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Monday, 13 October 2014

#BookADayUK; A Reader Event For October. Day 13

Early 15th-century Latin Bible, handwritten in...
Early 15th-century Latin Bible, handwritten in Belgium, on display at Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire, England (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today's theme is 'Nostalgic reads! Changed meaning when I re-read it later in life.'  I wracked my brains for this one, as I couldn't actually think of any book that I've re-read and found a different meaning. In some I've discovered small things I didn't notice the first time and in a few I've returned to only to discover they weren't as good as I initially thought they were. One or two have shown me aspects I'd missed on first exposure but none that I could think of had undergone a fundamental change caused by the passage of time and my accumulated experiences.
And then I thought about the Bible. I read much of this as the child of parents who were Christians. I was exposed to some during classes for Confirmation and other parts during both Sunday School and regular schooling.
Later in life, when events had shown me that religion is largely a power base for those who wish to control others, I revisited the Bible. It was just before I read that other tome on religion, probably the most tedious volume I've ever read from cover to to cover, the Qur'an. This, of course, borrows quite a bit of its message from the Bible, repeating many of the stories.
As for the Bible, my second reading simply served to reinforce my impression about the reality of its content. Since much of it is clearly untrue, many parts no more than justification for one culture defeating and subjugating another, a great deal of it laughably stupid, and only parts of it actually uplifting and inspiring, I realised that the book is a means of keeping people in their place by promising an unlikely afterlife following death and threatening a vile existence in an invented hell should adherents fail to stick to the rather arbitrary rules. Fear is a great way to ensure converts toe the line. The Islamic faith has used fear almost since day one; threatening to kill those who dare question it or try to leave the club once joined.
So, sorry if I offend, but I see religion as a divisive, tribal and harmful device aimed at the control of the masses. The Bible is simply one of the weapons used by the hierarchy to fulfil that role.
Sometimes, the truth is more important than other considerations.
Something a little lighter for tomorrow.

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