Reading Time: 2 minutes / Laszlo Honti
Reading Time: 2 minutes

I had some faint recollection of someone posting a euphemistic comment that I really loved and spent a long time scouring the comments to find it. I can’t honestly remember if it was this one by Kevin K, but I love it.

Of course, theists of a certain stripe will insist that natural evil was another consequence of the mud man and rib woman eating the IQ-raising sin-fruit at the behest of the talking snake with legs when they were in the terrarium garden that was built by the invisible wizard who created everything with magic words.

Although the myth doesn’t say that at all. It says the wizard punished the mud man, the rib woman, and the talking snake with legs. And that’s it.

So, here’s a competition: I challenge you to as succinctly as possible, and with some amusement, sum up what you think are the events and themes of some of those biblical or religious stories. Here are a few of mine to help you along:

JesusManGod sacrificed himself to himself to sit on his own right hand for an eternity in heaven to pay for the sins of a humanity that he designed, and for sins he designed into the system, knowing full well that they would come to pass in the way they came to pass.

And the nativity, which I was attempting to sum up as concisely as possible:

Joseph ended up taking his 9 month pregnant partner (impregnated without anyone’s permission) on an 80 mile journey on donkey-back on unmettaled roads to a census that, as a woman, his wife did not need to attend, in a different tax area to where they lived, for the purpose of a ruler (Herod) who had died 10 years previously (and who, as ruler of a client kingdom, would not have needed a Roman tax census) in a place where one Gospel (but not the other) said they already lived, only to be chased to Egypt for two years when the other Gospel said they returned to Nazareth immediately, because said dead ruler was intent on killing Jesus-aged babies (which was never recorded in any other place) due to an important prophecy that nobody had realised actually existed.

Oh, and the Magi and shepherds, who saw the most incredible things, were never heard from again.

Orrrrrrrrrrr… it never happened. (Just a thought.)

Anyway, my favourite submission will win the coveted, never-before-heard-of, hugely anticipated, non-annual award: The ATP Awesomest Religious Story Interpretation Award 2017 (also known as The Fiction Made To Sound Like Fact But Obviously Sounding Like Ridiculous Fiction When Said With Different Words Award).

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Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...