Brutal Bible Quotes

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On the whole, we're a murderous race. According to Genesis, it took as few as four people to make the planet too crowded to stand, and the first murder was a fratricide. Genesis says that in a fit of jealous rage, the very first child born to mortal parents, Cain, snapped and popped the first metaphorical cap in another human being. The attack was a bloody, brutal, violent, reprehensible killing. Cain's brother Abel probably never saw it coming. As I opened the door to my apartment, I was filled with a sense of empathic sympathy and intuitive understanding. For freaking Cain.
Jim Butcher (Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, #7))
Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.
Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)
It comes back to the old question: How can the Bible be so wise in some places and so barbaric in others? And why should we put any faith in a book that includes such brutality?
A.J. Jacobs (The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible)
Satan has certainly been the best friend the church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years. The false doctrine of Hell and the Devil has allowed the Protestant and Catholic Churches to flourish far too long. Without a devil to point their fingers at, religionists of the right hand path would have nothing with which to threaten their followers. "Satan leads you to temptation"; "Satan is the prince of evil"; "Satan is vicious, cruel, brutal," they warn. "If you give in to the temptations of the devil, you will surely suffer eternal damnation and roast in Hell." The semantic meaning of Satan is the "adversary" or "opposition" or the "accuser." The very word "devil" comes from the Indian devi which means "god." Satan represents opposition to all religions which serve to frustrate and condemn man for his natural instincts. He has been given an evil role simply because he represents the carnal, earthly, and mundane aspects of life.
Anton Szandor LaVey (The Satanic Bible)
If the bible be true, God commanded his chosen people to destroy men simply for the crime of defending their native land. They were not allowed to spare trembling and white-haired age, nor dimpled babes clasped in the mothers' arms. They were ordered to kill women, and to pierce, with the sword of war, the unborn child. 'Our heavenly Father' commanded the Hebrews to kill the men and women, the fathers, sons and brothers, but to preserve the girls alive. Why were not the maidens also killed? Why were they spared? Read the thirty-first chapter of Numbers, and you will find that the maidens were given to the soldiers and the priests. Is there, in all the history of war, a more infamous thing than this? Is it possible that God permitted the violets of modesty, that grow and shed their perfume in the maiden's heart, to be trampled beneath the brutal feet of lust? If this was the order of God, what, under the same circumstances, would have been the command of a devil? When, in this age of the world, a woman, a wife, a mother, reads this record, she should, with scorn and loathing, throw the book away. A general, who now should make such an order, giving over to massacre and rapine a conquered people, would be held in execration by the whole civilized world. Yet, if the bible be true, the supreme and infinite God was once a savage.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
If the Pentateuch is inspired, the civilization of of our day is a mistake and crime. There should be no political liberty. Heresy should be trodden out beneath the bigot's brutal feet. Husbands should divorce their wives at will, and make the mothers of their children houseless and weeping wanderers. Polygamy ought to be practiced; women should become slaves; we should buy the sons and daughters of the heathen and make them bondmen and bondwomen forever. We should sell our own flesh and blood, and have the right to kill our slaves. Men and women should be stoned to death for laboring on the seventh day. 'Mediums,' such as have familiar spirits, should be burned with fire. Every vestige of mental liberty should be destroyed, and reason's holy torch extinguished in the martyr's blood.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
I know of no book which has been a source of brutality and sadistic conduct, both public and private, that can compare with the Bible
James Paget
These are lines from my asteroid-impact novel, Regolith: Just because there are no laws against stupidity doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be punished. I haven’t faced rejection this brutal since I was single. He smelled trouble like a fart in the shower. If this was a kiss of gratitude, then she must have been very grateful. Not since Bush and Cheney have so few spent so much so fast for so long for so little. As a nympho for mind-fucks, Lisa took to politics like a pig to mud. She began paying men compliments as if she expected a receipt. Like the Aerosmith song, his get-up-and-go just got-up-and-went. “You couldn’t beat the crap out of a dirty diaper!” He embraced his only daughter as if she was deploying to Iraq. She was hotter than a Class 4 solar flare! If sex was a weapon, then Monique possessed WMD I haven’t felt this alive since I lost my virginity. He once read that 95% of women fake organism, and the rest are gay. Beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder, but ugly is universal. Why do wives fart, but not girlfriends? Adultery is sex that is wrong, but not necessarily bad. The dinosaurs stayed drugged out, drooling like Jonas Brothers fans. Silence filled the room like tear gas. The told him a fraction of the truth and hoped it would take just a fraction of the time. Happiness is the best cosmetic, He was a whale of a catch, and there were a lot of fish in the sea eager to nibble on his bait. Cheap hookers are less buck for the bang, Men cannot fall in love with women they don’t find attractive, and women cannot fall in love with men they do not respect. During sex, men want feedback while women expect mind-reading. Cooper looked like a cow about to be tipped over. His father warned him to never do anything he couldn’t justify on Oprah. The poor are not free -- they’re just not enslaved. Only those with money are free. Sperm wasn’t something he would choose on a menu, but it still tasted better than asparagus. The crater looked alive, like Godzilla was about to leap out and mess up Tokyo. Bush follows the Bible until it gets to Jesus. When Bush talks to God, it’s prayer; when God talks to Bush, it’s policy. Cheney called the new Miss America a traitor – apparently she wished for world peace. Cheney was so unpopular that Bush almost replaced him when running for re-election, changing his campaign slogan to, ‘Ain’t Got Dick.’ Bush fought a war on poverty – and the poor lost. Bush thinks we should strengthen the dollar by making it two-ply. Hurricane Katrina got rid of so many Democratic voters that Republicans have started calling her Kathleen Harris. America and Iraq fought a war and Iran won. Bush hasn’t choked this much since his last pretzel. Some wars are unpopular; the rest are victorious. So many conservatives hate the GOP that they are thinking of changing their name to the Dixie Chicks. If Saddam had any WMD, he would have used them when we invaded. If Bush had any brains, he would have used them when we invaded. It’s hard for Bush to win hearts and minds since he has neither. In Iraq, you are a coward if you leave and a fool if you stay. Bush believes it’s not a sin to kill Muslims since they are going to Hell anyway. And, with Bush’s help, soon. In Iraq, those who make their constitution subservient to their religion are called Muslims. In America they’re called Republicans. With great power comes great responsibility – unless you’re Republican.
