God and Galileo: Why people who believe the universe should revolve around their religion are dangerous
When people become convinced that their interpretation of religion is absolutely true – to the extent that they are willing to discard even obvious facts such as the heliocentric universe – they become capable of just about anything. The last thing we need is for them to have their hands on the instruments of the state.
Fundamentalists Christians in the United States are quick to claim that their preferred bible is the inerrant word of their god. When I read their bible, I note the following passage in Deuteronomy:
If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant; 17:3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; 17:4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel; 17:5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.
Evidently, the Christian bible instructs believers to kill those of us who do not worship their god.
They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)
Christians typically say that these Old Testament passages were replaced by the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament (except of course for one passage from Leviticus). The trouble with this claim is that Jesus was supposed to have instructed his followers to murder those who opted not to believe in him in Luke 19:27.
My question is a simple one: knowing how the Christian bible instructs people to deal with atheists, how can I, as an atheist, possibly feel safe around fundamentalist Christians? Wouldn’t I have to be crazy to let my guard down around them even for a second?