The premiere magazine of sock color, celebrity tittle tattle, and lightly disguised advertorials has released their eagerly anticipated opinion of the Holy Bible.
GQ took a moment out from letting us know which “18 On-Sale Style Flexes to Buy Right Now” and advising us to “Set Your Pits Free with Spring’s Best Lightweight Sweaters”, to tell us what they really thought of the Holy Bible, a book that shaped 2,000 years of culture and changed forever all of mankind.
The Holy Bible is rated very highly by all the people who supposedly live by it but who in actuality have not read it. Those who have read it know there are some good parts, but overall it is certainly not the finest thing that man has ever produced. It is repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned. If the thing you heard was good about the Bible was the nasty bits, then I propose Agota Kristof’s The Notebook, a marvelous tale of two brothers who have to get along when things get rough. The subtlety and cruelty of this story is like that famous sword stroke (from below the boat) that plunged upward through the bowels, the lungs, and the throat and into the brain of the rower.
Any person who is even barely literate and who possesses an intellect above sub-moronic knows the influence that the Bible has had is impossible—as in not possible—to underestimate. You don’t need me to tell you that every, without exception, institution of Western culture has been molded, moved, and motivated by it. This includes the English language itself, which because of King James, is saturated in Biblical imagery, poetry, metaphor.
But this is GQ we’re talking about. A Conde Nasty publication. These are people with money and therefore moral sophistication. They, above us all, know of what they speak.
So it must be that Agota Kristof’s The Notebook as replacement for the Holy Bible is beyond monumental. Beyond stupendous. Beyond even the excitement wrought when reading about “The Best Sex Toys for Couples Will Make Sex Even More Awesome”.
I consider myself blessed that I discovered a mind far greater than my own reviewing The Notebook. Slavoj Zizek even provided excerpts. Zizek tells us:
The Notebook tells the story of young twins living with their grandmother in a small Hungarian town during the last years of the second world war and the early years of communism. The twins are thoroughly immoral – they lie, blackmail, kill – yet they stand for authentic ethical naivety at its purest…
One night, they find themselves sleeping in the same bed as a German officer, a tormented gay masochist. Early in the morning, they awaken and want to leave the bed, but the officer holds them back.
Then comes this excerpt of this better-than-Holy-Bible book:
‘Don’t move. Keep sleeping.’
‘We want to urinate. We have to go.’
‘Don’t go. Do it here.’
We ask: ‘Where?’
He says: ‘On me. Yes. Don’t be afraid. Piss! On my face.’
We do it, then we go out into the garden, because the bed is all wet.
You don’t have that kind of realism from Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, boy. Zizek says of this passage that it was “A true work of love, if there ever was one!” God Himself sacrificing Himself for mankind’s sins just doesn’t stand up to Russian-dossier-style fiction.
Zizek next tells us of a priest’s housekeeper who plays “erotic games” with the boys. A procession of starving Jews walks by:
Right in front of us, a thin arm emerges from the crowd, a dirty hand stretches out, a voice asks: ‘Bread.’
The housekeeper smiles and pretends to offer the rest of her bread; she holds it close to the outstretched hand, then, with a great laugh, brings the piece of bread back to her mouth, takes a bite, and says: ‘I’m hungry too.’
Seeing this, the boys “put some ammunition into [the househkeeper’s] kitchen stove so that when she lights it in the morning, it explodes and disfigures her.”
They graduate from that to blackmail and then to “assisting” in suicides. “[W]hen their grandmother asks them to put poison into her cup of milk, they say: ‘Don’t cry, Grandmother. We’ll do it; if you really want us to, we’ll do it.'”
Now isn’t that nice to see young people obeying their elders.
Zizek didn’t mention the “famous sword stroke (from below the boat) that plunged upward through the bowels, the lungs, and the throat and into the brain of the rower.”
Bonus anecdote So you don’t think the news is all bad, I can report that yesterday at mass two dozen kids received First Communion. What made it hopeful was that the kids were accompanied by parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends. The pews overflowed. All were dressed beautifully and appropriately. Here’s the point: many of the people were not themselves communicants, but they still thought it an event worth celebrating and honoring in the proper style—and not being embarrassed about. It’s confirmation (a pun) the GQ’s of the world have not yet completed their work.
Categories: Book review, Culture
“Any person who is even barely literate and who possesses an intellect above sub-moronic knows the influence that the Bible has had is impossible—as in not possible—to underestimate.”
This is too good to be true.
Anyway, read your King James, friends. An open-minded reading of the Bible has probably created more atheists than anything else.
“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
Some need to to be hardened.
Then there’s the story of the man who was so open-minded his brain fell out.
I tried … I truly tried … to go from agnosticism to atheism …
Anyway, I couldn’t remain ignorant …
I read the Bible … atheism lost
I don’t mean to nit-pick, but I think you meant to say “impossible to over-estimate”. Yes, like it or not, the Bible effects us all; everyone, always.
Give the man a cigar.
