“Smut for Smut”, who’s offended?

You’ve likely heard by now, there’s an atheist group at the University of Texas at San Antonio which set up a publicity stunt called, “Smut for Smut.” In exchange for a holy book of choice, you can get some softcore porn. The message the group is attempting to convey is the bible is full of many things smutty, so why not get some non-violent porn in exchange for the gross violent stuff found throughout the bible.

FOX did this bit on it:

Friendly Atheist Hemant Mehta condemned the group this week. And he invited a proponent of the group to write a response which he published here.

I was particularly moved by Mehta’s statement when he said:

I understand that not everyone appreciates a “gentler” approach to all this. We need all types in a movement. But why revel in a publicity stunt that only makes atheists look bad?

I’m not personally turned off by the group or its message. I wouldn’t join the group. But they are on my “team.”

Oddly enough, this silly “Smut for Smut” story turned me on to one simple idea. It’s really not Christians I hate. It’s their nonsensical love affair with the bible. Christians can be and often are very cool people.

If I wrote out a personal ad in search for love, I’d write, “Interests: photography and writing. Turn ons: a big personality, infectious laugh and a flirtatious smile. Turn offs: bloody, puss-filled back boils and a saying things like, ‘I’m a bible-believing literalist.”

When I hang out with my family who are honestly some of the best and coolest people you’ve ever met, that’s what they are … cool people. They drink. They use language like “shit” and “fuck”. They love all things secular.  The only time it’s apparent they aren’t atheists is when they pray before a meal or they talk about church on Sunday. Then it’s like, “Oh yeah, you’re Christians.” Frankly, I see them as no different than me, except during .0535 percent of their day, they might say a prayer or glance at a bible. You’d think that the boundary for non-belief would be much easier crossed.

My family interprets their “spiritual” teachings at church into an effort to make the world and their families better. They are involved with their church ministries. They aim to present a message of love and peace to their communities. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Why is there a need to base the group off the bible, when it is clearly not the moral compass it’s purported to be?

I saw a video on facebook for a church recently. It was well done. It has great motion graphics and editing.

Someone in this church either works for a video company that has access to a shitload of stock video, or the church legitimately bought thousands of dollars worth of stock video and paid an editor a helluva lot to promote their group.

There were a couple stock clips that I’ve bought for projects I’ve done, and they were over $600 a piece when I bought them. This whole video was comprised of stock video. And it used a portion of a copyrighted mainstream song at the end, which I imagine wasn’t something they had permission for. If they didn’t have permission, I would hope that they would follow copyright laws to ascertain its legitimate use. Ethical use of copyright material should be at the forefront of Christian behavior, but I’m afraid it’s not.

What struck me about the video was the message. It was basically, “We’re a cool church packed to the nines with cool people. We are different. We are family oriented. But there’s one thing we don’t compromise … and that’s the BIBLE and its MESSAGE!”

Really?

You don’t compromise the message of the bible?

Because I’m pretty sure the church DOES compromise the bible’s message or else Sundays would be a day of carnage and debauchery.

It makes me think of the time when I saw Mehta and Chad Meister at the Collision event last year. Meister’s effort concentrated on damning associations. He kept bringing up how Ted Bundy was an atheist. These associations should deter me and others from being an atheist. There’s a gigantic flipside, because associations should deter Christians from being associated with the evil in their history as well.

I’m perfectly fine taking on another association to avoid being associated with “evil atheists.” I could call myself a humanist, a free thinker, a bright, etc.

If I don’t like another atheist or his/her message, I disassociate myself from them. I’ve disassociated myself from Bundy and John Loftus for that matter. I refuse to finish Loftus’ book now (wow! what a protest!). If I don’t like a book or find that its author doesn’t represent my views, I don’t claim it’s my book to base my non-belief upon. I’d much rather pick and choose books than pick and choose lines from within a book.

There seems to be a lot of believers who ignore whole parts of the bible. Their religion and beliefs are based on other books and messages anyway. Why keep focusing on the book that makes adherents look like assholes?

Christians don’t have that luxury. Why? It’s their stubborn tradition. They are stuck with their book no matter what.

It’s time they distanced themselves from from it.

What do you think of the church’s inability to let go of a book that really isn’t all that great? Do you think it should be edited? What harm would it do to the church if it disassociated herself from the absolute horrors found in the bible?

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5 thoughts on ““Smut for Smut”, who’s offended?

  1. I haven’t read the Jefferson Bible yet, but it might provide some ideas for a substitute to the current holy book.

    As far as the smut for smut kids… what bugged me about that was they didn’t focus on the sexual horrors in the Bible to argue its smuttiness. They hit the usual stuff about how awful it was but completely ignored the rape, rape slaves, incest, pedophilia, etc. I mean, if you’re going to do a smut for smut thing, why not point out how awful the Bible is on that smut… and happily allow folks to exchange it for wholesome American porn instead?

    Those young skeptics, I swear! :-)

  2. GREAT point Glock! I couldn’t agree more. Why aren’t those sexual horror stories discussed more? As a woman, I’m completely disgusted at how the bible portrays woman.

    1. Most sects cherry pick around those parts these days (but it’s still absolute morality, we swear!) but some fundamentalist sects still have a “moderate” stance that still demands quite a bit of subjugation, though fewer executions required.

      Somehow the taking of rape-slaves during holy war went out the window along the way. Not sure exactly when, but since the absolute morality given for traditional Christian marriage no longer means polygamy, incest, virgin war trophies, etc… the absolute morality on the rest gets, dare I say, subjective by which interpretation one chooses.

      At least even fundamentalist Christians accept moderate enough interpretations we’re unlikely to see anything near as bad as some of the fundamentalist Islam nonsense. But some still shock the senses when they’re on full display:

      Case in Point: God Says: Make Me a Sammich!

      It’s about a college for becoming subjugated wives and the convoluted logic in how they rationalize that as being “equal.” Fun fun fun.

  3. If the church parted ways with the holy bible? Wow. If it was a clean cut, i.e., if it had the (haha) blessing of all the churches that currently hold the bible as god’s word…if they all stood up together and announced that there’s no WAY this book could be anything other than some old fictional story…or better yet, incontrovertible evidence was found to support the fact that some imaginative person about 2000 years ago wrote this gigantic fictional story…if we could somehow get rid of the bible without starting some sort of holy war or retaliatory campaign against the church…

    Then people would turn to the next thing that could help them answer the questions in the world. Because that’s what the holy books are: They provide answers to the questions that arise in daily life. And if they don’t provide answers, they at least assure the reader that Someone Else has the answers.

    So the big question is, would the church be able to adapt itself to maintain any of it’s power and control that it currently enjoys? What would happen to political and social groups that are based on the belief that the bible is true? People struggling to maintain their money and power after the removal of the bible – this is where we would have problems. What kind of spin would they put on this?

    People certainly wouldn’t stop believing in a god. It’s too easy to believe in a god. I think it would be great if someone would be out there waiting for me when I die, someone who will give me a big hug and say “Good game, champ!”. Someone who would tell me all the secrets of the Universe and answer every question I had on Earth. That’s a very tempting idea.

    With no bible, maybe people would turn toward a naturalistic Earth-godess spiritualism (helllooo…Fern Gulley and Avatar), or other new-age woo.

    If we just altered the bible…dude. Pretend that the bible is the US constitution. You get splinter groups all over the place! People would argue forever about what should stay in the bible, what should go…other people would want to be strict literalists. Hey…that kind of sounds like what we have now…

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