Brent Reilly
I’m going to eat your fucking eyeballs and wear your faces when I’m done with you!
Jake Bible (One Foggy Night (Apex Trilogy, #0.5))
I suppose, he was thinking, that we heard this tale of the Herzogs ten times a year. Sometimes Mama told it, sometimes he. So we had a great schooling in grief. I still know these cries of the soul. They lie in the breast, and in the throat. The mouth wants to open wide and let them out. But all these are antiquities -- yes, Jewish antiquities originating in the Bible, in a Biblical sense of personal experience and destiny. What happened during the War abolished Father Herzog's claim to exceptional suffering. We are on a more brutal standard now, a new terminal standard, indifferent to persons. Part of the program of human destruction into which the human spirit has poured itself with energy, even with joy. These personal histories, old tales from old times that may not be worth remembering. I remember. I must. But who else -- to whom can this matter? So many millions -- multitudes -- go down in terrible pain. And, at that, moral suffering is denied, these days. Personalities are good only for comic relief. But I am still a slave to Papa's pain. The way Father Herzog spoke of himself! That could make one laugh. His I had such dignity.
Saul Bellow (Herzog)
You can know God intimately while acknowledging the mystery, even the absurdity, of such a notion. You can experience the proven neurological benefits of prayer even as you contemplate how science shows prayer's limitations. You can be part of the global body of people who follow God without turning off your brain or believing things that go against your conscience. You can read he Bible without having to brush off its ancient portrayal of science or its all-too-fruquent brutality. And you can meet a risen Son of God named Jesus while wondering how such a thing could ever be true.
Mike McHargue (Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science)
It is well known that great art, great music and great literature can emerge out of great pain. This does not lessen the reality of the suffering of the artist, composer or writer, but it points to something creative and redemptive in the human person, made in the image of God, which can bring forth a thing of beauty in the midst of surrounding ugliness, brutality and evil. Nowhere is this more true than in the book of Lamentations.
Christopher J.H. Wright (The Message of Lamentations (The Bible Speaks Today Series))
Now Christianity proposes a completely different account of how history comes to a climax and what precisely constitutes the new order of the ages—which helps to explain why so many of modernity’s avatars, from Diderot to Christopher Hitchens, have specially targeted Christianity. On the Christian reading, history reached its highpoint when a young first-century Jewish rabbi, having been put to death on a brutal Roman instrument of torture, was raised from the dead through the power of the God of Israel. The state-sponsored murder of Jesus, who had dared to speak and act in the name of Israel’s God, represented the world’s resistance to the Creator. It was the moment when cruelty, hatred, violence, and corruption—symbolized in the Bible as the watery chaos—spent itself on Jesus. The resurrection, therefore, showed forth the victory of the divine love over those dark powers. St. Paul can say, “I am certain that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, nor any other creature can separate us from the love of God,” precisely because he lived on the far side of the resurrection.
Robert Barron
The Loneliness of the Military Historian Confess: it's my profession that alarms you. This is why few people ask me to dinner, though Lord knows I don't go out of my way to be scary. I wear dresses of sensible cut and unalarming shades of beige, I smell of lavender and go to the hairdresser's: no prophetess mane of mine, complete with snakes, will frighten the youngsters. If I roll my eyes and mutter, if I clutch at my heart and scream in horror like a third-rate actress chewing up a mad scene, I do it in private and nobody sees but the bathroom mirror. In general I might agree with you: women should not contemplate war, should not weigh tactics impartially, or evade the word enemy, or view both sides and denounce nothing. Women should march for peace, or hand out white feathers to arouse bravery, spit themselves on bayonets to protect their babies, whose skulls will be split anyway, or,having been raped repeatedly, hang themselves with their own hair. There are the functions that inspire general comfort. That, and the knitting of socks for the troops and a sort of moral cheerleading. Also: mourning the dead. Sons,lovers and so forth. All the killed children. Instead of this, I tell what I hope will pass as truth. A blunt thing, not lovely. The truth is seldom welcome, especially at dinner, though I am good at what I do. My trade is courage and atrocities. I look at them and do not condemn. I write things down the way they happened, as near as can be remembered. I don't ask why, because it is mostly the same. Wars happen because the ones who start them think they can win. In my dreams there is glamour. The Vikings leave their fields each year for a few months of killing and plunder, much as the boys go hunting. In real life they were farmers. The come back loaded with splendour. The Arabs ride against Crusaders with scimitars that could sever silk in the air. A swift cut to the horse's neck and a hunk of armour crashes down like a tower. Fire against metal. A poet might say: romance against banality. When awake, I know better. Despite the propaganda, there are no monsters, or none that could be finally buried. Finish one off, and circumstances and the radio create another. Believe me: whole armies have prayed fervently to God all night and meant it, and been slaughtered anyway. Brutality wins frequently, and large outcomes have turned on the invention of a mechanical device, viz. radar. True, valour sometimes counts for something, as at Thermopylae. Sometimes being right - though ultimate virtue, by agreed tradition, is decided by the winner. Sometimes men throw themselves on grenades and burst like paper bags of guts to save their comrades. I can admire that. But rats and cholera have won many wars. Those, and potatoes, or the absence of them. It's no use pinning all those medals across the chests of the dead. Impressive, but I know too much. Grand exploits merely depress me. In the interests of research I have walked on many battlefields that once were liquid with pulped men's bodies and spangled with exploded shells and splayed bone. All of them have been green again by the time I got there. Each has inspired a few good quotes in its day. Sad marble angels brood like hens over the grassy nests where nothing hatches. (The angels could just as well be described as vulgar or pitiless, depending on camera angle.) The word glory figures a lot on gateways. Of course I pick a flower or two from each, and press it in the hotel Bible for a souvenir. I'm just as human as you. But it's no use asking me for a final statement. As I say, I deal in tactics. Also statistics: for every year of peace there have been four hundred years of war.
