saw nothing wrong with these. Context, schmontext.

      • guest

        you forgot pedophilia 

        • Rich Wilson

          and child abuse in general

    • Xeon2000

      Rape as we know it today was actually quite common in the bronze age.  Actually, it was much more common back then than it is today.  The idea of two unmarried lovers having a secret tryst makes for a good story.  In truth, those times were brutish and men tended to take what they wanted with little to no consequence.  If the bible uses the word rape (as used elsewhere in contexts where it’s impossible to misunderstand the real meaning), then attributing some benign meaning to the word is simply disingenuous.

    • Semipermeable

      It still reduces women to an economical currency. If this is supposed to be the ideal infalliable being who decides morality, a being that is omnipresent, why then does the context of the time matter or factor in at all? Wouldn’t these customs be just a deplorable to that being as they are to us? The Bible as a whole does not seem to reflect that.

      • Anonymous

        Yep, if the woman doesn’t have control over the transaction then it seems fit the definition of rape pretty well.

    • banana slug

      “That is why the man who has had sex with the woman has to pay the father”

      So the term “Pimp Daddy” comes from the bible?  Cool!

    • Rsts1964

      an arranged marriage where the woman has no choice is rape….

    • Demonhype

      Umm…no.

      I recall that that passage is accompanied by a list of situations that determine whether she can be considered raped or just “a whore”, which determined whether she should have to marry her rapist or whether she should be put to death.  Things like how if she was raped in the city then she obviously didn’t cry out for help because she would have been heard and someone would have come to help her, so she must have wanted it and must be a whore so she shall be put to death, but if she was raped in a country area that was more remote then it could be considered rape because even if she cried out no one could hear her.  And other such rot.  It’s been a while since I read all that, but that part stuck in my head because it was so completely obscene to have a whole chart of judgments of whether a rape victim is a victim or a whore–and yet it is so in-keeping with our practices today, as we further victimize rape victims by calling them whores and trying to decide whether she’s just a lying slut who really wanted it, or whether she “had it coming”.  (Another reason it stuck in my head.)

      But one thing is for sure, and that is that the bible does indeed differentiate between “sexual assault” and “consensual but not biblically acceptable sex” just from how it explains how to decide whether a girl “wanted it” or not and therefore whether or not to execute her as an adulterer.  And it is incredibly disingenous to pretend that “rape” didn’t mean sexual assault in the face of that.  Why the hell would a woman cry out for help or even be expected to if “rape” just means “having sex with someone daddy doesn’t like”?

    • NickDB

      What it
      comes down to is this; Either the bible is the word of god, and since
      infallible and knows everything he meant what he said, no context is necessary
      and he is ok with rape, or the bible is the work of men from a barbaric time
      and has no place as a moral compass.

    • george.w

      I wonder when actual rape-as-we-know-it-today was invented?  Or as some have called it, “Rape-rape!”

      Jackass.  

  • Kyt Dotson

    A good friend of mine, who runs BetterThanFaith.com, has been quoting the Bible in this fashion for some time. He developed fliers and pamphlets with artwork and context to describe theses horrible passages; oftentimes I hear from people that he’s “twisted the words of scripture” to which I always have to reply, “He quoted them directly and left a reference.”

    If you don’t agree with what the Bible says on some point, say you don’t agree already. Telling me that’s not what it says is going to be a hard sell when I can look it up myself and see that’s exactly what it says.

    The two groups here were in a sniping contest; both written quotes were actually criticisms of the literature at hand. Calling a group “fools” for not accepting the text is pretty negative in itself and is not designed to generate a dialogue; pointing out the same book calls for slavery and further injury to rape victims (not just insulting people) critically highlights why it’s a very bad “authority” to insult people who don’t agree with it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jada-Stone/100001704943944 Jada Stone

      I like your friend’s idea. What better way to make them see truth than using scripture! Many of them haven’t read those versess, so they remain unaware of the impact on the sensibilities until they are forced to acknowledge them.

      • cheryl

        Christians live by the new testament not the old.  Why do you people quote old testament scriptures to make fun of Christians What don’t you get?

        • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

          1Timothy 2:12 “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”

          That’s NT, right?
          Or how about,
          Matthew 5:22: “But I say to you that every one who is angry with the brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council; and whoever says ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire.” (Sermon on the Mount)

          Matthew 5:31-32: “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I way to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

          Matthew 8:21-22: Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”

          Shall I go on?

          • Rich Wilson

            Event “turn the other cheek”, although it may sound great, is pretty stupid in practice.  I can love my neighbor and not be a doormat.

            • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

              And of course, even the “Golden Rule” fails when examined closely (although I do think it works as a *starting point* for thinking about moral actions).

        • Demonhype

          Because most Christians we encounter, especially the more fundamentalist or evangelical conservative types, also live by the Old Testament and quote it often to justify any number of current atrocities.  In fact, during the last presidential election Mike Huckabee was on record as being in favor of eliminating the entire Constitution and Bill of Rights and replacing it with mosaic law from Leviticus and other Old Testament sources–and a lot of believers were cheering the idea.  Many of the same people I see disavowing the OT in these kinds of conversations are also in favor of it in practice, and numerous churches use the OT to justify all manner of bigoted, racist or misogynistic practices.

          Christians can’t have it both ways–you don’t get to quote the OT  one day as authoritative then disavow it to make yourself seem more moral when your feet are held to the fire.  And if you’re not the type who sees anything authoritative in the OT, you need to speak up and make some serious effort to drown out the pro-OT fanatics who have taken control of the conversation if you don’t want to be associated with them.  Somehow, I never see that happening–I only see people hop into conversations like this with comments about “Christians don’t follow the OT, ur stoopid”, but I never see any Christians make any public stand against the tide of all the Mike Huckabees–only against the atheists who have the temerity to notice those Huckabees and point them out.

          Still won’t get them off the hook though.  As NathanDST helpfully pointed out, the NT isn’t really all that moral a book either, what with the “shut up, woman, and make me a sammich”  imperatives in there, among others.

        • Anonymous

          Without the OT there is really no point in Jesus’s “sacrifice”. At least according to Christian theology, which unfortunately hasn’t managed to rid itself of the revolting doctrine of Original Sin. It all hinges on the old OT.

          The Ten Commandments are also frequently mentioned.

        • Anonymous

           “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not
          come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17).

        • TheBlackCat

          I see, so you reject the 10 commandments?

          • Kris

            I also used that one. The person whom I asked eyes’ became very large and they walked away.

        • NickDB

          Personally I thought Christians live by the word of Jesus, so let’s go straight to the horse’s mouth

          “The Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). He
          referred to Scripture as “the commandment of God”
          (Matthew 15:3) and as the “Word of God” (Matthew 15:6).
          He also indicated that it was indestructible: “Until Heaven
          and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass
          away from the law, until all is accomplished” (Matthew
          5:18)

          So what do you do, live according to the teachings of jesus or not.

          That’s why we find a fair chunk of you as annoying as hell, you cherry pick the bits you want, and ignore the bits you don’t like, no matter what testament it comes from.

        • Joeisinthehouse

          …and how is it that you believe you are allowed to discard parts of what is allegedly God’s Word? It’s either all true or not. Are you telling me you know better than God? That God just put this stuff in the Old Testament out there and said to himself “Well, that’s just for these primitives, I’ll put out a Version 2 later…”??

    • Lurker111

      I’ve often thought about standing outside a church some Sunday, waiting for the crowd to leave, and as they pass, selling them bumper stickers (for $5/pop, of course!) saying, “In the spirit of Numbers 31:15-18, God Bless the Children!”

      I’ve often wondered how many would put these on their cars before looking up the verses.

      • Lurker111

        I also imagine them painstakingly scraping them off …

    • http://fantasticastoria.blogspot.com Chana Messinger

      To be fair (and this applies to ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Bible verses alike), it often is ‘twisting scripture’ to quote without context. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done, if only to point out the danger in quoting selectively, but if we’re going to be intellectually honest, that should definitely be acknowledged. For example, the issue with the rapist marrying the victim is actually a matter of protecting the victim. That’s not true now, of course, but in the historical context, a woman who was raped would be an unmarriageable outcast, and so this, while immensely problematic, is actually protecting the social and economic status of the victim and her family. That’s why men like this (http://rejectapathy.com/news/26007-syrian-men-to-marry-rape-victims-challenge-violence) are so awesome, even if we wish they weren’t necessary. I’m not sure about this next point, but I’m also fairly certain that this has been interpreted, at least in Jewish law, as obligatory on the part of the rapist, but not on the part of the rape victim, meaning that she can reject him if she wishes (though of course she would be under huge pressure to accept).

      • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

        Seems like the easiest way to protect the woman would’ve been to punish the rapist, and not make her an unmarriageable outcast. How hard is it to not take a woman’s rape history into account when deciding to marry her? We have such an expectation now; I don’t see why an omnibenevolent god couldn’t have couldn’t have given his people such commandments.

        • Anonymous

          It has to do with the whole virginity craze. That kind of thinking is still very common in the Middle East and parts of Africa. But yeah, it seems ridiculous that a lack of virginity shouldn’t be excused in the case of rape. It also makes women even more vulnerable in war as it increases the lasting effects rape can have. Which is why rape has been used  as a systematic weapon in some wars.

        • http://fantasticastoria.blogspot.com Chana Messinger

          1. Obsession with virginity, as Steve said, which has a lot to do with obsession with patriarchal lineage and concern with parentage. In a time without paternity tests, the best way to ensure that a child is any given man’s is to valorize having sex with only one man and harshly punish sex outside of marriage (for women).

          2. If we’re considering the bible as not written by god, but rather by people of a certain time period, then this is an approach that, while disturbing, makes a certain amount of sense. As an atheist, I have little to say about what a god would or would not do. I think the Bible contains a great deal of awful ethics, but I still think intellectual honesty compels us to acknowledge historical context when we evaluate Biblical morality.

          • Demonhype

            Exactly.  There are people who still think this book is holy and eternal, yet argue about cultural context when the evil parts are mentioned.  Wait, if a God wrote a Holy Book that is Holy and Eternal and Perfectly Moral and Must Be Obeyed Forever, shouldn’t that book transcend the culture in which it was written rather than mirror it exactly?  How hard would it be for God to say “You believe a woman has to be a virgin and should be either killed or forced to marry her rapist, but I say unto you that this is not so, that the rapist alone shall be punished and the victim shall not be considered unmarriageable or tainted in any way.”  Hell, didn’t Jesus directly denigrate “Eye for an eye” just before delivering his “turn the other cheek” line?  Why the hell couldn’t God do that too?  If God was essentially defining morality and moral behavior, especially if it was supposed to be a “perfectly moral and eternal” guide for behavior, why would he need to fuck around with the cultural biases unless in reality the book was written to lend supernatural authority to currently held biases and to declare them Perfect, Moral, and Eternal?

            My money’s on the latter.

            • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

              Also, this.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507830160 Donna Equality Johnson

              Demonhype, you just said in a nutshell! I’m a follower of Jesus (I refuse to call myself Christian) who is somewhere between “he’s God” and “he was just a man,” and leaning hard towards the latter. I like the things he preached, such as “love thy neighbor” which should transcend any given culture. No matter what your stand is, some things are just wrong, encoded into a “holy” book or not. Anything “God” wrote should transcend a given culture, not mirror it.

              • Darling Donna

                When God speaks to you, He speaks to you in the manner in which you will understand.  Those folks back then understood him completely.  What modern day “followers of Jesus” must do, is to “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  2 Timothy 2:15

                • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

                  If God exists, and wishes me to understand him, it’s simple: talk. In words. Out loud. Using English (since I am sadly not multilingual). Don’t talk through someone, but rather talk to me. Heck, he could even use a burning bush if he wants. Of course, he’ll have to demonstrate that I haven’t developed schizophrenia or some other brain disorder, but that should be easy for him: he’s omnipotent, right? He could do this with everyone in fact, in the entire world, substituting whatever language is appropriate to the person for English. Why use ephemeral feelings, or intuitions, or signs, all of which can be misinterpreted? If he did this, then a whole lot of miscommunication and disagreement among all the various sects and orders that purport to have the truth could be resolved. He could answer questions, and take the time to ensure that everyone, everywhere, understands exactly what he’s saying, in exactly the same way. That omniscience of his should tell him when that’s been accomplished. 

                  That doesn’t even violate the free will argument that so many Christians are fond of when confronted with the problem of evil and theodicy! He’s just talking, and answering questions. Once everyone understands, they can still choose not to obey, and choose whether or not they will follow him.

                • Rich Wilson

                  Actually, according to apologists, God just coming right out with it would be a violation of our free will.

                  Only in a world where faith is difficult can faith exist.  I don’t have faith in two plus two equals four or in the noonday sun.  Those are beyond question.  But Scripture describes God as a hidden God.  You have to make an effort of faith to find him.  There are clues you can follow.

                  Peter John Kreeft, as quoted by Lee Strobel in “The Case for Faith” p44

                • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

                  Soooo. . . does that make God a passive-aggressive jerk? Because that’s what it sounds like. It sounds like “WELL! If you don’t believe in me, then I sure ain’t gonna show myself! Hmph!”

                  Compare with: “WELL! If you don’t know, I sure ain’t gonna tell you! Hmph!”

                • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

                  Also, that quote still doesn’t explain how it would violate free will for God to just come right out with it. Did it violate my wife’s free will the first time I told her I was interested in her? I mean, I didn’t leave clues, I just flat out said it! 

                  Oh dear. Now you got me worried. I mean, should I even say “I love you” anymore to her, or should I just give hints?

                • Rich Wilson

                  IDK, I’m just telling youwhat I read before I had to stop for fearof getting a headache, because my head kept hittin gmy desk for some reason.

            • Grady Patterson

              What Jesus denigrated was not the “eye for an eye” law, but the mindset that insisted on following the letter of the law without attempting to understand the intent (the “spirit”) of that law.
              The religious authorities of the time had taken what was intended to be a requirement of individual responsibility and turned it into license for unbridled revenge – thus violating the higher commandment (and intent) that one should “love your neighbor as you love yourself” .

              You also seem to mistake the Mosaic Law for a “perfectly moral and eternal” guide for behavior: this is not a claim that it even makes for itself. The Mosaic Law was given to one specific nation, for the life of that nation. It is called unending in several passages, but the context is that of a contractual obligation – which always ends with one of two things – the death of either party, or completion of the contract. The “unending” phrase essentially means that there were no “escape clauses.
              In addition, about half of it did not apply to what we would now call immigrants or permanent residents – unless they became Jews: effectively applied for citizenship and voluntarily took on that law. Not exactly the way a declaration of a ‘ “perfectly moral and eternal” guide for behavior’ would normally be worded …

              • Rosemary Lyndall Wemm

                “The Mosaic Law was given to one specific nation, for the life of that
                nation. It is called unending in several passages, but the context is
                that of a contractual obligation – which always ends with one of two
                things – the death of either party, or completion of the contract.”

                That would mean that the Top Ten Commandments, and the god-amended New Nine that ended up in the Arc of the Covenant,  would be just as irrelevant under the Pauline Christ-schema.   This is not what most modern day Christians believe.  They think the Top Ten (but not the New Nine) are still relevant.

                If the Old Covenent was only meant to be temporary then the same argument could be applied to the New (Jesus) Covenant.   After all, it is only Paul’s gentile-friendly assertion that the Old Covenant is obselete and superceded by a New Covenant that seeks to throw out a whole lot of stuff that the Gospel Jesus says should never be thrown out.  The earthly Jesus (who would definitely have been circumcised) did not teach that circumcision and food laws would no longer be necessary after this death.    If the Christ of Paul’s “visions” disagreed then they do not appear to be the same personality.

          • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

            If considered as a book written by man, with no intervention from a god, then we can certainly acknowledge historical context (although I don’t see how that changes the evaluation of the ethics). However, when a Christian or the like attempts to argue “historical context,” then the argument simply doesn’t work — whether it was *written* by God, or merely *inspired* by God, the failure is the same. You may have little to say about what a god would do, but the common claim is that the Bible says exactly what God would do. As such, historical context means little, especially when dealing with an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being.

          • Craigsbc

            Suggesting that non-believers who quote biblical scripture “out of context” are somehow “intellectually dishonest” is so outrageous that I had to do a quick Google search to make sure it wasn’t a Rick Perry or Herman Cain quote from a recent debate…..  

