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Book Review December 25, 2002
Hate Thy Neighbor As Thyself
By Mark Ames Browse author Email

The Bible by Yahweh
Free in motels

The Son of God practicing lapdances

When I told my friends that I was reading the Bible cover-to-cover, an expression of worried nausea inevitably crossed their faces. It was as if I'd said, "Fellas, I'm gay, and damnit I'm not ashamed to tell you!"... only much worse. A homosexual you can beat to death with a baseball bat and the problem's solved. But a Christian is impossible to kill, like George Romero's zombies. The whole point of a Christian's existence is to get martyred, so killing one only makes it grow stronger, sprouts another hundred zombies in its place; on the other hand, if you don't kill a Christian, then they don't shut up about the Book of Revelations and how everything that's happening today has been foretold. Everyone's sat next to a Christian at least once in their lives and had to listen to their drivel. Once, on a flight to Las Vegas, I had a Christian sit next to me and tell me that the European Union was foretold as a sign of the Apocalypse, something about fifteen members as each horn on the devil or stars in some constellation or something... You know that the EU expansion will have been foretold in the Bible too, as was the WTC attack, the war in Iraq, Putin's rise to power, the Slavneft auction, the price of whores at Night Flight and so on. The Book of Revelations is just Nostradamus for wage earners- meaning the majority of idiots, as opposed to the minority.

Secular humanists tend to believe that the Bible has some kind of viral-infection power. That the very act of reading the Bible almost ensures that you'll be infected by Christianity, and you'll never be the same again-or that the act of reading the Bible is the last symptom of decay and mental illness.

Folks, reading the Bible is not in the least bit dangerous to a healthy nihilist, trust me. The Bible is aesthetically primitive, mostly boring with a few great chapters, but compared to the truly sublime culture and literature of that time - the ancient Greeks - the Jews were just hicks with a lot of energy, nothing like the Jews of today.

At times the Bible makes for decent toilet reading - The Iliad is too complex, the Greek gods too interwoven and profound to resonate during a five minute shit, whereas the Bible is so simple, its tales so easy to follow, that a Bible-reading-shit-a-day is reasonably satisfying. The bummer about the Bible is that it is much more interesting interpreted through others - Dostoevsky, Philip K Dick - than in the original.

In the interests of disclosure, I should note that I am a Jew with Catholic blood. I spent more time as a child in various houses of worship than most people. As a Jew I went first to a Reform synagogue, then forced my parents to move me to an Orthodox synagogue because I hated all the guitar-strumming hippies in the Reform one; I attended an Episcopalian chapel every morning for four years, ages 6-9; I spent at least one Sunday a month at a Catholic church since all of my childhood friends were either Irish, Mexican or Sicilian; and one grandmother who was born half-Catholic later converted to Bahai, a Persian sect, which makes me I guess one-fourth Bahai. Even within my Jewish family I'm part Sephardic and part Ashkenazi, which inspired violent storms of cross-family intra-ethnic anti-Semitism on a scale you mere European anti-Semites couldn't possibly imagine. You're all a bunch of fuckin amateurs.

I first got interested in the Bible when I lived in Kentucky and my friend Allie passed on an expensive Bible as a gift, the type with gold-trim pages and soft-leather covers and all kinds of illustrations. Allie told me that it cost 70 dollars. I've read it now cover-to-cover, and now I'm going to review it just in time for Jesus's birthday. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of space due to the glut of ads this issue, so I'll just keep my review down to a few salient points.

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