I’m completely against the banning of books. Free thought and free speech are “secular sacreds” for me.
However. . .If ANY books are banned, or we are greatly discouraged from reading them, maybe the Bible should be at the top of the list.
(I’ve also been thinking of this after watching President Trumpery “swear” on TWO copies of the Bible. . .this is a Real Time issue!)
I don’t say this lightly. I spent many years of my life “living and breathing” Holy Scripture, God’s Divine Word, the Bible. I carried it, studied it, taught it, preached it, prayed it, gave it away. My years in ministry and chaplaincy were, in great part, guided by biblical instruction.
But what was the Bible I tried to live by? The “Heart” of the Book. What’s that?
Love others; do justice; love kindness; show compassion; treat others as I wish to be treated.
Things like that.
Yes, “loving God” was a part of that, but my study and practice showed me that to love God was to DO those things! It wasn’t about “belief” but about how you live.
(this of course has been forgotten, neglected or conveniently hidden by the vast majority of Christendom, and, as I often say, it’s one reason we should speak the truth: Jesus was no Christian and would not be welcomed in churches).
The problem is, many sacred and secular sources and teachers say we should live like that. So, what’s so special about one book among many?
In 19th Century America some politicians tried to ban certain books and materials from being sent through the mail (“Comstock laws”). People were put in jail just for sending things deemed “obscene” by a small group of powerful people. Secular organizations pushed back and said if any books are censored or banned and considered obscene, the BIBLE should be included! The Bible is full of very offensive stories and images that would be shameful to read in public.
They had a point.
The Bible condones, in various places, slavery, the subservience of women, polygamy, rape, incest, murder, torture, genocide, invasions and much more–all part of the “master plan” of an angry, vengeful God.
btw, I know well the “progressive” argument: “But that’s the “OLD testament” God, not the God of the NEW! Sorry folks, that same deity appears all the way through, Genesis to The Revelation.
But that’s not the worst of it–look at the Big Picture. The Whole Bible could be summarized as the story of. . .
A Parent Kills His Child (because His other children made Him angry).
I’d never really thought of it this way, but this is the Grand Design of the Almighty Lord of the Universe!
A Parent (God) Kills His Child (Jesus) so He won’t have to torture all His other children for not loving Him in return.
Those of us who were raised in the church and taught to “believe the Bible” need to admit that the God of the Bible is not an ethical person.
As a father, I can’t imagine creating children and then planning history so that I would kill one of my children if all the rest of them didn’t love and serve me.
Maybe it’s time to consider banning this book. . .or greatly discourage others from reading it?