Bible-recycle

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Byblos:  ancient city where papyrus (paper) was exported; bible; book.  The old bibles were cut from trees and bound with dead animals with ink squeezed from wild plants and sealife.  Whole forests and entire herds of living beings were sacrificed for “holy books.”  When people ceased to have direct, authentic experiences with the divine, those who were acknowledged as “authorities” in spiritual matters “handed on” (tradition) script that became scripture.   These ink stains on natural paper told fantastic stories that tribal communities told over and over as “God’s Word.”  These “sacred” collections were believed to contain The Truth, with “truth” bought and boxed, sold and shipped, handled and delivered by an elite corps of “trained” clergy who were believed to have special information and insight into the true meaning of the words on the pages (How is it that “God’s Word” is sold at all?  If these books are from the Creator of the Universe, shouldn’t they always be Free?).  “The Word” became the “Word of God” known only to initiated (converted) insiders.

The old bibles were called Bibles, Testaments and Torahs as well as Qur’ans, the Vedas, the Sutras, Granth Sahib and many others.  Immense resources are daily channeled to printing and distribution of “God’s Word”  (see one example of the incredible waste of money and natural resources including human energy:  Wycliffe Bible “Last Languages Campaign” .  The goal is to translate into all the world’s nearly 7000 languages by 2025 at a cost of one billion dollars!–Denver Post). 

{Pause.  Breathe.  Reflect}

Is there a better rationality for a New Paperless Non-Scripture Scripture that costs nothing but respect, for people, the mind, the environment?  The Natural Bible precedes and supercedes any and all earlier bibles or holy books.  This website presents the reasons for disregarding the old versions and explains how to discard them properly and in a timely fashion, to recycle all the holy books with respect for the natural materials out of which they were originally constructed (and it won’t cost a Cold Billion).

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Reasons for recycling all 66 books of the Hebrew-Christian Bible

(other “holy texts” to follow it into the sacred shredder)

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Why do this?  Why take the time and make the effort to tear up the old texts?  There are several answers* (see bottom of page)

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“I have now gone through the Bible, as a [person] would go through a wood with an axe on their shoulder and fell trees.  Here they lie; and the priests, if they can, may replant them.  They may, perhaps, stick them in the ground, but they will never make them grow.”  ~Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

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“Let us gather in every single copy of the New Testament, let us cart the whole collection out to an open place, or up a mountain top. . .and let someone speak to God, saying: ‘Take it back, this book; we humans, the way we are, should not get involved with such a book; it only makes us unhappy.'”  Soren Kierkegaard, Diary, 1854

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Note:  this is a brief, non-scholarly, but not uninformed, critical survey

Hebrew Scriptures

Genesis

Bad science (no science); two creation stories; humans the superior species; Eden:  set up for failure; “tree of knowledge” a bad thing; brutal tribal god; Abram told to physically abuse his son as a lesson in faith; Jacob wins wrestling match with God but then God cheats. . .morality of the lowest order

Exodus

God arbitrarily chooses sides; monotheism brought from Egypt mutates into henotheism (one god superior to many others); oppressive and horrific laws; former slaves become a genocidal army; native peoples once again run over by “God’s People” 

Leviticus

Laws and more laws; deity as unicameral government unto “himself”; legislator, executive, judicial tyrant; “justice” based on jealousy and sectarian whim 

Numbers

The numbers game. . .mostly numbers of slaughtered innocents; man gathering firewood stoned to death; God obsessed with details of religious ritual; a talking ass; God happy when Eleazar the priest executes a mixed marriage couple after 24,000 die from a plague sent by an angry Lord; God helps divide the booty of war (both meanings of the word); all about conquest

Deuteronomy

Why do it all over again?  The “Second Law” imposition; Moses commands obedience; the Lord is very irritable and touchy; “you shall love the stranger”!–really?; a teacher of any other sect or religion shall be put to death; you shall destroy the holy places of all other religious traditions; God says it’s fine to rape captive women but a child born of an “illicit” union shall not be admitted into the community; the Song of Moses:  “I kill and I make alive. . .I will make my arrows drunk with blood”; vengeance and revenge

Joshua

The righteous Army of God marches into the land to kill those whom God loves; the Promised Land covered with milk, honey and blood; manual for ethnic cleansing and genocide:  “and the Lord drove out before us all the peoples”

Judges

Interesting characters in brutal and non-sensical struggles for tribal authority; God in there somewhere?;  “God sent an evil spirit”!; good (R-rated) mini series

Ruth

Touching story of. . .tolerance?  community relations?  Woman lies at the feet of men 

First Samuel

Let the Prophets begin!  Those who speak the Truth (at the expense of everyone else, of common sense, of justice. . .); punishment and unforgiveness; the Lord reluctantly shares the throne of power; war; slaughter; beheadings; David becomes God’s terrorist

Second Samuel

Gets more serious. . .more beheading; genocide in the name of the Lord; the prayer: “Who is like Your people?”; adultery and murder by God’s anointed king; rape; incest; death by faith; fun with burnt offerings of dead animals

First Kings

Solomon builds a temple for the Lord using slave labor; sacrifices 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep to make the Lord happy; “Don’t serve other gods”; Solomon took 1000 “‘wives”; brutal dynasties; Elijah executes 850 rival prophets; his successor Elisha speaks God’s word to the king, “dogs will lick up your blood”; leaves God very angry

Second Kings

Elijah catches a flight to heaven; his successor Elisha murders 42 small boys; magic and miracles; the temptress Jezebel torn apart and eaten by dogs; massacres; slaughters; sectarian violence; more war; palace intrigue

First Chronicles

Raiders of the Ark of the Lord; God’s army kills and kills some more; “our God” is greater than all other gods; power shifts

Second Chronicles

Solomon’s 15,000 slaves to build God’s temple; forests full of trees fall in Lebanon; wisdom leads to wealth and unlimited power; battles; slaughters; destruction of “pagan” shrines; fall of Jerusalem because of unfaithfulness

Ezra

Rebuilding the temple without cooperation from locals; dedicated the house of god by sacrificing 700 animals; people separated from “the pollutions of the nations”; abomination of mixed marriage; foreigners expelled

Nehemiah

Wall-building at any cost; mixed marriage condemned again

Esther

Use of physical attraction to influence political decision and action; enemies of the Jews destroyed; (does not mention the word “God” even once)

Job

God makes a man and his family suffer as a lesson in faith (what more is there to say?)

Psalms

Transgressions, iniquity. . .praise, thanks. . .sin, brokenness, terror, fear. . .praise, thanks. . .kill the enemy, despise the fools, take care of us and only us, save me and only me. . .praise, thanks. . .revenge, avenge, vengeance. . .save me again, forgive me, it’s all really about Me. . .praise, thanks. . .and on and on.  Makes good music doesn’t it?

Proverbs

Obedience to the authoritarian parent equals “Wisdom”; parental advice for the simple-minded; common sense mixed with nonsense; how not to be like other people (fools, idiots, those outside the family of faith, etc.); “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom” and other brilliant insights  

Ecclesiastes (Koheleth)

“The Preacher” preaches a Woe is Me negative nihilism; good advice for Holy Book Believers:  “God is in heaven, and you upon earth; therefore let your words be few”; death is better than life; sorrow is better than laughter; dead flies; snake bites; living dogs and dead lions; wicked fools and sinners, folly and vanity.  The answer to all this dark and depressing dumping:  Fear God and do what He says. . .or else.

Song of Solomon

Kisses!  “I am black and beautiful”! (take that, white christian supremicists!); beds and breasts and raisins and apples. . .hey, how did this get in here??  The beauty of the beloved; the bride and groom (hair like goats; teeth like sheep?); this poem is almost worthy of Walt Whitman–almost

Isaiah

Scholars argue over First, Second and Third Isaiahs, but what’s the point?  It begins as “the vision” of one person and ends with these sweet, holy and visionary words:  “And they shall go out and look at the dead bodies of the people who have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”  That’s the point!  Christianists make a lot of this book about Jesus and the endtimes.  Oh well, let’s bring on the abhorrence, for the love of God.

