Yesterday I concluded my run with Genesis of the Bible. I posted one chapter per day starting at the beginning of February 2011. I only got 27 chapters into it because I just wasn’t expecting it to be so ridiculous. I was expecting to have to put a little effort into finding ways to interpret it into a promotion of violence, slavery, vengeance, and other such awful things. What I found was that the Bible openly promotes these things.
Granted, you could tell me that it gets better, that God becomes less vengeful in later parts of the book. You could tell me that my own novel, Against a Rock is every bit as violent and also promotes slavery and racism, but nobody is holding my novel up as a moral code. When you hold a book up as a moral code or something we should follow, it needs to be clear in how it goes about making the world a better place. The first 27 chapters of The Bible is nothing but insane people doing insane and horrible things.
The comments I made in red for those chapters are my honest interpretations of what I felt the text was honestly trying to say, but without any preconceptions about right and wrong. Because that’s the only way you can interpret these 27 chapters as being anything close to positive, is if you have an extreme bias toward moral and ethical behavior. Fortunately the overwhelming majority of the population does have this bias, so they take all these horrible things and twist them around to mean something positive. However, this only works for people who have strong moral and ethical values outside of their religion. They may believe it’s their religion or the Bible that gave them these morals, but in reality it’s their basic logic and the compassion that evolution built into our brains.
But there are people out there who actually do take the Bible literally, who are able to completely forget about all concepts of right and wrong, and truly put their hearts and minds under the power of The Bible and God. The people who are actually true to their religion are the people like Isaac Zamora (a guy I knew who killed a bunch of people in the name of Jesus).
So that’s what I did when I made those Genesis comments. I simply forgot everything I’d been taught about right and wrong, and let the Bible decide it for me. The results were utterly sickening. I became racist, sexist, and vengeful, and yes, a part of me really started to believe it. A small part of me almost wanted to give up atheism and move to some religious colony where I could take a slave and buy a woman, then beat her if she didn’t please me. In a small part of my soul, that felt right, because I was allowing God and a fictional book to determine my sense of right and wrong, and when you put God first, real-world human suffering suddenly becomes irrelevant.
The most disturbing thing for me was the treatment of women. Women are being bought and sold and clearly treated like property. Chapter 3, verse 16: “thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”
In other words, property. Servants.
Then in Chapter 6, verse 1 and 2: “1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.”
In other words, men are born from God. Women are born from men. Therefore, even as an atheist who rejects God at all turns, I am still closer to God than any woman, no matter how devoted a Christian she may be.
So if I ever get in an argument about God with a Christian woman, I think I will simply point this out, and say, sorry, I will always understand God better than you. This is your own religion saying this.
I can understand how a man could get into this, because it gives us such a sense of superiority, but how a woman could ever support the kind of things printed in the Bible is baffling to me.
Thanks for reading my Genesis Bible commentary 🙂 Here's the other chapters I've posted so far: