Why Ireland Should Become A Secular Republic

There was a time when Ireland was for all practical purposes, a Catholic state. Divorce, homosexuality, abortion and contraceptives were all illegal. Books and films had to be approved by a censorship board which banned anything that was contrary to Catholic teaching (which turned out to be a lot). The Church ran almost all schools, hospitals as well homes for “fallen women” and forgotten children. Acting contrary to Catholic teaching meant shame and banishment. The state was guided by Catholic principles to such an extent that it was hardly noticed or commented on. That was just the way things were. Continue reading “Why Ireland Should Become A Secular Republic”

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An Atheist Reads The Book Of Job: God Responds But Doesn’t Answer

So after the debate I covered last time between Job and his 3 “friends” (if you can call them that) there is a shift in the Book of Job. The first post was about questions of morality and why bad things happen to good people and in this post God shows up to give his response. Continue reading “An Atheist Reads The Book Of Job: God Responds But Doesn’t Answer”

An Atheist Reads The Book of Job: Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

One of the great questions of humanity is why do good things happen to bad people? Why is there war, famine and genocide? Why are rich and powerful people often dishonest and criminal? Why do innocent people suffer poverty and disease? Why are terrible injustices often unpunished? These are questions that have challenged humans throughout history and many religions and philosophers have struggled to answer. The Book of Job is dedicated to discussing this question and to my surprise it is actually entertaining. Continue reading “An Atheist Reads The Book of Job: Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?”

An Atheist Reads The Book of Esther: Treat Others As They Would Treat You

The book of Esther is a short book and a quick read (which is a big plus when reading the Bible). Interestingly, it is one of the few books not set in Israel and one of the only that doesn’t mention God. In contrast to almost every other story in the Bible, God doesn’t actually do anything in Esther, instead the approach is very humanist, the people must solve their own problems. In fact, God isn’t even mentioned in the book! Continue reading “An Atheist Reads The Book of Esther: Treat Others As They Would Treat You”

An Atheist Reads The Bible: The Importance Of Racial Purity

The books of Ezra and Nehemiah are rather dull books, focusing mainly on administration. They are very short and not much really happens in them, but they are important milestones. The book of Kings ends with the destruction of Israel and the deportation of the Israelites, so it is natural that these books cover their return from exile. They also mark the end of the “historical” section of the Old Testament (even if it was riddled with inaccuracies) and the shift towards the speeches and poems of prophets. Continue reading “An Atheist Reads The Bible: The Importance Of Racial Purity”

An Atheist Reads The Book of Chronicles: The Most Unnecessary Book In The Bible

To be honest, I don’t see the point of the first and second book of Chronicles. Sure I don’t have much respect for the rest of the Bible, but these two books are particularly pointless. Not because the stories are any worse than the other parts, but because we’ve already heard them. The Book of Chronicles is just a summary of the Books of Samuel and Kings, like those old tv shows that would take clips from old episodes and combine them together to make a “new” episode. Continue reading “An Atheist Reads The Book of Chronicles: The Most Unnecessary Book In The Bible”

An Atheist Reads The 2nd Book Of Kings: The Miracles of Elijah and the Fall of Israel

Christians take it for granted that Jesus is divine for many reasons, such as the miracles he performed. Yet reading the Bible, the miracles of Jesus don’t seem too out of the ordinary. In fact long before Jesus, there was Elijah who performed many miracles and even raised the dead before ascending into heaven. So who was this Elijah? Continue reading “An Atheist Reads The 2nd Book Of Kings: The Miracles of Elijah and the Fall of Israel”