Every time I think of religion, my thoughts and visions are filled with violence, fear, anxiety, exclusiveness, and mythology. I was raised Catholic, studied to become Jehovah’s Witnesses (my parents decided to try a new religious view), and went to a High School that had a mostly non-practicing Jewish student body. I haven’t really had a big interest in religious studies – I only knew what my parents knew of religion and what I studied as a Jehovah’s Witness. If I didn’t practice religion enough and don’t identify with any organized religion, is it fair of me to criticize those that do? Before I answer that, let me tell you what I do know about religion and my personal accounts in dealing with those that have attempted to convert me into their following.
I was taught to have a fear for God and to ensure you follow God’s rules otherwise, I would end up in Hell. Think about that for a moment – ‘Instill the fear of God’ into people. Shouldn’t a God encompass values that He would like to see in His flock like love, compassion, empathy and patience? Shouldn’t God be proud of His people’s desire to seek out the truth and to ask questions if they don’t understand or believe something to be true? Well I had many questions – questions that never have been answered. I have dealt with religious people who condemn me because of my homosexuality – as God made me. I have been involved in endless debate about my sin being a much bigger sin than all others (again referring to my homosexuality). I see so much hypocrisy in what I call the ‘celebrities of religion’ pandering to a congregation that funds their lavish lifestyle’s all in the name of religion and God (Jim Baker, Joel Olsteen, Pat Robertson, Rick Warren, Billy Graham, Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, David Barton, Benny Hinn). I have read and seen movies based on the wars brought on in the name of religion. I have been outraged at how many religious institutions protect criminals who are known sexual offenders, rapists and pedophiles and allow this behaviour to continue.
Religion is mythology to me – I can’t distinguish the difference between the stories I have read relating to Greek mythology versus the stories that are noted in The Bible. Is it no wonder that Costco was recently in the news for placing The Bible in their ‘fiction’ section of books? The stories I read in the bible were great – they seemed to fill people with hope and to allow people to come together for the greater good of humanity. There were also those stories that ensured people were obedient and followed God’s laws, scary stories such as; the story of Abraham and his devotion to God (God asked Abraham to show his devotion by asking him to call his son), the story of Noah’s Ark and Moses and the ten commandments. All great stories, but very hard to treat them as non-fiction.
Here are some things I have questioned:
- If Adam and Eve were the first, and they had two sons (Cain and Abel), how was it possible for the world to become populated? The only sense I could make of this is that Cain and Abel were not Adam and Eve’s only children.
- How was it possible for Noah to retrieve a male and female of every living animal on the planet to save them from extinction during the great flood. Was he able to get sea creatures, insects, amphibians etc.?
- If all was perfect in the Garden of Eden and as God wanted, why would God allow Satan to entice Eve? Why Eve? Where was Adam when Satan lured Eve with the forbidden fruit?
- Why did God create a garden that included ‘forbidden fruit’?
Here are some Bible passages and versus that further convince me that the Bible was written by man as a means to control what they did not understand and feared:
Leviticus 11: 7 -8
***In reference to eating pork***
And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.
Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.
As an animal activist and practicing vegan, this is great for the pig but, somewhere during history - Christians love for bacon, ham and pork sausages became less important than what was written in the bible. Will pork-eating Christians not be allowed in the kingdom to come?
Leviticus 19: 28
***In reference to getting inked or tattoos***
Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
So all those who have pictures of the ‘virgin Mary’ or of Jesus himself - if you are serious in your quest to enter the Kingdom of God, have your tatts removed! Even if it’s an hommage to your religious heroes/heroines.
Leviticus 19: 27
***In reference to “rounded haircuts”***
Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.
Does hair really matter in the afterlife?
Deuteronomy 23: 1
***In reference to injured men/men with their sexual organs removed***
He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.
This is discriminatory and not very supportive of those who have a handicap.
Leviticus 19: 31
***In reference to psychics/wizards/witches***
Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your GOD.
In the name of Christianity – pagans were put to death for worshiping the land and anyone who had a different religious belief other than Christianity – were tortured and put to death for their beliefs. Not very Christian is it?
Leviticus 19: 16
***In reference to gossiping***
Thou shalt not go up and down as a tale bearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of they neighbour; I am the LORD.
Was this verse created so that people would not question religious doctrine? Or did the men that wrote the bible not like those back-stabbing gossips?
Deuteronomy 25: 11 – 12
***In reference to a man’s wife assisting in a physical altercation***
When man strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets.
To me – this sounds like the men that are in conflict are showing weakness when accepting help from their wives. How is that a weakness? The statement is also very strange near the end “taketh him by the secrets” – sounds like that would hurt.
Exodus 21: 17
***In reference to children who curse at their parents***
And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.
Now, imagine a world where parents can kill their children for cursing at them. If Christians took this verse literally – our jails would be overcrowded with those who deserved to be in there.
Mark 10: 11 – 12
***In reference to getting married after divorce***
Whosever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
Are the huge spikes in divorce in the last 50 years solely instigated by those who are not Christian? Or are Christians happily married to their life partners even if they are not in love with them so that they ensure a place in the kingdom to come?
Exodus 31: 14 – 15
***In reference to working on the ‘holy’ day***
Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosever doeth and work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
Having one day a week off is great – but you can only enjoy this day by worshiping the LORD – no ands, ifs, or buts!
Corinthians 14: 34 – 35
***In reference to women preaching the word of God***
Let you women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
I know many women who have a problem with the misogynistic verse. Women are not allowed to speak in churches and must obey their husbands – it’s shameful for women to speak in churches???? How archaic. They should all be removed at once.
Leviticus 10 – 11
***In reference to shellfish***
And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters , and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcase in abomination.
Again – I support this passage/verse because it saves many fish from death. Christian seafood lovers everywhere – be mindful and follow the rules or else you will not enter the Kingdom of God.
Deuteronomy 22: 20 – 21
***In reference to a women losing her virginity prior to marriage***
But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:
Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.
WOW – this is harsh. Still don’t think the Bible was written by men. Again, another misogynistic verse…God forbid that a women loses her virginity prior to marriage. That should be rightfully taken away by a man in marriage. Does this verse apply to men as well? Shouldn’t the women have the right to stone their husbands to death if they are not virgins at marriage?
Leviticus 18: 22
***In reference to homosexuality***
You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female, it is an abomination.
Funny how the misogynistic men that wrote this verse don’t say anything about women that lie with other women…….
All kidding and sarcasm aside….I don’t see how these passages are inclusive, compassionate and promote a positive community. For me, these Bible quotes clearly support my notion that the Bible was written by men to control the population(s). To ensure that people conformed to what would benefit those men in power.
I wrote this post today in hopes that people empower themselves to ask questions of those in authority. Just because it is written doesn’t mean that it is TRUE! Especially when the words that were written – were written in the blood of those who didn’t want to conform and live their lives in chains.
Together, we can make the world a more positive one!