The Awkward Moments Children’s Bible: The Passages They Don’t Share in Sunday School

Whenever you hear Christians talk about “living biblically,” it’s hard not to roll your eyes. Because anyone who’s read the Bible knows that it’s full of passages (that usually go unmentioned in churches) that ought to make anyone question why so many hold the book in such high esteem.

Now, “Horus Gilgamesh” and illustrator “Agnes Tickheathen” (Agnostic Heathen) have put out a book called the Awkward Moments (Not Found In Your Average) Children’s Bible documenting many of these little-known verses. The finished product is simply incredible. The book features beautiful/disturbing illustrations of several Bible passages that no Christians want to admit are in their holy book.

Searching for a gift to give your Reddit Secret Santa or atheist friends this Christmas Festivus? Look no further.

Just take a look at some of the pages:

This one quotes Exodus 21:20-21:

Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.

Here’s Mark 5:9-13:

Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

And here’s 2 Kings 6:28-29:

Then he asked her, “What’s the matter?”

She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we’ll eat my son.’ So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him,’ but she had hidden him.”

If you have to read a Bible, this is the one to read. It gets right to the good stuff. It’s the equivalent of learning a new language and immediately looking up all the curse words.

The best part of the book? It’s only Volume One.

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.

  • averydashwood

    “She lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.”

    Should make for a great illustration.

  • paulalovescats

    Please, I do NOT want to see a picture of it! It’s bad enough an image popped into my head that I can’t get rid of!

  • baal

    I missed the 2 kings canabalism! I’m surprised.

  • n1010et

    Not for you, silly, you’re an adult!

  • atheismFTW

    But, Hermant, you’re taking these passages out of context. Read them with a prayerful heart. If you read them with ANY ounce of critical thought, the smallest grain of doubt about God’s infinite wisdom, their message becomes hidden. Don’t think; absorb. Don’t question; obey.

    But, seriously, I can’t tell you how many times the Christians in my life try to tell me this bullshit.

  • katiehippie

    Boy, I’d be pissed if those were my pigs. A fortune run off the cliff.

  • Kristian Alekov

    Finally a Bible I would like to read!

  • skeptic questions

    I DONT see the part in exodus that says a beaten slave needs to get back to work after 2 days?

    Also imagine Ande’s plane crash cannibalism with no context. “A couple footballers decide to eat there comrades…”

  • Lark62

    Chapter and verse, please!!!

  • Rain

    If we want to look at it in context, Jesus could have made lobsters fall out of the sky and nobody would have to eat anybody at all! Blame Jesus, not the cannibals.

  • 3lemenope

    One of the reasons I’m looking forward to Noah is that the movie (at least going off of the trailer) is presenting the flood as a horrific near-extinction event rather than concentrating on the fluffy bunnies and lions making friends on the ark two-by-two aspect.

  • Lark62

    My current “favorite” is Psalm 137 which explains how to stay happy when captured and enslaved by Babylonians. How, you ask? Since God is love, and happiness comes from him: “Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.” Rock on.

  • 3lemenope

    Ezekiel 23:20

  • Lark62

    Thanks! However did I miss that one?

  • 3lemenope

    It gets funnier. “Thigh” is a very common ancient Hebrew euphemism for genitals. It occurs twenty-one times in the OT, usually in the context of swearing an oath or, occasionally, some straight-out crazier shit (Numbers, Chapter 5, I’m looking at you). About half of those are plausibly a reference to an actual thigh, the other half it is pretty clear they’re talking about people’s junk.

    There’s all kinds of stuff like this. Whatever else the Bible is, it is a wickedly smutty set of books. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

  • smrnda

    Well, William Lane Craig has defended baby-killing as getting kids to heaven before they have a chance to acquire a false religion from their heathen parents….

  • Rain

    Yep they never told us in Sunday school why they wanted to blow down the walls with the trumpets. They wanted to kill every living thing in the frightened and defenseless city. It took Carl Sagan to tell me the rest of the story. Paul Harvey sure as heck wouldn’t have told the rest of the story.

  • JT Rager

    You’re taking it out of context!!! The Bible added those details because… Erm… I’ve got nothing.

  • Crash Override

    I for one cannot wait to see what they make of Song of Solomon…biblical softcore porn at its finest.

  • Miss_Beara

    Usually when asked “in what context is this acceptable?” The answer is usually silence or “it was different in those times.” Then more questions come up like “why would you follow a book where it was ok to rape, kill, commit genocide and call it moral?”

  • 3lemenope

    I call it “grading God on a curve”. When this is pointed out to Christians, they often outright panic.

    “What prevented God from slipping ‘it is bad to own people’ in between the ‘no tattoos’ and ‘shellfish is an abomination’ bits?”

    Has anyone ever heard a plausible answer?

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    For the longest point, when I was younger, I thought that there were multiple gods and that El was just being a dick and didn’t want other people to worship them. I thought that because of the commandment against worshiping other gods along with Exodus 15:11, Exodus 12:12, Deuteronomy 10:17, and Jeremiah 46:25. I know it is kind of unrelated, but it would just be interesting to have that under one section.

    I am very tempted to buy this just because of the artwork alone.

