I discovered that truth and facts regarding the Bible and religion are fascinating, illuminating and worthy of contemplation. I also discovered that Biblical facts or rather facts of history as compared to Biblical statements can be divisive.
Truth and facts can be divisive in the sense that people resent someone (me) telling them their beliefs are based on falsehoods and that their pastors are active participants in perpetuating a fraud. That is why I spend a good deal of time researching the Bible and Christianity but not much time writing about it.
Margot Fernandez writes on Christianity for ovalpike.com from her home in Tucson. Margot is not only an excellent writer, she is also an excellent thinker. Margot is an enlightened Episcopalian. That means she has seen through the delusional doctrine of political desperation and hate as professed from far too many pulpits. Link to Margot’s column at the end of this article. Margot values honesty and kindness above doctrinal bumper sticker simplicities and shibboleths. She also possesses the courage to speak out and to tell the truth as best she understands it.
I wrote the comments below as a response to Margot’s newest article “Tell them what they want to hear and they are yours forever.” I recommend Margot’s columns to anyone seeking a fresh perspective on Christian thought. In “Tell them what they want to hear” Margot takes a rhetorical hickory switch to preachers endorsing cruel behavior, prejudice and hatred.
My comments to Margot:
Margot…stop candy coating, say what you mean for once! Just kidding of course. The history (facts not fairy tales) of religions claiming their justification by God through the Bible has eras of mind numbing cruelty. Perhaps it is more accurate to say there are era’s of greater and lesser mind numbing cruelty.
The horrors of holy wars, inquisitions, tyranny, witch hunts, wholesale corruption of church officials, false scripture…when was it ever not? The Genesis story is a very curious conglomeration of folk tales that existed long before the book of Genesis. To preach otherwise is a result of ignorance or dishonesty. Fact based researchers know the exodus described in the Bible is wrong. It isn’t necessary to know the facts of the exodus are wrong to know the genocide supposedly ordered by God against the Canaanites is immoral.
The Bible is a Rorschach. Those who believe gays should be killed and children’s bones should be broken can find plenty of scripture to back their claims. Those who believe the human condition is improved by kindness and love will find their passages too.
The concluding observation I make is that the ability of mainstream religion in America to convert the tyrant to gentleness has failed. Perhaps that’s what you’re saying too.
An afterthought: Are facts and honesty the enemy of believers? Keep Genesis and other scripture as a trove of historic lore, recognize the events described in scripture are not facts. Use the scripture to deliver the message of kindness, gentleness, courage, honesty and to reinforce the understanding that good works are worthwhile, that there is more to life than breathing, eating, sex and possessions, but please stop representing fiction such as creationism as fact. It’s dishonest, Jesus wouldn’t like it.
Margot’s many fine columns here: http://ovalpike.com/article/tell-them-what-they-want-to-hear-and-the…