To the Editor:
I am often bemused as to the lengths some people would go to mask what is nothing more than pure human hatred and bigotry under the guise of religion and religious piety.
Quotes and verses are cherry-picked from either the New or Old Testament and offered as “evidence” to formulate an argument against, or condemnation of, a segment of our fellow man (usually homosexuals).
It’s hateful, condescending, and it’s completely contrary to values as Americans and as fellow human beings. And it’s also contrary to so many other teachings that are espoused in the Bible from those who believe and ceaselessly quote from it. “Do onto others…,” “Love thy Neighbor…,” and “One will be judged by how we treat the Least Among Us” are but three that immediately come to mind.
The Old and New Testament were written by men. Not by God, or by Jesus. That is a fact. If one wishes to attribute what these men wrote to being dictated to them (like a secretary) by God or Jesus, then there’s a room at Bellevue awaiting you.
In the meantime, as a counterpoint, I would recommend reading “The Good Book: A Humanist Bible,” written by A.C. Grayling, Founder of and Professor at the New College of the Humanities in London.
It utilizes the same techniques of editing, redaction, and adaptation that produced the holy books of the Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions, to demonstrate that it could be done (without being dictated to by any deity), and it is organized into similar sections as the Bible, infusing the wisdom and teachings of among others Plato, Confucius, Socrates, Cicero, all of who pre-date the birth of Jesus.
It devotes attention to the question of how life should be lived, how we relate to one another, and how vicissitudes are to be faced and joys appreciated, without any self righteous motivations.
Leland Farnsworth, Massena