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What do you do with your Bible(s)?

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6 hours ago, older said:

I respectfully disagree. Doing so just adds to the spread of the infection. 

 

To some of the most vulnerable people I might add.

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9 hours ago, Hole_In_My_Heart said:

 

Also respectfully, I totally see your point, but on the other hand, people who want Bibles are already Christians, and the Bibles bring them hope and comfort in a desperate situation; reduction of the misery of the lowest class of our society seems like a good thing to me.

A valid point. I've sometimes wondered if it's OK if religion helps folks who can't find help any other way. For example, if religion is the only way an alcoholic can control himself or herself, is that OK? It doesn't bother me until people are pressured to accept a religion (as often seen in prison programs) or those in a religion start proselytizing or otherwise taking it outside themselves to others.

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I don't see liberal "love your neighbor as yourself" christianity as dangerous, and some people need that. As I see it, it's the hell fire and brimstone being forced on children that is so damaging, and angers me.  Hopefully that kind of religion is fading away in our society.  Maybe in a few "eons" humans moral evolution will get to the point we can drop the superstitions???

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On 7/25/2019 at 1:57 AM, Citsonga said:

 

I think that's a brilliant idea. However, with your current situation with your parents, it may not be advisable. If they found out about it, then the shitstorm you'd likely face may be worse than what you've already experienced. Perhaps you could proceed with it after you're fully independent from them.

I was planning on either keeping the project from their knowledge or waiting. I feel like art can bring about a lot of awareness to people. Since I’m majoring in filmmaking, I’m also hoping to do a project that showcases Religious Trauma Syndrome. It will highlight how blind Christians can be to the most basic signs of depression and suicidal thoughts, due to religious beliefs that god heals everything. 

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On 7/30/2019 at 4:37 PM, Weezer said:

I don't see liberal "love your neighbor as yourself" christianity as dangerous, and some people need that. As I see it, it's the hell fire and brimstone being forced on children that is so damaging, and angers me.  Hopefully that kind of religion is fading away in our society.  Maybe in a few "eons" humans moral evolution will get to the point we can drop the superstitions???

“Love your neighbor as yourself” is a good philosophy when removed from the faith. Put that philosophy back in the faith with all of the other philosophies and teachings and you’ve got sermons about denying oneself and suffering to please others. Sure it’s good to help out others, but it’s our responsibility to love ourselves and help ourselves. We’re given the life we’re given to take care of it, not necessarily please everyone else’s needs. 

Christianity is so full of extremes. So full of binary choices that you HAVE to make (or else someone makes the decision for you.) Go to heaven or go to hell. Be saved or be sinful. Be deemed good or evil. Everything is one choice or another and everyone knows which choice is supposedly “right.” There is no factoring in the fact that we’re human beings and we’re all very complex and not everything is a binary choice.

So even though some of the teachings seem good and that they mean well, I firmly believe that all organized religion should die out. Organized religion invites people to feel the pull to “witness” to others and push them into the faith. Organized religion finds ways into positions of high authority in order to force shame upon anyone who doesn’t agree with their beliefs. Organized religion (at least in the United States,) is why we have victim-blaming for things like sexual assault and rape, forced ultrasounds upon women that just need an abortion, laws against same-sex marriage, and all of the religious vocabulary on currency and in the pledge of allegiance. 

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You are right.   Sifting "truth" out of organized religion can be a big job.  And then not everyone agrees on those truths.  I am glad my grandfather, and mentor, used to say that everyone had to work out their own salvation. 

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I remember hearing a sermon once, or perhaps it was a story told during a class lecture by Professor Walke on the Old Testament which I was listening to on audio cassette.  He tells of being invited to a liberal church to speak.  When he goes to begin he asks them to open their bibles to such and such, but they respond they don't normally carry bibles.  He says his message won't make a lot of sense if they can't follow along, so they go looking for where the stash of church pew bibles might be.  Finally they find someone in maintenance who seems to recall having seen them once, and leads them to a locked cabinet in some basement where the old pew bibles had been locked away and forgotten.  I believe this was all an intro to the story of the Torah being found in Josiah's time at which point it had just somehow been completely lost.