  • 3lemenope

    Judaism has a whole lot of henotheistic cruft up in its monotheism. For the most part, the Jews have come to terms with the evidence of that genealogy. The Christians, not so much.

  • Tom Wierman

    I am soooo handing these out for xmas!

  • Jessica R Maxwell

    6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. “Timothy 6″

    Sooo. All the wealthy Christians are living in sin? Interesting

  • dandaman

    I think “it” moved.

  • Olaf

    I´m very sorry about your reactions. You think Christian are naive? You think Christians are stupid? You think Christians are wrong in calling you aggressive?
    Look at you own comments! Who of you will show the latest news on prostitution, serial killers, or rape to your children? None, I hope so. Because that would harm the psyche of the child. Why do you expect Christian parents to show their children the bad examples in the Bible, which they would not be able to handle? The wrongs in the Bible are to show how you shouldn´t do it. A big portion of the Bible is a historical account, that does not cover the wickedness of humanity. Yes, I know this will be distorted in future comments, but anyway: The Exodus-”QUOTE” above is NOT correct, but an erronious one. It doesn´t say in Verse 21 that the slave has to go to work again. I encourage you to read on to Verse 27 were it says that a slave, who is beaten to lose a tooth is to be set free. The context of this passage is the Ancient Near East where it was common to have slaves and treat them worse than animals. The laws on slavery in the Old Testament represent a great relief to the usual treatment in ancient times. IN adition to that the New Testament is anxious to do away with slavery in ananslaving society.

  • Houndentenor

    So it’s okay to have slaves, and to beat those slaves, just not too much??? That is effed up and I think you know it. Also, show me the quote from the New Testament that commands Christians not to own slaves.

  • Olaf

    Galatians 3:28; Collosians 3:11. “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” “In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!” NRSV

  • Chas Swedberg

    That’s a stretch. If it is telling us that slavery is wrong(which I can’t see how), then how is it not telling us Jewishness and maleness is wrong as well?

  • Olaf

    There are really few obscure portions in scripture if you are searching for answers, and not for creating errors. I´d like to continue this conversation, but I´m in Romania and it is quarter to 3 am. I´ve got to go to bed now.

  • 3lemenope

    Christians with iPods, Christians in SUVs, Christians owning Mansions, Christians at Restaurants…

    American Christianity: Aiming for Lukewarm. Hitting the target.

  • Olaf

    It´s really early in the morning for me. This will be my last post: It abolishes the differences. You are smart, you could figure that out by yourself if you are not too stubborn on dissing Christians. Sorry, truth hurts sometimes

  • Houndentenor

    That passage does not say that Christians can’t own slaves.

  • Houndentenor

    Yes, the truth does hurt sometimes. I see no truth here and am not hurting in the least.

  • Glasofruix

    Why do you expect Christian parents to show their children the bad
    examples in the Bible, which they would not be able to handle? The
    wrongs in the Bible are to show how you shouldn´t do it.

    Yeah right, so Lot’s daughters raping him and getting away with it, the guy who wanted to give his daughters to a mob in order to protect strangers, skyfairy being a giant dick killing people because of a wager etc etc… what are those examples? Most of the time the bad things that happen are either god’s fault or people involved get away with gods blessing (which makes me wonder whether yahweh is an idiot or if he just likes to fuck with people). Also, cherrypicking from THE supposed book of “truth” just to show the fluffy passages is kind of a dick move.

    A big portion of the Bible is a historical account

    Bwahahahahahaha !!!!!

    it says that a slave, who is beaten to lose a tooth is to be set free

    The laws on slavery in the Old Testament represent a great relief to the usual treatment in ancient times.

    So it’s okay to own people and beat them up with just enough caution so they don’t die or loose a tooth? You are a sick fuck, sir.

  • Lark62

    I expect christians, parents and otherwise, to lose the double standard. When you want to tell someone else how to live their life, it’s “god’s perfect, infallible word, to be accepted without question or debate.” (Gays are going to hell, god said so.)

    But when it’s time for christians to examine their own lives, the bible’s commands about greed, gluttony, false witness, judging others, gossip, etc. etc. etc. suddenly aren’t a big deal compared to those OTHER people and their sex lives.

    And all those inconvenient commands – women must keep their head covered – what happened to that one? Menstruating women must leave town for 7 days – no longer applicable. If a girl is raped, she must marry her rapist – god is love. The soldiers conquered a town, great – kill the men, women and boys, but the soldiers can do what they want with the young women – remember, morality can only be found in the bible. Eating shrimp is an abomination – I guess abomination doesn’t mean what you think it means. Christians pick and choose all the time, but claim that the bible is perfect when condemning other people.

    God hates abortion – the bible doesn’t actually say so, but he does allow priests to feed an abortion causing bitter liquid to women suspected of infidelity. Feed the poor – evil socialism, evil socialism, evil socialism.

    Stop feeding lies to your children, your neighbors, and yourself. Stop judging others who pick and choose different verses than you. The wrongs in the bible are not “bad examples.” The wrongs are the best attempt at how to live that iron age goat herders could come up with. But they are still wrong by today’s standards. No moral person today would live by all of the bible’s commands, because so many are clearly immoral.