Jeremiah

“I have put my words in your mouth” says the LORD in the first chapter, and ever since biblical religion has tried to force us to eat those words, usually spoken by a preacher with a nice house and car; doom and gloom and judgment and. . .other encouragement for tough times

Lamentations

“My stomach churns, my heart is wrung within me, because I have been very rebellious”; teenage angst writ large; the Lord is really angry now so watch out. . .but God loves us so much. . .yet, maybe “You have rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure”. . .Amen 

Ezekiel

I used to enjoy good ol’ Zeke for the UFO stories.  Now it’s just more of the same:  abominations, disaster, slaughter, wickedness, degradation, rebellion and the sword of God (not the best bedtime reading)

Daniel

The writing on the wall. . .Dan in the lion’s den. . .the fiery furnace. . .good ol’ sunday school lessons, but again, what’s the point?  The last line:  “you shall rise for your reward at the end of the days.”

Hosea

“Go marry a prostitute” saith the Lord.  Here we go again.  Judgment and repentance lessons taught by divine-instigated human misery 

Joel

Blood and fire, sun goes dark, moon turns to blood–get ready world, here comes the LORD!

Amos

Opening scene:  “The LORD roars from Zion”; closing curtain:  the Lord says, “I will kill them with the sword. . .not one of them shall escape.”  But all is well:  Israel will never again be plucked from ” the land that I have given them.”  Got that, Palestinians??

Obadiah

Another prophet/another vision.  “Let us rise up for battle!”  The LORD of violence is charged up again.  “For the day of the LORD is near against all the nations.”

Jonah

Yes, yes–the big fish story.  This time it’s the prophet who gets angry and gets his feelings hurt.  All because of the wickedness of the city of Nineveh where people needed to turn from their violent ways or the righteous violence from above would rain down on them.  Something fishy here.

Micah

“The LORD is coming out of his place”. . .and boy is he pissed.   Obedience is the only way to stop the wrathful lightning bolts.  The people are totally corrupt but if they do justice, love kindness and grovel with God maybe, just maybe, they’ll be spared and The Nations (Gentiles, non-Jews) will stand in fear of them after they “lick dust like a snake.”  One could hope.

Nahum

From the consuming wrath of “a jealous and avenging God” comes this sequel to all the other bloody mess.  “Piles of dead, heaps of corpses, dead bodies without end.”  “I will lift up your skirts over your face. . .I will throw filth at you.”  All of this, Why?  Because “the LORD will by no means clear the guilty.”  Hey, what happened to the forgiveness? 

Habakkuk

The prophet complains that he sees violence all around and God tells him to put it in writing.  This God has perfected violence to an art.  “What use is an idol?” is a great question.  Then, “the LORD is in His holy temple (so don’t disturb him). . .let all the earth keep silence.”  Imagine being the choir director and having this uplifting piece of woe handed to you with the closing words:  “To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.”   Sing along to “In fury you trod the earth, in anger you trampled nations. . . rottenness enters into my bones.”  

Zephaniah

“I will utterly sweep away everything from the face of the earth, says the LORD.”  With an opening like that, are we surprised that we have three chapters of judgment and triumphalism?

Haggai

“I am about to shake the heavens and the earth.”  The promise of God:  I have chosen you (one little nation of all nations).  Do you think we should join up?

Zechariah

Visions and more visions, and satan too!   Horse bells, cooking pots, future warfare and victory.  What more could you want?  How about, “The LORD will become king over all the earth; on that day the LORD will be one (thought that was a given?) and his name one.”

Malachi

“An oracle”?  Loved Jacob but hated Esau?  Corruption of the priesthood.   Nooo.  Hmm.  “What does the one God desire?  Godly offspring.”  The prophet Elijah will be back on stage soon, parents and kids will all get along just fine, at least they had better, so God doesn’t have to “strike the land with a curse.”  There’s some motivation for a loving and cooperative family! 

(Summary, Hebrew Scriptures:  A stern, severe, nearly impossible to satisfy “Father” God tries to keep “His” wayward and wandering “children” in line with minimal success)

Christian Scriptures

Matthew

“Messiah” with a genealogy?; holy spirit rapes young woman; “virgin” birth; massacre of babies in god’s righteous plan; fishing for people; “blessed are the poor”. . .for they stay poor forever in god’s plan; “don’t judge others” leads to 2000 years of judging others; “I have not come to bring peace but a sword”–blessed are the Peacemakers?; epileptic boy has a “demon”; no model of diplomacy, Jesus calls religious teachers “blind guides”, “hypocrites”, “blind fools”, “snakes”, “you’re going to hell!”; suicidal execution; purpose of the resurrection?; “make [Christians] of every nation”; (some very good stuff in the mountain message–but overall the good is lost in the irrational brutality of atonement theology)