Margaret Atwood (Morning In The Burned House: Poems)
I do theology as a matter of survival,” explained Rev. Broderick Greer, who is black and gay, “because if people can do theology that produces brutality against black, transgender, queer, and other minority bodies, then we can do theology that leads to our common liberation.
Rachel Held Evans (Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again (series_title))
Whatever theory of interpretation people use powerfully affects how they understand Scripture. Common Sense philosophy and Turretin’s theology allowed seemingly good, intelligent, devout people to ignore the basic principles and lessons of Scripture and to brutalize other human beings by enslaving them.
Jack Rogers (Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality, Revised and Expanded Edition: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church)
The improved odds of a natural death came with another price, captured by the Roman historian Tacitus: “Formerly we suffered from crimes; now we suffer from laws.” The Bible stories we examined in chapter 1 suggest that the first kings kept their subjects in awe with totalistic ideologies and brutal punishments.
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
But hold on: Didn’t I remember that the original language of the Bible was not Hebrew but something else? I beat my gray cells brutally, and they finally came out with it. Yes, it had been something I remembered from that unimpeachable scholarly source, Raiders of the Lost Ark. And the language I was looking for was Aramaic.
Jeff Lindsay (Dexter in the Dark (Dexter, #3))
2For people will be  zlovers of self,  alovers of money,  bproud,  barrogant, abusive,  bdisobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 cheartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal,  dnot loving good, 4treacherous, reckless,  eswollen with conceit,  flovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having the appearance of godliness, but  gdenying its power.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
When my personal world is falling apart and something or someone precious is at stake, it is frightening when God doesn't show up to hold things together, especially when I'm begging him to come....Christians are great pretenders. We tell ourselves it's not supposed to be this way for Christians, and so we resort to a cover-up....God won't and doesn't participate in this kind of masquerade. ....On every page of the Bible there is recognition that faith encounters troubles. We are broken ourselves and can't escape the brokenness and loss of our fallen world. ....An honest reading [of Job and Naomi's stories] reveals a God who doesn't explain himself. He didn't tell Job about his earlier conversation with Satan and he didn't give Naomi three good reasons why her world fell apart. Both sufferers went to their graves with their whys unanswered and the ache of their losses still intact. But somehow, because they met God in their pain, both also gained a deeper kind of trust in him that weathers adversity and refuses to let go of God. Their stories coax us to get down to the business of wrestling with God instead of chasing rainbows and to employ the same kind of brutal honesty that they did, if we dare.
Carolyn Custis James (The Gospel of Ruth: Loving God Enough to Break the Rules)
Les Poets de Sept ans Et la Mère, fermant le livre du devoir, S'en allait satisfaite et très fière sans voir, Dans les yeux bleus et sous le front plein d'éminences, L'âme de son enfant livrée aux répugnances. Tout le jour, il suait d'obéissance ; très Intelligent ; pourtant des tics noirs, quelques traits Semblaient prouver en lui d'âcres hypocrisies. Dans l'ombre des couloirs aux tentures moisies, En passant il tirait la langue, les deux poings A l'aine, et dans ses yeux fermés voyait des points. Une porte s'ouvrait sur le soir : à la lampe On le voyait, là-haut, qui râlait sur la rampe, Sous un golfe de jour pendant du toit. L'été Surtout, vaincu, stupide, il était entêté A se renfermer dans la fraîcheur des latrines: Il pensait là, tranquille et livrant ses narines. Quand, lavé des odeurs du jour, le jardinet Derrière la maison, en hiver, s'illunait , Gisant au pied d'un mur, enterré dans la marne Et pour des visions écrasant son oeil darne, Il écoutait grouiller les galeux espaliers. Pitié ! Ces enfants seuls étaient ses familiers Qui, chétifs, fronts nus, oeil déteignant sur la joue, Cachant de maigres doigts jaunes et noirs de boue Sous des habits puant la foire et tout vieillots, Conversaient avec la douceur des idiots ! Et si, l'ayant surpris à des pitiés immondes, Sa mère s'effrayait, les tendresses profondes, De l'enfant se jetaient sur cet étonnement. C'était bon. Elle avait le bleu regard, - qui ment! A sept ans, il faisait des romans, sur la vie Du grand désert où luit la Liberté ravie, Forêts, soleils, rives, savanes ! - Il s'aidait De journaux illustrés où, rouge, il regardait Des Espagnoles rire et des Italiennes. Quand venait, l'Oeil brun, folle, en robes d'indiennes, -Huit ans -la fille des ouvriers d'à côté, La petite brutale, et qu'elle avait sauté, Dans un coin, sur son dos, en secouant ses tresses, Et qu'il était sous elle, il lui mordait les fesses, Car elle ne portait jamais de pantalons; - Et, par elle meurtri des poings et des talons, Remportait les saveurs de sa peau dans sa chambre. Il craignait les blafards dimanches de décembre, Où, pommadé, sur un guéridon d'acajou, Il lisait une Bible à la tranche vert-chou; Des rêves l'oppressaient, chaque nuit, dans l'alcôve. Il n'aimait pas Dieu; mais les hommes qu'au soir fauve, Noirs, en blouse, il voyait rentrer dans le faubourg Où les crieurs, en trois roulements de tambour, Font autour des édits rire et gronder les foules. - Il rêvait la prairie amoureuse, où des houles Lumineuses, parfums sains, pubescences d'or, Font leur remuement calme et prennent leur essor ! Et comme il savourait surtout les sombres choses, Quand, dans la chambre nue aux persiennes closes, Haute et bleue, âcrement prise d'humidité, Il lisait son roman sans cesse médité, Plein de lourds ciels ocreux et de forêts noyées, De fleurs de chair aux bois sidérals déployées, Vertige, écroulement, déroutes et pitié ! - Tandis que se faisait la rumeur du quartier, En bas, - seul et couché sur des pièces de toile Écrue et pressentant violemment la voile!
