It’s 2011 and we still have to deal with garbage like this, from Brad Hirschfield:
Fanatical atheism is no worse and no better than fanatical religion, though it may be more bitterly ironic. There is something pretty odd, dare I say hypocritical, about a bunch of people who call themselves “freethinkers” and “humanists” not only verbally abusing people of faith, but actually tearing up verses from the Bible as an act of protest, as they did on a pier in Huntington Beach, California Saturday morning. It doesn’t sound terribly humane to me, and I am quite sure that destroying texts, however much one may object to them, is the opposite of free thought.
Murder, genocide, female genital mutilation, and indoctrination don’t “sound terribly humane to me.” Ripping out parts of the Bible that no one even follows is proving a point – one which apparently flew right over Brad’s head.
He seems to think the entire protest was merely about offending Christians and Jews who have persecuted atheists (often by death in the not-so-distant past I might add). He then goes on a confused rant about how atheists ought to shut up and just be good without rubbing it in his face. The final insult he can come up with is to suggest that the atheists are actually becoming like the religious – something he seems to admit is a bad thing.
He apparently would be equally offended by Thomas Jefferson, who did the exact same thing nearly two hundred years ago.
I really have to wonder if people like Hirschfield condone the sections of the Bible that the Backyard Skeptics tore out, such as:
If a man takes a wife and, after sleeping with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” then the young woman’s father and mother shall bring to the town elders at the gate proof that she was a virgin. Her father will say to the elders, “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. Now he has slandered her and said, ‘I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.’ But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.” Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, and the elders shall take the man and punish him. They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the young woman’s father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives.
If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.
If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel.
If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you.
But if out in the country a man happens to meet a young woman pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die. Do nothing to the woman; she has committed no sin deserving death. This case is like that of someone who attacks and murders a neighbor, for the man found the young woman out in the country, and though the betrothed woman screamed, there was no one to rescue her.
If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
A man is not to marry his father’s wife; he must not dishonor his father’s bed. [Emphasis mine]
That’s right, the penalty for adultery is to be stoned to death, the penalty of raping a woman in town is death of both the man and woman (if the woman doesn’t scream loud enough), the penalty of rape in the country is death, unless she’s not engaged, then just pay 500 grams of silver to her dad and marry her.
If this is all fine and good with Brad, then I fear for the fact he is listed as one of the 50 most influential Rabbi’s in the USA.
Fanatical religion is far worse than anything the New Atheists have done. Far worse.