  • Anat

    I’d say the translation Horus and Agnes are promoting is actually lenient to YHWH. In this translation the master gets off if the slave recovers enough health to keep working, but the way I read the Hebrew, even if the slave dies as a result of the beating, just not within the first two days, the master gets off the hook. I think the moral standard of common translations is even worse than what Horus and Agnes claim.

  • Lark62

    Actually, if they die immediately the owner is punished. If they linger for a couple days and then die, no biggie.

    Remember, god is love.

  • Anat

    If you read it in context – it only gets worse. Yahweh strikes the people with warfare and siege leading to cannibalism, so that he could miraculously make the enemy retreat and have the people consume the rations left by the enemy, thus showing his power. It’s the behavior of a sadistic authoritarian.

  • Anat

    Also: if you read carefully you’ll see that in 2 Kings live children were killed for food, whereas the footballers ate bodies of colleagues that died in the plane crash. Not the same at all.

  • Matt Potter

    “Who of you will show the latest news on prostitution, serial killers, or
    rape to your children? None, I hope so. Because that would harm the
    psyche of the child.”
    Yet I assume you take no issue with children having access to ‘old news’ on prostitution, serial killers, and rape when they are handed a bible, interesting.

  • Anat

    I don’t know what Christians teach in Sumday school, but in Israel school kids are taught the unpleasant parts of Tanakh at a young age. Second graders are taught about Abraham nearly sacrificing Isaac, as well as sending Hagar and Ishmael to (nearly) die in the desert. In that age some bits are skipped – Ham’s hinted unspecified sexual assault of Noah and Lot’s daughters’ rape of their father get skipped, as is the story of Dinah and its aftermath, but all the non-sexual nasty stuff is taught.

    3rd graders learn Exodus and Leviticus, 4th graders learn Joshua and Judges directly from the uncensored Tanakh, 5h graders learn Samuel, 6th graders learn Kings. Older grades learn selected parts of the various prophets, Psalms, Job and some other bits. From 4th grade kids are expected to have direct access to full Tanakh. We certainly liked to search for the ‘good’ bits (the obscene bits, the gore, the sex).

  • phantomreader42

    If this is such a clear denunciation of slavery, why didn’t christians figure it out for EIGHTEEN HUNDRED YEARS!!!????

  • 3lemenope

    I´m very sorry about your reactions.

    It might be a good plan to try to understand those reactions first, before you judge them.

    You think Christian are naive? You think Christians are stupid? You think Christians are wrong in calling you aggressive?

    Generally speaking, yes, no, and yes.

    Look at you own comments! Who of you will show the latest news on prostitution, serial killers, or rape to your children? None, I hope so. Because that would harm the psyche of the child. Why do you expect Christian parents to show their children the bad examples in the Bible, which they would not be able to handle?

    Because they grow up to have an utterly inaccurate impression of the content of the Bible, leading to that aforementioned naivete. And it usually doesn’t go away; the parts being examined here aren’t just kept from the kiddies because of their “Adult Content”; they aren’t usually used in sermons designed for adults either, and since adult Christians don’t generally go out of their way to read the whole text on their own, what they are left with is a fluffy-but-ridiculously-inaccurate impression of what the book actually instructs.

    The wrongs in the Bible are to show how you shouldn´t do it.

    Large swaths of the Bible follow this pattern: Slaughter the neighboring tribe to a man, steal and rape the women, adopt or infanticide the kids, and take their land and worldly possessions; God says it is Good.

    Newsflash: Genocide is wrong. Genocide is always wrong.

    A big portion of the Bible is a historical account

    Probably not, but the key here is if it were an historical account, that makes the moral problems in the text much, much worse.

    …that does not cover the wickedness of humanity. Yes, I know this will be distorted in future comments, but anyway: The Exodus-”QUOTE” above is NOT correct, but an erronious one. It doesn´t say in Verse 21 that the slave has to go to work again. I encourage you to read on to Verse 27 were it says that a slave, who is beaten to lose a tooth is to be set free. The context of this passage is the Ancient Near East where it was common to have slaves and treat them worse than animals. The laws on slavery in the Old Testament represent a great relief to the usual treatment in ancient times. IN adition to that the New Testament is anxious to do away with slavery in ananslaving society.

    Why are you grading God on a curve? Just think about it for a second; if slavery is an unambiguous evil (and it is, really high up on the list, in fact), what is easier for an omnipotent God to do: make a really simple rule, just like the rules against shellfish and tattoos and animals with cloven hooves, like “do not own a man or woman as though they are chattel; I AM THE LORD”, or hem and haw about the problem of slavery for a thousand years or so and at the end of it all still fail to condemn it?

    Early Christians in slavery are even enjoined against arguing for the abolition of slavery. 1st Timothy 6. Other nasty passages on the general subject in the NT include Ephesians 6:5-8 and Colossians 3:22-25.

  • Miss_Beara

    You are not reading that in a prayerful mind! To eternal damnation!

  • Lark62

    Does praying for such blessings count as a “prayerful mind”?

  • BoTuLoX

    I just realised the bible makes for great furry porn.

  • Tor

    The Book of Genesis reads like a comedy of errors. One can only conclude that God is a giant fuck up when it comes to his perfect creation, mankind.

