[Vision2020] 5-18-23 Moscow/Pullman Dnews: His View: Let’s follow Jefferson’s lead and redact the Bible

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Wed May 24 19:28:16 PDT 2023

His View: Let’s follow Jefferson’s lead and redact the Bible
- By Nick Gier, Palouse Pundit
- May 18, 2023 Updated May 18, 2023


   Some Christians admit that there are stories in the Bible that are not
   appropriate for children. They do not, however, suggest ways to keep youth
   from reading these accounts of sexual violence and other atrocities.

   I suggest that these passages be redacted just as Thomas Jefferson
   deleted parts of the New Testament. The result was the “Jefferson Bible”
   with the subtitle “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth” (
   thejeffersonbible.com). Jefferson took his scissors and cut out what he
   believed were the offending passages.

   Our founders were people of The Enlightenment, sometimes called the Age
   of Reason. In a letter to his nephew Peter Carr, Jefferson wrote that Carr
   should “shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak
   minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on
   her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the
   existence of a God” (Aug. 10, 1787).

   Jefferson believed “weak minds” had been seduced by accounts of
   miracles, the deity of Christ, the resurrection and the Trinity. Jefferson
   insisted that he was a Christian (with far better church attendance than
   George Washington), because he believed that Jesus’ moral teachings were
   superior to any other ancient thinker.

   For 31 years I taught a course in the philosophy of religion in which we
   take Jefferson’s advice and subject Christian doctrines to the scrutiny of
   reason. Drawing on the Greek philosopher Aristotle and Islamic thinkers,
   St. Thomas Aquinas concluded that Christ’s divinity and the Trinity were
   articles of faith, not reason.

   We have all seen redacted documents before, and my own FBI files
   (released under the Freedom of Information Act) from my Vietnam war
   protests are filled with blacked out passages. I propose that just as many
   Bibles have Jesus’ sayings in red, the offensive passages in the Old
   Testament would be blacked out.

   Let’s start with the story of Lot who is sheltering two angels in Sodom
   (Gen. 19). Men surround Lot’s house, and they demand that he hand over his
   guests. They say that they want to “have sex with them.”

   The men of Sodom are not homosexuals, just as our prison bullies are
   not. They both are engaging in “power rape.” The sin of Sodom is not
   “unnatural” sex, but it is the sin of brutal inhospitality. Jesus himself
   confirms this in Matt.10: 5-15.

   Lot resists their demands, and he offers his virgin daughters instead.
   The brutes refuse his offer and begin to attack the house. The angels
   secure the door and blind the Sodomites. They insist that Lot and his
   family leave the city before they destroy it.

   Lot and his daughters find refuge in a cave where his daughters get him
   drunk and rape him. (Lot obviously did not give his consent.) Was this
   revenge for Lot offering them to the Sodomites?

   In Judges 19-21, we read of the story of a Levite traveling with his
   concubine. As night approaches, they come into the town of Gibeah. An old
   man invites them to stay the night in his house.

   Just as with the Sodomites, the men of Gibeah come out and demand that
   the Levite be brought out so that they could rape him. This was the men’s
   vicious way to humiliate a stranger. It is absurd to think that they were
   sexually attracted to him.

   To appease the mob, the old man offered his virgin daughter, but the
   Levite sent out his woman instead. The men sexually abused her all night
   long. In the morning the Levite found her dead at the old man’s doorstep.

   If that was not horrific enough, the Levite then cut her body into 12
   parts and distributed them throughout Israel. It is significant to note
   that the Levites were Israel’s spiritual leaders. This one taking a
   concubine appears to be an abuse of high office.

   I suggest that this story be covered in the blackest of black. I don’t
   care if I’m struck down for taking words away from scripture (Rev. 22:19).
   It’s much more important to shield our children from this biblical filth.

   But wait, I have nothing to fear. Jefferson was spared, and so have
   editors who publish redacted children’s bibles.

   *Gier was coordinator of religious studies at the University of Idaho
   from 1980 to 2003. Read his articles at nfgier.com <http://nfgier.com/>,
   and email him at ngier006 at gmail.com <ngier006 at gmail.com>.*


   *Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett*
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