            Chana, I am afraid that in this particular discussion, it is you who seems to be practising intellectual dishonesty.  I say that because generally, random quotations of biblical scripture don’t cause much stir amongst the “un-faithful”, unless they happen to be passages used by individuals with some personal agenda they wish to promote by hanging the garland of “holiness” around it – which unfortunately occurs with alarming frequency.  And when these supposedly pious individuals back up positions of hatred, prejudice or intolerance with bible scripture, it is most assuredly NOT accompanied by contextual explanations.  It is presented as the holy word of God, and therefore infallible and useless to argue with or about.  So, for the purposes of frank discussion, I posit that your passive aggressive accusation of intellectual dishonesty is patently untrue, and patently ridiculous as well.

        • Grady Patterson

          Nathan – you ask “I don’t see why an omnibenevolent god couldn’t have couldn’t have given his people such commandments.”
          The answer is pretty simple – have you ever heard the statement “Don’t give an order you know won’t be obeyed”?
          To make a sweeping change in an entire associated culture is – and never has been – a matter of simply making a law. How long did it take for women to gain the right to vote? How long did it take for the Western world to reject slavery? Simply making a law has never changed the hearts and minds of humans – the hearts and minds are changed, then the laws reflect the changes.

          • Rich Wilson

            The cognitive dissonance is stunning.

            If you feel the need to make laws, then why wait until your children are so far off course that you have to make half-assed laws which justify horrible things because YOUR children won’t follow what’s right?

            God didn’t stumble on a planet full of wicked people.  He (supposedly) made the planet AND all the people.  He’s been watching all along.

            The only way you can make any sense of Leviticus or Deuteronomy (Or Exodus) being ‘God’s word” is if you “presume not God to scan” and just say “God works in mysterious ways”.  If you honestly apply your brain to it, it’s all fucked up.

            To make a sweeping change in an entire associated culture is – and never has been – a matter of simply making a law. 

            C’mon, he’s God.  We shouldn’t need to make excuses.

          • TheBlackCat

            We are talking about an omniscient, omnipotent being here.  Claiming that there is anything isn’t simple for such a being is to claim the being isn’t omniscient or isn’t omnipotent.   God’s usual method of wiping out any city that refused to obey his laws would have gotten the job done fine, although I would think an omnipotent, omniscient being wouldn’t need to resort to those sorts of method either. 

          • Anonymous

            We’re talking about the almighty creator of the damn universe. He could snip his metaphysical fingers and make people do whatever he wants. He doesn’t have to make suggestions

          • Rosemary

            That is not quite how it works. 

            Children accept their culture according to the current rules.  That is where they begin.  If they are bad rules then the children are given permission to behave badly. 

            Rules are changed by thoughtful non-authoratarian adults who make a loud issue of it and begin to change the opinions of the general population.  It takes another generation before these new rules are accepted without question.  It also requires the enforcement of the new rules and the attempted re-education of those who break them because their early childhood conditioning was incompatible with the new thinking. 

            In other words, a wise person with absolute power could change at least the next generation of people by providing a new set of rules and some incentive to follow them.  The type of incentives, however, is a covert way of teaching the population the meaning of fairness and reasonableness. 

            The Yahweh/Jesus god does a very poor job of both these tasks.  The rule sets are bad and/or irrelevant.  The consequences for breaking the rules are barbaric.  This is not the mark of a wise emotionally mature  morally responsible person.

      • TheBlackCat

        And this makes it better how, exactly?  I can’t imagine what sense “protecting” someone involved forcing or pressuring that person into living with a violent sex offender that has already severly harmed the person once.  There is stoning for adultery, but a rapist gets a small fine and gets to “keep” his victim (women could not divorce, only men could).

      • Thunder

        “To be fair (and this applies to ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Bible verses alike), it often is ‘twisting scripture’ to quote without context.”  Wow.  Just wow . . . I’ve heard this argument for years.  When Christians quote the bible, they are sharing God’s word.  When skeptics quote it, theyare taking the quotations out-of-context and twisting the meaning.  Proving once again, you just cannot win with a Christian.   

  • Anonymous

    What he means is, rape back then was different than rape today because God approved of rape back then.  It’s simple!

  • Chaneski

    I commented on the WBOC-16 Facebook page; I mentioned that they neglected to mention that the atheists’ chalkings were Bible quotes, and I noted the chapters and verses stated above. They want to know how they can contact me. Me? I’m just an interested bystander. Why not talk to the atheists at the college?

  • bhanu korremula
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jada-Stone/100001704943944 Jada Stone

    I am going to start supporting secular/humanist/atheist campus organizations in ANY way I can!!! These kids have inspired me.

  • DicePlayGod

    The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. The wise man shouts it from the rooftops.

    • Len

      “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.”
      If a fool can figure it out, why can’t everybody?

    • http://profiles.google.com/kelvins273 Kevin Smith

      Actually, I think the second part of that verse is the one really ripe for rebuttal: 

      “They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!”

      Christians don’t seem to realize how hard it is to prove such an absolute, sweeping statement.

      • Steve In Satx

        Or how easy it is to disprove!

  • Robkole

    That’s quite a cool logo Hement has. That must have taken a few hours to work out. My guess is that it was inspired by the band Angel in the 80s whose logo spelled Angel upside down and right side up.

    On a different topic, i am an atheist that falls on the other side of the fence on Holiday Tree. The national holiday is Christmas and I have heard that over 90% of Americans recognize the holiday. Can’t we call a Christmas tree what it is, without possibly upsetting Kwanzaites and Jews and Atheists alike? Most of us grew up with a Christmas tree in our house. We sent out invitations for a Christmas party for our staff and a receptionist said, “Shouldn’t it be a Holiday party?” This is taking politically correctness over the edge.

    • Demonhype

      Not really.  This, much like “under God” in the pledge and “In God We Trust” on the money, is often used by christians to justify that this is a christian nation and that non-christians and atheists are barely tolerated and should concede even more to the christian believers.  Believe me, I’ve had the phrase “CHRIST mass!  CHRIST mass!” flung at me by some overzealous defenders of In Christ We Trust.  Complete with ugly, hate-filled grunting shout on the “CHRIST” part (how appropriate).   Often to “prove” that this is a Christian holiday and no other and that they totally didn’t rip it off of the pagans.  What I often say is that I can take a turd out of my butt and write my name on your car and drive off in it, but that doesn’t mean the title transfers over to me upon that action.  Declaring that stolen property is yours and has always been doesn’t make it the reality.

      Besides which, most people use “holiday” as a simple way to include everyone and to not be rude, which isn’t so much PC as just plain common decency and good manners.  The only people who get mad are the fundies because they are like spoiled, overprivileged children who have a tantrum whenever they can’t have everything for themselves.  Most sane Christians realize that many people celebrate many things at this time of year and to use the word “holiday” (which, BTW, originally meant “holy day” so what’s the problem?) is just a nice way to wish someone a nice whatever-they-celebrate without causing unnecessary upset by reminding them that they Are Different and Don’t Belong Here and are Barely Tolerated–which, thanks to the fundies little tantrums, is increasingly becoming what “Merry Christmas” translates into–a passive-aggressive jab at anyone who might have the temerity to either be non-christian or have any desire to include non-christians.

      No one ever threw a tantrum in favor of Happy Holidays because it just became a default in a nicer, more inclusive world, and “Happy Holidays” and “Merry Christmas” only became an issue or a battle cry when the fundies found they couldn’t tolerate a Muslim or Wiccan or atheist being treated as if they belonged in and were welcome in this country.  Gasp!  The horror!  Which is why “Happy Holidays” has become so much more important now than it was originally–because believers want everyone saying Merry Christmas just to be bigots and give non-christians and atheists a hard time and remind them how Other they really are and rub their non-Christian noses in a pile of Christian turd they’ve spread all over a season that is celebrated in by a multitude of cultures for a multitude of reasons, as if Christianity invented the idea of celebrating at this time of year and everyone else is just copying them out of spite, rather than the truth that is the opposite of all that.  In my book, when any kind of believer acts this way, it is imperative to defy them.

      Also–90% of Americans recognize Christmas?  I find that hard to believe, since Christians themselves are now about 75% of the population (about 15% non-religous and 10% non-christian, all roughly estimated), and I find it incredibly hard to believe that only that non-christian segment doesn’t celebrate Christmas, especially with the increase of unbelievers celebrating “Solstice” and other such alternatively-named holidays.  I also find it hard to believe all those people are actively celebrating “the Birth of Christ” as opposed to celebrating “Present and Turkey/Ham Dinner Season” and just giving it a default name because they haven’t glommed onto a better name.

