This morning I again ran into the brick wall of religious Fundamentalism, this time in the following quote from http://www.Bible-Knowledge.com: “As Christians we have to believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible.”
My immediate response is: No, Christians do NOT have to. Having absorbed 5 years of Christian and biblical training in secondary school, I am familiar with the Christian doctrine, the history of the Church and Christianity itself. Of course the quote at once defines the writer as a Fundamentalist, not someone with whom not all Christians except those on the far right, nor I, would be philosophically aligned. But, very well, I will play by his rule for a moment, and see where such a literal approach will lead us, start with the account of creation in the Book of Genesis itself. Quote:
“… And God made the beasts of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
“And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image after our likeness: Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
“So God created man in his own image, and the image of God created him, male and female created he them.
“And God blessed them and God said unto them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over every living thing that moveth upon the Earth…
“And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth and there was not a man to till the ground.
“But there went up a mist from the Earth and watered the whole face of the ground.
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostril the breath of life: and man became a living soul…
“And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet (sic) for him…
“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh instead thereof.
“And the rib which the Lord God had taken from man made he a woman and brought her unto the man.
“And Adam said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called ‘Woman’, because she was taken out of man.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh…
“And Adam knew Eve, his wife: and she conceived and bear Cain, and said, ‘I have gotten a man from the Lord.
“And she again bear his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain a tiller of the ground.
“And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the Land of Nod on the East of Eden.
“And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bear Enoch, and he builded a city, called the name of the city after the name of his son Enoch…”
1. Why does a monotheistic god refer to itself in the plural “us” in Gen. 1:26?
2. What does “subdue the earth” mean?
3. Does the Christian Fundamentalist really believe that “the first woman” was made out of a rib of “the first man”?
4. If the Land of Nod lay beyond “the presence of the Lord”, was “the Lord” then not omnipresent?
5. Did Adam and Eve have navels?
6. Where did Cain’s wife come from?
I really want to know, because all Americans may be ruled by one such person after the November election.
Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)