Jimmy Carter, wriggling like an eel, cherry-picks the Bible

In some ways I have more intellectual respect for Biblical fundamentalists—or at least those who don’t construe the Bible as having a different meaning from what it says—than for liberal believers who just read their own morality into the Bible, claiming that that’s what God really meant.  One of the latter is Jimmy Carter, Democratic ex-President who has always been a “man of faith” (he’s taught Sunday school for years). But until I read a new interview with him on HuffPo, I didn’t realize how malleable he sees scripture.

The excuse for the interview is Carter’s new book, NIV Lessons from Life Bible: Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter.  “NIV” is the “New International Version” of the Bible, which you can read here.   At any rate, Carter manages to wiggle out of every misogynistic, xenophobic, anti-gay, and pro-slavery passage in the Good Book. Here are a few of the questions and his answers:

What do you say to those who point to certain scriptures that women should not teach men or speak in church? (1 Corinthians 1:14)

I separated from the Southern Baptists when they adopted the discriminatory attitude towards women, because I believe what Paul taught in Galatians that there is no distinction in God’s eyes between men and women, slaves and masters, Jews and non-Jews -– everybody is created equally in the eyes of God.

There are some things that were said back in those days –- Paul also said that women should not be adorned, fix up their hair, put on cosmetics, and that every woman who goes in a place of worship should have her head covered. Paul also said that men should not cut their beards and advocated against people getting married, except if they couldn’t control their sexual urges. Those kinds of things applied to the customs of those days. Every worshipper has to decide if and when they want those particular passages to apply to them and their lives.

Well, good for him for sticking up for women.  But Lord, how can he excuse the Bible’s clear misogyny as merely “the customs of those days”?  He mentions cosmetic things, but neglects the clear commands of Yahweh:

“If however the charge is true and no proof of the girl’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…” Deuteronomy 22:13-21.

“Wives submit to your husbands, as is fitting to the Lord.” Colossians 3:18

“Are they not finding and dividing the spoils: a girl or two for each man, colorful garments as plunder for Sisera, colorful garments embroidered, highly embroidered garments for my neck–all this as plunder?” Judges 5:30

“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22

(There are many more here.)  Maybe some of these were the “customs of the day,” but perhaps that was because they were seen as God’s commands—the obvious reading in many cases.  Since Carter says “God inspired the Bible,” did he not inspire those parts? Does Jimmy, like Rabbi Lurie, have a pipeline to the divine?

A lot of people point to the Bible for reasons why gay people should not be in the church, or accepted in any way.

Homosexuality was well known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born and Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. In all of his teachings about multiple things -– he never said that gay people should be condemned. I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies.

Yes, Jesus didn’t condemn gays, but God did.  Here are a few statements:

“‘If a man lies with a male, as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:13.

“Make no mistake: no fornicator or idolator, none who are guilty either of adultery or of homosexual perversion, no thieves or grabbers of drunkards of slanderers or swindlers, will possess the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9

Carter pulls the same shenanigans with slavery:

What about passages saying slaves obey your masters? (Colossians 3:22) Do you think there is ever a time to say, ok, we know that we don’t agree with that passage, let’s get rid of it?

Well, the principles of that are still applicable. It wasn’t a matter that the Bible endorses slavery, it was that throughout history, now and in the future there are going to be some who are in a subservient position like when I was commanding officer of a ship when I was in the submarine corps. It is meant to preserve the basic principles that don’t cause resentment or hatred or betrayal or false attitudes. But it also says that a master should respect your servant. So, it works both ways.

This is really weaselly. Not only does he avoid using the word “slave,” but Carter says what’s really going on here is simply a Biblican admonition for people to respect their superiors.  Really, Jimmy, a slave in the ancient Middle East was equivalent to a sailor on a submarine?  And the Bible certainly endorses slavery, e.g.:

However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you.  You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land.  You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance.  You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. Leviticus 25:44-46

When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished.  If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.  Exodus 21:20-21

Here’s one showing the clever way that a slaveowner can keep a slave permanently—one who would normally be freed—by holding his wife and children hostage:

If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years.  Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom.  If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year.  But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him.  If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master.  But the slave may plainly declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children.  I would rather not go free.’  If he does this, his master must present him before God.  Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl.  After that, the slave will belong to his master forever.  Exodus 21:2-6

Sex slavery!:

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.  If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again.  But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her.  And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter.  If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife.  If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.  Exodus 21:7-11

Finally, Carter gives his principles for interpreting the Bible, which are, of course, to adopt those principles that he finds a priori reasonable while rejecting the others.

