One of the things that I learned after becoming an atheist is the dearth of religious people, particularly religious moderates, who have read their own holy text.
I've read the Bible, I've read the Talmud, I've read the Koran and Hadith, the Book of Mormon, Buddhist cannon, the Hindu cannon, what passes a Wiccan fundaments, I've read the Chinese philosophies that people confuse as religion; I've read as much as I can find and devoted as much time as I can spare to learning about them.
They all have varying degrees of uselessness, some are quite dangerous, nearly all have justifications for violence and cruelty. What strikes me when I talk to people who follow these religions is not how they interpret biblical genocide, but how they don't know it.
I once challenged a Christian to rattle off the 10 Commandments in no particular order and whichever variant he chose and he could not; when I was dared I rattled it off, in order, with the appropriate variants among the books. I'm not attempting to stroke my ego here (I do that enough as is) I just want to demonstrate the kind of gap that I find between the volume of religious knowledge I have compared against those who say they believe it. (When he challenged me to disprove the Second Law of Thermodynamics argument against Evolution, I challenged him to recite the Second Law of Thermodynamics and how many Laws there were -- with expected results.)
I can certainly understand why priests, imams, rabbis, and ministers would steer their flock away from their respective good books. I know why spiritual leaders opt to read scripture to their congregations as opposed to asking them to go home and read it for themselves. Any one of them who actually read it would have more than enough to at least make them reconsider their membership in the faith.
What I don't understand is why the religious don't take it upon themselves to read it. It is, after all, THEIR book, it is the cornerstone of THEIR faith, it is that to which they submit their eternal soul to; one would expect that they would at least be curious as to its contents.
I once considered that their faith shielded them from the necessity of reading the word of their respective gods, but unless they're willing to submit that their spiritual leaders, who by necessity HAVE read their holy book, are of weak faith I don't find the faith defense for the scriptural ignorance of the religious a reasonable one.
Whatever the reason: intellectual lethargy, intellectual dishonesty, or simple willful ignorance, I keep finding myself in situations where I know more about the opposition's argument than they do.