Mark

Sickness all about demons; controls Nature; raises the dead; pushes the conflicts between social castes; “I will not tell you by what authority I do and say these things”; “Why have you forsaken me?”–the most honest words; two endings–first ends with the fear of the people (at least short and to the point)

Luke

Women get pregnant and praise god that their children will be saviors and prophets; John lives in the wilderness until his ministry of dunking people in the streams to wash off their sins; shepherds, angels, mangers, santa claus (oh, well, not him) and the massacre of christmas trees and massive credit card debt (oh, that comes later); “My Father’s house”–defiant (delusional?) child; devilish temptations; first synagogue speech almost gets him killed; “love your enemies” (good, radical stuff here!); sermon on the plain (whoops, what happened to the mount?); forgives “sins”, heals, raises dead (magic in the misery); disciples have “authority to step on snakes and scorpions”; calls religious leaders “greedy wicked fools!”; his “little flock”; faith heals all; son sacrifices to please his father in heaven (why another version of the same story?)

John

“Word [Bible?] takes human form”; true light and life for every man, woman and child on the planet; first miracle: makes wine (o.k., we can like this guy); God doesn’t condemn the world–only sends His Son to die in order to save them from being condemned??; “salvation is from the Jews” (oh, he must have meant Christians!); heals/feeds/heals more/eats some more. . .; The Jews–always those nasty Jews, plotting, planning and killing their “Savior”; people of Light beat the people of the Dark; God will murder His Boy to bring the world to Him so He can love them and be happy; “love one another as I have loved you” (now I go off to be slaughtered by my Dad who really loves ya all); the Great Nailing. . .then the ghostly appearances–makes a charcoal fire and roasts fish on the beach; “we know [John's] testimony is true” (like me writing a book and ending with “We know Chris’ words are true”–right?)

Acts

Floats off into the clouds; crash course in languages, not to communicate but to proselytize; Peter’s first sermon quotes prophet of Israel, tells Jews Jesus was “handed over to you according to the plan” of God–believe me, he rose from the dead and he’s alive and now you need to believe his message of love, or else!; miracles, signs, wonders, preaching, more members. . .Jews become Christians, God’s happy; Saul/Paul (murderer) claims to have seen the light from above while meeting Jesus on the road who gives him a message for the world (no one to verify); becomes the great evangelist before losing his head (how did Jesus magically turn into Christ here?)

Romans

Begins with guilt and sin and gospel–the “good news” is not to the poor or about justice or healing but about spiritual salvation through faith; chapter one provided fear-mongering bigots with 2000 years of ammunition to persecute and kill the “enemies of God” (especially the sexual perverts–God really hates naughty sexual positions); Jews really missed their chance–But, wait!  All Israel will be Saved!; “The God of peace will shortly crush Satan under your feet”–poor satan; Paul writes in God’s handwriting (what made people believe the fantastic stories and the incredible arrogance of this one man, executed for treason by the Roman State?) 

First Corinthians

Listen to me, I am Paul, I have a message from God, I am God’s voice on earth. . .; you saints are sinners and that makes perfect sense; God’s wisdom is not like normal, everyday wisdom; treats the people of Corinth like babies–“I fed you milk. . .for you were not ready for solid food” (line used by every huckster, “enlightened” guru and charlatan in history); everything comes back to SEX (God is really obsessed with SEX–and of course, so is Saul/Paul); women keep in your place!  “When you were pagans you worshipped idols. . .now your new Idol is Jesus!”

Second Corinthians

More of the same:  Get along, love each other, kick out those who aren’t “pure”; “I appeal to you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ” so don’t oppose me or else!; don’t question me!  I’ve had visions and revelations–I’ve even been to heaven and back!! (oh boy, we’re in for a ride)

Galatians

“I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (this says it all, doesn’t it?)–who can argue with that (oh, I will)

Ephesians

We have been blessed “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places”–perfect!  No more poverty, hunger, homelessness, or death–where do I join?; “the mystery was made known to me by revelation” (Thomas Paine would say, “hearsay” here); Renounce thy Pagan ways!  The wrath of God comes upon those who are disobedient–but wait, He loves you!