  • Daniel_JM

    Olaf, that passage doesn’t say that slavery is bad, anymore than it says that being a man is bad. It just says that god views them equally spiritually if they are saved. Can you point to even one passage in the Bible that specifically says slavery is immoral? Because that one certainly doesn’t.

    Also, have you read the rest of the New Testament, like where Paul writes to a slave master asking him to take back his newly Christian runaway slave, whom Paul has told to return to slavery since it’s God’s will for him to be a slave (Philemon)? Also, read Ephesians 6:5 and 1 Timothy 6:1-2 to see that slavery is clearly condoned in the Old and New Testaments.

  • Daniel_JM

    Olaf, You might be right that slavery in the OT might have been a little less barbaric than in other places, but when a supposed all-knowing, all-good god set up those rules then you can’t use the “a little less barbaric” excuse to let god off the hook. And please don’t do what most Christians do when this subject comes up,
    and claim that in Israel it was closer to indentured servitude than real
    slavery. Embarrassingly, I used to say that when I was a Christian. We all know that the Bible held Jewish servants to a different
    standard, and that non-Jewish slaves and their children were life-long
    property that was passed on as inheritances, and allowed to be treated much worse.

    Please reread Exodus 21. You are right that the translation listed above isn’t correct, but an accurate translation is even worse. That passage in the more academic translations says that if a person beats his slave to death, but the slave lives for a few days before dieing, then the master shouldn’t be punished since losing his ‘property’ is bad enough. So really it’s giving explicit permission for masters to beat their slaves, so long as they don’t kill them on the spot. The insinuation is that if they die after a few days the beating probably wasn’t intended to be fatal, so accidentally beating another human being to death isn’t a big deal, as long as they are your property.

    I’m puzzled that you brought up verse 27. Do you really think that the god portrayed in the Bible has a good handle on morality? Basically he says “don’t knock a slave’s tooth out or you’ll have to let them go, but feel free to beat him or her with a rod as long as you don’t kill him or her immediately. And if you accidentally beat them so bad that they die after a few days, well you suffered enough for losing your valuable human property.” Does that really sound like the god you worship? Because that’s what the Bible says he thought was a good way to set up society, when he had a chance to personally build a law code from scratch.

  • Lark62

    No, no, no, they couldn’t eat lobsters. Eating lobsters, as they live in the sea but don’t have scales, is an abomination. God said so.

    God never said anything about eating people, so carry on. But remember, no lobsters.

  • Madison Blane

    I’d like to preface my statement by letting you know that I’m not being mean. I’m not being hateful. I adore Christians who follow the message of charity, peace, kindness, and the meek will inherit the earth. I am friends of the Christain Left because I believe we can work together. I am friends of Jerry DeWitt who is working closely with Christians and speaking at a TED talk unity convention with Christians this very weekend.

    However, I am Atheist because I can’t believe what the bible says. No matter how inspired they felt, it was still written by fallible men in a time of blind ignorance and shameful treatment of their fellow humans, especially women. In the new testament, you can find scriptures to promote good values. But you can find scriptures to promote ANY value in the bible – even cold, murderous, racist, ‘ni&&er’-hating, misogynistic, Ayrian nation white supremacists here in the south where i live have a STRONG faith in the bible. They know it well, can quote it by heart, and use it as justification for their beliefs.

    Slavery is condoned MANY times in the new testament. In fact, the Bible was used as one of the primary arguments for reasons why slavery should NOT be abolished in America. Those people who fought to keep slavery, they were good ‘God-fearing’ people who were following the commandments that were given to them in their ‘holy’ book! You want to argue that those instructions on slavery were an improvement for the time, but I’d like you to think about this…If an eternal God knew that those instructions would be saved and would be used as HIS words, if God, in his infinite wisdom cannot give commandments that are a MORAL ABSOLUTE for ALL ages and all times, then really, what good is his word to us? We’ve figured out that owning people is wrong without his word! If you were going to write a set of moral absolutes, wouldn’t you start with “you can’t own other people”, “Don’t rape”, and “your children are born perfect, don’t cut off bits of their genitals”? Shouldn’t THAT be up there somewhere before ‘don’t own sculptures’? And did you know that there are more than one set of commandments? More than just 10? One of those is about not boiling a calf in it’s mother’s milk! How important is that to us today? Would an eternal God make THAT his most important message to communicate to all humanity? Or is it more likely that commandment wasn’t really quite all that inspired; maybe Moses didn’t really talk to God on that one? Again, if an eternal God can’t give instructions that are useful except to a small group of local immigrants in one specific time period, then why take those instructions and apply them to a period of time thousands of years later, to a different ethnicity, assume they still apply and diligently work to get laws passed that affect the way other people can live their life? Or denies them the ability to marry? Or forces children to pray to this god? Or denies me the ability to serve on juries or in public office just because I don’t believe and won’t swear it?

