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5 comments on Episode 79: American Atheists
To the Queen James Bible:
The poor translations have been known for years. The book “What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality” not only takes apart the language, it also explains the Old Testament in the context of Judaic law of the time. Essentially, Jewish law is based on a fear of mixing. Lepers are impure and cannot enter the Temple when the disease covers part of their body, but regain their purity when the disease covers their entire body and they are no longer mixed. People can’t be gay because if everyone was gay society would collapse, so no one can be gay. Also, Leviticus says they’ve committed an abhorrent act and they will be as a corpse, which any Jew would understand that means you are tainted and cannot be Jewish for a full lunar month or until you perform a mitzvah.
And let’s be clear here: Raping a woman is a property issue, in part because of dowry laws and in part because of how inheritance laws work. (The oldest son’s father could inherit the family estate.) Raping a man is as icky as touching a dead body and you can’t enter the temple or be Jewish until you do a good deed.
Let us also not forget that “sodomy” used to be any sin of exploitation. Usury, or charging interest on a loan, was considered a sin of sodomy in the early Church, which is why Jews used to be called Sodomites. Jews did not have a prohibition (from Rome) on charging interest on loans, and therefore could make a profit on banking and do it for a living. This is where the stereotype of “greedy Jewish banker” or “Jewish accountant” comes from. Catholics couldn’t be bankers because they couldn’t make a profit and stay in business.
The New Testament is all about prostitution. (That sentence didn’t come out right….) Actually, in modern translations many of the women prostitutes are no longer referred to as “prostitutes”. The Greeks and Romans (the Romans were worse) had numerous words for prostitutes. The Corinthians reference in most early KJV bibles actually refers to “prostitutes and homosexuals and homosexuals and idolaters”. The original Greek phrase would be “hookers and hustlers and pedophiles and idolators”. The author is actually appealing to the snobbery of the Greek Jewish-Christian intelligentsia, who thought they were better than the Gentile-Christians because they kept Levitican law. The author started the epistle with things the Greeks thought were silly and the Jews felt were important, like eating unclean meats and circumcision, then at this point transitions from (male and female) prostitution to prostitution of children, then idolatry, then the genuinely bad stuff. He then berates the Jews for worrying about Levitican (particularly circumcision) law when there are problems like violence and starvation to worry about.
The book “Misquoting Jesus” by Dr. Ehrman is also excellent. He started as an evangelical fundamentalist who realized that if he had to take the Bible literally, he had to find out what it originally said. His study nearly cause the collapse of his belief. The book focuses on the New Testament, and traces many changes from the original to the modern English book. Two quick examples, the line “Jesus wept.” and the parable in John of the adulterer and “let he who is without sin throw the first stone” were both probably added about 100-200 years after the cannon was set.
First of all, love the show! Its a b12 boost to a So IL atheist!
As a person who grew up with weapons, I have a different view of assault weapons. The AR was designed to be fired one handed. Originally developed for USAF dog haandlers, to replace their handguns. The AF believed that if the missle sites were going to be invaded, back in the 50’s/60’s, or the flightlines of bases worldwide; the handlers (SP) were believed to have to fire several rounds one handed at several enemy targets at ong ranges. The new design with the pistol grip, raised sight plane, polymer housing, forward magazine well, allows the user to engage multiple targets accurately. Its a tool for war, not for plinking gophers. Yes, you can swap out the upper for a sporting caliber and yes its accurate. But a bolt action is cheaper and even more accurate! No cilvilian needs this!
And the same goes for the hi-cap semi-auto handguns! A solider may need more than six rounds against an enemy that may have body armour. Or the police man may need one for multiple perks attacking. But does the average gunowner need that? Hell, a 12ga shotgun is much better than a pistol any day!
I wonder what might have happen if the shooter had two revolvers instead of two hi-cap semi-auto pistol. Push a buttom, then put in fresh 15 rounds. Mush easier than opening the cyclinder, ejecting the spent brass, load the cyclinder. Takes awhile to shoot 100 rounds out of a revolver!
Just my views.
Jerry Ray Howell
BIBLE TURTLES sounds like the greatest thing ever.
I’m sorry; it’s still a stupid billboard. Won’t cause anyone to honestly evaluate his religion; will cause resentment even among reasonable people because of its peremptory tone; won’t do anything for atheists except make the insufferable ones a little smugger than they already were.
As an atheist, I find David Silverman perhaps almost as annoying as most Catholics find Bill Donohue.
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