A man here in B.C. was recently convicted for beating his wife with a wooden rod. He had also beaten his stepsons almost daily for varied biblical infractions and his defense was that he was simply obeying his Bible. He said he is a good Christian. And he is. He accepts the Bible at face value and as the word of his deity. He is a good Christian. In contrast, it has been the emerging secular society, enlightened by science, that has over the last century or so focused its attention on those aspects of the bible that could best promote nurturing and cooperation.
Religious leaders, under pressure from the secular world, have had to modify their interpretations of the Bible to suit – – an ongoing process, witness the Pope’s recent rejection of a physical hell. Christ has become a kind father figure, compassionate and just chuck full of love for everybody.
Compare this with the Christ who says, in St. Matthew: 10:34 ” Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I am come not to send peace but a sword.”
10:35 “For I am come to set a man at variance with his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
10:36 “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”
Here we see a vain, divisive personality willing to tear asunder a loving family rather than lose his follower’s allegiance. Hardly a good image for our youth. Our secular society has assiduously avoided focusing on such passages. We read the bible selectively and with good reason.
The point is that it is our secular society that has promoted those aspects of morality that encourage self respect instead of self abnegation, free expression instead of blind obedience. The myth that religion has fostered modern man’s caring attitude is just that, a myth. It has been our secular society, prodded by science and universal education, that has been the keeper of our moral standards.