July 24th, 2005

The Morning Service

Sunday mornings we usually catch the end of the church service on Radio 4 while we make breakfast. The preacher (whoever it is) rarely makes any concession to the fact that he's working in an intimate medium, but soars and trembles and booms. It gets my goat.

Today the guy was rhapsodising about the vision of paradise at the end of the Book of Revelations. Yes, yes, yes- it's very beautiful, but the Book of Revelations is all about God and his angels killing people. It's the most bloody-minded, fanatical, genocidal book in the Bible- the first century equivalent of an Al Quaeda website. Taking the pretty bits out of context is- well- like discussing Hitler soley in terms of autobahns and his patronage of Albert Speer.

I've been reading stuff recently where Muslims are urged to face up to the violent passages in the Koran, to acknowledge (presumably with tears of penitence) that their religion isn't all pink cotton-candy. Fine- yes please- the sooner the better.

But the Koran isn't the only Holy Book to trip out on fantasies of murder.