I know every denomination of Christianly interprets the bible differently and pastors/ministers often have their own take as well. Are churches like Westboro Baptist what people that actually follow the bible look like? What I mean by “actually follow the bible” is that often people will say something was not literal or they take it out of context to make it fit their beliefs. Are groups like Westboro following more of the literal meaning in the bible or are they making it fit what they believe? I know they seem like a bunch of malevolent hate mongers, but if they were made in the image of god…

As an atheist, anytime I read any religious writings I take it for what it says. I don’t look for hidden meanings or analogies to fit a belief system. I know what something says but then I hear a lot of "what this means is" and often what it "means" isn't what it says. Is Westboro what Christianity should look like to an atheist or what should it look like?

I am genuinely attempting to understand this. A lot of you are much more familiar with the bible than I am, which is why I am asking. This could very well be the dumbest question EVER for all I know :)



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Not a dumb question at all. You're right to be confused. God loves you, right? But isn't the Bible full of stuff that suggests otherwise?


It strikes me that the Bible - and just about any other proscriptive scripture - is written in such a way that leaves interpretation wide open to the reader, or more specifically the purveyors of the faith to make it say pretty much what they want it to. That gives the Westboro Baptist lunatics carte blanche to read whatever they want into the "teachings" of the scriptures.


This being the case, atheists should be very wary of any individual or group that waves a scripture at you, and tries to tell you how to live your life. Immoral people preaching their immorality at you as if it's the highest form of morality, as laid down by their god. Simply disgusting.

You might consider reading: The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to follow the Bible as Literally as Possible - a book by A. J. Jacobs

Thank you. I will look into that.

If ever anyone says we should look to the bible for moral guidance I ask them if they think those that work on the sabbath should be put to death.  Failing that I ask them if they condone slavery and the beating and branding of slaves. Or perhaps I may ask them if they think men with damaged genitalia should be banned from religious congregations (this would for example exclude men with testicular cancer).  Basically I always find the best retort is to actually read them passages from the basic doctrine of their belief system. When you do that it soon becomes apparent (to any thinking person) that the bible was written by primitive men. The irony is that I often use their own theology to debunk there own arguments.  It doesn't always work but I enjoy doing it. ;-)

It is important to differentiate the New Testament and the Old Testament as the vast majority of Christians don't take the Old Testament seriously and do not follow it whatsoever.

Yes it's true I often hear that argument. The answer to it is simple. If you are not a creationist & you do not take the old testament seriously (as it is full of nonsense & backwardness) then the basic doctrine of Christianity (& all the abrahamics) is false.  

All religion is false - but Christianity with the teachings of Jesus is a much better and more peaceful religion than both Islam and Judism - I rank the religions from bad to worse in this order (of the three main religions): 1) Christianity 2) Catholic version 3) Judism 4) Islam

The fundamentalism entails the extremism.

Yeah, that is also what I was wondering too. I was under the impression the new testament said you should not deny the old testament or something, but that came from someone who followed both.To me, I think the old testament sounded so gruesome and horrifying people were like “no ones gonna wanna believe this horrible shit” and they made up the new testament.

Where do you get these ideas.


If christians didnt follow the old testament..


They would have no reason to claim god dislikes gays,

They would have no reason to follow any of the ten commandments,

They would have no creation story to argue

Without the old testament there is no Jesus.. since there is no messianic prophecy. 


.. i could go on but if that is not enough i have to question where you are finding your special christians.


Plenty of Christians play little or no attention to the old testament. Regardless of the contradiction. Everyone in my family is catholic. They all attended catholic schools. They will say “that’s not what I was taught” . Whenever I have brought up evil crap that’s in the old testament, to ANY Christian, that’s always what I am told “well that’s the old testament, we don’t follow that”. These "special christians" are everywhere. I understand what you mean. It doens't make any sense. It doesn't have to. It's religion.

Just because they lie to themselves doesnt mean we should also


NIV is a christian book, not a jewish or a catholic book. It includes both.




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