Normally I don’t find much to agree with when it comes to the (rather strongly stated) opinions of magician Penn Gillette—“Libertarian” is synonymous with “asshole” in my book and the “Penn & Teller’s Bullshit” episode on chiropractic care pissed me off!—but he’s right on the money when it comes to this to the camera interview about reading the Holy Books and the influence of Frank Zappa on his young mind.Why would reading the Bible make you an atheist?
Penn Jillette: I think because what we get told about the Bible is a lot of picking and choosing, when you see, you know, Lot’s daughter gang raped and beaten, and the Lord being okay with that; when you actually read about Abraham being willing to kill his son, when you actually read that; when you read the insanity of the talking snake; when you read the hostility towards homosexuals, towards women, the celebration of slavery; when you read in context, that “thou shalt not kill” means only in your own tribe—I mean, there’s no hint that it means humanity in general; that there’s no sense of a shared humanity, it’s all tribal; when you see a God that is jealous and insecure; when you see that there’s contradictions that show that it was clearly written hundreds of years after the supposed fact and full of contradictions. I think that anybody… you know, it’s like reading The Constitution of the United States of America. It’s been… it’s in English. You know, you don’t need someone to hold your hand. Just pick it up and read it. Just read what the First Amendment says and then read what the Bible says. Going back to the source material is always the best.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
From Richard Metzger at Dangerous Minds