Philippians

“Slaves of Christ Jesus” then goes downhill from there; Saul/Paul is in prison–an enemy of the State (and this world), so he feels he must mention Christ, God, Jesus Christ, Jesus, Spirit and Lord in nearly every sentence; “For to me, living is Christ, and dying is gain”–there’s little of “Paul” left, his words are directly from above and must not be questioned or contradicted; everything depends on “the work of the gospel”–converting the known world to Paulianity; glory, glory and amen.

Colossians

Next letter to a troubled group of  believers; there’s hope in heaven; I’m still in jail; Christ made peace through “the blood of the cross;” warnings of sin and false teachers and Christ is all and in all (except the false teachers or any other teacher but Saul/Paul); and the ever-favorite: “wives be submissive to your husbands” and “children obey your parents” and “slaves obey your masters” (hey, it’s in the Bible!)

First Thessalonians

Thank God you left those Idols!  Now let me tell you more about this guy Christ. . .More about the gospel, my gospel; I wanted to come for a visit “but Satan blocked my way;”  we’re praying for the Rapture–the End is Coming Soon (forget 2010, or 2012, ’cause it’s coming very very soon!); we can’t wait to go live with God and Christ and all the Christians in Heaven. . .oh, please, can we go Now!?

Second Thessalonians

Well, we’re still here.   No rapture yet, but he’s coming real soon, guarantee it!

First Timothy

“My child in the faith;” don’t listen to anybody but me–who’s your daddy?; God love ‘em, there are a lot of killers and sodomites and slave traffickers and nasty people out there–I remember, I was the worst sinner of all, so I turn ‘em all over to Satan now!  Here’s how we’re going to set up our new religion:  The Best Men Rule:  Bishops and Deacons; widows need to get married again or they’ll have more sex and “follow Satan”; above all ya little fella:  Keep Yourself PURE—you came into the world nekkid and you’re going out the same way

Second Timothy

Alright, I’m still kickin’ so listen up young man:  I’m praying for you all the time (nothing else to do in this stinking Roman cell); be a “good soldier of Christ Jesus” and fight the godless cause these are the Last Days (I mean it now!); I’m a humble guy and about to get the axe here but my lopped-off head will get the “crown of righteousness” so I’m “saved for the heavenly kingdom.” 

Titus

Almost to the end, hang in there!  Slave of God for the sake of The Elect (enter Calvin); we forgot to choose some Elders along with the Bishops and Deacons, otherwise who’s going to build the massive Cathedrals?  Should only teach “Sound” doctrine (well, mine of course), you know, things like “slaves be submissive to your masters” and such; renounce all those “worldly passions” and wait for the glory of Jesus. . .Oh, did I mention?  He’s coming very, very soon!!  “Avoid stupid controversies”. . .oh, well, that discounts 2000 years of church history!

Philemon

Last letter from prison for ol’ Saul/Paul–should be an incredible message, right?  Prayer, love, faith, obey and take care of your fellow believers (oh, did I mention, He’s arriving on the next train!)

Hebrews

The most anti-semitic “letter” in the whole Book; whoever wrote this really didn’t like Jews (good manual for Nazis?)–all one big “proof” of how much better the Jesus-Way is than anything, especially the Jewish-Way; everything from the beginning, all the history of the “hebrews” was for one and only one purpose:  to lead up to the best religion of all with the best Savior of all–you guessed it, Christ! 

James

Keep yourself unstained by the world, for God’s sake; get the rich and poor thing worked out; faith needs to do something or it’s dead and worthless–so get out and save some souls!  Hey, did you hear?  The coming of the Lord is Near!  So, be good or you’ll be left behind (good title for a future best-seller!)

First Peter

Peter finally shows up again; this time he’s “sprinkled with blood”; live in reverent fear, be holy; you’ve been ransomed by the “precious blood of Christ” so now you’ll go to heaven; be good slaves and accept the authority of “every human institution” because it’s God’s will–fear God and honor the Emperor. . .and by the way, Wives accept the authority of your husbands because you’re the “weaker sex” (great stuff, right?); Hey, did we tell you?  The End is Near!  Be a good flock of sheep and watch out for Satan, the hungry lion!

Second Peter

How about some more “Good News”?  Keep an eye out for those false prophets (God loves them so much he’ll cast them into hell and render them extinct like Sodom and Gomorrah); judgment, punishment, suffering, sin, Accursed!, lust, defilement and dog-vomit!  There, you happy now?  The Lord is going to burn up the earth so grab your asbestos bible briefs and head for the hills!

