An national atheist organization wrote that the Christian Bible “encourages violence and racism” in an Monday letter intended to bully Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin.
“It should be no surprise that this hate-filled book has spawned hateful ideologies and groups to perpetuate those ideologies,” the letter read. “The Ku Klux Klan is and has always been, a Christian group. Klansmen began burning crosses ‘to spread the light of Jesus into the countryside.’ Hitler was a Roman Catholic and his soldiers wore a religious slogan on their buckle belts (Gott mit uns [God with us]).”
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent the letter to Bevin and berated him for suggesting during an Aug. 15 radio show that proper teaching of Biblical virtues in schools would reduce instances of white supremacist violence. The organization claimed that religious education, and religion in general, would lead to “increased levels of all manner of societal ills, including: violent crime and homicide, poverty, obesity, teen pregnancy, and infant mortality.”
“When you go back a couple of hundred years, in most instances the only textbooks that were in our public schools were the Bible,” Bevin told 89.3 WFPL during the interview. “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.”
“In terms of violence, no white supremacist thugs could one-up the god of the bible, who regularly commits and orders genocides,” the FFRF letter responded.
The atheist organization claimed that the Nazis and the KKK conformed to the teachings of Jesus as espoused in the Bible, and that Jesus endorsed slavery and beatings. FFRF’s letter asserted that teaching Christ’s message of self sacrifice, service to others, and people’s equality under God would lead to less tolerance, which would devolve into violence.
“If you want less violence, less religion is a good place to start,” FFRF admonished Bevin. “Your inflammatory comments were short on facts, history, and reality, much less a reverence for the First Amendment and its Establishment Clause. Please do not misuse your public office to promote your personal religion.”
FFRF’s bullying of Bevin began shortly after his suggestion to Louisville faith leaders that prayer walks would help reduce violence in their community. Bevin remained undaunted and signed the Bible Literacy bill into law June 27, which allows Kentucky public schools to develop and offer courses that teach about the Bible’s role in American history.
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