Paul was an unequivocal asshole, and so was nearly every male character who held power in the old testament. That shouldn’t matter, though, because the Christian tenants supposedly stem from Jesus’ teachings and examples, not Paul’s or Abraham’s or Joshua’s or Solomon’s. Jesus makes up a shockingly small proportion of the christian bible, and his lessons stand out from and regularly disagree with those of the other books. Christianity at its core, the faith of the followers of Christ, is really just the four gospels. So, why is it that most Christians ignore every principle of those gospels and instead proudly play the role of the Pharisees?
I have logic and reasoning on my side as an atheist, but even without it, regular Christians would be all the fuel I’d need to shun the faith. Religious dogma are like mirrors, and much like philosophy or poli sci classes, you get out of it exactly what you put into it. So, if Christian zealots find bigotry in their texts, it says more about them than it does their texts.
“What’s in the cave?”, Luke asked.
Fewer than 70 years ago, the bible justified Jim Crow too. These laws were in complete disagreement with Jesus’ words, and it didn’t matter; those feelings didn’t come from the bible but from its followers. Fear has been preachers’ consistent sales tool; fear of the ‘Wrath of God,’ fear of burning in Hell, fear of cruel church tactics (as in the Spanish inquisition), fear of witches, fear of chastisement–all tools of an elite used against the purposefully uneducated masses. It is becoming an ineffective tool, as demonstrated by the growth of the group labeled ‘nones.’