by Dave E. Matson

Naught but common sense is needed to see beyond the trees and deduce the lay of the land, to conclude that the Bible is the work of man. Just open your eyes, your mind, and see the forest and the trees. All it takes is a working brain.

Whence, then, the weighty books, shelves of them from authors of seemingly good repute, arguing that the Bible is the inerrant word of God? I imagine that they come from the same source that produces those equally weighty volumes in favor of an inerrant Koran. There is that awful void, our mortality, our insignificance in this uncaring universe, and religious certainty is the balm.

The balm, so smooth and fragrant, an ointment to make one immortal, an unguent to give the human race purpose and glory, a potion to soothe the troubled mind, is, in truth, a narcotic that intoxicates the brain. The balm user is not interested in searching out truth for its own sake, but only in justifying a comfortable habit. Justifying the habit becomes a way a life, and a wall is built to keep the truth out. The thought of doing without the balm is frightening to those under its spell.

The Bible, declared to be the inerrant word of God, is the balm of the conservative Christian. The Bible-believer's brain is intoxicated by his balm, which generally puts him or her beyond the reach of reason. It often takes four to six years of soul-wrenching contemplation (and plenty of outside reading) for a Bible-believer to completely reject the Bible, to get over the "Bible shakes" as it were.

Those who see the light, who do make it across the gulf, often become the most energetic of Bible critics. They are as genies escaped from the bottle! Farrell Till, Dan Barker, Dennis McKinsey, Dr. Mattill, Jr., Edward T. Babinski, Robert M. Price, Jim Lippard, Frank Zindler, and many other stars in today's firmament were once balm-sniffing Bible-believers.

We can only throw out the life-preserver and hope that some of those now drowning in Bible-ignorance will avail themselves of it. To expect reason to sweep the field is naive. It takes time to overcome an addiction that has become a way of life.

For the brain that is free, that delights in the search for truth, i.e., the working brain, the evidence against a divine author for the Bible is pretty obvious. As I have shown, It's really no more than an exercise in common sense. Most educated Christians fully recognize that the Bible has many manmade errors in it, though they have not given up hope that God's voice can still be found in it. A leading Christian put it rather bluntly, saying that anyone with bat brains could see that the Bible was largely the work of man.

There are many other common sense proofs that I could have explored had I the space. The Bible denigrates women, indulges in obscenities of no particular value, and is centered around the disgusting idea of sacrifices. Did God really get a kick out of smelling burning animals, plants, and, on occasion, children? The Bible seems to think so. The New Testament is no better. Its central plot runs like a mad story out of "Alice in Wonderland."

Ironically, the Bible is absolutely right on one important point. The truth will set you free. When we no longer have to worry about a devil lurking in the shadows, when we can laugh at the imaginary fires of hell, when we no longer have to worry about the threats of a despotic, tyrannical deity, when we no longer feel compelled to force our religion on others or defend its silly, theological doctrines, then we may finally escape the religious fanaticism that so divides humanity and pollutes human goodness.

Akerley, Ben Edward. 1985. The X-Rated Bible
American Atheist Press, P.O.B. 140195, Austin TX 78714-0195

Burke, Ashleigh J. 1983. The X-Rated Book: Sex and Obscenity in The Bible
J.A.B. Press - Dept. 312, 10502 Telephone Road, Houston TX 77075 (This book is also sold by the Freedom From Religon Foundation, P.O. Box 750, Madison WI 53701.)

Gaylor, Annie. 1981. Woe To The Women: The Bible Tells Me So
Freedom From Religon Foundation,
P.O. Box 750, Madison WI 53701

Lewis, Joseph. 1926. The Bible Unmasked
The Freethought Press Association, New York

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