Three Biblical Principles That Didn’t Make It Into the Religious Right’s Bible

As we all know, the Religious Right does what the Bible says. At least, as long as it fits their political agenda, anyway. That’s why a few lines in Leviticus about homosexuality translates to gay people not having equal rights or protection from discrimination. And God explaining how he intended Jeremiah to be a prophet before he was even born justifies denying women reproductive choice. And, of course, Jesus’ words to his disciples about buying swords even if they had to sell their cloaks to do so settles the debate on gun control forever.

But not every verse can be stretched and distorted to mean whatever the Right wants it to mean. As it happens, there are a couple of passages that are so at odds with that worldview that it seems like they got edited out of conservative Christianity’s Bible.

If you follow politics in the U.S., you may have noticed that there are some familiar entries on that list.

Starting with the verses about being kind to strangers who dwell in your lands.

[Read more…]

Chris Christie: “I Just Don’t See” How Republicans Are Trying to Erode Church/State Separation

Reader Justin Scott, an Iowan who has had exchanges with Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Rick Santorum, attended a gathering with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie yesterday as he made his case for why voters should caucus for him as President next month.

Scott asked me before the event if there were any questions I wanted him to ask, so I jumped on that. I was curious how Christie planned to defend separation of church and state when his party seems intent on tearing down the wall between them.

Justin, to his credit, not only asked the question, he got the full response on video:



[Read more…]

Bible Professor Says God Made Eve Using Adam’s Penis, Not His Rib

Of all the misinterpretations in the giant game of Telephone known as the Bible, this may be my favorite theory.

We’ve all heard the story of how Eve was supposedly created from Adam’s rib… even though men and women have the same number of ribs. But Professor Ziony Zevit from the American Jewish University in Maryland wrote in his 2013 book What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden? that this story was really the result of a bad translation. The book, which enjoyed a second life after it was reviewed in a recent issue of the Biblical Archeology Review, explained it this way:



[Read more…]

Two Bangladeshi Men Sentenced to Death for 2013 Killing of Atheist Blogger

In early 2013, there was a clash in Bangladesh over the writing of atheist bloggers that left at least two people dead, including blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider (a.k.a. Thaba Baba).

Today, two of the men involved in killing him have been sentenced to death.

[Read more…]

Christian Bakers Who Raised $515,000 Online Are Somehow Broke After Paying $137,000 Fine

Remember Melissa Klein and her husband Aaron? They’re the Christian owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a bakery in Portland, Oregon, who refused to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding, then releasing the couple’s information to the public. Their illegal actions ultimately cost them $135,000 in fines, an amount that was more-than-covered by the $515,000 in donations they received from online supporters. They finally paid that fine (with interest) a few days ago.

But how do you spin a story of bigots who make bank into a tale of Christian Persecution?

Simple. You just leave out the part about people raising more than half-a-million dollars on your behalf.

[Read more…]