Look - it was written a long time ago and novel writing has gotten a lot faster paced and, frankly, more formulaic, but ...

I find that is too bad that, due to the whole Inquisition, Crusades, Conquistador, Machiavelli, Witch Burning, gay bashing aspects of reading the Bible as if it were anything other than an amazing collection of short and long fiction even atheists can't read it for what it is.

Much of it is a transcription of centuries of oral histories. Some of it is an almanac of sorts (largely because it is a transcription of oral histories.) And some is pure allegory no less valid than that written by Plato.

For example - Genesis is utter crap - dangerous, mind melting crap at that - if read as if it were a science text. And it, surely, is rife with a level of sexism commensurate with the time and culture it was transcribed in.

But if you read it as a myth or allegory, one thing it comments on is our fall from nature's grace. Keep in mind that the first five books were (ostensibly) written down by the Pharaoh's love child with a Hebrew slave - Moses.

The rise of hierarchical and technologically based patriarchal civilization set man artificially (ironic term usage, I know) apart from nature. The species' tendency to participate in collective narcissism in regard to our place and role in the ecosystem resulted in true abominations - like mass killing (war) for objectives other than scarcity of resources. War, in turn and due to its destructive nature, often actually caused scarcity of resources.

So, one reading of the Eden story is that, when we began to fabricate laws (knowledge of good and evil) as surrogates for natural laws (don't eat the whole herd) we became capable of causing mass suffering of our own kind combined with damage to the ecosystem. Truly, a cautionary tale.

Just as it is possible to read Kurt Vonnegut and find the wisdom between the lines of quirky satire, so too the Bible - as long as we don't consider it, in any way, the word of god, a history book, or a science book. It is a book.

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Quite bluntly : The reason I can't read the bible without getting aggravated is because I cannot forget that millions of people think of it as their ONLY source for information.

It's the same reason I can't read "Mien Campf" without thinking "is this where his disgusting hatred for jews comes from?... or was it this part of his life?"

I can listen to a native story of animal spirits easily without feeling the slightest twinge of wanting to backhand someone... but that's because they didn't commit the damned crusades.

Well, that and the Natives don't take their fictional stories as the only source of moral information like the Christians do. They recognize their stories as just stories... with a moral.

The Christians think their stories are real. lol.
Some indigenous North Americans did commit atrocities (by our standards) against one another -- the Aztecs, for instance. And some indigenous tribes today still take their stories literally. Google "Kennewick Man" and you'll learn that there are native American traditionalists who seriously believe they were the first humans and that they were created on this continent. Christians don't control the market on anti-scientific nonsense.
Awesome. Tribalism - self-justification - the 'goodfellas' news.




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