Monday, December 31, 2012

My respect for Penn Jillete has plummeted

He's a great showman, and a wonderful entertainer, but Penn Jillete really doesn't know his Bible. Ordinarily  this would not matter at all, but I caught a clip of him defending his atheism on the grounds that "Reading the Bible (Or the Koran, Or the Torah) Will Make You an Atheist."

He then goes on to demonstrate that his own reading of the bible was far from careful or complete:

Penn's lead-off howler is inexcusable. @2.00 the magician declares that "Lot's daughter [was] gang-raped and beaten, [with] the Lord being okay with that... " yet in the Bible Lot's daughters are neither raped nor beaten. In fact, the Lord's own angle saves her by striking the mob with blindness.  Other mistakes follow. For instance, Jillete speaks about the bible's "hostility toward homosexuals" as if the scolding and cursing goes on for chapters, when in fact homosexuals are mentioned once, and the statement, while negative, is not especially hostile.

Jillete winds up his attack on a the bible that exists mostly in his own imagination with a smug little smile, announcing "when someone is trying to interpret something they always have an agenda," hardly seeming to realize that what he's really done is indicted his own good self.

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