Should we approach the Bible literally, or metaphorically?

When we go to the Bible we should keep in mind that the basic principles of the Bible are taught by God, but written down by human beings deprived of modern day knowledge. So there is some fallibility in the writings of the Bible. But the basic principles are applicable to my life and I don’t find any conflict among them.

He doesn’t find any conflict because he simply ignores those principles that he doesn’t like. I wonder what he’d say to those fellow Christians who disagree with his readings—that they’re simply wrong?

60 Comments

  1. Yi
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    It boils down to the repeatedly asked question by us: Why does he need the book at all if he can just cherry-pick whatever in his favor while tossing away those disgusting bits? There are many books that are far more morally enlightening than that evidently cobbled-together one.

  2. newenglandbob
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Carter has batted 000 on just about everything. He is living (?) proof that an intelligent, educated person can go astray.

    • Jim Jones
      Posted March 24, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      000 on everything? He got more of his legislation passed than Reagan did of his.

      • Posted March 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        Carter put solar panels on the White House; Reagan tore them down. That pretty much sums up those two. Carter may be deluded about faith, but he is clearly the better man.

      • Frank
        Posted March 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        Carter was out of his league as President, and largely unable to get much done even with a Democrat-controlled Congress. Even Democrats were disgusted or at least chagrined by his “malaise” speech. Not only did Reagan beat him easily, but some Democrats defected to 3rd-party candidate, John Anderson. As far as this post, Carter’s age and background probably preclude his ability to shed the piety he absorbed with his mother’s milk (to paraphrase H.L. Mencken). He is too smart to swallow all of the nonsense, but he isn’t a sharp thinker either.

        • Diane G.
          Posted March 25, 2012 at 12:49 am | Permalink

          Carter was once widely regarded as being a much better ex-president than president. His humanitarian and diplomatic endeavors after he was voted out of office were much admired.

          He did make a lot of missteps as prez, but may also have been our last chief executive who was not groomed, spun, and framed to death.

  3. Tim
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    It is one thing to lack the courage to admit that the bible in which you’ve invested so much of your identity actually contains a lot of morally reprehensible trash. That’s tough to do; Jimmy would have to acknowledge how silly he’s been for 80 years. It is quite another thing to write a book, the point of which is to present to the world a series of frankly stupid rationalizations for why large segments of this wonderful book sound so horrendous.

    Keep it to yourself, Mr. President, and maybe we’ll give you a pass.

  4. Posted March 24, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    (This probably isn’t the most relevant post to make this observation on, but at least it is the most recent!)

    But what strikes me when it comes to the misogynic teachings of religion is that it seems to be little more than a strategy of paternity certainty; i.e. holy texts being a collection of tips and tricks on how to avoid being cuckolded. It’d be funny if it wasn’t so depressing.

  5. Jim Jones
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Yes, Jesus didn’t condemn gays, but God did.
    ‘If a man lies with a male, as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination’

    That’s a bad translation. This is closer:

    “And with a man you shall not lie lyings of a woman it is unclean.”

    It’s toevah (unclean – like taking back your divorced wife after she’s been divorced a second time) and can be ‘cured’ with a mikveh (a ritual bath).

    How do you think Ted Haggard got “cured of teh gay” in 3 weeks? Prayer? No, just bathe the sin away! Bwahaha!

  6. Gluon
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I share your feeling that, intellectually, Fundamentalists are more honest, and in that slim way more respectable. They are, however, much more frightening. With someone like Carter, secularism has already won, he just hasn’t acknowledged it yet.

    • Tim
      Posted March 24, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Right. The very narrow sense in which fundamentalists are “honest” is actually better labeled as more consistent. I don’t respect fundamentalists intellectual “honesty” since, in order to maintain consistency. they have to plug their ears and yell, “nah, nah, nah…” even as they condone evil in the name of “consistency”.

      • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
        Posted March 24, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        +1.

    • Adam
      Posted March 24, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      I completely agree. The mental tricks that “moderate” religious people must perform to justify their holy book is mind-boggling. Fundamentalists just have a different view of reality, so at least their views are consistent (yet horribly misguided).

