Biblical Inauguration

I saw this image on my Facebook feed so I wanted to talk about why I think that this is most definitely a bad idea.  There are several reasons why I do not think that the Bible should be used in inaugural ceremonies, or in any public setting.  It should not be used in court, not in swearing someone into office, not in any time where the government is involved.

Okay, so the first reason I think that this should not happen is because of the US Constitution.  I think that anyone who supports the statement in this picture has not read or does not understand the Constitution.  Article 6 of the Constitution reads "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."  No one elected to office is required to be Christian, or to believe in the Bible, or to think of it as a holy book, or anything of the sort.  It is not requisite to be elected, and it should not be requisite for being inaugurated into office.  Then, of course there's also the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment.  We do not want to go the way of The Church of England or the Middle East where we have a theocracy.  We need to have religion separate from government.

But, also, I think that anyone who supports the statement in this picture has not read the Bible either.  The Bible is probably one of the worst books that we could ask our leaders to pledge on when they enter office.  I would be fine with using the Constitution in inaugural ceremonies.  In fact, I think we should perform a complete and thorough reading of the Constitution during these events.  But, the Bible is one of the worst possible documents that could be used.  It would be better to ask people to swear upon Harry Potter or Twilight than on the Bible.

The Bible promotes slavery, prostitution, rape, pillage, and dozens of other atrocities that are no longer deemed moral in any enlightened society.  Jesus says that he wants people to hate their own family members.  He says that he is not come to bring peace, but to bring the sword.  He is a violent man.  The Bible is a violent book.  Its morals are far inferior to our own.  Anyone who lives their life by the Bible is someone I want to keep as far away from public office as possible--if not in an insane asylum.  The Bible calls for a man to sell his daughter for 30 gold pieces to a man who has raped her.  That's horrific and disgusting.  I cannot support that.  The Bible calls for indentured servitude.  It not only condones slavery, but it gives details on how slavery is to be carried out.  It's a guidebook for slave drivers.

The Bible tells a story of a man who gives his daughters to an angry mob of people who want to gang rape two angels who have come to visit.  This man is then lauded as a man of God.  Later on, these same daughters get their father drunk and rape him so they can have his babies.  These morals are disgusting.

The god of the Old Testament is a jealous, childish, selfish, and myopic being.  He lists commandments that people should follow and then immediately turns around and says it's okay for them to directly disobey all of these commandments where another tribe is concerned.  He tells them to commit genocide--to kill all of the men, women, children, and livestock of neighboring civilizations, but to be sure to rape all of the virgins first.  I have not ever read a book that I find to be as repugnant as the Bible.  And I most certainly do not want my leaders to be swearing on it when they enter public office.  I would call into question the sanity and morality of any person claiming to live by the morals in the Bible, and I certainly don't want to be subject to such a person, nor abide by any laws that such a person would promote.

I know my close friends and family do not live their lives by the morals of the Bible, even the ones who claim that they do.  They simply do not know what is contained in the Bible, or they dismiss all of the parts that our society finds to be distasteful, such as those I have mentioned (and many others).  Let us finally cast aside this Bronze Age text, with its Bronze Age morals.  We are more enlightened than that.  Let us not pretend that the Bible is the source of our morals or that it is the foundation that holds together the very fabric of our society.  If we were to live by the guidelines in the Bible, we would be a depraved and immoral society, killing anyone not in our immediate clan, raping members of our own families, and doing all sorts of horrific things.  Sure, they may have been acceptable three thousand years ago, but they certainly wouldn't work in today's society.