A joke was made on a post over at Northsider's blog about naming a progessive band 'Debby and the Pennsylvania Bible Thumpers'. There were a few jokes made between two very funny people (they really, really are too).
In my neck of the woods, a 'Bible thumper' is a wild eyed zealot. It is a perjorative term, usually applied to someone who takes the Bible literally, someone that preaches his/her point of view unceasingly, citing his/her Biblical 'evidence' to make the point.
That is not me.
Never has been.
Number one, I feel quite strongly that the Bible cannot be taken literally. Story telling and parables were a way of life in those times, and a great deal of the old testament is based on the stories and poems of the day. If you don't believe me, research 'Gilgamesh', and tell me that these stories are not familiar to you.
I have also long thought that many of the recountings were simply ways to keep a population in control using fear of God as a tool. I see it happening today. All around us.
I am taking a four year theology course, and nothing I have encountered to this has dissuaded me of this mindset. To be perfectly honest, I feel even more strongly about it. I have also discovered that there are a lot of scholars who feel this way.
I define God a little differently than most and I suppose that this is due to the fact that I was an atheist for the first 30 years of my life. I won't try to explain it to you because if you do not believe, you will not believe what I say.
But having walked in both worlds, I see both sides of the argument. 'Bible thumpers' do not even see the argument. Sometimes, I think "If I ever think I know all the answers, I hope someone shoots me..." If you believe you have all the answers, you are as far away from God as any atheist, in my opinion, anyway.
So...I guess it's a mishmash, and I am leaving myself wide open for shotgun blasts from both sides of the theological debate.
The one thing that I am sure of is this: we were all put on this earth to do good in whatever place we find ourselves. I try to do that. I'm not perfect though. Not even close. I am a prickly soul and nowhere near as patient as I would like to be. I struggle with it a lot. Another thing that I really have to consciously fight myself on is that I can be pretty judge-y. I'm better I think, but there is work to be done.
In Northsider's comment section, I responded to the 'Bible thumper' comment, and said that I was a little surprised to think that this was how I was seen by others. I waited for a response. Since they hail from a different part of the world, I wondered if perhaps the phrase 'Bible thumper' was viewed in a different light.
Both people assured me that no offense was intended. I believed them. But I did message the blog owner and ask that the comments between the three of us be deleted because I felt as if I was portraying myself as some sort of saint.
He took down the entire post.
Allow me to say, Northsider, that this was not my intent, and I am so very sorry that I made anyone feel badly. You and YP were quick to explain. Just as quickly, you were forgiven. I do believe that no offense was intended. There was nothing wrong with your post at all. I am sorry for my vanity, and for my concern about looking like a 'praise whore'. It is now my turn to ask your pardons.