    The old testament is NOT a historical account – Jews were never captives in Egypt, they weren’t forced to build any pharoh’s pyramids (as so many Christians believe, you may not). And according to the bible, Iron floats if you just throw the right stick in the water…from a little earlier in 2 Kings chapter 6
    5 But as one was felling his beam, the axhead fell into the water; and he cried, Alas, my master, for it was borrowed!
    6 The man of God said, Where did it fall? When shown the place, Elisha cut off a stick and threw it in there, and the iron floated.
    There are MANY other absurdities , that’s just one.
    A donkey doesn’t have vocal chords, neither does a serpent. They can’t talk. Unicorns, Saytrs, Behemouths, Leviathans, Golems – these are things mentioned in the bible as being totally real, and they just ARE NOT!

    I’d just like Christians to be honest. Admit the bible isn’t some infallible truth. Admit that YOU choose to live your life by it and quit trying to insist that EVERYONE has to live their life by it. It isn’t infallible. It contradicts itself. It says God is love. It says God is Jealous. Then it says God is Jealous. It says God is Unchangeable. James 1:17, Mal 3:6, Ezek 24:14/, Num 23:19 Then it says God is changeable Gen 6:6, Jonah 3:10, 1 Sam 2:30,31, 2 Kings 20:1,4,5,6, Ex 33:1,3,17,14 Mark and Acts can’t even agree on whether or not there is an unpardonable sin!

    I’d like Christians to be educated on what’s really in their bible. I was a Christian from birth until age 17, I was in my 30′s before I knew Unicorns were mentioned in the bible. In fact, 90% of my biblical knowledge came AFTER I was out of church, when I actually started to wonder why I believed Christianity instead of believing everything I’d been told. In church, you get one or two select, nice scriptures read to you. Few people take the initiative to really explore what’s in that book. Few people ever look for proof. They start with the assumption that God exists – THEIR God and nobody else’s – and they never ask why. They never realize that Muslims believe their religion for the same reasons Christians do – not because it’s true, not because they have some special truth, but because it’s what they’ve always been told, it’s what their family has always done. I looked for proof. I didn’t want to believe, I wanted to KNOW. If you’d like to really explore the truth of biblical contradictions (and there are many, many more) if you’d like to be educated about what’s really in your bible, I’d implore you to visit I don’t want to destroy your faith. I want you to understand why Atheists see things the way they do.

  • Madison Blane

    Yeah, because broken bones hurt less than having a tooth knocked out!

  • atheismFTW

    Woah, that’s a hot and heavy chapter. With all the modesty Christians claim to have bestowed upon them by God, their holy book sometimes looks more like kiddie porn fodder. From Ezekiel 23:5: “Even as young girls, they were prostitutes, serving as prostitutes in Egypt. There the Egyptians fondled their breasts and caressed their virgin nipples.” Hard to imagine that reading being a part of family values.

  • atheismFTW

    That’s when my Christian spouse says I don’t know what I’m talking about and refuses to discuss the matter any further. Then I’m left wondering how an ordinarily rational person can behave so oddly. Religious indoctrination is a bitch to overcome.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Well, I heard if you go to Tijuana you can see a real life re-enactment of this biblical story.

  • atheismFTW

    During one of our religious discussions, I asked my spouse, “How exactly is God supposed to be a leader in morality when he thought people eating shellfish was more criminal than girls being gang-raped?” Of course he didn’t believe me, so I told him I’d find the bible verses. But he said he didn’t have time to wait on me fiddling around looking for the verses. I offered to go online and find them quickly, but he said it had to come from the bible in our house, not “atheist propaganda sites” (his words, lol). So because I’m not a walking encyclopedia, the conversation was deemed null and void by my spouse. It’s frustrating enough to seek a plausible answer from a Christian–I couldn’t even get an answer at all.

  • vexorian

    They actually do read the pig story in Catholic Sunday Mass.

  • Madison Blane

    Back when casette tapes were a thing and my mom was deep into the United Pentecostal cult, church members would record their pastor’s sermons and mail them to neighboring churches and then the members would pass the tapes around so everyone could be blessed with the message. I remember one particular sermon that my mom almost wore out – it was entitled “Lord take my problems, but leave my pigs”
    It actually was a good message at its core, about people who want to change their lives but don’t want to give up their ‘sacred cows’, people who keep doing the same thing and expecting different results (kinda like the AA message that tells you you can’t expect to stay clean and sober if you keep going to the crack house every day and hanging out with dealers). But I always thought killing pigs was NOT the way to accomplish the curing mental illness of a multiple personality disorder!

