29 July 2009

We should all deface the Bible (Let's start with the Gideons)

Believers are in an uproar about an exhibit at the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art that invited viewers to add their thoughts about the Bible to the pages of the Bible itself. The offer was soon retracted, however, since many of the comments were critical of the Bible.

Imagine that.

No, don't just imagine that. Do it.

The next time you go to a hotel that has a Gideon Bible in its drawer, get out some highlighters and mark the passages that should horrify and offend anyone with any moral sense.

Make notes in the margins, inside the covers, and on the front page. And don't forget to attach a warning label.

There are hundreds of verses that you could highlight, of course, but here's a few to start your Gideon Bible desecration project. (Let me know if I've left out any of your favorites and I'll add them to the list.)

  1. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes. Genesis 19:8

  2. He that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. Exodus 21:17

  3. If a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and ... if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money. Exodus 21:20-21

  4. Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. Exodus 22:18

  5. And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. Leviticus 26:29

  6. And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them. Numbers 11:1

  7. And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel. Numbers 25:4

  8. And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? ... Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. Numbers 31:15-19

  9. If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers ... Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die. Deuteronomy 13:6-10

  10. But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die. Deuteronomy 22:20-21

  11. He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD. Deuteronomy 23:1

  12. When two men strive together on with another, and the wife of the one ... putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her. Deuteronomy 25:11-12

  13. And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters. Deuteronomy 28:53

  14. Thus saith the LORD of hosts ... go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. 1 Samuel 15:2-3

  15. And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend. Jeremiah 19:9

  16. For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses. Ezekiel 23:20

  17. Thou shalt ... pluck off thine own breasts: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. Ezekiel 23:34

  18. Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces. Malachi 2:3

  19. If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children,and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26

  20. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak ... And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35

  21. He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God ... And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword ... and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. Revelation 19:13-15

  22. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. Revelation 19:21


I Am said...

I think the Bible does a pretty good job of defacing itself through its stories.

I do like the idea of the warning labels (I know FFRF has some, and other places do, too), but I think highlighting verses is a better idea.

A believer might just dismiss the warning label as a devil-inspired prank. But if they see highlighted verses in the Bible, they would probably assume they are "good" verses for them to know and read them. And they will be good verses for them to know, just not in the way they thought...

Steve Wells said...

Yeah, I agree with you I am.

The stickers are nice, but they're easily dismissed by believers as just unfair criticism from those awful atheists.

But highlighted verses from the Bible itself? That's pretty hard to argue with. You either think it's a good idea, for example, for God to force parents to eat their children (Jeremiah 19:9) or you don't. And if you don't, then you've got a problem with the God of the Bible.

Mountain Mom said...

I always thought it would be funny to put up a big jar somewhere that contained various horrific Bible verses in it that people could take with them. The jar would be nicely decorated and would read "Free Bible Verses. Please Take One." People could reach in for their Biblical inspiration and read all sorts of disgusting quotes from the Bible written on pretty paper.

Anonymous said...

I prefer cutting the center out of the Gideon Bible and putting a bottle of liquor inside. It makes a great gift.

Ian said...

Speaking of the Gideon's Bible, Christopher Hitchens had a great line about it in a column about "respecting" the religious beliefs of others:

"When I check into a hotel room and send my free and unsolicited copy of the Gideon Bible or the Book of Mormon spinning out of the window, I infringe no law, except perhaps the one concerning litter."

Here's the full column: