This stuff, I mean.
I’ve been having some fun trolling over at the Dying In Christ blog for the past few weeks. The woman who blogs there, Maureen, seems to have the perfect mixture of kookiness coupled with a willingness to, at least periodically, respond to criticisms (and, since she does lots of gay-bashing, she certainly attracts a lot of that).
As a direct consequence of this trolling, along with a promise I made to a friend of a friend over a year ago, I was inspired to read the 4 main Gospels, starting with the Gospel of John. My copy of The Bible is the Red Letter Edition of the New International Version. Now, I don’t mean to be insulting to my Christian friends, as I have a couple whose intellect I do respect a lot. However, I honestly have to ask: How the hell do you read this stuff and still believe it?
Aside from becoming disgusted with the figure of Jesus almost immediately, the main thing that jumps out at me about the Bible is how poorly written it is. This is supposed to be the inspired word of God, right? As such, my expectation would be that the prose would be evocative, the plot would be riveting, the characters would be well developed and inspiring, and the polemic would be inescapably persuasive. The Bible is none of these things. A two-bit hack could write better. How do Christians explain this?
I’ll hazard a guess and opine that all the explanation required is the recognition that people have a terrible fear of death, with the corollary fear that perhaps there’s no meaning or value in the universe after all (other than what we give it). I will further conjecture that, in many—and perhaps most—people, this fear is so all-encompassing that they are willing to grasp at anything that might provide even a glimmer of hope, no matter how absurd it is (and the Bible certainly is that).
I’ve got more to say on this topic, but I’ll get to it in later posts. In the meantime, I’m hoping that my Christian friends won’t consider this one to be so judgmental that it doesn’t merit a comment or two, because I would like to inspire some sort of honest dialog about it.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
This stuff, I mean.