  • Madison Blane

    Yes it is. So is fear of hell. I broke free the day I realized that, even if I still believed that spirits existed in some form outside the body, they weren’t of this physical world, meaning THEY CAN’T BURN ETERNALLY! And then I thought -What would keep them in hell anyway? If they aren’t bound to a body, how could they be trapped in hell? A magical force-field?! Why does heaven need pearly gates and golden streets, do precious stones keep bad spirits out? Do spirits walk? No! Fire is something that scares our mortal being. Pearl and Gold tempts the poor and destitute (also the greedy) and most certainly the mortal.
    And then I started thinking about eternity, really thinking about it. It is said that to comprehend eternity, think on this – If a bird flew by a rock the size of Jupiter once a year and struck it with his wing. When that rock had been completely eroded, eternity will have just begun. Imagine that you could meet every single person that ever lived. Personally relive every minute of their life with them. read every book ever written. Gain all the knowledge of the universe. And….then what? Nothing new to debate, or learn, or do, or experience, or know, ever…and still there’s that much more time to exist, that much more time doubled, tripled, quint-oh you get it! Sure, It’s nice to think that I could see my great-grandmother who raised me again, that she could know how much she mattered in my life, that she could be proud of who I became. It’s nice. But it’s not realistic. It’s nice to think about unicorns with silver hair, too.
    God is love. Love is not Jealous. God is a Jealous God.
    Blew my fuse the first time it was thrown at me. Eventually she will have to admit that she believes simply because she WANTS to, not because it makes any sense. Or, she won’t believe. It takes a lot of patience. It took me 10 years, a lot of arguments and people willing to bring my cognitive dissonance to the front burner – and I wasn’t attending church, I didn’t have people trying to talk me into staying or telling me that the devil was making me doubt.
    There’s a lot more here if you’d like them for future reference. I find it’s a useful site all around. ;)

  • Rich Wilson

    And why did it take God so long to get it right? Free will my ass. Setting down rules that condone the indentured servitude described in the OT is immoral!

  • Madison Blane

    Deviant! ;)

  • Ella Warnock

    “which makes me wonder whether yahweh is an idiot or if he just likes to fuck with people”

    Fuck with people. Definitely.

  • Ella Warnock

    It doesn’t hurt, so it must not be the truth.

  • mac

    I dated a guy like that once. You wouldn’t belive the messes we made.
    Damn he was fun.

  • Matt Eggler

    “It was different in those times” is one of my all time favorite Christian responses. It always comes from the same people who maintain that you can’t have subjective or relative morality only absolute, universal morality that comes from God. Then they give you this argument from a relative morality.

  • Intelligent Donkey

    Pigs are unclean, and forbidden to eat, or even touch the “carcass” of. I’m not sure what value there is in such a product. Perhaps make scarecrows from pig parts to keep away devout Christians?

  • Joel Barnes

    The creepy thing is that we were taught some of the worst stories, but as paragons of morality. Abraham and Isaac, Samson, torturer of animals and suicide bomber, and Jephthah and his daughter were all presented as biblical heroes

  • Intelligent Donkey

    I heard that aborted babies go to Heaven. So, let’s make abortion factories! A fertile woman can have many more abortions in a year than births. Let’s fast-track the little fetuses and fill up Heaven!

  • Roger Peritone

    I dare you to put that statement on a shirt, along with the appropriate verses, and go to a religious gathering with it.

    Mind you, there are verses in the bible that specifically forbid that kind of thing.

    Not that it would stop anyone from cherry-picking the bible as they always do, but still: What verses are you thinking of?

  • Roger Peritone

    Just dig them up quietly in your spare time and give them to him when he least expects it.

  • Roger Peritone

    I don’t think so: I seem to remember the OT having laws against touching dead bodies and things that dead bodies were in contact with themselves.

  • BoTuLoX

    “She lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.”?

    Mind you, furry porn is not zoophilia which is what the bible forbids AFAIK. And it was more of a joke on my part than something serious :P

  • Roger Peritone

    That verse is taken out of context. He’s talking about the kingdom of heaven here.

    If it was true, then there would no longer be males or females once one converted! It’s only in heaven that one “becomes like the angels” and does not partake of male and female roles. On earth, those roles still exist in the xian community. Example being with Paul saying that women are not to teach.

    Same with slavery according to the context. It’s still here on earth, christ never forbade it, but in heaven then it won’t exist anymore.

  • Roger Peritone

    Yes. Truth does hurt. That would explain why you’re running away without dealing with the rebuttals to your earlier statement!

  • Emmet

    Every year, Monday of the 4th week of Ordinary Time.

    But hang on, Hemant said that “no Christians want to admit these passages are in their holy book”, didn’t he?

    Is he lying, or ignorant?

  • Legio Ex Mortis

    Jesus is a dick to pig farmers.

  • Lark62

    Do they also read the Psalm that instructs “Happy is the one who siezes your infants and dashes them against the rocks”?

    Maybe not

  • Lark62

    And genocide and rape were goood, because it kept the israelites pure.

  • Lark62

    You had a lot of good things in there. Could you add a few paragraph breaks? Thx!

  • Lark62

    Explain the down vote (serious, not snark). As I read this, it is taking fundies anti-abortion arguments and turning them back on them. For me this earns an up vote, since the bible, between prohibitions on tattoos, shrimp and clothing from mixed fabrics, never once forbade abortion.

  • Lark62

    I do my best! :-)

  • Madison Blane

    Yeah – I struggle with being concise. I’m always afraid that someone will see a break, not realize there’s more text, and think “whew, she finally shut up!” and then they miss half the message! Of course, they usually just get bored and quit reading LONG before that happens.

  • EuropeanCommunist

    Of course they do! Every year on 30th of February.

  • EuropeanCommunist

    It’s a translation error!

  • Madison Blane

    There – fixed it! :)

  • Ann Onymous

    I always wondered why God couldn’t have updated it. It’s the sole message of a perfect being to his creation, and he can’t release new editions? (New translations don’t count.) Or he could, y’know, use his omniscience and omnibenevolence to write a moral guide that didn’t blindly keep to the morality of the time.