Arthur Rimbaud
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 6For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, 7always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Anonymous (New American Standard Bible - NASB 1995 (Without Translators' Notes))
LOVE AND HATE Satanism has been thought of as being synonymous with cruelty and brutality. This is so only because people are afraid to face the truth - and the truth is that human beings are not all benign or all loving. Just because the Satanist admits he is capable of both love and hate, he is considered hateful. On the contrary, because he is able to give bent to his hatred through ritualized expression, he is far more capable of love - the deepest kind of love. By honestly recognizing and admitting to both the hate and the love he feels, there is no confusing one emotion with the other. Without being able to experience one of these emotions, you cannot fully experience the other.
Anton Szandor LaVey (The Satanic Bible)
But understand this, that  y in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2For people will be  z lovers of self,  a lovers of money,  b proud,  b arrogant, abusive,  b disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 c heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal,  d not loving good, 4treacherous, reckless,  e swollen with conceit,  f lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having the appearance of godliness, but  g denying its power.  h Avoid such people. 6For among them are  i those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7always learning and never able to  j arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
Religious intolerance is an idea that found its earliest expression in the Old Testament, where the Hebrew tribe depicts itself waging a campaign of genocide on the Palestinian peoples to steal their land. They justified this heinous behavior on the grounds that people not chosen by their god were wicked and therefore did not deserve to live or keep their land. In effect, the wholesale slaughter of the Palestinian peoples, eradicating their race with the Jew's own Final Solution, was the direct result of a policy of religious superiority and divine right. Joshua 6-11 tells the sad tale, and one needs only read it and consider the point of view of the Palestinians who were simply defending their wives and children and the homes they had built and the fields they had labored for. The actions of the Hebrews can easily be compared with the American genocide of its native peoples - or even, ironically, the Nazi Holocaust. With the radical advent of Christianity, this self-righteous intolerance was borrowed from the Jews, and a new twist was added. The conversion of infidels by any means possible became the newfound calling card of religious fervor, and this new experiment in human culture spread like wildfire. By its very nature, how could it not have? Islam followed suit, conquering half the world in brutal warfare and, much like its Christian counterpart, it developed a new and convenient survival characteristic: the destruction of all images and practices attributed to other religions. Muslims destroyed millions of statues and paintings in India and Africa, and forced conversion under pain of death (or by more subtle tricks: like taxing only non-Muslims), while the Catholic Church busily burned books along with pagans, shattering statues and defacing or destroying pagan art - or converting it to Christian use. Laws against pagan practices and heretics were in full force throughrout Europe by the sixth century, and as long as those laws were in place it was impossible for anyone to refuse the tenets of Christianity and expect to keep their property or their life. Similar persecution and harassment continues in Islamic countries even to this day, officially and unofficially.
Richard C. Carrier (Sense and Goodness Without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism)
Meanwhile, I continued my academic work in religious studies, delving back into the Bible not as an unquestioning believer but as an inquisitive scholar. No longer chained to the assumption that the stories I read were literally true, I became aware of a more meaningful truth in the text, a truth intentionally detached from the exigencies of history. Ironically, the more I learned about the life of the historical Jesus, the turbulent world in which he lived, and the brutality of the Roman occupation that he defied, the more I was drawn to him. Indeed, the Jewish peasant and revolutionary who challenged the rule of the most powerful empire the world had ever known and lost became so much more real to me than the detached, unearthly being I had been introduced to in church. Today, I can confidently say
Reza Aslan (Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth)
I'm not the only person who carries a lot of assumptions when I read the Bible, and it can be tough to entertain the idea that the Word of God has different perspectives in it. Biblical apologists spend all their time weaving these different viewpoints into a single frame, in an effort that often looks like squids playing Twister: fascinating, appalling, and hard to follow. We've seen what this approach to history can sow: a destructive oversimplification of the Church's past. Americans treat their national narrative in much this way, too. We simplistically teach a single story in our history classrooms, of brave rebels who left cultures of tyranny and heroically crossed the Atlantic to found a nation built on freedom and justice. When we speak of our national sins, such as the genocide committed on Nation Americans or the brutal, longterm economic extraction of wealth from black bodies via slavery and segregation, we seem to dismiss these troubling matters as things that happened in the remote past but that have been resolved today.
