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Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Bible has become an instrument of torture

Editor,

People have used the Bible: to torture and kill people of other religions and of no religion; to put men above women; to put whites above non-whites; to oppose marriage between whites and non-whites; to massacre Native Americans, Palestinians, Jews and gays.

People have used the Bible: to plunder and poison the environment; to portray God as male; to damn masturbation; to make us ashamed of our naked bodies and healthy sexual pleasures; to bless capitalism and murderous greed.

People have used the Bible: to silence honest questioning; to keep people ignorant pawns under the bloody control of tyrants; to condemn passionate romance between men or between women; to justify slavery, segregation and apartheid; to demand spouses remain in miserable marriages; to rally soldiers and taxpayers to slaughter other nations.

People have used the Bible: to surgically rape and painfully mutilate boy babies in circumcision; to abuse and eat animals; to spank children; to champion the death penalty; to build nuclear bombs for global terrorism; to teach eternal excruciating punishment with no pardon and no parole.

I reject all such evil religions!

I treasure genuine spirituality: humility in the face of life’s mystery; treating others as I want them to treat me; feeling deeply connected with people, including my enemies; reaching out to learn, feel, love, forgive and ask forgiveness in this crazy, cruel, beautiful world.

I treasure genuine spirituality: respecting the Earth as our mother; living the truth as I best I see it, no matter how unpopular or controversial; celebrating mutually affectionate, passionate sex; confessing that apart from the much love, wisdom and inspiration I have received from many people, I am no better than Hitler, Stalin, the Ku Klux Klan, money addicts, Bush, Obama, anti-gay bigots, religious fundamentalists, Sandia weapons scientists, the man who murdered my grandparents or the person in my family who hurt me the most.

I was a sincere Christian preacher 47 years ago. I had majored in Bible in college. I pastored an Illinois Mennonite church from 1966 to 1968. I had not yet learned or dared to question deeply. Now, as a humble agnostic, I belong to no religion. I am spiritual, but no longer religious.

Don Schrader

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