This won’t be a pleasant rant, I’m afraid, but I need to get this off my chest and with enough warning, I hope I don’t offend or upset anybody. I apologise for upsetting anyone in advance but I don’t apologise for the content of my rant. It happened and it’s how I felt about it.
My mum and dad basically threw a bible at me and told me to read it and believe it. There was no chance of that happening. They were fundamentalist christians who believed the world was made in 7 days (admittedly their days were 1000 years long – !?!) and like their fellow adherents (Jehovah’s Witnesses) believed in a mixed bag of strange and common-sense beliefs which were a huge puzzle for me growing up. You can drink, but can’t get drunk. Okay. You are not allowed to smoke. Okay. You will live forever and never die because the world will be ending soon, very soon, in fact it will end in 1975, nope, I mean 1986, nope, I mean 1992. Okay. We got it now. ‘the world will end sometime in the next 1000 years’. Sorted. Okay. The Bible is the sole source of truth. But you must read the Watchtower and Awake and we will tell you what it all means. If you’re not a Jehovah’s Witness you will die and die forever. You won’t go to heaven when you die, only 144 000 people will, but we don’t really know who they are. They do and that’s all that’s important. You will know because you will have this urge to go to heaven. Man was created by god no more than a little over 6,000 years ago. Evolution is rubbish. Man lived with dinosaurs and don’t you forget it. And yet each time I read this stuff and heard this stuff, I rejected it. I found the Bible at my age of reading it to be quite a scary book. Add to that, some of the pictures of killings, fear, destruction and what not caused me regular nightmares. Only from about the age of 33 did I stop getting bible induced nightmares after having detoxed myself from the Bible from about the age of 22.
The Bible is one sick piece of work. For e.g, a friend of god, Abraham’s brother Lot, was told to get out of Sodom and Gomorrah, run to the hills with his wife and two daughters and not look back, not even a peek. Well, his wife did and she turned into a pillar of salt (yeah, right!) and for most people that’s where the story ends (Genesis 19: 1 to 29). For those who are patient and inquisitive enough, grab a bible and read the rest of the chapter, verses 30 to the end of the chapter. You won’t believe your eyes. You see, it turns out that after only a FEW days in the hills, the daughters begin to fret about their chances of having children. So, like all people in that situation, they packed their bags and went to some other nearby city and tried to get married, right? WRONG. They get their father drunk and take it turns to sleep with him and bear children to him. Yep, you read that right. Incest. Good old close families. Unbelievable.
I could go on for hours on this and I won’t. Suffice to say, that the Bible isn’t for me and shouldn’t be for anyone. I’ve read all the ‘great books of faith’ and they all come up smelling of shit. Yes, there are great passages of wisdom in them, yes, at times they even reach levels of high literary value, yes, the language from these books has infiltrated our language and in some cases, these books and access to these books has sparked great and necessary change and I buy all that. I buy that some of the morality and behaviours outlined in these books are still valid and desirable today but we’re now in the first quarter of the 21st century and our thinking and values and beliefs have to move on where appropriate. Let’s all write the chapters of our own values rather than blindly accept the writings of powerful and manipulative men of thousands of years ago.