Farrell Till on Christianity in America

From Farrell Till’s biography:

Over the years, I have spent many hours studying the Bible. My first efforts were directed at looking for solutions to the problem of textual inconsistencies and contradictions. I suppose my intention was to discover that there were no grounds for my skepticism, but the more I studied the Bible, the more I realized I would never resolve the problem of biblical discrepancies, because the truth is that the Bible is a collection of books written by uninspired, fallible men, and like all fallible men they made mistakes.  They probably were sincere in their belief that they were writing as representatives of God, but their sincerity didn’t make it so.  The truth was a long time in coming, but finally I realized that God had had exactly nothing to do with the authorship of the Bible.

My first instinct was to keep this discovery to myself, because religion is a sensitive subject.  If I said anything publicly, I might offend somebody, and I didn’t want to do that. At times, I wasn’t able to remain silent because of religious activities in the community that I considered infringements on the rights of others, but for the most part, I kept my views of the Bible to myself.  Gradually, my thinking about this changed, because I eventually realized that people with religious beliefs had no qualms about offending those who didn’t. Christian fundamentalists didn’t mind intruding on the privacy of others by going door to door to try to impose their religious beliefs on others.  They weren’t a bit bashful about polluting the airwaves with their doctrinal nonsense, and they certainly didn’t mind forcing their hackneyed prayers on the unreligious at public meetings that had nothing to do with religion.  Then, finally, during the Reagan administration, I became deeply concerned with the way that the Republican Party openly courted the support of Christian fundamentalists and even at times catered to their whims. I saw a danger in what was happening and decided that the outrageous claims of biblical authority and inerrancy that fundamentalists were making needed to be publicly opposed by an informed opposition.   I decided to be that opposition.

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