      And I find the wording a bit strange as well–why does it not ask how many people actively celebrate Christmas and instead uses the term “recognize”?  I “recognize” Islam and Christianity as religions because they are, but I’m not a Muslim or Christian.  You don’t need to celebrate something to recognize it exists or to recognize that it is a very common celebration in your area of the world.  Sounds like the kind of semantic game some people use to try and inflate the numbers in their own favor, to be honest.

      Also, how many of those non-religious and non-christians are afraid to admit they don’t celebrate Christmas, when there is a frothy-mouthed flock of fanatics shrieking outrage at the very idea that you might celebrate something else?  Just because someone says “Merry Christmas” doesnt’ mean they believe it or celebrate it in such an atmosphere–they may just be trying to avoid an encounter with fanatics.

  • http://www.spiritfeast.blogspot.com Richard Ket Matthews

    In case you haven’t deduced it yet, most Christians DO NOT read the Bible in any real sense. They simply listen to the blowhards from the pulpit telling them what to believe. The intelligent Christian who actually reads the Bible from cover to cover usually leaves the religion for greener and more satisfying pastures. Like I did.

    • Auracle

      Innnnndeed!

    • CBaker

      Most Christians don’t really read the Bible. My friend says they treat it like their iTines agreement… they just scroll to the bottom and click “I Agree”.

    • jimbo

      Just like republicans responding to fux news and limpdick and all the rest of the morons. It’s called authoritarianism. It’s an infestation.

    • Rosemary

      Yep.  Me, too.  The Bible, carefully read, is a great source of atheism.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jjosh.h Josh Hedgepeth

    A member of the SSA at my school went and wrote atheist qoutes all around campus on the sidewalk. They go in trouble, because clubs HAVE to get approval before posting ayn sort of advertisment on school grounds.

    It sounds like here that the christians had done it before…yet nothing said until now?

    • Erp

      Different schools, different rules.   The University I work at allows chalking (but not spray chalking) on the plaza surrounded by the bookstore, post office, and student union but not elsewhere. 

  • J.

    I don’t have a problem with non-believers quoting some of the “less popular” Bible verses. However, what they wrote were not direct quotes from the Bible.  When you put a passage into your own words, you have interpreted it no matter how right or wrong it may be.  Either quote the book or give us your interpretation. However, don’t think they are the same thing.

    If God condones rape, and we get rid of God does that mean we get rid of rape too? If God condones slavery and we opt for science does slavery just disappear? If we ignore the Bible because it is flawed do we all of a sudden become perfect people?

    • Lurker111

      Good freaking grief!  Does the term _non sequitur_ hold any meaning for you?

    • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

      If all you do is write Deut. 22:22 and quote it, that’s pretty blatant. Nothing in what Hemant wrote suggests they didn’t do that, it’s the later verses where they paraphrased. “Reader John” that Hemant mentions can correct me if that’s not accurate.

      As to your “questions,” how does any of that even follow? Get rid of God=get rid of rape? What? What kind of reasoning leads you to even suggest such a thing?

      • Anonymous

        Considering how morally repugnant a character their god creature is depicted in their book of fairy tales, I think that getting rid of god would be a great start in making the world a better place.  Getting rid of god may not completely get rid of rape, but it should make a hefty dent in it.

        • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

          Maybe. It might at least get rid of “honor rapes,” but I’m not aware of that occurring in Christian communities. But, given how much sexism and/or misogynism exists just in atheist communities, I have my doubts it would make a “hefty dent.” Many of the central motives for rape seem to be the sort that you can get without a god. I will agree that Jehovah is morally repugnant, and that being rid of that character as a focus of worship would a good thing.

          • Anonymous

            True, there is still much progress to be made to fully get rid of sexism and misogyny even in atheist communities.  However, I did have in mind some of the more extreme xian type communities–polygamous mormon communities marrying off their 13 yr old girls to much older men, the quiverfulls that keep their women constantly breeding and daughters denied education since all they are suppose to do is become a wife and mother, evangelicals and other sects that believe women must always submit to male authority, etc.  These types of groups really manage to subjugate and enslave their women even in the US.

            • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

              Umm… I hadn’t thought of those (and I am ashamed), good point.

    • Anonymous

      Actually, the world would be a much better place without any fairytales about gods and the religions that built around them.

      Most of us here are more moral than the god depicted in your bible.  He also has some really nasty character traits…he’s petty, vengeful, spiteful, angry and jealous.  Definitely not a creature I would aspire to be more like. 

    • Rosemary

      The problem with your argument is that the very act of translating the text from the original manuscripts (yes, there are more than one) is an act of interpretation.  Christians have a nasty habit of using only those translations that suit the theology they wish to uphold.

  • John

    Just so ya’ll know, WBOC still haven’t contacted myself or my comrades, nor have they corrected the falsehoods and misrepresentations in their initial story.

    • Demonhype

      And they never will.  This is their victory by fiction, much like the straw atheist in a movie.  If you can’t win in real life and have no case, just tell stories in which you always win and your opponents always lose.  Just edit the footage like Way of the Master did on Youtube with the RRS debate, cut out the arguments your opponents advanced and just make it look like they sat there, silenced by the great power of your holy and unassailable arguments and unable to defend against the Awesome Truth of Christ.

      Won’t really work to change reality and works even less well when the original footage was made available to everyone else and shows off your dishonesty, but it makes them feel good to pretend.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shark.j.slater Mark James Slater

    Interesting though the discussion was about “the correct interpretation of verse” my major issue was the reporting of the incident – not so much the slant given, but the unchallenged assertion that “freedom of speech” may be somehow be open to censure if it is not the type that is preferred… You may have to ask that news outlet what their understanding of “freedom of speech” is – since their livelihood rather depends on it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1019365643 John J. Ronald

    Just in terms of pure strategy, next time the Atheist students should skip the temptation to “editorialize” the passages, since that is what the media latched onto, ignoring the actual context.  No, next time an Atheist student organization should just quote the bible verse directly, with no additional commentary.  Allow the text to condemn itself, and watch the media squirm in trying to spin it…

    • Demonhype

      Won’t work.  No matter how accurate the quote or how much you include of that quote, you will always be accused of “taking it out of context”, because the  believers will be just so sure that you there is a whole lot of incredibly good and justifying stuff that you’re just callously leaving out because you’re a mean ol’ atheist trying to make Jeebus look bad.  Ask them to provide this context and they will only continue to pose and babble and accuse you of deliberately “twisting scripture” out of context.  Copy the whole bible down and they will still be sure you left out something, some sublime text of pure holiness and perfect morality, that really ties it all together and shows how perfect and sublime and holy and moral that book really is.

      Or else they’ll do some unbelievable mental twister to make words not mean what they clearly say.  You will be flabbergasted by the sheer immorality and ingenuousness of it all into silence, they will declare victory.  :)

      • Rosemary

        John 3:16 is always quoted out of context by these religiots. 

  • Carla

    I like Gordon Duffy’s post, how funny that the Christians can be upset by their own scriptures.

  • Anonymous

    This is on the WBOC Facebook page (posted around 2:30 pm):Kayla
    Ayres reports: More chalk writings some students call offensive have
    again popped up on Salisbury University’s campus. A Salisbury University
    spokesperson says the student Athiest Society and a student Christian
    group are involved. He says as the chalk writings are of Bible verses,
    they do not go beyond the bounds of free speech so no disciplinary
    action is planned. The Student Affairs Office plans to meet with
    representatives of the two student groups to figure out what started the
    chalking– and to talk about how these groups can engage in a civil
    discussion.

    • Anonymous

      It’s just so hilarious that the xians are all in an outrage over bible verses.  I don’t understand why the Student Affairs Office needs to get involved so the groups can “engage in a civil discussion.”  There’s nothing really these groups need to discuss.  Seems to me the only thing that needs to happen here is that someone with some authority needs to tell those xian students that the other students have the same right to free speech.

  • Anonymous

    If Christians aren’t willing to hold another Council of Trent in order to eliminate the Old Testament once and for all from the biblical canon, then they don’t really have a place to stand if they want to play the “that’s just the Old Testament card”, especially if they want to keep referring to the Old Testament to defend their beliefs in other cases.  Either that, or they also have to stop telling us that the whole thing is divinely inspired, inerrant, and relevant today.  And the ones that don’t say that need to decide what side of the conversation they’re really on when they defend those that do.

  • David Fusilier

    Jake, If you are actually interested in seeing some information on showing how shakab in the context of Deu. 22:28-29 is still talking about rape, there is a very well done article doing so: http://www.answering-christianity.com/karim/answering_apologists_and_exposing_rape.htm

    Not only that, but in the story of Amnon and the rape of Tamar (2 Sam. 13:14), the word used there is also shakab…are you now interpreting that story as not being about rape?