Mike McHargue (Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science)
I do blame myself,” said Miss de Vine, less to him than to herself. “Most bitterly. Not for my original action, which was unavoidable, but for the sequel. Nothing you can say to me could make me feel more responsible than I do already.” “I can have nothing to say,” said he. “Like you and every member of this Common Room, I admit the principle and the consequences must follow.” “That won’t do,” said the Fellow, bluntly. “One ought to take some thought for other people. Miss Lydgate would have done what I did in the first place; but she would have made it her business to see what became of that unhappy man and his wife.” “Miss Lydgate is a very great and a very rare person. But she could not prevent other people from suffering for her principles. That seems to be what principles are for, somehow …I don’t claim, you know,” he added, with something of his familiar diffidence, “to be a Christian or anything of that kind. But there’s one thing in the Bible that seems to me to be a mere statement of brutal fact—I mean, about bringing not peace but a sword.” Miss
Dorothy L. Sayers (Gaudy Night (Lord Peter Wimsey, #12))
After the Fall It will not be an easy journey. Adam is condemned to a life of ‘painful toil’ with the brutal reminder ‘dust you are and to dust you will return’. According to Christian theology, their Fall is the original sin with which we are all burdened, even – indeed, especially – newborn babies, who arrive in this world as kicking, screaming proof of Eve’s curse, not to mention the very fact that their existence is the inevitable evidence of parental intercourse. Birth itself was shameful. (It was only in the 1950s that pregnancy was mentioned openly in polite society. Before that, euphemisms, such as being in ‘an interesting condition’ applied, and even then some blushes were expected.) However, in the biblical account, there is no mention that the snake is the Devil, Satan or Lucifer. He is simply a snake, apparently doing what snakes do best – tempting women. The sexual connotations may be cringingly obvious to the post-Freudian world, but they were not necessarily so blatant to our Bible-quoting ancestors. However, it is not much of a leap from the story of the wicked snake to the notion of its being instructed or even possessed by the personification of evil, whoever or whatever that might be: Milton makes the point clear in his description of ‘. . . the serpent, or rather Satan in the serpent.’30 (The identification
Lynn Picknett (The Secret History of Lucifer (New Edition))
God famously doesn't afflict Job because of anything Job has done, but because he wants to prove a point to Satan. Twenty years later, I am sympathetic with my first assessment; to me, in spite of the soft radiant beauty of many of its passages, the Bible still has a mechanical quality, a refusal to brook complexity that feels brutal and violent. There has been a change, however. When I look at Revelation now, it still seems frightening and impenetrable, and it still suggests an inexorable, ridiculous order that is unknowable by us, in which our earthly concerns matter very little. However, it not longer reads to me like a chronicle of arbitrarily inflicted cruelty. It reads like a terrible abstract of how we violate ourselves and others and thus bring down endless suffering on earth. When I read And they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pain and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds, I think of myself and others I've known or know who blaspheme life itself by failing to have the courage to be honest and kind—and how then we rage around and lash out because we hurt. When I read the word fornication, I don't read it as a description of sex outside legal marriage: I read it as sex done in a state of psychic disintegration, with no awareness of one's self or one's partner, let alone any sense of honor or even real playfulness. I still don't know what to make of much of it, but I'm inclined to read it as a writer's primitive attempt to give form to his moral urgency, to create a structure that could contain and give ballast to the most desperate human confusion.
Mary Gaitskill (Somebody with a Little Hammer: Essays)
Pharisees angrily labeled Jesus a “blasphemer” for claiming He was no garden-variety prophet, but the very Son of God, they were not telling the truth, but their experience of His words was “accurate” within their frame of reference. In the same way, it’s accurate for us to label how God sometimes behaves as “brutal,” but it’s not true. Five years or so ago I was slowly realizing that I’d compartmentalized God for most of my life—I did not (could not?) understand the stories about Him, or His dealings with me, in an integrated way. No one had been more tender or kind to me in my life—there’s a greatness to God’s love for me that is palpable and … fundamental. There are tears I need to cry that release only when I’m alone in His presence. There are raw places in my heart that only He knows how to access and nurture. There are secrets about my soul that only He can speak to. But He has a fearsome and nearly inexplicable side—revealed in Joshua 10 and 11 and everywhere else in the Bible—that I didn’t know what to do with. It’s as if I was offered a five-course meal of God and told the waiter to take the beet-and-brussels-sprout salad back to the kitchen; I’d rejected the parts of God that made me feel sick to my stomach. And here’s something that served only to deepen my dissonance: I’d experienced a deeper love than I’ve ever known from Him during times of great brutality in my life.
Rick Lawrence (Sifted: God's Scandalous Response to Satan's Outrageous Demand)
Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my own part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.
Adam Lee (Daylight Atheism)
LAST DAYS’ LAWLESSNESS There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. . . . 2 Timothy 3:1–4 It’s certainly hard to argue we’re not living in the last days as described in the Bible. Everything in these verses matches up with our current circumstances; there’s a never-ending road of examples lately. Our culture, and Western civilization as a whole, has been declining for a long while—but things can look especially grim today. We do seem to live in evil times when evil is celebrated—whether it’s in the brazen rejection of the Gospel or in the unashamed brutality of terrorist groups like ISIS. A surprising number of our fellow Americans don’t like the word “evil.” They’re always voicing the need for “tolerance” or “understanding”—or what you and I would call “moral relativism.” But these same people sure are keen on trying to legislate “evil” away when it comes to issues like guns, as if gun control laws (that only the good guys will follow) are a solution rather than an added problem.
Sarah Palin (Sweet Freedom: A Devotional)
ROSE COLORED GLASSES   Hiding your problems behind rose colored glasses, Denying what's reality, Protecting yourself from life's brutality, Not wanting to see what's right in front of you, Protecting circumstance you don't want to be true,   It's time to take those glasses off, See life as it is and fantasy which is not;   Facing painful situations in the face, Finding out there are better ways; this will make you that much stronger, your toughest problems you will then conquer.
Marci Arguin (Rays Of Hope Bible Of Inspirational Poetry)
But as tragic as the unjust and brutal murder of Jesus was, it created a demonstration that leads us to the truth. Jesus was aware of the significance of this, which is why he did not resist the events that ultimately led to his death. But to understand this significance, we must “see” what happened on a different level—in and through the Spirit.   Jesus himself said he was “in” this world but not “of” this world. In other words, Jesus operated within our time-space dimension that is governed by science, physics, and nature, but he was also part of a spiritual or SUPERnatural world or realm that is not limited by these laws. We are also part of that same realm! The same eternal Spirit that put Jesus there puts us there too. This is what Jesus meant when he said, “Repent (metanoia), for the kingdom of heaven is here.” You might remember that metanoia means to change the way we use our minds. In other words, Jesus was saying that the SUPERnatural realm—the kingdom of heaven—is accessible to us right now, but it requires us to connect to that higher dimension within us by changing the way we use our minds. We do this by thinking in and through those deeper feelings!   Does that sound a bit too naïve and simplistic to you? If so, then you are in the right place! Jesus said unless you put your old, fixated beliefs aside and open your mind like a little child, you cannot see that dimension, let alone get in. How do you connect with and access this heavenly powerhouse within the eternal Spirit? By being a Bible scholar or following a stringent routine of meditation and other spiritual disciplines? No! We simply open our minds, put aside mental limitations, and trust those deep feelings inside us. Then express these feelings between us! There is nothing too hard about that, is there? It’s just a matter of changing the way we use our minds, and then joy and freedom begin to flood us. 
