My mother found Jesus when I was about 13. The whole family, myself included, rapidly plunged to the far right. I de-converted only after taking an Introduction to Christian Ethics at my Catholic university. Long story... maybe later. This was the beginning of my mom and I’s difficulties. If your not for her you’re against her, and if you’re against her you hate her. Dissension is cannot tolerated. Resistance is futile. Sigh! In our numerous “discussions” involving religion or politics or nearly anything else, she always used her old standby “Just read your Bible” These were always in efforts to prove to me that God was on her side. She could never quite understand that to an atheist the bible is hardly a moral authority.
Years later, I began to wonder if there may actually be a purpose to studying the Bible, not with with the blind eyes of faith but the open eyes of reason. Could there be a point to studying the Bible as literature? To know thy enemy! I was inspired again by recently rereading Dawkins’ The God Delusion. It it he relates the story Randolph Churchill Being dared to read the entire Bible in a fortnight. He kept saying “I bet you didn’t know this came in the Bible” or my favorite “God, isn’t God a shit?”
I’ve come to the conclusion that studying the Bible as literature is a useful enterprise. Knowledge of the forces against us is valid knowledge. After a few weeks of reading and taking notes, I decided to start over and Blog about it at http://blessedatheist.com. I have rarely been so entertained! My wife’s getting weary of me quoting rather hilarious verses to her and slapping my knee saying “God, isn’t God a shit?” Yes. Yes, he is. no doubt about it. It makes you wonder if the Christians actually have read these parts.
What do the rest of you think? Can an atheist in an ocean of theism benefit by studying their opponents idiosyncratic beliefs? Has anyone else here studied this as literature? Would it be worthy to you?