World AIDS Day 2022

Column by Rev. Irene Monroe on 8 December 2022 0 Comments

African Americans are still disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic. And the epidemic is heavily concentrated in urban enclaves like Boston, Detroit, New York, Newark, Washington, D.C., and the Deep South.

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In the interest of full disclosure, I am an Atheist.

Why is it that most Christians insist that the Gospels were essentially dictated to (inspired) by God to write his unerring Word? Given the number of inconsistencies and that the narratives were clearly written by different authors who couldn’t even get the story straight, why is the Bible the go-to source for the answer to everything?


Dear J. Edward,

In the interest of full disclosure, I too am an atheist, although I prefer the term non-theist because it’s not a conversation stopper.

As for the irreconcilably different accounts of the gospels, you are already far ahead of most church folk, who have been sold the lie that a harmonized view of the gospels is possible.  It’s not.  Serious biblical study reveals that each gospel takes liberties with the narrative in order to address the needs of the communities for which they were written.  They were also written decades after the death of Jesus and depend on a remembered oral tradition that was as unreliable then as it is now.  As to why the claim of divine authorship and biblical inerrancy is so important, human beings are always searching for a source of authority outside of ourselves.  A pope for Catholics, a paper pope for Protestants.  As to why the Bible is a go to source, it remains a formative story for Jews and Christians, and a collection of literature that is foundational in the history of ideas.  But let’s face it.  It contains both the sublime and the ridiculous.  It never was, nor should it ever be considered infallible.  It can be taken seriously without being taken literally, like most of the sacred and secular literature on earth.

~ Rev. Dr. Robin Meyers




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