Jim Palmer (Inner Anarchy: Dethroning God and Jesus to Save Ourselves and the World)
Gentleness is akin to divinity. Perhaps no quality is so far removed from all that is coarse, brutal and selfish as gentleness, so that when one is becoming gentle, he is becoming divine.
Napoleon Hill (The Prosperity Bible: The Greatest Writings of All Time on the Secrets to Wealth and Prosperity)
This is what the Lord says: Administer justice and righteousness. a Rescue the victim of robbery from the hand of his oppressor. b Don't exploit or brutalize the foreigner, the fatherless, or the widow.
Anonymous (HCSB Study Bible)
We hid under our covers, blankets pulled over our heads, and some of us yelled rudely. The parents retreated, possibly offended. A sign went up on the door, PARENT FREE ZONE, and we spoke to them sternly in the morning. “You have the run of the mansion,” said Terry, calmly but forcefully. “Your own private bedrooms. Your own private attached baths.” He wore glasses and was squat and very pretentious. Still, he looked commanding as he stood there, his short arms crossed, at the head of the table. The parents sipped their coffee. It made sucking noises. “We have one room. For all of us. One single room!” intoned Terry. “For pity’s sake. Give us our blessed space. In that minuscule scrap of territory. Think of the attic as a reservation. Imagine you’re the white conquerors who brutally massacred our people. And we’re the Indians.” “Native Americans,” said a mother. “Insensitive metaphor,” said another. “Culturally.
Lydia Millet (A Children's Bible)
In many of these countries they have no written language, consequently no Bible, and are only led by the most childish customs and traditions. Such, for instance, are all the middle and back parts of North America, the inland parts of South America, the South-Sea Islands, New Holland, New Zealand, New Guinea; and I may add Great Tartary, Siberia, Samojedia, and the other parts of Asia contiguous to the frozen sea; the greatest part of Africa, the island of Madagascar, and many places beside. In many of these parts also they are cannibals, feeding upon the flesh of their slain enemies, with the greatest brutality and eagerness.
William Carey (An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens In Which the Religious State of the Different Nations of ... of Further Undertakings, Are Considered)
Herod the Great achieved power in Judea with Roman backing; he brutally suppressed all opposition. Herod was a friend of Marc Antony but, unfortunately, an enemy of Antony’s mistress Cleopatra. When Octavian (Augustus) Caesar defeated Antony and Cleopatra, Herod submitted to him. Noting that he had been a loyal friend to Antony until the end, Herod promised that he would now be no less loyal to Caesar, and Caesar accepted this promise. Herod named cities for Caesar and built temples in his honor.
Anonymous (NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture)
tax collector’s booth. Most people in the Roman Empire did not like tax collectors; Jewish people viewed them as traitors. For assessment purposes, tax collectors were allowed to search anything except the person of a Roman lady; any property not properly declared was subject to seizure. In Egypt, tax collectors were sometimes so brutal that they were known to beat up aged women in an attempt to learn where their tax-owing relatives were hiding. Ancient documents reveal that when harvests were bad, on occasion an entire village, hearing that a tax collector was coming, would leave town and start a village somewhere else. People sometimes paid tax collectors bribes to prevent even higher fees being extorted. Some scholars consider Levi a customs officer who would charge tariffs on goods passing through Capernaum. Such tariffs were small by themselves (often less than 3 percent) but drove up the cost of goods because they were multiplied by all the borders they passed through. Customs officers could search possessions; customs income normally went to local governments run by elites who were cooperative with Rome. Others regard Levi as collecting taxes from local residents, likely working especially for agents of Galilee’s ruler, Herod Antipas.
Anonymous (NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture)
And, truly, the case against Christianity is plain and damning. Never, during the whole of its history has it spoken in a clear voice against slavery; always, as we have seen, its chief supporters have been pronounced believers. They have cited religious teaching in its defence, they have used all the power of the Church for its maintenance. Naturally, in a world in which the vast majority are professing Christians, believers are to be found on the side of humanity and justice. But to that the reply is plain. Men are human before they are Christians; both history and experience point, to the constant lesson of the many cases in which the claims of a developing humanity override those of an inculcated religious teaching. But the damning fact against Christianity is, not that it found slavery here when it arrived, and accepted it. as a settled institution, not even that it is plainly taught in its 'sacred' books, but, that it deliberately created a new form of slavery, and for hundreds of years invested it with a brutality greater than that which existed centuries before. A religion which could tolerate this slavery, argue for it, and fight for it, cannot by any stretch of reasoning be credited with an influence in forwarding emancipation. Christianity no more abolished slavery than it abolished witchcraft, the belief in demonism, or punishment for heresy. It was the growing moral, and social sense of mankind that compelled Christians and Christianity to give up these and other things.
Chapman Cohen (Christianity Slavery & Labour)
The Bible's message for women doesn't depend on ideal circumstances, but applies fully to those who live in the brutal outskirts of society where poverty engulfs, education is nonexistent, women's bodies are ravaged, and lives are in constant peril simply because they are female.
Carolyn Custis James (Half the Church: Recapturing God's Global Vision for Women)
In the name of biblicism, you can wind up defending sin. I’ve encountered fundamentalists backed into a biblicist corner attempting to defend the Bible by saying, “Sometimes slavery is a good thing” and “There were good masters.” And this was said in reference to American slavery! This is not defending the Bible; this is abusing the Bible! Regarding “good” slavery and “good” masters, James Cone writes, From the black perspective, the phrase “good” master is like speaking of “good” racists and “good” murderers. Who in their right minds could make such nonsensical distinctions, except those who deal in historical abstractions? Certainly not the victims! Indeed, it may be argued that the so-called good masters were in fact the worst, if we consider the dehumanizing effect of mental servitude. At least those who were blatant in their physical abuse did not camouflage their savagery with Christian doctrine, and it may have been easier for black slaves to make the necessary value-distinctions so that they could regulate their lives according to black definitions. But “good” Christian masters could cover up their brutality by rationalizing it with Christian theology, making it difficult for slaves to recognize the demonic. . . . The “good” master convinced them that slavery was their lot ordained by God, and it was his will for blacks to be obedient to white people. After all, Ham was cursed, and St. Paul did admonish slaves to be obedient to their masters. 6 When your biblical foundation requires you to defend the sin of slavery, it’s time to get a new foundation!
