FRANKFORT, Ky. — A prominent professing atheist organization characterized the Bible as a “violent, racist book” in scolding the governor of Kentucky over his recent remarks lamenting the ramifications of removing the Bible from public schools.
Gov. Matt Bevin appeared on the Tom Roten Morning Show on Aug. 15, where he discussed the public unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as a recent bill he signed dubbed as the “Bible Literacy Bill.”
“When you go back a couple of hundred years, in most instances the only textbooks that were in our public schools were the Bible,” he said. “And so to that end to pretend, again, to scrub history and pretend that that wasn’t reality, I think is a dangerous precedent.”
“And it’s interesting, the more we’ve removed any sense of spiritual obligation or moral higher authority or absolute right and wrong, the more we’ve removed things that are biblically taught from society, the more we’ve seen the kind of mayhem that we were just discussing,” Bevin stated.
However, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) soon fired off a letter to Bevin to take issue with his words, which they characterized as being “inflammatory.” It asserted that the Bible is rather a “violent, racist book” that was used to justify slavery in American history.
“The Bible is a violent, racist book that has inspired violent, racist organizations,” wrote Co-Presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Ironically, the Bible that you want to unconstitutionally interject in public schools encourages violence and racism. Inculcating more American children in the ways of the Bible would not have prevented Charlottesville.”
The two opined that God’s selection of the Jews as His chosen people can cause feelings of supremacy. Citing Scriptural examples of the battles that the people of Israel fought against heathen nations on the way to the promised land—which they referred to as God ordering genocide—FRF said that telling believers that they are “part of the chosen few” can lead to racism.
“The Bible is rife with such harmful supremacist teachings: ‘The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on earth to be His people, His treasured possession,’ Deut. 7:6,” Barker and Gaylor stated.
They also contended that the KKK professes to be Christian, and that Adolph Hitler was Roman Catholic.
“If you want less violence, less religion is a good place to start. Your inflammatory comments were short on facts, history, and reality, much less a reverence for the First Amendment and its Establishment Clause,” FFRF wrote. “Please do not misuse your public office to promote your personal religion.”
The atheistic Church-State separation group had previously denounced Bevin for calling for local churches to organize prayer walks in Louisville to help curb violence in the city.
“You don’t need permission from me how to do it. You know, you walk to a corner, pray for the people, talk to people along the way,” he told a group of pastors in June. “No songs, no singing, no bullhorn, no tee shirts, no chanting. Be pleasant, talk to the people, that’s it.”
Bevin, a Southern Baptist, has likewise urged the Body of Christ to open their homes to foster children and those needing forever families. Bevin himself is an adoptive father.
“Three hundred and fifty—plus or minus—young people are right now fully able to and desirous of being adopted. There’s more than 6,000 churches in Kentucky. There should not be any child in Kentucky able to be adopted, ready to adopted, wanting to be adopted, who does not have a home,” he declared at the “Summit to Save Our Children,” becoming visibly grieved.
1 John 4:20-21 reads, “If a man say, ‘I love God,’ and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from Him: that he who loveth God love his brother also.”
1 John 3:14-15 also reads, “We know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”
1 Corinthians 13 likewise instructs Christians that without love toward their fellow man, “I am nothing,” and then defines love in detail.
“Charity (love) suffereth long, and is kind, charity envieth not, charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things [and] endureth all things.”