  • clayton

    I have been in a position at my employ to have to sit and hear people expound on biblical / mosaic / hebrew/and whatever other sophistic labels they need to use to make them seem scholarly and educated and high minded in this mindful exploration of their belief system and when I bring it into view in the proper perspective I am dismissed with the same disregard as I hold for them. I remain confused. Are we not discussing nothing more then why does not spiderman wear a cape?  Super heroes should wear capes right? If discussion of super heroe is to be scholarly we need to remain open to the notion that spiderman was wrongfully denied his cape. Silly?
    Probably, but no more silly to me then to sit and listen to these albsolutists discuss fiction and fantacy they have made real in their minds and spend Sundays,Wednesday and Fridays supporting this system of thought to bolster it and give it creds.

    • Candsareus

      Apologies for failure to edit poor typing skills due to lysdexic fingers and plaskol keyboard.

      • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

        I like what you have to say, clayton. Just get “than” and “then” straight, and you’ll be fine. Whatever that job of yours is, it sounds both fascinating and insane. Take care of yourself. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    From the news site’s comments:

    I’m one of the other students in question. First I’d like to comment on the sheer journalistic laziness on display here. Nobody was apprehended because no crimes were committed, nor were any school rules broken (and that’s according to the Dean of Students). Therefore no immediate or future disciplinary action is necessary. Further, I do not believe rape victims should marry their rapists, nor do I support slavery. God does. Deuteronomy 22:28 NIV, and Ephesians 6:5, respectively. People SHOULD be offended by this. It’s entirely offensive. Either God’s word is perfect and we’ve all got the green light to take slaves and stone homosexuals to death, or this Bible is hate speech and should not be given any moral legitimacy. We’ve all got to make a choice. I’m just trying to educate people on what ELSE the Bible says in order to facilitate an informed decision.

    I could not be more proud of these people. Great decision made there and having it washed away because it’s offensive only illustrates the exact point the atheist group was trying to make. The Bible is offensive.

  • Anonymous

    The atheists (and the Dean’s office) should write or call the TV station and complain about the report and make sure the station broadcast a retraction. 

  • Pajmo

    Oops! Hope that chalk is flame retardant.

    Matthew 5:22
    “anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

    • Rosemary

      Yes, but that is the position that Jesus takes, not the one his Father takes.  There is obviously some family conflict here.

  • TheBlackCat

    It looks like the WBOC16 deleted the old article and put up a new one that is more accurate and more fair (IMHO):

    http://www.wboc.com/story/16188115/debate-over-chalk-messages-at-salisbury-university

    They still didn’t mention that the religious group did it first, nor did they mention that the religious group was posting messages specifically criticizing atheists, nor do I see anywhere that they acknowledged or apologized for their previous article, but at least it is no longer blatantly dishonest.

  • http://www.atheistgeeknews.com The Atheist Geek

    This isn’t too far from where I live. It sounds like a decent outcome and fair treatment by the school, but not so much on the news reporting. :-( 

  • SU student

    I am glad the aetheists took a stand. I am so tired of seeing these bible verses chalked around campus, it is getting out of control. I feel so uncomfortable walking to class and reading about God. Do these Christians not realize people are stepping all over their beliefs? What really gets me mad about the “nice” Bible verses is that people touring the school are going to think Salisbury is a religious affiliated school, which it is not. The aetheists were only trying to show that the Bible is not all innocent and sweet like the majority of Christians think it is. So what if they paraphrased? They still got the correct point across.

    • Rosemary

      A better tactic might be to add chalked renditions of similar verses in the Koran and the holy books of other major religions.  A Google search is pretty good at finding relevant stuff.  

  • Rachel

    The Bible – the most best selling horror fiction novel before Stephen King

  • TruthDare

    The Bible?  You mean that rag-tag collection of Jewish (borrowed) mythology, tribal propaganda, prophetic gainsaying, pseudepigraphic posturing, genocidal rousing, character assassinating, puritan zealotry, war lusting, scribal vandalised writings that went through seven major transliterations, umpteen minor translations, and corrupt church counsels to be ratified as a book?  You can’t expect Christians to know that the Torah was a temporal composite, that almost all the books used famous pseudonyms to gain, that there are multiple variations of monotheistic deities, that there are rivaling prophets and judges with different priestly leanings, that there are numerous plagiarisms from rival cults, and that the political and even cultural intent shifts from book to book.  It’s unfair to expect them to do even a cursory amount of research – so they do not know that the garden of Eden story was borrowed, or that the writers of the gospels despised Saul of Tarsus and his helenising and neo-mythraic mysticism, or that the virgin birth was born of a simple translation in the Latin vulgate, or that the concept of the trinity was a third century addendum , or that the early church was a mix of Essene zealotry and new gnosticism, or that the book of the Revelation, and hence the whole last judgment leverage, was condemned as a heresy until it became useful to a Roman church seeking to make Christianity a state religion (rather like our religious right I suppose).  That Bible????

    • Rosemary

      [Smile]  Very nice summary of the main problems with accepting the Bible as a “divine” book. 

  • Jim Daniel

    Wow, I am sorry to hear that,
    You can get useful information on the bible at http://www.VirtualHolyBible.com

  • Darling Donna

    What has happened to you people who don’t believe in God to make you so faithless?  Some of you claim to have attended seminary, and then changed your mind about believing even in the existence of God.  I don’t understand the whole concept of NOT believing in God…that’s like not believing in air!  You cannot see it, but ohhhhh, how you NEED it to survive!  The very proof that He exists is my need for Him!

    • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

      To your question, the answer for many is: we thought. We looked at the evidence, the actual physical, verifiable, evidence. We decided that it was better to believe what is most likely true based on that evidence, than to believe what might otherwise seem to be a comfort. And when doing that, we found… zero evidence to support the existence of a deity. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. 

      Believing in air is supported by evidence: we can feel it on our skin, and see it’s effects on leaves in the wind, blowing snow, and devastating hurricanes. We can verify the effects of cutting off the supply of air to a creature that requires it, and watch a balloon expand when prepping for a birthday party. We can observe the shimmer in the air caused by the heat radiating from blacktop on a hot summer day. All of these things are verifiable by others, and by mechanical instruments. A pinwheel responds to wind every time, regardless of my personal feeling on the matter. So no, I cannot see air, but I can find a great deal of evidence to support believing in its existence.

      The very proof that He exists is my need for Him!

      I may seriously, truly need Adrian Paul to love me romantically, sexually, and passionately, such that I will simply kill myself if he does not. But my need in no way counts as proof that this love exists. If I’m at the bottom of the ocean with my foot stuck and about 10 seconds of oxygen left in my tank, I may need more oxygen in that tank, but that unfortunately doesn’t mean it exists. 

      Or, to look at it another way, I was raised a Christian, and at one time believed. And yet, I have never felt any need for God. None. Not as a child, not as a teenager, and not in all my adult years. If your reasoning were to hold, would that not count as proof that God does not exist? Of course not. Our emotions are proof of nothing except themselves. 

    • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

      To your question, the answer for many is: we thought. We looked at the evidence, the actual physical, verifiable, evidence. We decided that it was better to believe what is most likely true based on that evidence, than to believe what might otherwise seem to be a comfort. And when doing that, we found… zero evidence to support the existence of a deity. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. 

      Believing in air is supported by evidence: we can feel it on our skin, and see it’s effects on leaves in the wind, blowing snow, and devastating hurricanes. We can verify the effects of cutting off the supply of air to a creature that requires it, and watch a balloon expand when prepping for a birthday party. We can observe the shimmer in the air caused by the heat radiating from blacktop on a hot summer day. All of these things are verifiable by others, and by mechanical instruments. A pinwheel responds to wind every time, regardless of my personal feeling on the matter. So no, I cannot see air, but I can find a great deal of evidence to support believing in its existence.

      The very proof that He exists is my need for Him!

      I may seriously, truly need Adrian Paul to love me romantically, sexually, and passionately, such that I will simply kill myself if he does not. But my need in no way counts as proof that this love exists. If I’m at the bottom of the ocean with my foot stuck and about 10 seconds of oxygen left in my tank, I may need more oxygen in that tank, but that unfortunately doesn’t mean it exists. 

