Should a layperson read sacred texts alone, without the help of clergy or community?
How do you read and study sacred texts?
Of course! This is the 21st century after all. Who thinks that someone else or some institution has the right to censor what we read.
Those who want to control the Bible's message express primarily their own fear and insecurity. Christians have used the Bible through the ages to control both thought and behavior. The victims of this tactic have been everything from our children whose educations have been stunted, to women whose rights have been compromised, to people of color and homosexual persons whose lives have been abused.
Most of the claims religious people make for the Bible cannot be sustained by the Bible itself. That is why I am convinced that only those who have never read the Bible can claim that it is inerrant or is, in any sense at all, the literal Word of God. Religion based on ignorance is always afraid of knowledge and seeks to control access to it. That day is gone, thank God, though it still tries to live in certain religious ghettos.
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