Tearing Up the Bible

In a recent Washington Post article http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/for-gods-sake/post/when-atheism-turns-ugly/2011/09/19/gIQA25tJfK_blog.html the author writes about a group of atheists who tear up a Bible at a California Pier.  Why they did this is not exactly clear, but Mr. Hirschfield seems to see this as an attack on Christianity.  If you remember recently a fundamentalist Christian group was going to burn the Koran.

Isn’t there enough history and literature behind us at this point that shows clearly that destroying books (burning them, tearing them up etc.) is not a good idea?  Why isn’t this something that we all agree about.  Don’t destroy other people’s Holy books.  It seems so basic.  How can there be any disagreement about this?

This illustrates perfectly that at least on the, “Your Holy Book offends me so I will destroy a copy” front atheists and Christians seem to be on the same page.  A few fringe groups make some symbolic gesture that riles up even the middle of the road members of the group.  So everyone’s mad and there’s one less Holy Book in the world.   So to Christians:

Thomas Jefferson famously cut up his Bible to remove parts he didn’t agree with.  Our nation was still founded and you can still get a copy of the Bible in any hotel night stand.  The power of the Bible is not in the actual ink printed on the page.  There is no mystical power in the ink and paper that makes this book any different than a copy of The Book of Mormon, or a copy of The Wizard of Oz.  Paper and ink my friends.  For centuries the majority of the population could not even read the Bible, much less own a copy, and yet Christianity survives.

Atheists:  Really?  Destroying books?  Did you miss your history class about the Spanish Inquisition or the Nazis?  Never read Fahrenheit 451?  You get tired of being denigrated by religious folk, so you poke the bear and destroy one of their Holy Books.  Gee, how is that working out?  You got mentioned in the Washington Post whoo hoo!  You also confirmed that you are mean and spiteful and hate their God and everything that represents Him.  That doesn’t seem like progress to me.  Also, don’t be surprised if the next thing you read in the Washington Post is about some church somewhere burning a copy of Darwin.

So, if everyone would just agree as a starting point that destroying each other’s Holy Books is wrong the world will maybe begin to be a little more peaceful.


Make it So


2 thoughts on “Tearing Up the Bible

  1. “Atheists: Really? Destroying books?”

    As I understand it, they were excising parts of the book they didn’t like. And the books they were doing this to were either books they owned, or photocopies.

    This was purely symbolic, and to compare it to the Nazis or the Inquisition is a gross exaggeration.

    I’m against destroying any books. That being said, if you own the copy of book, you can do with it as you like. And if this is the best example of ‘when atheism turns ugly’, then we atheists are much better people on average than I thought.

    1. I agree entirely that the title of the Wapo article was over the top. I also agree that atheists are great people. I just think that symbolically destroying someone’s Holy Book is not a good idea. It’s just adds more fuel to the supposed culture war. I agree that the action itself was not really that horrible. Lisa

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