Posted: Friday 02 June 2023 ( 9 months ago )
Here is a letter that I wrote to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News that was published today.
In response to columnist Nick Gier’s suggestion that the Bible should be redacted, letter writer Larry Kirkland (Daily News, May 31) said “most of the Bible is appropriate for everyone all of the time,” but that “there are stories in the Bible that are not appropriate for most children.” Does this mean that the Bible should not be made available to children — unless it is redacted to remove the inappropriate parts? But let’s look at the rest of the Bible, the part that, presumably, is appropriate for everyone at all times.
Take Deuteronomy 13:6-10, for example. This passage commands us to stone to death, without pity, our family, friends, and neighbors if they ask us to worship another god — and that we must throw the first stone. Is this appropriate for everyone all of the time? Was it ever appropriate for anyone at any time?
Or Leviticus 20:14, which tells us to burn to death a man, his wife and his mother-in-law if they have sex together. Larry would probably say that this verse isn’t appropriate for most children, and I agree. But is it appropriate for anyone? Do we really have to burn them to death? Couldn’t we try counseling first?
The Bible is filled with commandments that no one should ever obey — commandments to stone to death blasphemers (Lev 24:16), disobedient children (Dt 21:18-21) and women who are found not to be virgins on their wedding night (Dt 22:13-21). Should anyone obey these laws? If not, shouldn’t they be redacted?
And this just in...