  • Madison Blane

    In Genesis, the Elohim who created man is clearly a congregation of gods – let US create mankind in OUR image, and so THEY made them, male and female, after their image. Then, in Genesis chapter 2 Yahweh god, one of the pantheon, decides to make his own little special experiment in the garden (Adam and Eve – who become the Jewish lineage) and separate scriptures describe Yahweh god making Adam from clay and eve from his rib. Mankind existed long before Adam and Eve, the bible clearly says so. And after Cain kills Able, he goes to live with these ‘other people’. That’s another one that Christians leave out because it doesn’t fir their narrative.

  • Suzie Irby

    And besides, the book is written by a Agnostic – how objective can that be? LOL. There’s no better way to get to know God than what God says about himself in the Bible. Translators have made errors, but when you study under a pastor who knows and teaches from the original language, many of these issues are cleared up and the “aha” moment is beautiful. Just seek God first….don’t get hung up on these petty issues.

  • Madison Blane

    Because I am the lord and I change not.
    *except for that one time, when I became a bit less judgey and kinda more hippy between the old and new testaments – but NO MORE!

  • Lurker111

    The “Thou shalt not keep slaves” and “Thou shalt not diddle kids” were on the third tablet.

  • Glasofruix

    How do you know the pastor is not feeding you bullshit, huh? And the original language of the bible is not hebrew, nor latin, there is no original bible, only translations.

  • Madison Blane

    If God is real and all-powerful, why can’t the simplest child discover him as easily as they can discover gravity? If God truly created us, why weren’t we born with innate knowledge of how to obtain salvation from him, why don’t we know it like we know how to breathe? Instead of having to read it in some book written by men? Why does it take a theologian, who has a doctorate in Arabic and ancient Greek for a person to obtain and understand this salvation that god supposedly wants his every creation, every human on earth, to have? If the average critical-thinking person reading the bible all the way through finds it contradictory, morally objectionable, and ethically useless, wouldn’t an all-knowing god have foreseen this and not allowed those words to represent him? Wouldn’t he have ‘inspired’ better words?
    John says Christ is equal with God, Matthew disagrees. But, Matthew says Jesus was all-powerful. Mark disagrees. Luke says Christ’s mission was peace. Matthew disagrees, he says it was to bring a sword. Romans and Galatians say Faith alone is enough. James says a person is righteous by what they do, and NOT by faith alone. John and Romans says it is impossible to fall from grace. But Peter and Hebrews say not only can you fall from grace but once you have, it is impossible for you to be restored. Proverbs and Peter say that the godly are protected from evil and evil will not happen to them. But Hebrews says it will happen to them and we all know what happened to Job (I’d consider Satan killing all my children pretty freakin’ evil). Genesis, Proverbs, Psalms and Job say that worldly goods and worldly prosperity are promised to the godly. Luke and Matthew say the godly should not have treasures on earth and they should be poor. They say if you have worldly goods and prosperity you won’t go to heaven, you’ve already received your reward on earth.
    1 John 4:8 says God is love.
    1 Corinthians 13:4 says Love is not Jealous.
    16 different scriptures tell us that God is a Jealous God. Exodus says his NAME is jealous – one of the most despicable human emotions! Are these “petty issues”?
    I don’t need a theologian to twist a square around so that it fits into a circular peg. I don’t start with the assumption that the invisible exists. And I don’t think slavery, rape of captured slaves, genocide, misogyny, murder and cannibalism of children, or any of the other atrocities in the bible are ‘petty issues’.

  • Nemo

    You do realize that most of the nasty stuff is done by the designated heroes of the Bible, right? At the command of Yahweh? With his full blessings?

  • Nemo

    The Bible actually describes a ritual in which a women drinks a potion if it is suspected that her baby she is pregnant with isn’t her husbands. If it isn’t, she will miscarry. That’s right: Yahweh commanded abortion.

  • lunatic on the bluegrass

    mmmmmmmm, baaaaacon!!

  • Greg G.

    They used a theological translation for Ex 21:20-21. It sounds like the NIV, which the KJV bunch calls “the Not Inspired Version”. It doesn’t even make sense like that. The verse says that if they die after two days, there will be no punishment beyond the loss of capital.

  • Ibis3

    “The wrongs are the best attempt at how to live that iron age goat herders could come up with.”

    I would say that the Egyptians, Persians, and Greeks would beg to differ.

  • Susan Ruffaner Gahagan

    The bible is a beautiful book. I especially love the passages about farting: “Wherefore my bowels shall sound like an harp for Moab, and mine inward parts for Kirharesh.” (Isaiah 16:11)

  • Nimrod

    Yeah, I remember that. I’ve often wondered what’s become of you!

  • busterggi

    Agreed. Now what is the Hebrew word for elephant?

  • busterggi

    ‘Feet’ is also a euphemism for genitals which gives a whole ‘nother image to Mary Magdelan annointing Jesus’ ‘feet’.

  • Lark62

    Funny how the anti-choice crowd never talks about that one.