      Or, to look at it another way, I was raised a Christian, and at one time believed. And yet, I have never felt any need for God. None. Not as a child, not as a teenager, and not in all my adult years. If your reasoning were to hold, would that not count as proof that God does not exist? Of course not. Our emotions are proof of nothing except themselves. 

    • Rosemary Lyndall Wemm

      Spoken by someone who has never honestly and properly investigated the basis of their belief system and has spent their life avoiding material that challenges their indoctrinated belief. 

      Your perceived “need” for something is not valid proof of the existence of what you crave. 
      That type of circular reasoning can be used to justify the existence of
      anything,  including all other supernatural gods and concepts.  

      Investigation  that uses the best known methods of truth discovery (rather then the highly unreliable methods used by religious apologists) reveals that the religious “air” is an illusion, and quite unnecessary for survival.   Your reasoning only makes sense to those who are only aware of one side of the fence.

  • RichardSpeaks

    Cheryl: Unless you haven’t been in a fundamentalist evangelical church lately, then you must be aware that those preachers throw around OT passages to support their sermons all the time. Even Michele Bachmann, Red Party presidential candidate has suggested that America should be governed by Levitical law. And as far as making fun of Christians is concerned, if so many of them weren’t so loud, mean-spirited, judgmental, condemning, un-accepting, and scientifically foolish, perhaps the jokes and criticism would cease. I speak from experience. I used to be one of those fundies. I grew out of it. Have a great holiday season.

  • Joeisinthehouse

    God People: YOU ARE NOT PERMITTED to claim only the parts of the Bible that you like. Either it’s ALL TRUE ALL THE TIME, or none of it is. If this is “God’s Word” then it applies regardless of culture, ethnicity, geography or politics.

    Pick one. You’ve either got to live with it all, or chuck it all. There ain’t no middle ground.

  • kim

    the old testament is before christ and new testament is after christ. after christ came many things were changed for God gave himself to pay for our sin. God is only one with different roles. for example, a person can be a mom, sister, and daughter but that doesnt make her 3 different people it makes her ONE person with different roles. Ex-christians or theologists usually walk away from god from sinful pleasures or the fear of being accountable. they are too afraid of actually going to hell so they deny christ and his existience and live in a world of denial to hide away from the fact that there is a hell. also, they probably never had a real relationship with christ for those who do usually go back.

    • Rosemary

      You are parroting what you have been told to believe.  You have not investigated these claims to see whether they hold up under scrutiny or whether there are other equally or more probable explanations.  Shame!

      For example, ex-Christians and theologists who lose their religious beliefs almost always do so because, on investigation, they either do not make sense, they do not match what we know about reality  or they prove to be morally impaired.  

      There is no valid reason to suppose that these people were any less devout and religiously convinced than you are right now.  There is no valid reason, other than wishful thinking, to suppose that they did not experience what they believed at the time to be a “relationship” with their version of the divine.  They all claim that they had such feelings. 

      In any case, it is a logical fallacy to classify people AFTER an event, purely on the basis of the event.  It is the same “logic” that dismisses pregnancies caused by a failure of a Catholic-approved birth control methods on the grounds that the pregnant person could not have been following the method.   These pregnancies are as much a failure of the Catholic method than these de-conversion are of the failure of Christianity to stand up under thorough investigation. 

      None of these individuals leave the faith in order to be “sinful” or “accountable”.  You are confusing them with youths and young adults who are not interested in religion (apatheism, not atheism) and don’t want to explore it because it might interfere with their life style.  In fact, the more degenerate the life style, the more at risk they are for experiencing a dramatic emotional conversion to a belief set for which they are already partially primed. Atheists (rather than apatheists) do not demonstate behavior that is more morally immature of reprehensible than the average “born again” Christina.   In fact, as a general rule, they tend to behave better than the average devout Christian.   There are certainly very few of them in the prison system. Instead,prisons have a higher than normal proportion of evangelical Christians and devout Muslims.  This might suggest that religious devotion causes criminal behavior.  :-)

      They are not afraid of hell and they do not “deny Christ” because they no longer believe in the actual existence of either.  These claims make no more sense than insisting that you have rejected Allah and are afraid of the Muslim Hell (which is far worse than the Christian one, by the way) , or Thor, or Zeus, or Lord Shriva or Aphrodite.    

      Using your logic, I could claim that you have rejected Santa and the Tooth Fairy because you wanted to be bad and you that never had a real relationship with either of them.    Likewise, I could claim that you refuse to believe in Santa and Fairies because you are really afraid that you would get coal for Christmas or nothing for your teeth.  (That is backwards logic anyway, because fear of horrid consequences is the reason that many Christians think is a good reason to BELIEVE in their version of “god”.   In fact, it is only a “good reason” for believing if you have been indoctrinated or emotionally converted.)

  • Mntlyil

    Why do atheist worry about convincing a Christian why they don’t believe?  We don’t lose either way, but you do if your wrong, and by the way, you are!  Seem’s like you spend most of your time trying to convince your selves!   One of the “Faithful”!

    • Rosemary

      Unlike Christians and Muslims, few atheist are evangelical or feel any need to proselytize or win people over to their viewpoint.  Most, however, find this kind of behavior offensive when practiced by theists.  They will respond to that.  There are currently approximately 38000 Christian denominations in the world.  This is not counting all the flavours of this religion that have died out of been modified out of existence.  Of the current batch, 37999 of them would like to convince you that you are wrong, and they are the only ones who have the real truth.  What if they are right? After all, with facts like this, your odds of being socialized into the only “right” way of thinking about the Christian god are very slim. And that is only ONE religion. If you take all of these into account, your odd of being right are extremely small. Then add all the religions and gods that have ever been believed by a human to exist.  Your odds of being right in the face of this avalanche of contradictory beliefs is so ridiculously small that you would have to be indoctrinated to believe that you had the remotest chance of being right.  Oh wait! You are indoctrinated.  Like every devout member of every other one of these groups and religions you believe that you are your particular religious faction are the only ones with truth.  How illogically naive of you. 

      • Rosemary

        BTW, the argument you are using is called Pascal’s Wager.   It is
        usually included in elementary classes in Philosophy, together with the counter
        arguments.

         It was debunked centuries
        ago, almost as soon as it was formulated.  There are thousands of Christians who have not
        been sufficiently educated to know this. 
        They continue to use the argument as if it were a good one instead of a
        very flawed one.  In other words, any theist who currently
        uses Pascal’s Wager in conversation with a non-believer instantly advertises themselves to be rather poorly educated.  That is probably the opposite of what you thought you were doing, isn’t it?  I imagine you thought you were actually displaying superior knowledge compared to the average “wrong” atheist.  Isn’t that right?  How embarrassing for you.

        Here is a link to material from a first year philosophy
        class taught at Stanford University) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pascal-wager/
         

        Once Wikipedia is up and running again, you will find a less educationally
        demanding treatment of this argument and its flaws right here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_Wager

         

  • friendly christian

    Deuteronomy 22:28-29New International Version (NIV)
     28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives. “If they are discovered”.  Perhaps taking a woman out of wed-lock was considered a rape. Or that is the best translation for the word.  Perhaps, because in this century, I saw arabic men saying a raped woman is like a broken dish to discarded, this law protected the life of a woman, who would be killed for becoming “useless”.  By the way, the young man speaking on camera murdered his sister after she was raped. (Not Christians.)  The old testament was changing the laws of a hard-core society.  The new testament does away with the law.  Jesus, when asked what is the greatest commandment, he said to love thy neighbor.  To consider others as much as yourself.  For this, he said, you can do no wrong.

    • Anonymous

      I fail to see what this thread has to do with the article.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rlyndallwemm Rosemary Lyndall-Wemm

      A wise and responsible god could have provided rules that changed the prejudices of the “hard core society” so that raped women were treated as victims, not broken possessions. 

      Paul/Saul was the one that did away with the unpopular parts of the Jewish law so that he could attract Gentiles to his Christ Cult. 