Brian Zahnd (When Everything's on Fire: Faith Forged from the Ashes)
Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible7 is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the Word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my own part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.
Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason (AmazonClassics Edition))
Had the cold war gone hot, there’s no question but that religious fervor would have played a role in the battle against “godless Communism.” Not “brutal” communism, not “economically suicidal” communism, not “anti-democratic” communism. Godless. In 1957, midway between McCarthyism and the Cuban Missile Crisis, the words “In God We Trust” were added to U.S. paper currency. In 1954, “under God” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance that had previously said, “one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”19 Note that “In God We Trust” had been added to U.S. coins by the Union during the Civil War.20 Abraham Lincoln himself said, “Both (sides) read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other.”21 But it was the Union that stamped its claim to God’s allegiance on the coins.22 Warring parties want strong allies, and God is one ally who can be recruited simply by declaration.
Valerie Tarico (Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light)
The biblical King David was also a sacred shepherd. His sensual and ecstatic songs of earthly love, so untypical of the Bible, derive from the ancient love rites of the shepherd king and the Goddess—her Canaanite names were Asherah, Astarte, Ashtoreth. The settled people of the Old Testament, like everyone else in the Near East, practiced Goddess worship. The Old Testament is the record of the conquest and massacre of these Neolithic people by the nomadic Hebrews, followers of a Sky God, who then set up their biblical God in the place of the ancient Goddess. The biblical Hebrews were a nomadic pastoral and patriarchal people, tribes of sheepherders and warriors who invaded land belonging to the matriarchal Canaanites. Both Hebrews and Canaanites were Semitic people. The Canaanites lived in agricultural communities and worshiped the orgiastic-ecstatic Moon Mother Astarte. As Old Testament stories relate, the Hebrews sacked, burned, and destroyed village after village belonging to the Canaanites, massacring or enslaving the people—a series of brutal invasions and slaughters described typically by theologians and preachers as “a spiritual victory.” In this way the Hebrews established themselves on the land, along with the worship of their Sky-and-Thunder God Yahweh (Jehovah), calling themselves his “chosen people.” Yahweh’s male prophets and priests, however, despite their political victory over the Canaanites, had to carry on a continuous struggle and fulmination against their own people, who kept “backsliding” into worship of the Great Mother, the Goddess of all their Near Eastern neighbors. For she had originally been the Goddess of the Hebrews themselves. This constant fight against matriarchal religion and custom is the primary theme of the Old Testament. It begins in Genesis, with the takeover of the Goddess’s Garden of Immortality by a male God, and the inversion of all her sacred symbols—tree, serpent, moon-fruit, woman—into icons of evil. Of the two sons of Eve and Adam, Cain was made the “evil brother” because he chose settled agriculture (matriarchal)—the “good brother” Abel was a nomadic pastoralist (patriarchal). The war against the Goddess is carried on by the prophets’ rantings against the “golden calf,” the “brazen serpents,” the “great harlot” and “Whore of Babylon” (the Babylonian Goddess Ishtar), against enchantresses, pythonic diviners, and those who practice witchcraft. It is in the prophets’ war against the Canaanite worship of “stone idols”—the Triple Moon Goddess worshiped as three horned pillars, or menhirs. One of her shrines was on Mount Sinai, which means “Mountain of the Moon.” Moses was commanded by “the Lord” to go forth and destroy these “idols”—who all had breasts. We are told monotheism began with the Jews, that it was the great “spiritual invention” of the religious leader Moses. This is not so. The worship of one God, like everything else in religion, began with the worship of the Goddess. Her universality has been duly noted by everyone who has ever studied the matter. “Monotheism, once thought to have been the invention of Moses or Akhnaton, was worldwide in the prehistoric and early historic world,” i.e., throughout the Paleolithic and Neolithic ages. As E. O. James wrote in The Cult of the Mother Goddess, “It seems that Evans was correct when he affirmed that it was a ‘monotheism in which the female form of divinity was supreme.” The original monotheism of the Goddess is perhaps most clearly shown by the fact that, in Elizabeth Gould Davis’s words, “Almighty Yahweh, the god of Moses and the later Hebrews, was originally a goddess.” His name, Iahu ’anat, derives from that of the Sumerian Goddess Inanna.
Monica Sjöö (The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth)
Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible [NOTE: It must be borne in mind that by the "Bible" Paine always means the Old Testament alone. -- Editor.] is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the Word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my own part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.
Coventry House Publishing (Thomas Paine : Collected Writings : Common Sense / The American Crisis / The Rights of Man / The Age of Reason / A Letter Addressed to the Abbe Raynal)
I COULD HAVE reminded the Arab Knesset member of other historical facts once known to many schoolchildren but which have since been forgotten—or distorted by anti-Israel propaganda. The history of the Jewish people spans almost four millennia. The first thousand years or so are covered in the Bible, and are attested to by archaeology and the historical records of other, contemporaneous peoples. As the centuries progress, the mists of time and the myths gradually evaporate and the unfolding events come into sharp historical focus. Reading the Bible from second grade on, I could easily imagine Abraham and Sarah on their long trek from Ur of the Chaldeans to the land of Canaan almost four thousand years ago. Abraham envisions one God, unseen but present everywhere. He buys a burial cave in Hebron and bequeaths the new land to his progeny. The descendants of Abraham’s grandson Jacob are enslaved in Egypt for centuries, until Moses takes them out of bondage. He leads them for forty years in the wilderness to the Promised Land, giving the Children of Israel the Ten Commandments and a moral code that would change the world. The indomitable Joshua conquers the land, wily David establishes his kingdom in Jerusalem, and wise Solomon builds his Temple there, only to have his sons split the realm into two. The northern kingdom, Israel, is destroyed, its ten tribes lost to history. The southern kingdom, Judea, is conquered and Solomon’s Temple is destroyed by the Babylonians, by whose rivers the exiled Judeans weep as they remember Zion. They rejoice when in 537 BCE they are reinstated in their homeland by Cyrus of Persia, who lets them rebuild their destroyed Temple. The Persian rulers are replaced by Alexander the Great, one of whose heirs seeks to eradicate the Jewish religion. This sparks a rebellion led by the brave Maccabees, and the independent Jewish state they establish lasts for eighty years. It is overtaken by the rising power Rome which initially rules through proxies, the most notable of whom is Herod the Great. Herod refurbishes the Jerusalem Temple as one of the great wonders of the ancient world. In its bustling courtyard a Jewish rabbi from the Galilee, Jesus of Nazareth, overturns the tables of the money changers, setting off a chain of events culminating in his eventual crucifixion and the beginning of the Judeo-Christian tradition. When the Jews rebel against Roman rule, Rome destroys Jerusalem and Herod’s Temple in 70 CE. Masada, the last rebel stronghold, falls three years later. Despite the devastation, sixty-two years later the Jews rebel again under the fearless Bar Kokhba, only to be crushed even more brutally. The Roman emperor Hadrian bars the Jews from Jerusalem and renames the country Palestina, after the Grecian Philistines, who have long disappeared.
Benjamin Netanyahu (Bibi: My Story)
Because people made in the image of God were made to stand on equal footing alongside each other before the God of heaven. They were made to bow to Him and Him alone, not made to bow to and be cowed by the brutality of their fellow image bearers. And whether in a pamphlet, in a newspaper, in a speech, in the Bible, or from the voice of God Himself booming from heaven, this knowledge cannot be hidden from image bearers forever.
Jasmine L. Holmes (Crowned with Glory: How Proclaiming the Truth of Black Dignity Has Shaped American History)
Apart from forestalling rebellion, there was a more subtle reason to withhold education. Bible-reading Christians had a basic conflict between their religious beliefs and their brutal ownership of other human beings. To resolve this hypocrisy, they concluded that Africans were some sort of slow-witted offspring of Homo sapiens and, therefore, not quite human. To support this fiction, slave owners put out lamps at night, snatched books from questioning hands, separated blacks from their tribal groups, and created around them a cultural vacuum. This extremely effective practice of first denying education than saying the victim cannot learns continues to compound all the other problems facing us today.
Samuel DeWitt Proctor (Substance of Things Hoped for: A Memoir of African-American Faith)
A world of meaning is lost when these views of racial ideology, the brutalization of war and the state-run process of extermination dominate our understanding of the Holocaust because the question "Why did the Nazis and other Germans burn the Hebrew Bible?" demands a historical imagination that captures Germans' culture, sensibilities, and historical memories.
Alon Confino (A World Without Jews: The Nazi Imagination from Persecution to Genocide)
The Bible-like form of the Course reflects its function as a correction for the Bible’s exclusory and punitive teachings. Though it has been a source of guidance for many, the Bible has also contributed to a great deal of pain. Minority groups, animals and the environment as a whole have long felt the brunt of the Bible’s divisive passages. Humans are to have dominion over the earth; if you ‘spare the rod’ you ‘spoil the child’; ‘the head of woman is man’: these are just a few Biblical statements that people have used to justify denigration and brutality.
Stephanie Panayi (Alchemists of Suburbia: A Course in Miracles, Psychology and the Art of Integration)
The Bible understandably glosses over the disagreeable fact that Sennacherib responded by brutally seizing the cities of Judah until Hezekiah was crushed,
Neil MacGregor (A History of the World in 100 Objects)
As Solzhenitsyn famously said, speaking out of his experience in the brutal and soul-crushing Russian gulag, If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?53
Derek Flood (Disarming Scripture: Cherry-Picking Liberals, Violence-Loving Conservatives, and Why We All Need to Learn to Read the Bible Like Jesus Did)
Pontius Pilate in Jesus’s death, instead placing blame on the Jews. The fairness of Pilate and his Roman administration that is displayed in the Christian Bible is not supported by the nonbiblical historical accounts. As Elaine Pagels has noted in The Origin of Satan: “Even Josephus, despite his Roman sympathies, says that the governor displayed contempt for his Jewish subjects, illegally appropriated funds from the Temple treasury, and brutally suppressed unruly crowds. The Jewish Greek historian Philo describes Pilate as a man of ‘ruthless, stubborn and cruel disposition,’ famous for, among other things, ordering ‘frequent executions without trial.
Jeffrey Gorsky (Exiles in Sepharad: The Jewish Millennium in Spain)
The Bible always tells the beautiful and brutal truth about people and the human condition.
Kasey Van Norman (Named by God: Overcoming Your Past, Transforming Your Present, Embracing Your Future)
I began to understand how so many of the ancient myths recast the Goddess, and her symbols such as the snake and the apple, in negative terms. […] Violence enforced theology; stoning and other brutal deaths were inflicted on women who worshipped the Goddess, who refused arranged marriages, who were not virgins at marriage, who had sexual relations outside of marriage, or who were raped! In contrast to the increasing restrictions placed on women, the Bible simultaneously chronicled the rampant practice of polygamy in men. […] The roots of women’s inequality and the destruction of the earth are to be found in this early religious shift away from the mother Goddess, who was immanent and present in the world, to the father God, who was transcendent and removed.
Phyllis Curott (Book of Shadows)
Thinking of the Christian life as being primarily about believing in God, the Bible, and Jesus is thus a modern mistake, with profound consequences. Beliefs have little ability to change our lives. One can believe all the right things and remain a jerk, or worse. Saints have been heretical, and people with correct beliefs have been cruel oppressors and brutal persecutors. Rather, the Christian life is about a relationship to the God to whom the tradition points. What matters is the relationship, for it can and does and will transform our lives.
Marcus J. Borg (The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions (Plus))