  • Stev84

    He is a trickster god. Also see the story of Job

  • smrnda

    I dunno, it’s the one thing that I’ve found Xtians hate to be consistent about. If aborted ‘babies’ go to heaven, then abort all the way. Nobody likes it being pointed out that one of their political planks isn’t really consistent with their beliefs.

  • smrnda

    In a world where some kids can’t actually avoid such things, I sometimes think we’re doing too much shielding of kids from stuff.

    The difference is that if I told a kid about something horrible, like what it was like to live in a war zone, I’m not saying that living in a war zone is a good thing condoned by an omnipotent god. Anything in the Bible – the perfect god has to answer for.

  • smrnda

    I’ve found those pastors don’t really have any answers, and sometimes, the original text is… actually a bit worse.

    If you think slavery, genocide, rape and such are ‘petty issues’ then you would seem to have a very strange set of priorities. Slavery has been, more or less, one of the biggest moral issues throughout history. The idea of collective punishment is sure barbaric compared to our contemporary notion of justice. The NT clearly has no problem with slavery and isn’t exactly pro-equality for women.

  • Nemo

    Divine Comman T

  • Nemo

    Divine Command Theory holds that God decides what is good and evil. Who are you, mortal weakling, to question GOD? Of course, DCT only applies to the deity you personally believe in. Feel free to dismiss critics of your deity’s alleged rage outbursts while simultaneously being shocked at the pure evil of another deity’s alleged tantrum.

  • Derrik Pates

    Or Exodus 21:22-23.

  • Derrik Pates

    And Jephthah!

  • sornord

    Lot’s daughters…bet you won’t get THAT one in Sunday school either.

  • Feminerd

    We did, in youth group (13+, after Bar/Bat Mitzvah). But Jews tend to engage with the really problematic stuff better than Christians. Not great by any means, but better.

  • katiehippie

    But but but….. bacon!

  • Chas Swedberg

    I’m sorry you won’t continue. I don’t believe I’m being stubborn by asking you to clarify your thinking. I simply don’t understand how you are getting your intended meaning out of that verse. Your last reply leaves the question open.

  • chicago dyke, TOWAN

    actually, yes. i did that. for a black people xtian church thing at div skool. i was a little appalled. but i guess it has “meaning,” if you’re a believer.

  • chicago dyke, TOWAN

    i recommend you study other religions. it will make you feel better. there are lots of beliefs out there that many people entertain, which are silly.

  • chicago dyke, TOWAN

    just open his bible. every other page will offer you an opportunity.

  • 3lemenope

    It has meaning whether you are a believer or not. I thought Rev. Wright explained it pretty straight-forwardly.

  • Madison Blane

    I have been studying other religions for the past couple of years. I find Buddhism fascinating and rather like some of their fundamentals even if the stories are…well…foreign to me. I studied Muslims in college, briefly, because I had a classmate who practiced but I have a lot more to learn there. I haven’t made it around to Hinduism. I know there’s a treasure trove waiting for me! Thanks to Hemant, I now know about Jains. Thanks to Romney, I studied Mormons. Boatload o’ crazy there! Because of a recent facebook post I delved into Sikhs and I like some of their thought processes, too. I’ve been heavily concentrating on the major differences between Judaism and Christianity lately. My friend converted. Basically, I’m just a nerd who likes to read a lot!

  • YankeeCynic

    Ah yes, the condoning of slavery and the embrace of genocide and rape are now apparently “petty” issues. How deeply do you need to drink from the Koolaid to posit something so morally bankrupt and vile?

  • Observer

    You left out an “a” in there…

  • Harley Quinn

    It’s hard to not get “hung up on these petty issues” when those passages are continually used throughout history, and still today, to justify the marginalization (and worse) of certain sections of society.

  • Feminerd

    Yeah, I did that. See, rabbinical degrees are only awarded if you can read and translate from the original text.

    It’s still horrific.

  • baal

    And a Christian is going to look on the bible with dispassionate eyes?

  • baal

    That helps explain the whole land of Nod thing.

  • Loretto Taylor

    My favorite is the book of Ruth- after Naomi learns that her daughter-in-law has been gleaning grain in the field of Boaz, who is her late husband’s close relative and therefore obligated to marry her under the custom of Levirate marriage, gives her this bit of advice- “3 One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home[a] for you, where you will be well provided for. 2 Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. 3 Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.”

    5 “I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. 6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.”

    Translated- “Ruth, I want you to go to the threshing floor, and hide out until Boaz gets drunk and passes out, then uncover his ‘nads and lie down next to him”. The idea was apparently to have Boaz think he’d gotten his freak on with Ruth and feel obligated to marry her.
    He eventually did, but first he offered her to someone who was a closer relative, who refused to perform the duty of a kinsman toward Ruth. But they did end up living happily ever after.
    Pretty damn devious. I think I like it.

  • Leiningen’s Ants

    Can’t spell “Subversive” without… oh… “verse”… dang. :[

  • Leiningen’s Ants

    Man, that’s like saying the Bible makes for great My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic fanfic because they both contain unicorns and dragons and horses.

  • Greg

    There are more than just a few problematic verses in the Bible, the whole thing has been corrupted:

  • vexorian

    He is just overestimating Catholics’ self-consciousness about how ridiculous these tales are.

  • Emmet