But then they bash others like atheists etc I don't know why many of them do this but they do. Also as a kid I had nightmares over all the sick things like mass genocide in the bible etc. I don't understand why christians don't feel guilt letting their kids read that kind of stuff. But then they will complain about the harry potter books????

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Well, I don't know about all Christians....but some of the ones I know look at it like a History lesson. History repeats itself and when they read things like this they think it teaches us what not to do or how not to behave. Now I am sure that is not what all of them think. I know some who feel that beating your wife and children is ok because of the Old Testament....here is what I don't get. If they are "Christian" and follow the teachings of Christ then why is the Old Testament in there at all? I know some of it is for the "Prophecies" of Jesus's coming to show that the Jews were looking for a Warrior King....but Noah, Moses lost in the desert, things like that...really makes you wonder. If you are Christian and follow Jesus then what he said or was written about Jesus should be what is studied, read, shared and followed. Right?

As for the Harry Potter Books, well you know they were not written by a Christian, but by a "gay loving, magic dwelling" heathen or worse--a PAGAN! (heavy sarcasm lest you think I agree)....I never got why Tolkien and Lewis were ok but Harry Potter is not...*rolls eyes*
A lot of christians I know would not let their kids see this stuff, but they have children's bible study groups in which they teach watered down versions of stories. That said, the fundamentalists would argue that these stories are true and the others (secular stories) are either false or "of the devil," but of course it's completely ridiculous.

I have a 10-year-old who is a very good judge of what he ought to be watching, and I like to think it's because his mother and I have taught him to experience art or entertainment with a critical mind, so that when he takes in something depicted on TV or in literature or other media, he immediately starts asking questions. This in no way takes away from his enjoyment of things; in fact, it seems to increase his enjoyment. He is still a little boy (for a short time, anyway), so he still rolls on the floor laughing, but even at his young age, he has a very clear idea of what constitutes a "story" versus what constitutes "history."

He also would never accept the ludicrous christian idea of sin, which will take him far in the reality-based world (as it would anyone), even if he gets some grief along the way. He will never believe he is fundamentally flawed, a worthless sinner, which is really the point of teaching kids (and adults) those bible stories -- to scare the shit out of them and convince them that obedience to their twisted sky-daddy and his zombie son is the right way to engage the world.

The bible is one of the worst pieces of shliterature ever compiled.
(In their minds) "If god said or did it, it must be ok" (i.e. "holiness covers a multitude of sins" - and god (the cosmic bully) is above the law.

I think this is one of the main reasons and rationale. The other is that many Christians are unfamiliar with these scriptures and have no idea what the says or means. They like the warm and fuzzy "Jesus loves me" stuff and ignore the pain and evil that god demanded. When you bring up these issues up they block their ears like 5 yr old and sing nah nah nah.

Many Christians justify or ignore these things, but I never could: the God-ordained killings, the strange legal system of the Old Testament, and most of all the eternal hell where all my unsaved friends were going. These things made me feel sick and angry inside as a child too, and as a young adult. Also they were socially crippling. How can you love and serve a God like that? Then again, how could you not?

Was I the only Christian who felt that way?

I understand why Christians explain away the shady parts of the Bible, and I understand why they criticize why they criticize Harry Potter (they fear it's anti-Biblical). I spent most of my life in that camp. But what I don't understand, Suzanne, is how they can be aware of horrific Bible passages like the one you cited and still believe their God is good.

From the passage you cited:

"Have you allowed all the women to live?" [Moses] asked them. "They were the ones who followed Balaam's advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the LORD in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the LORD's people. Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man."

I felt sad having read that, but a memory of an old Christian song came to mind, and the chorus ends with this:

"Bow down and worship, for this is your God."

Round Peg
I think most Christians were historically very pragmatic about Biblical exegesis. They made many unusual interpretations regarding bad verses to protect the sanctity of the good verses in the Bible. By making bad verses ambiguous or even intractable in meaning, they could defend the merit of "love thy neighbor as thyself" on the grounds of Biblical inerrancy.
In my experience, most Xians don't ignore just the bad verses and/or stories in the bible--they ignore the entire book. I've attempted to start many a discussion with one theist or another in regards to the bible's bad theology or questionable claims, only to discover that the person I'm speaking to is biblically illiterate. It seems to me that only fundies read the bible on a regular basis, and they've learned to jump through all sorts of hoops to rationalize the bad stuff. The average rank-and-file Xian has probably had only a smattering of bible study when young and never bothered to open a bible later in life. The majority of atheists I know are more biblically educated than any Xians I've come into contact with.
To be honest I don't think they ignore so much as they're ignorant of it.
that's why christianity always confused me, esp. the Bible.

It's so contradictory and hypocritical.


Thanks everyone for all your great replies. I've always wondered why fundie christians ignored all the evil passages in the bible but then bashed other faiths such as the muslim faith.




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