Bible Study w/ Ruth H. Green

Posted on April 28, 2020


for A—–

Ruth Hurmence Green,

author of

Born Again Skeptic’s Guide to the Bible

Ruth 1:1

Missouri grandmother,

half-hearted Methodist

for half a century, says:

My brother, Howard suggested

that the Bible might not be

all that I thought it was.

This suggestion led me

to investigate for myself.


I read the Bible with an open mind.

I hadn’t gotten very far into it

before I saw

it was VERY different

from what I imagined it to be.

I’d been taught that

the Bible was a GOOD BOOK,

an inspirational book,

“wonderful words of life.”


Ruth 1:2

I found:

superstitious silliness, ignorance,

moral obscenities, ghastly atrocities.

As for the personalities:

I found god’s favorites–and god himself–

to be utter reprobates.


In a book where I expected

to find ethical guidelines,

every time a behavior was repugnant to me–

it was glorified, rewarded–

even commanded–

and perpetuated–

by god himself.


Ruth 1:3

I felt betrayed.


I’d been exposed to this book all my life,

without knowing that hardly anyone in it–

god included–

could serve as a role model

for a reputable person.

My disillusionment led me to say,

“I detest the Bible.”

There isn’t ONE page of it

that didn’t offend me.

After a session of reading the Bible,

I wanted to take a bath

in Grandma’s lye soap.


Ruth 1:4

Children should not be exposed

to the Bible.

It’s filled with violence, depravity,

and twisted morality.

Children should not be exposed

to the terrors

of the Christian religion.

I say this from my own experience.

Growing up, I was terrified

that the end of the world was coming.

I shuddered at any mention of torture.

I still feel that way today.

Easter was a time of horror for me.

I wanted to retire from the world.


Ruth 1:5

I feel sad that this Christian torture symbol–

the cross–

is imposed more and more on the landscape–

even worn as jewelry–

it is brutalizing.

This emblem is portrayed as beautiful–

when actually–

it’s just a hold-over

of the pagan superstition

that the gods must be appeased

with human sacrifice.

I don’t think that children

should be taught superstitions,

human sacrifice,

ghosts and devils,

demonology, exorcisms,

signs and wonders.

These are horrors of the past,

and we should bury them.

Our children should not be taught

to eat the body of a god

and drink his blood–

however symbolically.


Ruth 1:6

Hunting out good behavior

in the Bible

is like

wading through the sewer

to find a gem.

We shouldn’t have to sift our morality

from a book

with a main theme of sacrifice

of innocent animals

and human beings.


Ruth 1:7

If someone claims

this book is about love:

I’ve studied every page of this book

and I didn’t find enough love

to fill a salt shaker.

God is not love

in the Bible.

God is vengeance,

from Alpha to Omega.


Ruth 1:7

The Bible is

a dangerous book.

It’s still being used

to influence our lives,

to deny people equal rights.

The three little words

I dislike the most are:

“the Bible says.”


Ruth 1:8

We should stop

wasting our time

trying to please the supernatural

and concentrate

on improving the welfare

of human beings.

We should use our energy

and our initiative

to solve our problems.


If we have faith in ourselves,

we won’t have to have faith in gods.

The found poem above are the words of Ruth Hurmence Green, author of The Born Again Skeptic’s Guide to the Bible, as spoken in the documentary, A Second Look At Religion. This DELIGHTFUL 1980 film was rebroadcast on the Freedom From Religion Youtube channel during the COVID19 pandemic, April, 2020. I was utterly spellbound by the stories of all the women who were interviewed about their lives and challenges as members of the most hated category of humans in the USA: freethinking women!¬†This artifact is particularly meaningful for me, because it originally appeared just as I converted to evangelical Christianity and began an in-depth study of the Bible and the religion. (Fortunately, that period lasted just under 5 years of my life.)

I am thankful for the foremothers profile in this doc who laid the path for me with their advocacy, activism, and writing. They are lights in darkness. I will definitely watch it again. I’m also reading Ruth’s book. I’ve owned it for a few years, but I only used it as a reference. Now I’m reading the narratives and commentary, and Ruth is a truly delightful wise elder. I often laugh out loud at her pithy turn-of-phrase. I am a huge fan!

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lisa eddy is a writer, researcher, educator, advocate,  musician, and gardener.

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