    • Diane G.
      Posted March 25, 2012 at 12:51 am | Permalink

      + 4

    • Posted March 25, 2012 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      It has been pointed out that this is why “accomodationism” is insulting to many fundamentalists. After all, they *tell you* that everything is important to them, apparently equally, and then the accommodationists say “no, no, this part isn’t”. Talk about patronizing.

  7. Dave B.
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Jesus as much as condemned gays by endorsing the Mosaic Law outright:

    Matthew 5
    17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly [i.e. Jimmy Carter] will be called least in the kingdom of heaven

  8. Posted March 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    When we go to the Bible we should keep in mind that the basic principles of the Bible are taught by God, but written down by human beings deprived of modern day knowledge. So there is some fallibility in the writings of the Bible.

    That’s a popular trope amongst the religious, but it makes no sense whasoever.

    I mean, really? The all-powerful, all-knowing creator of Life, the Universe, and Everything felt the need to personally comunnicate his Ultimate Word to the pinnacle of his creation, but he couldn’t be arsed to find somebody who could take decent dictation?

    Give me a break.

    Cheers,

    b&

  9. Posted March 24, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    What? I can’t be a grabber of drunkards? That’s my favorite thing.

  10. Achrachno
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    I have to disagree. The fundamentalists are WORSE than the liberal Christians IMO. Fundamentalists are not honest nor are they consistent.

    Both groups have to pick and choose relentlessly because their holy book is an unholy mess of absolute contradictions. Each group choses the parts they consider good — what else can one do when confronted with such mess if you’re committed to remaining a Christian? The liberals at least pick and choose based on somewhat reasonable standards of “love” and “respect” whereas the conservatives rely on the usual authoritarianism and patriarchy.

    Plus, the liberals generally respect the findings of science and will even judge the Bible by scientific knowledge, rather than the reverse. It’d be better if the liberals would just abandon the whole Christian thing and come all the way to rationalism and unbelief, but meanwhile I tend to prefer people who are 75% of the way toward reasonable to those stuck at 5%.

    • TheMuse
      Posted March 24, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      +1000. I read your comment after I posted mine below. You said what I wanted to say much better than me.

      • Achrachno
        Posted March 24, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, but really our posts are complementary and I liked your final lines very much:

        “And when they’re done cherry picking they still claim to hold to literalism and inerrancy. It is not logical so don’t try to figure it out.”

        Exactly!

      • Diane G.
        Posted March 25, 2012 at 12:54 am | Permalink

        I totally agree with both of you.

    • raven
      Posted March 25, 2012 at 2:04 am | Permalink

      Got it.

      All xians are cafeteria xians. The bible is such a kludgy mess that they have to be.

      Even Ken Ham, patriarchial wild eyed creationist is. He rejects the flat earth, sky is just a dome with lights stuck on it, and geocentristm, all found in the same two pages of Genesis as the creation myth.

      They all reject the clear command of Deuteronomy to stone false prophets to death. That would eliminate all fundie xian leaders, who would all immediately disappear under a pile of rocks.

      While the moderates might be less literal, they are also less malevolent by a long ways. Works for me.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted March 25, 2012 at 3:23 am | Permalink

        Works for me too. If someone is a moderate, I don’t care how they rationalise that with their holy book, I’m just thankful for their moderation.

        Though I do have to say, that bit about Deuteronomy and rocks sounds tempting. Calls to mind the ‘Jehovah’ scene from Life of Brian:

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted March 25, 2012 at 3:25 am | Permalink

          Oh damn, I didn’t expect to imbed the whole damn video. Why doesn’t WP have an Edit function? :(

  11. Georgia
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    There is lots of misogyny in the Bible, but I think Jerry’s reliance on Judges 5:30 is totally misplaced. Sisera is an enemy general who has just been defeated in battle by the heroic Deborah and has just been ignominiously killed by a brave woman named Jael. His mother, who does not know this and is waiting by the window for him to triumphant return, is being mocked in the passage. The Song of Deborah is the most pro-feminist parts in the Bible.

    • Georgia
      Posted March 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      I see I made some grammatical mistakes. Sorry.

  12. Veroxitatis
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    So what! The Nicene Creed is sufficient for the Anglican Communion and some Anglicans question even parts of that.