First John

God is light, love and really hates sin and unbelievers!

Second John

Did you get my other letter?

Third John

Hey, did you get my last email?

Jude

Blemishes on your love-feasts?  Perversity, immorality, unnatural lust, eternal fire, the devil, the body of Moses, woe, judgment, ungodliness, more lust, more fire and dead trees–all in the first chapter!  (Oh, sorry, there’s only One Chapter)

The Revelation

Oh my Gawd.  Where to start?  Where to End?  Ah, that’s the point!  The Vision of the End; Jesus is Coming and boy is he. . .sniveling!  Dragons and Whores and Beasts and weird numbers and New Heaven and New Earth and thank you very much, it’s all over, finally. . .Amen!

(Summary, Christian Scriptures:  A stern, severe, nearly impossible to satisfy “Father” God tries to keep “His” wayward and wandering “children” in line with minimal success, but this time He tries an innovative approach–He has His son, who was born after God raped a teenage Palestinian girl, killed as a sacrifice to make Him feel better by “saving” the world from His own anger.  The “logical” result of Part One of this sad, sick and sadistic saga–the Hebrew Scriptures) 

*Why fill the recycle bin?

I begin with the Hebrew-Christian Bible as a “testament” to my own years grounded in and guided by this one book.  Starting from an early age, there were Sunday Schools, Bible Study Fellowships, Baptist youth studies, Pentecostal meetings, Campus Crusade for Christ, Billy Graham, Bill Gothard’s “Basic Youth Conflict” seminars, House Church studies led by a “completed Jew,” scripture courses in Christian College and on and on.  Further research in college and seminary grounded me in Greek and Hebrew languages, in-depth analysis, and study after study, discussion after discussion, debate after debate, sermon after sermon, cycling over and over again back into this belief-bound book.  I was “guided” in the sense of taking the “best” of the good message mined from the garbage heaps of irrelevance to “follow Jesus” into ministry and beyond the Church.  In one sense, as I understand it at this present moment, Jesus “taught me” to let him go, and in good Emersonian style I no longer need to look over my shoulder at the prophets and saints of the past.  I can face the truth as I see it now, here, naturally.  Though I don’t use this language any longer, one could say that I am “guided by the Spirit” to say thank you and goodbye to Jesus and to live “the word of God” instead of endlessly quoting the dusty diatribes of the distant past.

On a personal note I will say right now, I have some close friends and family who are believers of several faiths.  I love and respect them and they love me.  Some were present, and supportive, when I left my ordination and the Church.  They may not know what to “do” with me sometimes, and struggle with my heresy, yet I love them right back.  Now, guided by the incisive, rapier wit and wisdom of Thomas Paine and others, I feel the time is critical for some of us to do some honest chopping of the diseased trees of faith and to follow the lead of Henry Thoreau who said that there are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the roots.  It is open for debate, but as I see it the scriptures of the world are the roots that must be struck and hit hard.  Irrational, oppressive, brutal and nonsensical “sacred” literature must be met full on and forcefully with reason, justice, enlightenment and plain old common sense.  This is the right time for a Revival, not to Come to Religion but to Come to Reason–to come to our senses, to revive our minds and our communities from superstitions and super-natural nonsense.   

Belief-bound books are numerous.  They are made of paper and ink but laced and literally held-together by the beliefs of those who handle them.  Here I focus primarily on the Bible but the same rigorous recycling can and must be done with all the Books of Belief.  The word “diatribe” seems appropriate to describe these books, one definition being, “bitter and abusive speech or writing.”  There is a fundamental bitterness in scriptures.  Even the most “lovely” texts set squarely upon a sense that there is another world, a better world, and this present world is to be discarded and deleted to finally fulfill one’s faith.  Whether or not believers, the faithful, comprehend or are conscious of this bitterness is almost beside the point (although not being responsibly conscious is a liability of faith).  In order to be Holy Writ a book needs to fit the title:  Holy–“exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness; venerated as or as if sacred.”  And we all know that Sacred has everything to do with being set apart, venerated and “entitled to reverence and respect.”  This is where the “abusive speech” sense of the word diatribe is best revealed.  “Revealed writings” abuse our humanity and our intrinsic reason by claiming to be sent down “from above,” from a “holy” place and a holy person (god, the gods or the “reverends”).  If you excuse the pun, this is the genesis of revelation.  Revelation by definition cannot and must not be questioned–it is absolute; beyond rational discourse.  The bitterness and abuse of holy, sacred, revealed diatribal books need to be recognized, to be fully faced, to be forcefully met, confronted and stopped and, most importantly, to be radically recycled and replaced by the down to earth, natural, reasonable, creative and positive “text” of Nature.  We cannot make this essential step until we see the diatribes of the Tribes of Theology crumble into the dirt beneath our feet.  The Earth will dissolve both the demonic and the divine–they will dissipate like the chilling mists that they are.     

