I came across this list: “The Top 20 Bible Passages to Use Against Fundamentalists”
While I was reading it, I could not help but think of exactly how a fundamentalist might respond to these arguments. I’m only going to paste in the title and verse quoted; there is more to the arguments in the link.
1. Women Will Never Teach or Have Authority Over Men: “I permit no woman to teach or have authority over men; she is to keep silent.” Timothy 2:11
Strong start, except many actual fundamentalists will agree that women shouldn’t have roles like “pastor” and should be subject to men in some sense, if only in the “he has the deciding vote, but I can voice my opinion” sense.
2. Divorce and Remarrying Are Both Considered Adultery: “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.” (Luke 16:18)
Again, some might be surprised at this verse, but others will respond, “Yes, that is why we don’t allow divorce and remarriage.” See: Catholicism.
3. No Bastards May Enter the Church: “A bitched shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 23:2)
This might make some fundamentalists take pause, and the only response I know of would be that this is part of the cleanliness laws that were tossed out due to Peter’s dream in Acts 10. I’m not 100% sure that response is valid.
4. Even A Look Counts As Adultery: “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)
I don’t know what this person hopes to prove to a fundamentalist by convincing them they have committed adultery; in all probability, they are already aware of this verse. Not only that, but fundamentalists don’t tend to think they are free of sin. Instead, they think their sins are forgiven. There’s a huge difference there.
5. Men With Wounded Penises or No Testicles Are Not Allowed in Church: “He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord.”(Deuteronomy 23:1)
Similar to the rule about the bastards, this is likely going to be defended as a cleanliness issue. Also, I’m 99% sure just offhand that the context is talking about going into the inner part of the temple, which is not how Christian churches are set up, because Christianity is not Judaism anymore.
6. Your Family Is Your Enemy and You Are All Competing for God’s Love: “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:35-27)
Your mileage may vary, but if you ask my family about this, they will say god comes before even their newborn and long-awaited baby girl. So once again, what are you expecting to prove?
7. Women Must Cover Their Hair During Prayer: “But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head…” 1 Corinthians 11:5
At my family’s church, the women do cover their hair. I’m not sure any protestant churches follow that still, though, so this might give some people a bit of a jolt.
8. If You Disobey God, You Will Eat Your Babies: “If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over. You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters.” (Leviticus 26:27-30)
This is not a command… it’s a threat, or possibly a promise, that god will punish you with famine for disobedience. It’s not going to faze a fundamentalist that god has not followed through on this, because their god is loving. At best, they are going to say that man has found a way to prevent famine and are thereby preventing the righteous punishment.
9. A Woman’s Punishment For Defending Her Husband = Cut Off Her Hand: “When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her.” (Deuteronomy 25:11-12)
Even this article admits the applicability of this is almost definitely not going to show up, so the only reason to bring it up is to show that god has ordered brutal punishments. Fundamentalists are okay with the idea of people going to hell, remember?
10. Love Thy Neighbor. Seriously.: “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke [reason with] thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19: 17-18)
The article claims that the Westboro Baptist Church is not Christian because of this passage, but they are actually following it more than most! They are the ones going around warning people not to sin, and rebuking those that do, exactly as this passage says. The fact is that love means different things to different people, and in fundamentalist Christianity, love includes trying to turn people away from sin.
11. Cursing At Your Parents Warrants Death: “For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.” (Leviticus 20:9)
Some fundamentalists might not be aware of this verse. Some certainly are, which might explain why children sometimes die in these families.
12. Non-Virgins Are To Be Stoned (As in, with Rocks): “But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.” (Deuteronomy 22: 20-21)
For once, context actually helps the Bible out. This verse doesn’t say to stone just every non-virgin, only the ones where her new husband accuses her of not being a virgin. Especially in this day and age where we know about the hymen being broken accidentally, it is not as though a new husband will get his wife stoned. So, this one just won’t apply anymore.
13. Giving Birth to a Daughter Makes You Unclean for 66 Days: “But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days.” (Leviticus 12:5)
This is surely one of the cleanliness rules discarded when Christianity evolved from Judaism, so it isn’t worth bringing up to a fundamentalist.
14. If You Steal Something, or Sin in Any Way: Cut Off Your Hand: “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched.” (Mark 9:43)
A fundamentalist is likely to respond to this by cutting off his hand. I’m pretty sure there have been recorded cases of this.
15. If Your Brother Dies, You Need to Bang His Wife: “Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man’s brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.” (Mark 12:19)
This really won’t be news to fundamentalists, who use the story of Onan to say masturbation is forbidden.
16. Deformed People Cannot Approach God: “For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken. No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.” (Leviticus 21:18-21)
This doesn’t mean deformed people aren’t allowed in church, it means they are not allowed to be Jewish priests. There’s a difference.
17. No Sex During A Woman’s Period: “…thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness.” (Leviticus 18:19)
This could be argued as discarded with all the other uncleanliness laws, and it does not mean a man is not allowed to hug his wife.
18. Discipline Your Little Ones: “Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.” (Psalm 137:9)
I don’t think any fundamentalist is going to agree that a verse from PSALMS should be taken literally. Have you met a fundamentalist?
19. Give A Thief Your Belongings: “And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.” (Matthew 5:40)
20. Invite Your Attacker To Beat You More: “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:39)
If you look up this chapter, you’ll see that Jesus is here saying, essentially, “love your enemies” and/or “kill them with kindness”. A fundamentalist might not be able to live up to this standard, but he will almost definitely agree that this is his standard.
Really, you would be better off pointing out Numbers 14, where Yahweh kills thousands of Israelites for following his command, and Joshua 11, where Jepthah sacrifices his daughter. I sincerely doubt that any of the verses from that list will do anything to shake the faith of most fundamentalists. We should be making strong arguments against Christianity, not weak ones, because we can make much stronger arguments than the ones on this list.
2 thoughts on “Bible Passages to Use Against Fundamentalists”
I have never understood number 5 (Deuteronomy 23.1). As a man left without testicles after being treated for testicular cancer, I wonder why I wouldn’t be welcome in the inner sanctum – that is, if I wanted to go there.
I’ve just looked up the verse in question, and it appears I was wrong about it being the inner sanctum.
However, unless you are Jewish, these rules don’t apply, and I’m quite sure no rabbi in the world would say it means there’s no good afterlife awaiting you. This rule really does have the same reasoning as that behind having unblemished sacrifices – that which appears before the “Lord” is to be perfect, because god is perfect, yadda yadda. Christianity has a different understanding of god’s standards, so this rule doesn’t apply to Christian churches. As I’m sure you know, the bible still has many examples of ridiculous verses.
I’m sorry to hear you lost part of yourself to cancer, though. It’s an awful disease. I hope you have otherwise recovered.