Herb Silverman, South Carolina's leading atheist, founder of Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry, presiedent of Secular Coalition of America and weekly columnist for The Washington Post, came down like the wrath of god on the head of a witless believer last week with this letter to the editor of the Post and Courier. Actually, Silverman had some harmless fun with the poor fool and proved once again that he knows more about the Bible than 99.999 percent of Christians or Jews. To see his weekly WaPo column, go to http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/panelists/herb_silverman/2010/04/doing_what_comes_naturally.html
And if you doubt that Silverman is an excellent Bible scholar, check him out in the January-March 2010 issue of Secular Nation at SecularNation@AtheistAlliance.org. Here Silverman spins 10 very practical and ethical fables out of Old Testament stories — 10 interpretations of the Bible you have never heard in church.
But first, his letter to the editor.
With all the legitimate concern about our growing national deficit, a March 12 letter contained an interesting suggestion. The writer said we shouldn't have wasted $10 billion of government money to replicate the Big Bang in order to determine how the Earth was formed, because we could find that out by just picking up a Bible.
That writer barely touched the tip of the iceberg of savings we could enjoy by using the Bible as our only scientific source. We could eliminate all the expensive scientific research that needs to be tested and retested in laboratories over long periods of time.
It would cost nothing to accept biblical science and mathematics, namely that we live on a flat Earth with four corners resting on pillars at the center of the universe. After a few failed attempts at building bridges according to the biblical value of Pi, which is three (according to 1 Kings 7:22), we would waste no more government money on bridges.
Since biblical science was completed some two to three thousand years ago, look at all the money we would save by simply eliminating science from the school curriculum. We also wouldn't have to waste government money on expensive hurricane monitoring systems, since hurricanes are deserved punishments from God for our sins.
But wait, there's more. Rising health care costs would be eliminated. James tells us that prayer should be the only allowable healing method. In fact, Mark points out that believers won't even be harmed by poisonous snakes.
Expensive surgery would be unnecessary, according to Matthew. If your right eye offends you, pluck it out; if your right hand offends you, cut it off.
And I saved the best for last. We would no longer worry about the long-term solvency of today's Social Security system. By strictly following biblical science, very few people would live long enough to collect from the resulting Social Security surplus.
HERB SILVERMAN Wraggborough Lane Charleston