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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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No one is really educated if he or she hasn’t read the Bible

Every American should read the Bible–especially the Old Testament–at least once every 10 years.

I have heard at least four journalists and celebrities within the last month admit on talk shows that they had either never read the Bible or were reading it for the first time. I don’t believe it is possible to understand American culture without reading the Bible.

I am appalled that professionals believe they are qualified to comment on America without holistically understanding it. While it is possible to get a degree without ever reading the Bible, it is not possible to call oneself educated if you haven’t read it.

Believers need to read it, atheists need to read it, members of religions not rooted in Israel need to read it and anyone who calls him or herself informed needs to have read the Bible.

Two of the four brilliant people I heard admit to reading the Bible for the first time in adulthood were religious their entire lives. It wasn’t until their mid-30s that they decided to find out what it was they believed in. One found the Bible to be inconsistent with far-left progressive views and became an atheist. The other realized that religion was much more exciting than what that person’s Rabbi was saying.

It is appalling that people would consider themselves believers in God without ever bothering to find out what they believed in. I propose that there are thousands of religious people who criticize others for voting for parties they don’t know anything about and yet have never read the Bible.

Atheists need to read the Bible as much as believers, because they had better be crystal clear on what it is they don’t believe exists. The only thing more annoying than somebody who defends a political party he or she doesn’t understand is people who criticize a belief they don’t understand.

In my experience, atheists have a skewed or narrow understanding of what the faithful believe. Of course something is stupid and illogical if you only ever listen to stupid ignorant people explain it. Instead of trusting imperfect people to explain God, atheists should go straight to the source. If they still don’t accept religion, no one can say they didn’t try.

Members of other religions should read the Bible as well. So much American literature and so many American paradigms of art, politics and society are rooted in the Bible. The more citizens of the world understand one another’s beliefs, the more tolerance and appreciation is possible.

Like it or not, the moral code that has guided Western civilization for nearly 3,000 years is rooted in the Bible. A history class will place the beginning of Western civilization in Greece, but at the beginning of the Dark Ages these roots were lost. It was only when a new press ripped the Bible from the clutches of the clergy and made it more available that Europe reawakened and began rediscovering the truths written by the Greeks and Romans.

It is true that our founding fathers knew their Greek and Latin, but they also knew their Hebrew. They chose enlightenment over religion, but it was an informed decision based on a solid understanding of religion.

It is impossible to expect subsequent generations to be as just, intelligent and inspired as the founding fathers unless they are as educated as the founders were. Each of those great men and women knew the Bible.

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