“Any person who is even barely literate and who possesses an intellect above sub-moronic knows the influence that the Bible has had is impossible—as in not possible—to underestimate. You don’t need me to tell you that every, without exception, institution of Western culture has been molded, moved, and motivated by it.”
One cannot help but observe from not only “An open-minded reading of the Bible” but also an open-minded review of history, that of the Bible, the NT in particular has left a bloody record on history.
The NT faith served the Spanish well as a rationale for slaughtering Central Americans and utterly destroying their society & culture for gold. The selling of indulgences by the Catholic Church contributed to the rise of Protestantism and the Christian-on-Christian violence that persists to the present. The developmental path in the Americas was significantly influenced by just the NT part of the Bible: The Pilgrims, “Christians,” came in search of peace from persecutions in the Old World — persecutions perpetrated by other “Christians” against “Christians” holding to the “wrong” beliefs.
More fundamentally, monotheism/monotheistic belief has been and continues to this day to be a basis for, or significant underlying element of, religious-based violence — typically against other monotheists that have a slightly different belief system.
History shows religious-based violence to be a fundamental distinguishing feature of monotheism. The ancient pagan polytheistic societies show no, or very very little, religious-basis for warfare (notwithstanding that opposing sides would have their respective deities, the differences between deities was not a fundamental reason, or even a factor, for conflict — the record shows the opposite as the winner invariably assimilated the loser’s gods into the pantheon of deities).
I expect we will see Cosmo’s definitive assessment of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare by and by wherein they grudgingly admit there are good bits, but hardly in the same league as Sex in the City or Downton Abbey.
Amusingly, the repetitiveness of the Iliad might not be so poorly received… very repetitive it is!
And anyone who reads the Bible “with an open mind” ends up believing it; but we know what “an open mind” means these days — it means “I believe in progress, which just means whatever is obviously true, nonwithstanding the great cultural power which leans heavily on the null hypothesis to preserve this appearance.”
I mean everyone believes that deities are sky fairies. Who believes otherwise? What sort of weird delusion are they under? Also, the cosmos is becoming god (not a sky fairy.) The US revolution was a tax revolt, but tax revolts never work, it wasn’t treason because treason is evil, except when it is treason against a government run by Donald Trump, because that’s not really treason since Donald Trump colluded with Russia (he didn’t, but maybe he lied about an affair with Stormy Daniels, which is a bad thing, but not if Bill Clinton did it, because Bill Clinton gave political positions to women, which made up for his obvious abuse of women, which really wasn’t abuse because he was giving women power in exchange for sex, which is sex work, which is okay unless there’s a lot of money to be made suing him and the women were *really scared* to lose their jobs)
I hope that clarifies GQ’s position somewhat. All hail the golden idol that king Neb set up.
The NT faith served the Spanish well as a rationale for slaughtering …
Rationale, excuse, justification, but not the cause of the evil that lurks in the hearts of men.
The Bible can be and is often used as an idol.
That is exactly when it doesn’t work!
Ah, well, ye can’t have it both ways. The conquistadors came after the Renaissance, which we are told marked a turning away from the superstitions of the dark ages of faith. So which is it?
In fact, it was during this very period that the church was broken and subordinated to national and regal interests either by rent-a-heretic (as in Saxony or Brandenburg) as a way of declaring independence from the Empire; by nationalizing the church within the Realm (as in England or Sweden); or in appropriating the right to name bishops or censoring encyclicals (as in Spain and France).
Christians “adhering to the wrong beliefs” generally meant those disloyal to the policies of the totalizing State. “Cuius regio, eius religio!” you traitor, you.
The worst thing about the Bible is it’s riddled with cliches – even more than Shakespeare.
I always like to say, “I see what you did there.”
Yes, it was Christopher Hitchens who called ‘fool’ ALL who deride the King James version !!!
Atheist Christopher Hitchens Writes Love Letter to the King James Bible
We talk about ‘all true or all false” in religion but almost never anywhere else.
But best explanation: [ Bertrand Russell ] “Most people would rather die than think and most people do” die, that is, rather than think
The NT faith served the Spanish well as a rationale for slaughtering …
well, if you look at the Papal documents and Bishop Bartolomé de las Casas you will see that those Spanish did what they wanted, obeying the Church only when it was in their interest. Who did the most damage in South America? VOLTAIRE, the atheist and Church hater
“We cannot do more than mention the Jesuit Reducciones of Paraguay, where from 1607 to 1768 the padres ruled over a veritable Mission state. Even an enemy of the Church, Voltaire, could say of them: ‘…they had arrived at what is perhaps the highest degree of civilization to which it is possible to lead a young people… Laws were there respected, morals were pure, a happy brotherhood bound men together, the useful arts and even some of the more pleasing sciences flourished; there was abundance everywhere.'” (Sir Charles A. Coulombe, Puritan’s Empire, “Missionaries as Colonizers”)
And he was the chief force against the dissolution of the Jesuits and the destruction over the over-30 idyllic towns set up for the Guarani Indians.