      If the reports of the words of Jesus are accurate (which is unlikely) then he did NOT do away with the law at all.  He was reported to have said that the law was to be kept.   His injunction to “love your neighbor as yourself” but not new or profound.  It is a re-word of earlier teachings from other cultures and religions.  Some of them say it better.  For example, a better version is to command:  “Do NOT do to others what you would not like done to you.”  Better still, “Do to others what they would like you to do to them, provided that this is not bad for them.”  The last one acknowledges that people have different tastes and what you would like may not be what others like.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/rlyndallwemm Rosemary Lyndall-Wemm

      BTW, in the biblical times of which we speak women and children were considered the property of the men to do with as he wishes.  It was believed that women were merely “cooking ovens” that developed their husband’s sperm into a baby.  They were not thought to contribute anything else to the process.  If a man raped a married or engaged woman then he had committed a property crime.  Thus one of the Top Ten Commandments entreats men not to covert his neighbor’s property, which includes his wife and his donkey.   There are a whole set of other rules that the bible text claims were given to Moses by his god at the same time that he gave him the ones he was supposed to have divinely etched into stone.  One of these provides the rules by which a man may sell his daughter into slavery to pay off HIS debts. 

      If your god was real, wise, loving and responsible he could have changed the way women were treated right back then.  Instead, women continued to be regarded as property and second class citizens until well into the second half of the 20th century.  The movement to change this was spearheaded, not by god-fearing Christians, but by women with no particular religious beliefs at all.  The god-fearing Christians were the ones vigorously opposing this change.  Either your version of god is powerless, unwise or cruel or he is purely an invention of bronze age with no science education who were trying to make sense of their world and build a sense of national pride in the group that was in the process of separating itself from its Sumerian roots.

  • Dudodudo

       This thread makes no sense, Why atheists care about some unreal stuff (by their personal views), and why Christians try to convince them of something that they c cannot convince anybody.   
        The person that wrote on the sidewalk was trying to make people mad, not helping people understand about God or any other aspect of his/her faith.

        People lose too much time, discussing about stuff they dont even believe or stuff that they believe without ever living it  fully.

       God cannot be explained, Its through faith alone in Jesus. 
    I feel I am waisting my time here also. Bye …

    • RLWemm

       Which particular unexplained version of which particular unexplained Christianity do  you choose to believe in through faith?  Which one of them do you choose to “fully live”?  If you cannot explain why your particular version is the only or the best one to fully live then how do you know that is it either true or worth following? 

      I’ll bet that you are like the other 99 percent of people whose particular brand of religious faith is held purely on the basis of what your parents and teachers told you is correct before you were old enough or wise enough to challenge it.  And I’ll bet that you have never seriously explored any other faith, or challenged the one you have by listening carefully to what its detectors have to say about it.   That makes you a naive Faith Patsy who is trapped in an authoritarian “don’t ask awkard questions” system.  You can do better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beth.ford.104 Beth Ford

    Most of them are just ignorant. They also think “black” people get different diseases! We have GOT to educate. Knowledge is the answer to these very important issues.

  • Jmclaughlin

    What about the story of Noah.  God killed everyone except Noah’s family by flooding the earth.  Imagine all of the innocent babies as the flood water spilled into their bassinets and filled their infant lungs, until they were mercilessly drowned.  Let’s all give praise and thanks to our Lord, shall we? 

  • Renegade

    Lol atheists. Sad, strange, little things.

    • Rosemary Lyndall Wemm

       
       
      Hardly sad and often bright,
      That’s because we see the light.
      Much more usual every day,
      - Even in the U.S. A.
      The group’s not little any more
      Except among the old and poor.
      Use your brain and think things through.
      Find out what is really true.
      Be kind to all and ease the pain
      Of everyone, so all may gain.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        This made me smile.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UHE3JSRDTVO4C7LKHFM4ADNYXM PatrickS

    Yep – you can find some disturbing things in the Bible that taken without any context sound really bad.  Admittedly.   It’s kinda like how scientists feel when religious people quote Einstein as wanting to know the mind of God.  Makes him sound religious, right?   But there’s no context.  Media bias?  Yep, I see that the atheists got shafted in the media coverage.  I’ve almost never seen a story I knew something about told really accurately, so big news flash there.  But if you want to talk bias, I also see it when no media covers a school that tells a kid they can’t wear a Christian shirt because some atheist kid said he was offended.  Or the military starts banning people from offering free Bibles to military personnel.  I would just say to all involved that the sidewalk (like these blogs and posts) are a terrible way to try to get a message out.  Try talking (and listening) to each other.  I wish all Christians would read the WHOLE Bible before they start quoting one tiny section of it, I’d invite atheists to do the same.  When you read the ENTIRE Bible, in context, front to back, you’ll find those culturally based things that really drive you crazy, but you will also read a story of a God so in love with his (forgive my sexist language) creation that it amazes you to no end.  AND, you might find that there isn’t anything in the Bible that says the earth is flat (and other such nonsense people with no creativity see) – there is symbolic language about the earth being solid and having four corners, yes, but the earth being flat is a scientific observation – just one with terribly limited resources.   Read the book.  If there is no God, then you’ve nothing to fear, right?  But if you find, like I did, that this unique book blows you away, then you’ve a lot to gain.

    • rlwemm

       

      It’s not just context, Patrick.  It is context plus knowledge of the
      historical and cultural background that is important to understanding any
      ancient text, including the many different books of the Christian Bible, and
      their many different interpretations of the developing Jewish concept of the
      supernatural world.   The standard Christian does not have this
      background knowledge.  Nor, in most
      cases, is the standard Christian in the least bit interested in obtaining it.  The most academic of the mainstream
      theological colleges will teach this material, which is why the ministers of
      mainstream Christian churches generally have a very different concept of the
      bible god than their average parishioner.  Your average non-academic Baptist preacher
      knows stuff all about this material – and does his (usually his) best to
      persuade his parishioners that such knowledge is “of the devil” and to be
      avoided at all costs because it is evil.  A religion that can only survive if its
      adherents are kept ignorant is obviously not built on “self-evident truths” that
      survive rigorous investigation and analysis.  

      Whether you like it or not, and you almost certainly will not, the average
      de-convert from Christianity arrived at this intellectual conclusion because
      they DID read all of the bible, rather than just those passages that match the
      particular doctrine of their socially acquired version of Christianity.   This is particularly true of the many pastors,
      ministers, priests, nuns and other Christian Career personnel who have lost the
      very beliefs they used to, or are forced to continue to, preach.  There are, for example, currently over 400
      religious clergy in The Clergy Program.  This program is designed to assist those unfortunate
      people who are forced to fake religious belief in order to continue to feed
      themselves and their families and provide the social interaction and
      self-confirming social esteem that is vital for good mental health.  The first “graduates” have been recently “coming
      out” as they finally find their way into other less soul-destroying occupations
      that provide for at least their economic means.  Sadly, they invariably lose friends, relatives
      and even family when they finally own up to their intractable disbelief.  

      I am surprised that you imagine that news streams resist reporting on the so-called
      “discrimination” that Christians are subjected to by “atheists” insisting that
      they refrain from offending people by proselyzing and prominently displaying
      sectarian religious identifications in public places and general communities.  The people who complain are more often than
      not members of other religious groups who are offended by what they perceive to
      be religious bullying or suppression or preferential treatment.   Alternatively, they are secular authorities
      that are concerned with keeping the peace and failing to marginalize those with
      minority religious or non-religious beliefs.   

      For example, in the recent past the European media (as well as uncensored internet
      news sources and some American media not under the thumb of Fox News or
      threatened by U.S. Fundies) reported on the laws passed by the French
      government that bans the wearing of ANY religious symbol in the national school
      systems.

      The issue that you have failed to grasp is that the “suppression” is not
      directed at Christians per se, but at those who demand special and exclusive privilege
      to preach or proselytize their particular brand of supernatural belief, whether
      it is a form of Christianity or not.  Christians
      consider it both their right and their duty to distribute Bibles in hotel rooms
      and to U.S.
      military personnel.  They consider it
      their right, and often their duty, to wear religious T-shirts to schools, including
      those that promote bigotry and hatred against whatever minority groups that
      their particular brand of religion condemns. Those who claim the right to engage
      in this type of religious “freedom” are quick to complain when some other brand
      of Christianity or some other religion tries to do exactly the same thing in
      exactly the same venues.  

      The truth is that Christians do not want to share their
      religious privilege with any other group.  That makes them guilty of applied prejudice
      and group bully tactics.  It is nothing
      to be proud of but millions of them mistakenly think that it is.  I guess this comes from the unconscious
      ingestion of the Christian doctrine that insists that they do everything they
      can to convert the world to their particular version of religious belief.   Ironically,
      the very biblical verses that command this did not appear at all in the
      earliest manuscripts but were added decades or centuries later, presumably by
      those with a doctrinally vested interest in making the texts appear to support
      the current vigorously enforced orthodoxy.  If you read a little uncensored religious history,
      you might be appalled at the devious and cruel methods used by the early
      Christian Church to keep people in line.  Orthodoxy was decided by those who were given
      positions of power, generally by the Roman emperor.  The intellectuals of the day (Gnostics) were
      branded as heretical, otherwise the doctrines of the divinity of Jesus and the
      Virgin Birth would not have been “gospel” today.  

