I didn't grow up celebrating Xmas.
My religious parents considered it a pagan holiday, along with Easter and all other holidays. We did, however, get a small gift for our birthdays. One year, my annual gift was a bible with my name engraved upon it. I had waited all year for my one gift and this was what I got, a bible. I must admit, I was a tad disappointed, but I smiled and graciously accepted it from my parents.
When I left home and was excommunicated from the church and my family, I took my bible with me, one of a few personal possession that I had.
Several years later, my border collie drug it off the shelf one day while I was away from home and tore it to shreds. I came home to find it scattered in pieces all over the living room floor. It made me feel weird. My conditioning throughout childhood to consider this book as a special, even holy collection of words, still clung to me. It was going to take a few more years to get rid of the god virus my brain had been infected with.
Yet, deep inside I already knew that the bible was just paper and print with no magical powers and as it turns out very little true wisdom.
After one removes the magic and miracles from the bible as Thomas Jefferson did, the next step would be to ignore all the bad bits that no longer jive with the progression of morality in modern societies. The support of slavery, the oppression of women, the beating of children, genocide and torture are finally being defined by secular societies as inhumane, cruel and unjust behaviors, making the bible harder and harder to admire.
Liberal Christians are currently forced to bend over backwards to align their progressive attitudes with the very book that they claim is the foundation of their entire religious belief system.
That's a problem for them and when you can catch them taking a breath between their strenuous efforts to explain away these horrendous bits of the bible, they appear unable to reconcile the glaring hypocrisy of their religious convictions.
Finally, when one goes on to remove the fluff, the inconsequential verses that often don't even add interest to the story element, the words that offer no wisdom and sometimes even seem so foolishly behind the times as to be obviously and glaringly irrelevant, any merit the book itself might have quickly dwindles.
What are we left with?
We are left with a few parables that Jesus delivered about loving thy neighbor as thyself and acts of charity to the poor and less fortunate, a compassionate way of living that when put into practice could make life an easier prospect. Yet, most people, religious or not, can barely manage to live charitably as a family let alone as a community. If all the religious people in the world could practice this and lead by example, there would be fewer wars, less poverty, fewer divorces, less broken individuals, more secure and happier children and safer communities.
The humanist understands this.
They have accepted the fact that if a hungry child is to be fed another human must see to it. Prayer is not a productive way to solve problems, only our actions fix problems and get the job done. Furthermore, most humanists are appalled at the horrors of the scriptures which are far to oppressive for the modern, progressive and enlightened mind to embrace.
The bible is indeed a very outdated book. It does not stand up well to the test of time. The very progress that societies have struggled to achieve is not supported by the holy scriptures.
The bible has, instead, served as an impediment to social progress.
I'm a myth buster. My recent published book - Have We Been Screwed? Trading Freedom for Fairy Tales - can be purchased on Amazon.