Over the summer, Paul Fidalgo posted about a popular Bible app called YouVersion — which, despite having the worst app name ever, was still incredibly useful to anyone who wanted a portable Bible.
It turns out a lot of those users are atheists and they’re not using the app in the way the creator intended:
But Lauren, a 22-year-old chemistry major from Colorado, is not interested in the app’s mission to deepen faith and biblical literacy. A newly minted atheist, she uses her YouVersion Bible app to try to persuade people away from the Christianity she grew up in.
“I know of a lot of atheists who have come to their nonbelief by actually reading the Bible rather than just the fluffy stories they choose to tell you about in church,” she said. “Reading the full story with all its contradictions and violence and sexism, it should make you think, ‘Is this really what I believe in?’ At least it did for me.”
I love that. Open access to the Bible is helping atheists strengthen their unfaith.It’s always telling when Christians are unaware of what their holy book says, and atheists can now point that out to them with a never-before-seen ease:
“There was a girl in my math class who had a tattoo about Jesus and I asked if she knew Leviticus says you shouldn’t have tattoos,” [Adam Wright] said. “She said that wasn’t true and I opened my app and showed her the verse.”
I really like how atheists are embracing this app instead of denouncing it or trying to persuade people not to download it. In fact, we stand to gain more than Christians do by having the Bible so easily accessible. The more people who read it, the more times you’re going to see a horrified reaction followed by the words, “Wait, THIS is in the Bible?!”
As Kimberly Winston‘s article notes, atheists and agnostics already top the list when it comes to basic religious literacy:
I firmly believe the more exposure people have to ridiculous beliefs, the less likely they are to buy into any of them.
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