I cannot help but think that people in our society are altogether too quick to accept the Bible as the ultimate authority for, well, just about everything. At the same time, people are not really reading the scriptures with any degree of intelligence. If they were, they would feel someone let down that, in the Book of Job, Jehovah is hanging out with Satan and makes a bet with him that, regardless what He does to the prayerful man, Job will still be in His ball court. So He proceeds to impoverish Job, kill his wife and children, make off with his livestock, and saddle him with three “friends”—Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zofar—who accuse the poor man of deserving whatever befalls him.
Then, too, there is the Books of Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers, where God is laying down a law to which no one outside a small number of ultra Orthodox Jews pay any attention. Here are just some of the high points from the Book of Leviticus alone:
- “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” (Leviticus 20:13) Oh, well, there goes gay marriage. Are you listening, Justice Scalia?
- Don’t have a variety of crops in the same field, irrespective of what the U.S. Department of Agriculture urges. (Leviticus 19:19)
- Neither cut your hair nor shave—ever! (Leviticus 19:27)
- People with flat noses, or who are blind or lame, cannot approach the altar of God. (Leviticus 21:17-18)
And there are also a few prohibitions regarding heterosexual fornication that are incredibly strict. Most violations seem to call for the death penalty.
So I ask you, why do people accept the Bible as the ultimate authority? Parts of it are several thousand years old. And the most recent part, the Book of Revelation, is so flat-out loony that it might as well be.
People who come to my door attempting to convert me to their oddball evangelical sect are totally flabbergasted when I tell them I do not accept the authority of the Bible. That means they can’t use it to quote at me to substantiate their every argument. It effectively shuts them up and makes them go down the stairs muttering.
Withal, I can still believe in God, but without accepting all this extraneous claptrap. Oh, and I have no intention of seeing the new movie version of Noah, from which the above still is taken.