  13. Seyram
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Christ! Please excuse the expression. Jimmy Carter demonstrates the intellectual gymnastics needed to wade through the piles of rubbish that make up the Bible.

    It would make for rather entertaining dialogue/ debate, if Christians in general could nimbly navigate their way through their holy book, the way Jimmy Carter has clearly done.

    Unfortunately, most Christians cannot and so we see Christianity promoting the misogyny, racism, homophobia, xenophobia and plain ignorance of a long gone era.

    • raven
      Posted March 25, 2012 at 2:09 am | Permalink

      It would make for rather entertaining dialogue/ debate, if Christians in general could nimbly navigate their way through their holy book, the way Jimmy Carter has clearly done.

      They don’t even do that. The vast majority of xians have never even read their magic book. Especially the fundies.

      They just read cherry picked short passages and make up stories about what it really means.

      Some groups just pick out the Dark passages while others pick out the Light passages.

      The bible is just one giant Rorschach Inkblot and you can read anything you want into it.

  14. MAUCH
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Am I allowed to approach the Old Testament, New Testament, Jesus and God metaphorically? After all nobody can honestly believe that any of this stuff is fact.

    • Douglas E
      Posted March 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Yes you may!!

  15. TheMuse
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, I’ve got news for you. All religious fundamentalists cherry pick from the Bible. Some are more creative in their cherry picking than others and the reasons why they believe some things but not others, but they ALL cherry pick. And when they’re done cherry picking they still claim to hold to literalism and inerrancy. It is not logical so don’t try to figure it out.

    • Veroxitatis
      Posted March 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Well, some go pretty far down the road of believing every single thing. But maybe not the whole hog! I had an interesting (?) argument with a fundie some time ago. I asked about the verses in Matthew about picking up serpents and was given a lengthy lecture to the effect that there was no need for that nowadays because belief in the risen Christ was sufficient. The analysis appeared to owe much to Harold Camping and “Answers in Genesis”. Me? I just reckoned he was scared of snakes and wouldn’t admit it!!

      • NoAstronomer
        Posted March 24, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        Given the number of outright contradictions in the bible (Genesis 1 vs Genesis for just example) I don’t believe that it’s possible to believe the whole bible unless one has a serious personality disorder.

        • Veroxitatis
          Posted March 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

          BTW, there’s an extraordinary vid on youtube:- In Jesus Name: Taking up serpents. a film by Al Clayton (1991) Well worth watching all 40+ mins. if only for the music and the old guy who looks like he stepped straight out of East of Eden or The Grapes of Wrath.
          I’d be interested hearing from anyone who has witnessed such a service first hand.

  16. Hempenstein
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    I just heard him speak last month in support of a scientific effort, and there wasn’t a trace of anything related to religion in his talk. And, he did a lot for desegregation as Governor of Georgia before getting to the White House. So for these and other reasons I’m inclined to give him some slack on this.

    I don’t expect you’d ever find him defending creationists, either.

  17. NoAstronomer
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.”

    Misogyny and slavery all in one nice easy to use sentence.

  18. tatsuoshimabuku
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Seriously, is this surprising?

  19. Posted March 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    What President Carter said in the interview is quite different from what he believes. In fact at least half of all Christians are reluctant to admit they don’t really believe all that stuff the guy in the pulpit is saying and the bible stories. When they defend the bible they really are trying to preserve their family and personal life.

  20. David Leech
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Fundamentalist Christians are just as dishonest in their following of the bible as the moderates, they just cherry pick the bad parts to follow. Do you really think any fundamentalists follows the bible in its totality, of course they don’t, nobody could. Unlike the moderates who are dishonest the fundies are dishonest and nasty.

  21. PB
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    I think Carter should read “The Last Testament: A Memoir” 2011, God (Author), David Javerbaum (Contributor) before the interview ..

    It hard to be intelligent about god, except through humor ..

  22. Bruce S. Springsteen
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    While both fundamentalists and moderates cherry-pick, the fundamentalists are the most honest about the general drift of things. There is no question in either the Old or New Testament that God isn’t going to put up with our imperfections forever, that belief is essential and unbelief is punishable by terrible suffering. That’s the big picture. Jesus touts it, Paul touts it, it is the organizing principle and the raison d’être for the whole Christian trip. Fundies accept that and wallow in it; so-called liberals run from it and evade the question.

