I was watching the show The Atheist Experience hosted by Jen Peeples and Russell Glasser entitled ‘The Bible as Fan Fiction’ for 2/10/13. During the call in portion of the show they received a very interesting call from a man who had suffered an accident and as a result of it had been in a coma. Whenever he spoke of his atheism with fundamentalist theists he was told that his atheism stemmed from his being angry at God. You can watch the show and listen to it firsthand here.
After hearing his story I found that this man and I have a lot in common, and that his experience was not a unique one. Although I did not suffer some injury or traumatic event in my life at the time of my departure from theism, it seemed that everyone in my church or who knew me from my ministry days knew why I left the fold. Of course as you might’ve guessed by now they were all wrong.
It seemed that they couldn’t or wouldn’t accept the fact that I left the church after having read the bible in its entirety and found it appalling instead of inspiring. I found the O.T. God to be lacking in morals, cruel, despotic, racist, and misogynistic. This God, instead of inspiring awe and worship from me only brought out my disgust. I made the connection with the church under Roman rule and was able to see how through their beliefs they were able to justify their evil actions. They learned from their father in heaven that killing and punishing unbelievers and heretics was the way that God traditionally dealt with those sorts of people.
I understood how Hitler believed he was doing God’s will by attempting to exterminate the Jewish race for killing Christ. Many of these backward and twisted believers were just following God’s examples as they are narrated in the scriptures. I recalled how God had his prophet Elijah murder and slay 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah 1 Kings 18:19,40 just to prove to the people of Israel that he was God! He killed 850 people for believing in the wrong God and leading Israel away from him. Those prophets of the so called false gods were not even given a chance at repentance. Their punishment for leading Israel into the worship of false gods was death.
I further understood how the Anglo-Americans of the south thought that the Negro was inferior and created for the purpose of being slaves. The Hebrew’s were even given rules on how they were to treat their servants, and guide lines regarding the sale or release from servitude of those slaves. The South in its bid to maintain its God given “right” to keep slaves alluded to the bible as justification for slavery.
Only by reading the bible did I understand the mindset of the Middle Eastern man. The idea that men were superior to women: and that women were created to serve men. To this day we see this attitude in the Middle East where a woman is considered a second class citizen not based on her merits but on the Bible and that other disgusting book the Koran which is derived from the Bible. There are places in this world where a woman is forbidden to drive a car or walk down the street with a man that is not her brother. I blame these attitudes on the stupidity of religious indoctrination and the so called holy texts that contain those teachings.
I left the church because once I had read through the Bible I saw it for what it was. The thought of worshiping a celestial tyrant was to me abhorrent, ignorant, and degrading. The idea of attributing my life’s misfortunate events to my offending an invisible monster in the sky was ridiculous beyond explanation. Even worse was the idea of calling self-debasement and loathing humility. The begging and groveling for favor with this God was an insult to my intelligence and at the time I was angry with myself for having fallen prey to such backward stupidity. These are not the beliefs of a twenty first century mature mind, but the beliefs of an ignorant and superstitious fool. There is no difference between Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. They are all derived from ignorant and silly myths and superstitions no more true than witches, ghosts, angels, demons, big foot, etc.
I am convinced that if anyone reads the bible in its entirety without any presuppositions and with an open mind, they would come out enlightened to the point that they would laugh at having ever believed in it in the first place. It’s almost embarrassing how much of myself I gave to those beliefs and how little I got back from allowing myself to be enslaved by an institution whose master does not exist!