 

When I was a Christian I loved collecting bibles.  I loved getting various translations.  Various styles (Thinline were my favorite), various covers (some with my name printed on them), various study notes included, just tons of variety.  At my height I had at least 15 bibles that I purposely included in my collection, and likely quite a few more I accidentally collected or that belonged to my wife or children.  

 

I had a long road leaving the faith I won't outline here.   Slowly over time things got moved or shifted around.  I had a rather large set of biblical commentaries as I took bible study seriously but since they retain their value I eventually sold them all off one by one to raise money.  But I never purposely disposed of a Bible.  Well, I do remember at least at one point collecting a handful of them, notably two of the larger leather bound ones that had belonged to me and my wife (with our names engraved respectively) and putting them in an armoire I had kept in my detached garage.  

 

During this time I would occasionally still interact with Christians online or in ex-christian discussions and have need to look a verse up, but I likely did all of that online.  At one point though I had need for a physical copy of the Bible, so I checked my bookshelf to find one of my many I must have floating around.  I couldn't find one.  I checked rooms.  I checked closets.  I checked the garage.  I checked that armoire I KNOW I stashed at least 2.  No, nothing, gone (reduced to atoms).  Every Bible in my house had disappeared.   It was just like Walke's story.  The slow attrition of time had stripped them away one by one.  In hindsight I probably did throw them away over time, or take a few to half priced books, or goodwill.  I just wasn't really making a mental note of it at the time.   

 

Studying the bible from a secular standpoint is a minor hobby of mine.  I've bought a few secular works, read maybe half with plans someday to visit the rest.  I occasionally listen to Robert Price, read a blog here or there.  I don't have the time, or focus, or overwhelming interest to make it a full time hobby.  However when I do I often look things up so I finally after many years actually went and bought another bible, The New Oxford Anointed Bible (NRSV translation).  I would have considered this total liberal trash when I was a believer and had no trust for the NRSV I thought was a liberal false translation (now I recognize it as the most scholarly and true to the text translation, gender neutral terms aside).  

 

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I kept mine for a few years, but once I determined that I was atheist I really didn't need them any more, even for reference purposes. I have one in a box somewhere. It was the one I had made the most notes in. I think my parents kept it, just in case I change my mind, of course...

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On 7/30/2019 at 7:37 PM, Weezer said:

 

I keep mine as a reference. Sometimes I need to show something as in when I have a debate on an issue. Also, I have my very first Bible that my mom gave me when I was 8 years old. It was in KJV which was pretty much all there was back then. Needless to say it was difficult reading, as it still is 60 years later. It has great sentimental value. I also have Catholic Bibles that i keep just because I am a pack rat since I clearly only need two (one protestant and one catholic) for argument reference.

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For argument reference, ranting and raving etc.:

https://www.biblegateway.com/
https://worldenglish.bible/ (public domain, full downloads in multiple formats)
https://biblehub.com/interlinear/

 

I found it interesting to read some of the non-canonical books like the epistles of Clement (includes some interesting pseudo-science), the epistle of Barnabas (sounds a lot like Peter’s sermons in Acts, reviewing old testament history; was this what sermons were like back then), the Didache (several methods of baptism o.k.), the shepherd of Hermas (not consistent with the trinity), and the book of Enoch (quite a wild ride; it is quoted in the new testament, and would therefore qualify under “all scripture is god-breathed”).  I think a lot of fundamentalists believe that anything that just barely did not make it into the canon is somehow suspect, and have never read any of the above, if they have even heard of them.  But if your ideal is the “original” apostolic church, it would help you to know what they were reading back then; several of the above had been considered canonical, and are included in our oldest manuscripts.

 

Then there are the gnostic writings, Nag Hammadi etc.  The gnostic world-view intrigues me, but some of those books sound like they were written by someone on acid.

 

The cartoon about christian movements is exactly the kind of church I grew up in.

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