    Does Jimmy Carter believe in and approve of hell of not? Because Jesus clearly did. If he doesn’t, in what sense is he a Christian? If he does, in what sense is he a likeable guy?

  23. Posted March 24, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Jason Rosenhouse has a rather different, and more approving, take on Carter’s interview here: http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2012/03/jimmy_carter_on_the_bible.php#more

  24. Diane G.
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    I rather like the interviewer’s questions. Not the normal fawning obeisance one might expect when both an ex-president and The Bible (!) are involved…

  25. Posted March 25, 2012 at 3:39 am | Permalink

    I know exactly what you mean about hardcore believers versus interpreter believers, yet would still prefer cucumber sandwich christianity to bible-thumpers.

    • Bruce S. Springsteen
      Posted March 25, 2012 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Only when its a way station to unbelief. If they stay waffly hypocrites, they just empower the hard-core folks, who make hay pointing out the self-serving inconsistencies of the liberals. Fundies have just as much right to claim to know god as the nice folks, and know it. More so if you consider their vengeful, arbitrary, authoritarian God is more consistent with the world we see than the loving open-minded father of the left. The fundies at least have a plausible theistic explanation for tsunamis and AIDS. The liberals collapse in incoherence in the face of evil and suffering, if their God has any power at all.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted March 26, 2012 at 12:34 am | Permalink

        I would infinitely prefer a moderate, whose better nature and sense of reality impels them to emphasise the good points of their religion and deprecate the worse, and never mind logical consistency, to a theologically consistent fundamentalist who is obliged to inflict their obnoxious beliefs on everybody.

      • Posted March 26, 2012 at 5:25 am | Permalink

        Yes, but the waffling liberal god-botherers will not be the ones pressing the red button, will they?! :(

      • Diane G.
        Posted March 28, 2012 at 12:16 am | Permalink

        Yes, but…your “of the left,” here, is important. Politically and philosophically (small p), leftish religious moderates share more of humanism’s goals than fundies. Like it or not, coalitions are vital in modern society.

  26. Posted March 25, 2012 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    I work with a guy who is a “Liberal Christian” and he always claims that fundamentalists are not real Christains. Whenever I bring up slavery or mistreatment of women in the bible he falls back on “Oh, those people aren’t real Christains.” Two thousnad years of fundamentalists bullshit and him and his little church are the only real christains. It’s very irritating. It’s fascinating how we humans can delude ourselves.

  27. Roz
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    I reckon the bigger the picture and the more facts you can show people about human history, the more likely they are to really start thinking. That’s why humanity needs folks like Dawkins and Coyne to carry on spreading the good news and sowing the seeds of reason.

  28. Roz
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    infiniteimprobabilit, thanks for posting that scene. As an ex-JW it made me laugh alot

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted March 28, 2012 at 1:17 am | Permalink

      Thanks. It came from Monty Python’s Life of Brian, which is not nearly as blasphemous a movie as its critics made it out to be – Brian is explicitly shown to be an unwilling prophet of the time of Christ and not a stand-in for Jesus. Mostly, it’s just straight comedy. My favourite is the giggling Roman soldier, how they shot that scene without the entire cast cracking up I don’t know.

  29. heleen
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Jimmy Carter was and is the most admirable US president, and the only genuinely religious one.

  30. oiojes
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have a problem at all with Jimmy Carter’s approach. I don’t have a problem cherry picking the bible. Why should he follow the approach Jerry Coyne says is the most stupid?

    You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say this is book is dumb and anybody who believes init literally is dumb. And then jump on someone when they attempt to make sense of it by accepting that parts of it are dumb and parts aren’t.

    I’m an atheist and proud of it. But only a blind simpleton would say there is NOTHING of value in the bible.

  31. Hempenstein
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    This following re. Jimmy splitting with the So Baptists is almost 3y/o. I missed it at the time and don’t know how it has developed since then, but since it’s relevant to all the above, and I don’t think anyone above has noted it, have a look.

    • Diane G.
      Posted March 28, 2012 at 12:21 am | Permalink

      Yeah, I’d somehow missed that, too. Bully for Jimmy!


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] other thing: most educated believers “cherry pick” the beliefs that make sense to them and blow off the ones that don’t. Yes, that is called “using your head” but the fact is many WANT the social structure […]

  2. […] Jimmy Carter, wriggling like an eel, cherry-picks the Bible (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com) […]

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