  • Kat

    I just came across this article and found it quite disturbing because it is based on a misunderstanding. This verse does not condone rape nor bind the victim of rape to her rapist. The problem with Deuteronomy 22:28-29 in this case is translation. The word in Deuteronomy is not our English word “rape” as some translations have it, but rather the English words “seduce” or “entice”. Tamar was raped by her half brother Amnon and lived out her days in her brother Absalom’s house alone, destitute. She was not required to marry her rapist even though she desired it rather than be destitute.
    As for the slavery issue, it was not the same as the slavery we commonly know of today but rather a type of indentured servant. Slaves in Israel were to be treated fairly and there were laws regarding their treatment as well as penalties for their mistreatment. Many of the slaves in Israel were slaves for a specific amount of time to pay a debt and actually put themselves in that position to pay that debt. As a slave they (or their families) were both paid and taken care of, giving them the opportunity to pay off whatever debts they owed. There were other situations, such as the slave who loved his master and desired to stay for life as well as the slaves taken from war. The same laws applied to all slaves, regardless of the type or duration of their slavery. They were not permitted to be abused and were actually granted their freedom if they were. Read the context and use a reliable translation. Look up the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words for clarification. If you’re going to mock, then it might first be wise to make sure that you have an accurate understanding of what you are mocking because in the one case you are mocking what you think is the words of God but is not, and in the other you are mocking something that you assume to be rather than what actually was.
    With that said, I respect that you have the freedom to choose what to believe but still invite you to find out for yourself whether these things are true or not…If you don’t search you will never know the truth, but will only hold on to the assumptions you think are truth… Again, that is also your choice…

    • Obazervazi

      Isn’t there a verse saying you can beat your slaves so long as you don’t injure them too much?

      That doesn’t sound very hunky-dory to me.

    • rlwemm

      Kat, your education has clearly been restricted to material written by
      apologists for Christian fundamentalism. People on this site have read
      much more widely. Many of them are very familiar with the Bible, in several translations. Some of us have trained for the Christian ministry.

      In other words, we do not make these accusations out of ignorance of what the Bible says or what the cultural norms were in various eras of biblical times. I am afraid the ignorance is being expressed by you, not the other way around.

      You have argued that biblical girls were not required to marry their rapists by providing ONE instance where the woman could not be married to her rapist because he was a close relative. One instance does not inviolate the general rule, does it?

      While Abraham was married to his half sister in the early pages of the Bible, marrying a full brother was not acceptable at the time when the Commandments were written. In any case, the woman in your example is not much better off. A woman raped by a family member (brother, father, uncle) was victimized for life by being made to stay in the house where she was raped, and not given the financial privileges of marriage to her abuser. She is still treated like property, to be abused at will by the ruling males of the society.

      In civilized societies this behavior is not tolerated or condoned. The problem for you is that the god of the bible condones it.

      If you were a missionary to some godless primitive tribe in the Amazon, you would not tolerate this type of behavior. That makes you more moral that the Old Testament version of god.

      There are similar problems with your naive view of slavery in Old Testament days. The “servant” rules that you mention applied to Jews, not to non-Jews. There were, however, ways around these slightly more civilized conventions for the treatment of Jewish slaves.

      Jewish servants could be kept forever by giving them a wife and refusing to let them leave your service with this wife. If they wished to stay with this wife then they had to stay with you – past their set period of indenture. If the slave choose to continue in service then the owner was instructed by your version of god to drive an awl through their ear (without anesthetic, of course) as a mark of their permanent indenture (aka slavery) to the owner. Exodus 21: 5-6

      The god of the Bible not only condoned this cruel practice, he commanded it. You, as a missionary to a primitive tribe, would not. Once again, you are more moral than your god.

      The full set of commandments (why stop at the first ten?) includes detailed instructions on how much you can beat your slaves. It is OK to beat them so badly that they die, provided that they do not die for at least 3 days after you thrashed them. If they do, then you are to be fined a nominal amount rather than treated as a murderer, because the slave is your property and your income. Exodus 21:20-21

      If you were a missionary to a primitive tribe you would do everything you could to stop this practice, too. Once again, you would be more moral than your version of god.

      This is slave treatment rule was one of over 600 Commandments given to Moses along with the commandments you think of as the Top Ten. Why do you only choose to follow some of them? In fact, The Top Ten are not actually the REAL Ten Commandments; that set is never referred to as such in the biblical text and contains more than ten “thou shalts”. The only ones that the Bible refers to as the Ten Commandments are found in Exodus 34:11–26

      The Real Ten Commandments (with 9 “thou shalts”) end with the requirement that you not boil a kid in its mother’s milk. You have probably never sinfully broken that one. :-)

      These Ten Commandments are the ones that went into the Arc of the Covenant. They seal the Yahweh god’s covenant with the Jews to help them kill and evict all humans and animals in the way of them settling into the Promised Land. That is, these were the rules that your version of god wanted his followers to keep in exchange for his assistance in the torture, rape, genocide, and stealing of other people’s property in the process of full scale invasion. You know, the kinds of things done by the invading armies of every war monger on this planet.

      If you were a missionary to a primitive tribe you would not condone this type of behavior, either. Once again, you are a lot more moral than your god. I guess you worship this monster because you really have not studied the Bible or its history very well.

      I bet that your study of the Bible has been so deficient that you have skipped, ignored or deliberately forgotten all of the instances where the biblical god killed or tortured his “creations”. The un-censored biblical text paints a picture of a god that is so unlike the god that you think you worship (loving, kind, honest, peaceful, etc.) that the cognitive dissonance between your preferred version and what you will actually find is almost certain to ensure that you will be incapable of reading through more than a couple of the god-killing descriptions before abandoning it in favor or the uncensored sections that are read out in churches during Sunday services.

      If you don’t believe me, then here is the list of the bible god’s holy killings. http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com/2010/04/gods-top-50-killings-how-do-you-rate.html
      http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com/2010/04/drunk-with-blood-gods-killings-in-bible.html

      Most people like you are too terrified of what they might find in these heavily neglected biblical texts that they persuade themselves to avoid them entirely. Some decide to accept the challenge believing that they can find divine excuses for all of them. I know of no-one who has succeeded without using extreme forms of Special Pleading that make them sound like lawyers for the Mafia. I doubt you would do any better but then I don’t believe you have any intention of seriously challenging your current comfortable delusion of a “nice” bible god. What better way to do that than to avoid reading all of the Bible. Ignorance, avoidance, inattention, denial and Special Pleading are the mechanisms by which delusions and prejudices are maintained. Informed Believers are rare. You obviously aren’t one of them.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Nice bit of Christsplainng. Thanks!

  • Elizabeth Rene Thompson

    if God had not sent jesus to die for our sins we would still be living in the old testament and most of us would be dead.But the all mighty sent jesus to die for our sins not so we can be condemd but so we could be saved of our sins.aka so we can live in this satan like enviroment people have made for us through sin.

  • Elizabeth Rene Thompson

    i dont understand how people say this pretains to certain time periods theres nothing in that bible that isnot happening right here in the world today.we still have slaves, forced marriages,rich and poor evil kings and so on theres no difference jesus died so God didnot kill us all right then and there to give us a chance at repentance some will some wont then in the end hell judge the ones that repented as good the ones that dont as evil.God put curses on familys for doing evil stuff and the curses followed the blood line.

  • http://www.gilburgos.blogspot.com/ Gil Burgos

    YOU SAID:

    “Rape victims must marry their rapists” and correctly attributed it to Deut. 22: 28-29.

    If you read the text correctly, it says:

    “If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.”

    BE ACCURATE AND DON’T ADD TO WHAT IT DOESN’T SAY.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      You are correct. This really only applies to rape victims who are virgins and have not been pledged to marry someone else.

      Of course if the woman was already some other man’s property, then it depends on whether the rape occurred within the town. If it did, then they’re both to be stoned to death. Her because she must be a slut because she obviously didn’t call for help.

      Thanks for clearing that up for us. It seems like the more context you add, the worse it gets.

  • Dan Campbell

    Guess the bible thumpers do not believe in free speech for everyone.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X