Panties in a Bunch About Religion

You know what pisses me off? It pisses me off that intelligent people who will spend hours discussing the ins and outs of the book “War and Peace”, or even something as trivial as the Great Gatsby and yet, even knowing that I am NOT a Christian, and that I am completely against religion, nobody wants to discuss the best selling book of all time with me. Either eyes roll back in people’s heads, or people come right out with it, bluntly and often rudely (almost violently at times) and tell me to change the damn subjectâÂ?¦ that it all comes down to faith, or they don’t want to discuss “religion.” It always pisses me off, because I don’t want to talk about religion EITHER! Assuming that a discussion on the Bible (a book) is the same as discussing religion is no different than assuming a discussion about boxing is the same as discussing athleticism. It’s asinine and it pisses me off. So, with that said, This article is a book review on the Bible, a book that most people, ESPECIALLY people faith always seem to get wrong. In fact, I will say that religion is what fux the bible upâÂ?¦not what props it up. If you can’t handle reading a book report, or considering what a book says, then stop reading now. If, on the other hand, you pride yourself in your intellect and your ability to think through complex issues, then feel free to keep reading. I don’t really give a damn. I am just writing this because I need to make it a matter of public record.

Whether you agree with the Bible, or not, whether you hold it as a faulty book, poorly constructed, or God’s divine and Holy Word is irrelevant to the subject of this article. This is just a book analysis. One of my biggest beefs with people of faith when it comes to the Bible, is that for most people of faith, the Bible starts in Matthew and ends in revelations, except for a few stories and sentiments found in the old Testament (Christianity), or ELSE, it starts in Genesis and ends in Malachi (Judaism). ;et me be very clear here. I am not espousing in this article ANY FAITH in the teachings of the bible. I just want to clear up what I think is SAYSâÂ?¦. Not what I believe personally in terms of faith, but what I believe the BOOK is saying. To take it further than that would be to discuss religionâÂ?¦ and I refuse to go there.

The Reality is that the bible starts in Genesis and ends in Revelation. I think the primary thesis of the bible is found in the very first book. One of the greatest disservices ever done to the Bible was naming part of it the “Old Testament” and part of it the “New Testament.”. In our culture ESPECIALLY, everything old is worthless and everything new is seen as more relevant. By naming the two portions in the way in which they are named, there is a sense in which the two sides are at odds, and the new wins out over the old. I think that’s all wrong and serves as a fundamental reason that the bible is so misunderstood. There is a reason Genesis comes first.

In Genesis, we see that God, the primary character in the Bible creates the earth and all of the things in it. Upon doing so, he decides that he needs a caretaker for the place, so he makes man. While some would argue that a fallen angel named Lucifer is the primary foil of the book, I sort of am left with the impression that man is the foil to God’s ultimate plan. When God creates the earth and gives man charge over creation, in his perfect world He commands man, the gardener of his garden (paraphrased here) “From every tree in my garden you can eat freely EXCEPT for the tree that contains a fruit which will give you the perception that you know what is good from what is evil.” He further goes on to say that “If you discover the difference between good and evil, you will surely die”.

Then along comes a talking snake with legs (possibly Anne Coulter? HeyâÂ?¦ Just throwing it out there) that suggests that God is lying. He convinces Adam and Eve that knowing good from Evil is a good thing, because it will make them more like God. “You won’t die” he says. Man makes a choice and eats of the fruit and in so doing finds out a few things:

1) He doesn’t die, (although in his egocentric state, he doesn’t realize that the warning was about all of mankind. He thought it was just about him)
2) He’s naked and ashamed of his nakedness (thus the first concept we have that naked= bad)
3) Other people are BAD!

The entire rest of the bible in my opinion is about the loss that occurred from knowing good vs. evil, and about getting back to God’s perfect creation, where we can eat from every tree of the garden. In the New Testament, we see the God character supposedly become man so that we can be shown a life without “sin”, and once again experience “God’s Kingdom”. According to the Bible, Jesus spends three years preaching a single message: “The Kingdom of God is at Hand”. While he had a lot to say on a variety of subjects his assertion that the benefits of God’s “kingdom” were there for the taking, at hand, meaning “something you could take hold of”, not something coming soon.

The rest of the new Testament after the death of Jesus is about people trying to understand that message, and from what I can see, they continue to get it wrong, until finally God has enough and ends it all. What is it that will bring about the death of mankind? According to what I see the Bible saying, it’s the perception of Good vs. Evil. Now, without saying what I believe regarding if the Bible is a book inspired by God or not, the fact is that religion or no religion, this is the ONE point in the Bible that makes sense to me. The reason is evident. EVERY WAR EVER FOUGHT has been fought as the result of one side thinking it was more holy, more good than the other side, and that the other side was evil. What will likely bring about the death of mankind will indeed be a warâÂ?¦ and it will undoubtedly be a religious war fought between people, each side who thinks that they are good and the other is evil.

The WHOLE BOOK, in my opinion is about getting to a place where we concern ourselves with out own affairs, where we do our best in every aspect of our lives to take care of the garden with which we have been entrusted, to a place where the actions of others are between God and the other person, where we all, each of us, eat freely from all of the abundance life has to offer, steering clear of assuming we know what the ways are that others should act.

Do I believe all of that? None of your business for the purposes of this article. I DO however, believe that it would be hard to read the bible as a complete compilation of writings, from cover to cover and in the end to come to the conclusion that my understanding of the book is flawed. I am, however, willing to discuss it. Check your religion at the door though. I want to talk about the book� not what your preacher told you in church. I am tired of people whose religion tells them it has to be read as an infallible word of God, and who negate the idea than maybe we should see what it actually says/ means, before we make any assertions about its validity. The floor is open for discussion. (WARNING: if you try to preach your religion at me instead of just talking about the overall message/ theme of the BOOK, I will kick you around like a rag doll)

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