Sunday, December 16, 2012

Review: You Got To Be Kidding: The Cultural Arsonist's Literal Reading of the Bible

You Got To Be Kidding: The Cultural Arsonist's Literal Reading of the Bible
You Got To Be Kidding: The Cultural Arsonist's Literal Reading of the Bible by Joe Wenke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Satire
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: most everyone
Trigger Warnings: People who believe the Bible is the inviolable word of their creator should probably not read this. Sense of humor mandatory.

Disclosure: I received an e-galley ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis (slightly altered for space) courtesy of Goodreads: Why did God turn Lot's wife into a pillar of salt? Were there no other seasonings available? Why don't we know anything about the early years of Jesus? Did someone lose his baby book? Who reported the desert encounter between Jesus and Satan: Jesus-or Satan? And why does the Holy Spirit like to show up as a bird?

This book is an investigation into the bestselling book of all time. Written to "cause trouble", cultural arsonist Wenke, a keen observer of human gullibility, tempts readers to more closely examine the stories they think they know about the Bible.

Drawing upon the same pool of incendiary and cerebral humor as Bill Maher, Jon Stewart and the late, great George Carlin, You Got to be Kidding is a call for humor to restore our sanity and our ability to think for ourselves. Just as it was written in the Bible—or was it?

My Thoughts: “So Moses, (speaking for God) states that it is perfectly fine to slaughter every single man, woman and child in a town that you are invading, but it is wrong to cut down a fruit tree. Fruit—it’s one of the weirdest motifs in the Old Testament.” This book was absolutely hilarious—and guaranteed to absolutely infuriate anyone who cannot tolerate mockery of their sacred institutions, no matter how badly such mockery is needed.

While talking about the Great Flood, for instance, Wenke says:
God’s decision to flood the entire earth and kill everybody and everything is without a doubt far and away the greatest single act of genocide in the history of the world. It makes you wonder what God thought of the pathetic attempts of Hitler, Stalin and Mao to compete in the genocidal sweepstakes. They may have slaughtered millions, but there were still plenty of people left when they were done.

Ahh, I love really offensive statements like this, because they are guaranteed to upset people and start them picketing and marching and yelling silly slogans. And we all love watching that sort of thing, don’t we?
I ended up reading a lot of this out to my husband, who laughed almost as much as I did.

I think Wenke does a pretty good job of finding a lot of the inconsistencies and inaccuracies, especially when he points out the extreme inconsistencies between the various stories of the resurrection. I noted above that this is a trigger warning for anyone who believes the Bible is actually perfect, but thinking about it, these are the people who most need to read this book. I think these two quotes pretty much encapsulate the idea of the book. “But hey, what’s the big deal? Nothing’s perfect, including the Bible.” And then this one. “They say the Bible is perfect, but it appears that God needs an editor.” There is a lot of knowledge in the Bible, but it is not inviolable, it is not perfect, and people need to realize this and stop the insanity.

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