The "Lighter" Side of the Bible
(Sent to the Towanda Daily Review on 1/29/98 and printed on 2/18/98.)
Vincent Calaman (Review, 1/28/98) wrote about the Bible that "some religions endeavor to negate parts of this book for their own advancement. Some embellish, others use it to form their own bastions to glorify themselves…," and added that "…others have added new books in the past two centuries."
So it seems that religions use the Bible for whatever they want. To justify murder in the name of God, use the Bible. To justify burning thousands of "witches", use the Bible. To subjugate the women of the Earth, use the Bible. But I'm sure that none of this applies to one's own interpretation of the Bible. Your religion probably has the one true interpretation – the other 1999 religions in this country obviously don't know what they're talking about.
Calaman wrote that "Christians who kill each other because of different learnings or differences in theology are just plain nuts." The Papal Bull of 1484 written by Innocent VIII essentially allowed the wholesale murder and torture of women accused of demonic possession. In 1600, the Pope and the Roman Inquisition burned to death Giordano Bruno for just such "differences in theology." Nuts? Absolutely.
History is overflowing with atrocities perpetrated by those who profess to "know" the intentions of God. Calaman wrote that the Bible's "message must be brought to all corners of the earth." But no one seems to agree on what that message is. Two thousand religions deliver half as many divergent messages. Who should we believe? Would I trust my destiny to anyone who claimed divine knowledge? Not as far as I could spit.
And on the lighter side, as recommended by Calaman: "And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he slew all the house of Baasha -- he left him not one that pisseth against a wall," I Kings 16:11.
So be careful out there. You don't need to be "evil" to get in trouble.
John L. Ferri