I just figured out how to use links because I want everyone who's ever wondered what's really in the Bible to go check out Blogging the Bible on slate.com. Warning: only to be read by those who are strong of faith. There's a lot of really nasty stuff that goes on in there. I think they may have been sugar-coating things in my Sunday school classes.
In his intro to the blog, David Plotz says, "I want to find out what happens when an ignorant person actually reads the book on which his religion is based." Later he asks, "So what will happen if I approach my Bible empty, unmediated by teachers or rabbis or parents." (Plotz is Jewish so his Bible is the Old Testament.)
It makes me feel better to know that Plotz basically has the same reaction to the Bible that I had when I tried to read it: Horror. Besides the lying, cheating, stealing, land-grabbing, prostitutioning, incest, rape, and genocide, there is the constantly recurring theme of mass murder, attributed to no lesser a character than God himself. It's a wonder the Christians don't try to have this banned from schools and libraries. There's some rough stuff going on in there.
Blogging the Bible is not completely unmediated. One of the best features of the blog are the comments from readers all over the religious/non-religious spectrum. When Plotz raises a question (often), readers respond with various answers and also, when he mis-states anything, he is quickly corrected by the readers (wouldn't you like to be able to do this in church on Sunday morning?)
After I finish the Bible blog, I'll check to see if anyone is blogging the Koran. It would be fascinating to compare the two. And also to see what is in the Koran, really. How can so many Muslims say their's is a religion of peace in the face of the violence carried out in the name of Islam?
If you check out Blogging the Bible, I'd love to know what you think.