Over 800 people in Hong Kong have complained to the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA), the local censoring body for the publishing industry, asking it to declare the Bible too smutty and violent to be read by those under 18.
The complaints come in the wake of controversy over a sex survey in a university student magazine that was deemed indecent by the Obscene Articles Tribunal. Students objecting to the designation launched a website, www.truthbible.net, which calls for supporters to lodge complaints against the Bible with TELA. The site is in Chinese. If deemed obscene, the Bible would be sealed and stamped with a warning. It would only be sold to persons over 18.
The students make a legitimate point: The Bible is probably one of the most violent works of fiction ever written. According to The Dark Bible website: Over and over again, the ever-angry Jehovah commands his chosen ones to slaughter their neighboring tribes because they bow down to false idols or do something else to piss him off. When David’s not wiping out 22,000 Syrians or 18,000 Edomites (I Chronicles 17-19), or Gideon’s not killing anything that moves (Judges 6-9) then the big cheese in the sky himself is burying people alive (Numbers 16:32-35), killing the firstborn of the Egyptians (Exodus 12:29-30) or slaughtering “50,000 and threescore and ten” because they “looked into the ark of the lord.” (I Samuel, 6:19) All added together, the god of the Bible probably murdered more of his creation than humans ever have.
Then there’s the way the patriarch in the sky instructs his people to live. Those who worship the so-called one true god can have slaves (Leviticus 25:44). In fact, a father can sell his daughter into slavery, if he chooses (Exodus 2:17). Many offenses, even minor ones, merit death. For instance, working on Sunday (Exodus 35:2), or a man cutting his hair (Lev. 19:27). Cursing is punished by a public stoning (Lev. 24:10-16). Engaging in homosexual sex acts (Lev. 20:13) or adultery (Lev. 20:10-11) also means your days are seriously numbered. God has a zero tolerance policy. One strike and you’re out cold.
The Bible doesn’t lack its erotic content. There’s the description of a lover whose “flesh (dick) is as the flesh of asses and whose issue (cum) is like the issue of horses.” (Ezekiel 23:19-21) And the account of David dancing naked before “the handmaids of his servants” (II Samuel 6:20). For the lovers of subtlety there’s the endless “begetting” in Genesis that goes on for pages.
Finally, there’s the glorification of one’s of humankind’s oldest sexual taboos: Incest. God creates Eve from Adam’s rib, making her a clone or at least a relative of Adam’s. The two mate and have Cain and Abel. Where did Cain and Abel find mates if there was only Adam and Eve? Did they do it with their mother? Does the Bible propose that the entire human race was produced from one incestuous family? There were no other people on Earth at the time. What other explanation could there be?
Maybe folks in Hong Kong are onto something in wanting to keep the Bible away from young impressionable minds.
Tommi Avicolli Mecca is a radical, southern Italian, working-class, atheist queer writer and performer with a website: www.avicollimecca.com. Readers can learn more about the Bible’s Dark contents at