Before we can move on, as a culture and a human community, to “read the sacred text” of Nature, we must let go of the old, heavy weight of past “anchors” and “rocks” and mental walls that divide us, weigh us down, trip us up and hinder our progress.  Why be “negative” and “attack” what so many hold dear?  Personally, my intent is quite positive and constructive:  the “revival of reason” is the tent of meeting I call for.  And to answer the charge of the present battle over belief, I will say this complex conflict needs to have a strategy succinctly and clearly outlined:  human reason and constructive community have been under seige, attacked for thousands of years, held back from full development, stunted by the assault of those who lead the Army of Faith, who would conquer the world with their Religions of Hate and Fear (even when they do it in the name of Love).  This is not merely about the Crusades and Inquisition but the Institution of Slavery, denial of Women’s Rights, the War on Native Peoples, Legislation aimed and fired at Racial and Sexual minorities and on and on.  The march of the Pious and Righteous takes no prisoners, and for each and every compassionate pastor or priest, rabbi or imam, there are whole battalions of Sword-carrying, Bible-or Qur’an-wielding, self-righteous Saints–Defenders of The Faith.  This is harsh and generalizing, yet the tyranny of faith is a harsh, relentless, powerful force and the only way to stand up to this force is the New (ancient) Bible of Nature, raised by a new, non-violent army (airforce) of Reason. It is time to expose them to the light of day and simultaneously shred their conquering, segregationist manifestos of war.  The War on Humanity and Reason has been fueled by the Weapon of the Bible (and all sacred texts) for millenia.  The Word of God is a Sword (so says the anti-semitic writer of Hebrews), and this weapon must be met with the most powerful weapon on earth:  Rational, Reasonable Truth. 

This current Recycle Bin is provided only to begin the process of cleaning up, clearing the way for greater honesty and fresh beginnings for a rational, natural-based movement pressing forward for truth.  The intention is to recycle and delete with a sense of relief, of joy and of deep hope that returning these countless books to the earth, mulching them back into the ground, will cause good things to arise.  As the poet Walt Whitman spoke of the Earth: 

“It grows such sweet things out of such corruptions. . .

It gives such divine materials to [humans],

and accepts such leavings from them at last” (“This Compost”).   

2009 Chris Highland


3 responses to “Bible-recycle

  • Robster

    Great except for one small thing. Does it really need to be recycled? The alleged fact that the texts are “recyclable” would suggest there is something of value there in the first place. Chris, you outline very clearly that the whole show is nothing more than smoke & mirrors. And should be treated as such.

    • naturechaplain

      Yes, smoke and mirrors, and wood (paper) and leather. I am being both figurative and literal by calling for the recycling of biblical material. The human community would be healthier, in my estimation, if we composted the holy books (other books, such as my own, would await natural decomposition!). The recycling would allow for the breaking down of the elements to give opportunity for new growth to emerge–not new religion but re-vitalized bodies and minds. By the way, I also acknowledge here that there are kernels of value to be drawn from the “sacred texts.” However, much of these values are so common sense that you have to wonder why we need “scriptures” to tell us to be good, just, compassionate, etc. Thanks for the response.

  • Robster

    Hi Chris! Great reply. I was being a wee bit cynical in my initial response. Yes there are kernals of good in the alleged holy texts. But, there’s also the promotion of genocide, slavery, mass destruction etc. There’s much not to respect. Further, the whole thing has been written from word of mouth, handed down for a generation at least. There’s absolutely nothing credible about the bible or the other version (koran I think). Xians that claim their book as the source of morals are exhibiting yet more delusion. I wish i could find something to sell to these people, It wouldn’t be difficult & I’m sure, revenue positive!

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