False Witnessing

False Witnessing June 20, 2019

Brian Bolton, a retired research psychologist and university professor, is probably not happy to share his surname with the neocon nutcase, John Bolton, who is currently urging Trump to start a war with Iran. Brian is the author of a long and detailed polemic in Free Inquiry (FI) magazine, titled “Why Do Fundamentalists Lie about the Bible?”

The Ninth Commandment says that we should not bear false witness. What does that mean? Here is one dictionary definition:

“To lie about or misrepresent the truth about some event, person, or thing”

In his article, the author shows that Christian fundamentalists lie repeatedly about the Bible. The lies run the gamut from misrepresentations of Biblical text to lies of omission, ignoring texts that don’t fit their agenda.

He summarizes his critique with the following list: (paraphrased and truncated for brevity)

Abortion Rights: They never cite the dozens of verses and episodes in which God murdered tens of millions of mothers-to-be, and their unborn fetuses…or the fact that the Bible never mentions abortion.

Animal Welfare: They never mention the extensive Bible content describing barbaric animal sacrifice…God loves the smell of burning flesh!

Capital Punishment: They identify one crime, premeditated murder, and possibly a few others for which they advocate the death penalty, while knowingly disregarding twenty other violations for which God mandates execution…including homosexual acts, adultery and blasphemy, among others.

Decalogue Displays: They fanatically pursue placement of Ten Commandments monuments which display a severely edited and blasphemous version…

Family Values: They maintain the scriptural fiction called “family values” which is contradicted by scores of gruesome Biblical stories…

Jesus’s Teachings: They focus their obsessive attachment on his sacrifice, while ignoring his horrific commandments and his anti-family values.

Public Prayer: They reject Jesus’s unequivocal declaration that prayer is a personal activity that should be conducted in private…

Same-Sex Marriage: They disregard the unambiguous teachings that mandate execution of homosexuals…

Slavery Endorsement: They ignore the scriptural truth that slavery is a Christian-approved human institution with full support from Jesus, Paul and Peter.

Sworn Oaths: They disregard Jesus’s prohibition against sworn oaths…

Each of these allegations is laid out in meticulous detail. The author hammers away relentlessly, with numerous references to specific Biblical passages. If you have the time and interest, I recommend that you find a copy of the June/July issue of FI, sit down in a comfortable chair, and turn to page 36. The article consists of nine pages of small-print text on magazine-size pages. This is a long read.

A final word: Bearing false witness is a violation of the Ninth Commandment, and is a sin. It’s ironic, but not surprising, that the people who preach the Decalogue the most loudly, and promote its display in public places, are frequent, flagrant and profoundly hypocritical violators of their own preaching.

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