Bible in a plain wrapper

I’m going to be away for a week or so, on a well deserved little holiday, so don’t be surprised if things are a bit quiet around here. However, before I go, I thought I’d leave you with this bit of entertaining news via Reuters in Hong Kong:

More than 800 Hong Kong residents have called on authorities to reclassify the Bible as “indecent” due to its sexual and violent content, following an uproar over a sex column in a university student journal.

If this was to go through, the Bible would only be available to over-eighteens in a sealed wrapper. Not a bad idea when you think about it. It helps to avoid the unconsented indoctrination of the young. I vote for all religious texts to be put in a brown paper bag and kept away from kids. Perhaps they should only be allowed to be read by people of high school age or older and only if they take religious education classes.

And religious education is not Christian studies or Muslim studies or anything like that. It means study of religions, plural. All of them. Let the kids learn about all the religions in the world and make up their own mind about what they think. How progressive.

The Hong Kong complaints follow the launch of an anonymous Web site called truthbible.net which claims that the Bible “made one tremble” given its sexual and violent content, including rape and incest. The website bears this banner along the top:

warning.gif

The English translations reads:

LEGAL DISCLAIMER WARNING: THIS WEBSITE CONTAINS BIBLE MATERIAL WHICH MAY OFFEND AND MAY NOT BE DISTRIBUTED, CIRCULATED, SOLD, HIRED, GIVEN , LENT, SHOWN, PLAYED OR PROJECTED TO A PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF 18 YEARS.

OK, no under-eighteens, we get it.

Interestingly, local protestant minister, Reverend Wu Chi-Wai, said, “If there is rape mentioned in the Bible, it doesn’t mean it encourages those activities.”

Yeah, right. Just like it doesn’t encourage belief in a magic Jew that was his own father and died for our sins. And it doesn’t encourage people to “bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.” (Deuteronomy 17). Just like the Koran doesn’t encourage the conversion or extermination of all infidels as in IX. 5-6: “Kill those who join other gods with God wherever you may find them.”

I think those folks in Hong Kong are onto something. We should give all holy texts an MA rating.

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2 thoughts on “Bible in a plain wrapper

  1. I don’t agree with the idea that religious texts should be shielded from child’s eyes. How can we be so preoccupied with ‘protecting’ children from influential material and then expose them to modern levels of violence and rampant sexuality in the modern media? It’s hypocritical. Hiding the bible from kids isn’t the answer. Educating them is.

    Denying kids access to religious texts is denying them a fundamental basis for their own spiritual development, be it based specifically in religious context or not. Further, an understanding of religion is generally necessary for a child’s understanding of other concepts, such as culture and history. The dangerous part is religious bias, which is what you hate. Give kids an all-encompassing, rational overview of all religion and, rather than ‘religion’, place it in the context of ‘spirituality’. By studying religious texts they gain access to an entire human history’s worth of spiritual work. They can then form their own opinions and are better prepared in their young adulthood, with an understanding of this inescapable concept called ‘religion’ that isn’t based in ignorance.

  2. I don’t hate religious bias. That would be pointless – religions by their very definition are biased because they think that they’re right and everyone else is wrong. I have an issue with religion itself.

    Religions should be taught to everyone, from any age, in an ideal world. But it should be taught for what it is – a variety of mythology and ancient history and culture. Why is the bible a holy book, but Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey fiction?

    All the time that mythology is being taught to the young (exclusively of all other mythologies) as indoctrinated dogma, it’s very dangerous, anachronistic and socially divisive.

    And here’s some food for thought: You don’t have to be an athiest to agree with what I’ve just said.

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